BankAmericard vs. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards
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Determining the best credit card for your financial goals involves examining card features, benefits and perks — and you should, of course, choose the credit card that best meets your needs. For instance, maybe your goal is to earn more rewards on your spending, or maybe you need help with paying down high-interest debt or financing a large purchase over time.
Choosing between the BankAmericard® credit card and Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card comes down to exactly that — whether you’d rather have a lengthy 0 percent intro APR or a slightly shorter 0 percent intro APR and the chance to earn ongoing rewards. However, there are a few other details that may sway your decision in an unexpected direction. Let’s take a look at what these cards offer and which option might be better for your financial goals.
The information about the Bank of America cards was last updated on April 3, 2023.
|Cards||BankAmericard credit card||Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card|
|Welcome bonus||None||$200 online cash rewards after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening|
|Intro APR||0% intro APR for 21 billing cycles on purchases and on balance transfers made within the first 60 days (then a variable APR of 15.74% to 25.74%); a 3% balance transfer fee applies||0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and on balance transfers made in the first 60 days (then a variable APR of 17.74% to 27.74%); a 3% balance transfer fee applies|
BankAmericard vs. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards highlights
Although the BankAmericard and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards share some features — like no annual fee and a 3 percent foreign transaction fee — and come from the same issuer, the similarities pretty much end there.
Welcome bonus winner: Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards
The Customized Cash Rewards card offers $200 in online cash rewards after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. Most cardholders should be able to reach this spending requirement pretty easily. The BankAmericard, on the other hand, doesn’t currently offer a first-year welcome bonus (though it has in the past).
Rewards rate winner: Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards
Since the BankAmericard doesn’t offer ongoing rewards, the Customized Cash Rewards wins in this category. The card offers 3 percent cash back on eligible category purchases of choice (choose from gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvement) and 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (with a combined $2,500 spending limit on 2 percent and 3 percent categories each quarter, then 1 percent back). You’ll also earn 1 percent back on all other purchases.
Using this card for your everyday spending means you can earn anywhere from $50 to $75 back on your 2 and 3 percent categories per quarter, on top of unlimited earnings for everything else at 1 percent back. Also, since you can change your 3 percent choice category each month, it’s more flexible than rewards cards with predetermined rotating bonus categories that you must activate every quarter.
Plus, if you’re a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, you can earn 25 percent to 75 percent more cash back (or up to 5.25 percent cash back) in all cash back categories. This program is based on the balance you maintain in an eligible Bank of America or Merrill investing account, and the minimum balance for each tier is as follows:
|Tier||Minimum three-month average balance||Rewards bonus|
|Diamond Honors||$10 million||75%|
Annual fee winner: Tie
Neither card charges an annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about justifying the cost of card membership.
Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie
Unfortunately, both the BankAmericard and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards have a 3 percent foreign transaction fee, so they aren’t really suitable for use outside of the United States (unless you don’t mind paying that fee).
Which card earns the most?
Typically, our card battles show spending examples that highlight how much you’ll earn with one card versus another (based on their rewards structures). However, in this example, we’ll look at just the Customized Cash card since the BankAmericard doesn’t offer rewards, and we’ll add in a balance transfer example.
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards spending example
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards calculator shows you how much cash back you can earn in each category per year with the following spend:
- $10,000 in yearly spending in the 3 percent choice category
- $8,000 in yearly spending in the 2 percent category
- $6,000 in yearly spending in the 1 percent category
With this spending, you’d earn $440 in cash back. And if you’re a Preferred Rewards member, your cash back rewards could be boosted to $550 if you’re a Gold member, $660 if you’re a Platinum member and $770 if you’re a Platinum Honors member or higher.
Balance transfer example
If you transferred a $5,000 balance to the BankAmericard within the first 60 days, you’d incur a $150 fee, bringing your total balance to $5,150. With 21 billing cycles to pay off your debt interest-free, that’s a monthly payment of just over $245 for 21 billing cycles.
With the Customized Cash Rewards, your balance would be subject to the same 3 percent balance transfer fee, so you’d start with the same total of $5,150. With an intro APR for 18 billing cycles, you’d pay just over $286 a month for 18 billing cycles to wipe out your debt.
Why should you get the BankAmericard?
The BankAmericard is worth it if you absolutely need a full 21 billing cycles to pay off your debt and 18 billing cycles just won’t cut it. However, in many circumstances, if you can forgo the extra three months of interest-free payments, the Customized Cash Rewards card provides much better value long-term.
Like most Bank of America credit cards, the BankAmericard card lets you participate in the BankAmeriDeals program, which allows you to earn 5 percent to 15 percent cash back when you activate limited-time offers and use your card at participating merchants. Also, there’s access to Bank of America’s Museums on Us program, where you can get free general admission to over 225 cultural institutions during the first weekend of every month. Check out our BankAmericard benefits guide for more card benefits.
The BankAmericard doesn’t offer rewards, so there are no redemption options.
Recommended credit score
You’ll need good to excellent credit (or a score between 670 and 850) to increase your approval odds for this card.
Why should you get the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards?
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is ideal for those looking to earn flexible rewards (with a potential boost as a Preferred Rewards member) and utilize the intro APR offers. If you’re looking for ongoing value, the Customized Cash Rewards card can deliver value for years to come — even when you remove the savings from the intro APR offers and welcome bonus.
Like the BankAmericard, you’ll get access to benefits like the BankAmeriDeals program and Museums on Us. But you’ll also get Visa Signature benefits, which include perks like extended warranty coverage, roadside dispatch and travel and emergency assistance.
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card only allows you to redeem your rewards for statement credits, direct deposits to a Bank of America checking or savings account or credits to an eligible Merrill account.
Recommended credit score
Similar to the BankAmericard, you’ll need a good to excellent credit score to increase your approval odds for this card.
The bottom line
By now, it’s probably clear that these cards are suited for different purposes. The BankAmericard is better for someone who really needs the longest intro APR period possible — whether for a large purchase or balance transfer. The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards, however, is better for those looking to get more value long-term — especially those who’ll get a better rewards rate as part of the Preferred Rewards program.