If you’re running a small business and looking for ways to return some operating costs to your wallet, the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard is a great choice. While it lacks the bells and whistles of some competing cash back business cards on the market, the lack of annual fee and flexible reward categories make it easy for your business to capture the maximum rewards rate possible throughout the year.
Rewards rate: Tailor your rewards to your spending
The Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard’s biggest feature makes it easy to maximize its cash back rate on your business spending. Cardholders can choose from various eligible bonus categories for 3 percent cash back. These categories cover products and services that should prove valuable to budding businesses, including gas stations (also EV charging stations), office supply stores, travel, telecom and wireless, computer services and business consulting services. This is a healthy spread of products and most businesses should find at least one category that can help them earn big cash back.
What’s more, you can change your selected bonus category once each month. With a little foresight, you can swap your rewards category to whatever your business spending demands throughout the year. This means it’s much easier to maximize your annual cash back compared to a business card with fixed reward categories.
Plus, it earns a flat 2 percent back on dining purchases, so if you buy meals for employees or clients frequently, the Business Advantage Customized Cash card’s dining category supplements your chosen category earnings. This flexibility makes the card a great complement for a flat-rate cash back card.
Just keep in mind the card’s $50,000 annual spending cap for 2 percent and 3 percent category purchases. After you reach the limit, your purchases only earn 1 percent.
Finally, you can earn anywhere from 25 percent to up to 75 percent additional cash back if you have a Bank of America Business Checking account or Merrill investing account with a qualifying combined three-month average balance. The Preferred Rewards for Business program tiers are:
- Gold tier ($20,000 to $49,999): 25 percent bonus cash rewards
- Platinum tier ($50,000 to $99,999): 50 percent bonus cash rewards
- Platinum Honors tier ($100,000 and more): 75 percent bonus cash rewards
If you qualify for the Platinum Honors tier, then the Business Advantage Customized Cash card’s rewards rates increase to 5.25 percent on your chosen category, 3.5 percent back on dining, and 1.75 percent back on all other purchases. The spending cap still applies.
Welcome offer: Easy to obtain and has solid value
With the Business Advantage Customized Cash, you may qualify for the $300 welcome offer after spending $3,000 with the card in the first 90 days.
While the card’s welcome offer is less than some of the best business cards, those cards often have much higher spending requirements or carry an annual fee. On the flip side, the $300 you can earn with this card is more than the $200 average on other credit cards with no annual fee while maintaining comparable spending requirements.
For business cards with welcome offers of $450 in value or more, you’ll typically need to spend anywhere from $4,500 to $6,000 within those first three months. In comparison, $3,000 within 90 days is much easier to fit into your budget.
Rates and fees: Little to worry about
The Business Advantage Customized Cash’s rates and fees fall right in the middle of the pack, without any unwelcome hidden fees. A no-annual-fee cash back business card is always a welcome sight and can help you put cash back in your pocket without worrying about offsetting annual charges for simply holding the card.
While the card comes with a 4 percent balance transfer fee, it doesn’t offer a balance transfer intro APR, so it isn’t a good choice for transferring any business debt in the first place. But the card doesn’t impose a penalty APR if you pay late, which can be helpful for newer business owners. Just remember that late payments can still affect your business credit score, and late fees will likely apply.
One small nitpick: The card carries a foreign transaction fee, making travel abroad with this card potentially expensive. However, this isn’t a huge deal as the card’s main features are centered around business spending in the U.S. If you don’t travel for business purposes frequently, this card still carries plenty of value.