Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Review: Choose Your Bonus Category
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Worth a look for those who spend a lot in one or more of the 3% cash-back category options, as well as those who already do business with Bank of America®. But because the bonus rewards are capped, it's not a good fit for big spenders.
Pros & Cons
No annual fee
High rewards rate
New cardholder bonus offer
Rotating bonus categories
Intro APR period
Requires excellent credit
Foreign transaction fee
Spending caps on bonus rewards
Best rewards limited to certain customers
This card starts off with a huge sign-up bonus: Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.. You earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Then, you earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. The annual fee is $95.
Compare to Other Cards
16.74%-26.74% Variable APR
20.49%-25.49% Variable APR
17.99%-25.99% Variable APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 9 billing cycles
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
690850good - excellent
Recommended Credit Score
690850good - excellent
For business owners looking for a cash-back card that allows for a little customization, there’s a lot to love about the $0-annual-fee Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card.
The card offers 3% cash back on the category of your choice from a list of options, which you can change as often as once a month, and 2% cash back on dining. The 3% and 2% rates are good on up to $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year. You get 1% cash back above the cap on all other spending.
While the spending cap on the bonus categories makes the card a poor option for big spenders, it's a valuable choice for entrepreneurs who can use that 3% category to earn bonus cash back on major expenses without bumping up against the cap. It's even more lucrative for those who qualify for higher rewards rates on the card by keeping a certain amount of money in Bank of America® and Merrill business accounts.
Key features of Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
Card type: Small business.
Annual fee: $0.
Sign-up bonus: Get a $300 online statement credit after you make at least $3,000 in net purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening - with no annual fee and cash rewards don't expire.
3% cash back in the category of your choice from a list.
2% cash back on dining (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year; 1% after that limit is reached).
1% cash back on all other purchases.
For the 3% cash-back category, you can choose one of the following categories and change your selection up to once a month:
Office supply stores.
TV, telecom and wireless.
Business consulting services.
If you don't select a category, the default selection will be gas stations. Your category selection will remain the same from month to month unless you decide to change it.
Interest rate: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 9 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 16.74%-26.74% Variable APR.
Foreign transaction fee: 3%.
Other benefits: Those who qualify for Bank of America® Preferred Rewards for Business can earn bonuses on rewards, effectively boosting the card's overall earn rates.
Why you might want the Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
A 3% category you can choose
For small-business owners that spend a lot in one or more of the categories that can earn 3%, this card's flexibility is valuable. Many of these categories cover expenses that are significant for certain businesses. For example:
Computer services covers software, network and cloud services, and data processing services.
Travel covers a broad range of expenses, including airfare, hotel purchases and bus fares.
Business consulting services includes spending on services for public relations, legal, accounting and tax preparation.
The card also offers 2% cash back on dining, a nice bonus for business owners who often take clients out to restaurants or order takeout for the office. The catch? You'll only earn bonus cash back on the first $50,000 spent each calendar year on combined purchases made in the category of your choice and on dining; after that, you'll only earn 1% cash back. Other cards offer big rewards with no spending caps — but generally, with these cards, you can't choose your own bonus categories.
More cash back with Preferred Rewards for Business
If you also use Bank of America® for your small-business banking needs, you may be able to earn more cash back on this card through the issuer's Preferred Rewards for Business program.
To qualify, you need to have at least $20,000 in combined eligible business balances at Bank of America® and Merrill. Depending on how much money you keep with the bank, you can earn bonuses of 25%, 50% or 75% on the rewards earned on this card and other eligible Bank of America® cards, among other perks. For example, if you have a combined eligible business balances of $100,000 or more, you would earn 5.25% cash back in a category of your choice on this card, instead of 3%.
Cash back on the category of your choice
Cash back on dining
Cash back on all other spending
(no accounts, or combined balances below $20,000)
Gold — 25% boost
(combined balances of $20,000 to $49,999)
Platinum — 50% boost
(combined balances of $50,000 to $99,999)
Platinum Honors — 75% boost
(combined balances of $100,000 or more)
Introductory 0% APR period
Unlike many small-business cards, this one comes with a 0% APR offer: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 9 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 16.74%-26.74% Variable APR. For small-business owners spending a lot to ramp up, this could be a cost-effective way to smooth cash flow and pay down major purchases over time.
Why you might want a different card
The bonus rewards cap
If you are a big spender — and many small-business owners are — then the $50,000 spending cap in combined spending on the category you choose and dining might feel limiting. You'd likely be better off with a card that offers rich uncapped rewards, even if it means paying an annual fee.
Take the Capital One Spark Cash Plus, for example. This card earns an impressive 2% cash back on every purchase, with no spending caps. There's also a sign-up bonus: Earn up to a $1,000 cash bonus; $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, and $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of account opening. It doesn't charge foreign transaction fees. The annual fee is $150. For small-business owners who spend enough to justify the annual fee — and don't want to revolve a balance — this charge card could be a better overall fit.
Categories might not match business spending
If you don’t spend much on dining or any of the 3% category options, the Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers limited value. A card with high flat-rate cash-back rewards could be a better fit.
Consider the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, which offers 2% cash back on eligible purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year and then 1%, for an annual fee of $0. Terms apply (see rates and fees) .The card comes with a good 0% APR offer, too: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 17.99%-25.99% Variable APR.
Modest sign-up bonus
While the Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card comes with a sign-up bonus, it’s not as big as the ones offered by other small-business cards. The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card, for example, offers a bigger sign-up bonus: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. The annual fee is $0. With this card, you earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
It charges a foreign transaction fee
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card comes with a 3% foreign transaction fee, which means you’ll want to use a different card if you’re traveling overseas.
Should you get the Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card?
If you’re a small-business owner looking for a flexible cash-back card and your current spending matches up with one or more of 3% category options on the Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card, it could be a great card for you — especially if you can boost your rewards rate through the Preferred Rewards for Business program. But if you’re a big spender and will hit up against the bonus earning cap, go with a different card.