Bank of America content was last updated on July 25, 2022.
If you’re looking for a new rewards credit card, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card can be a serious contender among many higher-yielding cash-back credit card options. With no annual fees and the ability to customize categories for refunds, you can consider applying for a card as soon as possible.
If you do not have access to a pre-qualified or pre-approved offer for this card, you must approach your application with caution. In order to increase your chances of approval, you must know the credit score required for this card, as well as other factors that may lower your chances of approval.
Why apply for a Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card?
The Bank of America Customized Cash Card can help you earn a significant amount of cash on purchases in regular spending categories. Instead of being rewarded in fixed bonus categories, you choose spending categories in which you will receive your money back.
Individual bonus categories
The unique structure of earnings on the Bank of America Customized bank card includes:
- 3 percent per category of your choice (you can change once a month) including gasoline, online shopping, restaurants, travel, drugstores or home goods and furniture.
- 2 percent off grocery and bulk purchases at the club
- $2,500 cumulative spending cap for 2 percent and 3 percent each quarter, then 1 percent
- 1 percent on all other purchases
The benefit of this card is that you can maximize your income from the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card by switching categories based on your upcoming expenses.
For example, during the holidays, you can switch to online shopping. If you have any upcoming trips or outings planned, you can switch to travel or dinner for the next month. (However, be aware that there is a 3 percent foreign transaction fee.)
Plus, if you’re unsure which bonus spending category to choose and when to choose, the Bank of America app provides regular reports of your spending across six bonus category options. This way you will be able to see where you are spending the most money and how you can earn the most rewards.
Increasing Priority Rewards
It’s worth noting that as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can increase your cashback rate depending on the tier you’re in. In some cases, you can get up to 5.25% cashback with the Customized Cash Rewards card.
Preferred Rewards levels are based on the total balances you maintain in your respective Bank of America and Merrill accounts:
|Level||Need a balance||Reward increase||Average earning rate|
|Gold||$20,000 – $49,999||25%||2.04%|
|Platinum||$50,000 – $99,999||fifty%||2.45%|
Welcome bonus and introductory annual income
If you choose to apply for this card, you will receive a $200 online cash rewards bonus after making purchases of at least $1,000 within the first 90 days. In addition, there is a 0 percent initial APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases and for any balance transfers made within the first 60 days (Variable APR from 15.49 to 25.49 percent thereafter). All balance transfers are subject to a 3 percent fee ($10 minimum).
Other features and benefits
The Customized Cash Rewards Card also provides fraud protection, overdraft protection, paperless statements, account alerts, mobile banking and text banking capabilities.
What credit score do I need for the Customized Cash Rewards card?
This credit card requires a credit score ranging from “Good” to “Excellent”. According to FICO, a leading credit rating company, a good credit score is between 670 and 739, and a very good or excellent credit score is 740 or higher. If you do not fall within this range, your chances of being approved for a Customized Cash Rewards card may be lower.
In some cases, card issuers may consider other factors, such as an existing relationship with a bank. If you already have a mortgage, a savings account, or other credit cards from Bank of America, this may improve your chances of being approved. If you have a good track record with these accounts, show healthy money management tendencies, and have a good credit score, your chances of getting approved will also be higher.
What happens if my card application is rejected?
Even if you have all your financial ducks in a row, your application for a Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card may be rejected. This is frustrating because you may feel like you’ve wasted a difficult request in your favor without any positive outcome to show.
If this happens to you, don’t worry. There are ways to bounce back and recover from it.
Understand why you were rejected
The first step to understanding what to do next means getting a full understanding of why your credit card application was rejected. In some cases, your application may not have been complete or the bank may not have been able to verify some of the information you provided.
In any case, the bank is required by law to explain to you why your application was not approved. Typically, you can expect mail-in correspondence regarding your credit card application within seven to ten business days. In this letter, you can expect an explanation stating the exact reason or reasons for the refusal.
If you receive an invitation, you can call a customer service representative who can give you more clarity on your rejected application. They can explain if you are missing information or if part of your application is incomplete. Other explanations regarding your credit profile are not always considered by the issuer over the phone. So you may end up waiting for an email with a full explanation of the rejection.
Improve your credit score
If your application for a Bank of America Customized Cash Bonus Card was rejected because of your credit score, the good news is that there are many remediation strategies to help you get back on track.
While there are many factors that affect your credit score calculation, the two main reasons that can lower it include a negative payment history or high balances on all of your available lines of credit.
If your balances are too high, you’ll want to pay them off as aggressively as possible. One such strategy might include making extra payments or even using a balance transfer offer so high interest payments don’t interfere with your payment.
If your credit score is low due to poor payment history, you will have to wait enough time to build a positive payment history. There is no real way to see this process through.
Other issues that may affect your credit score include having incorrect or fraudulent information on your credit report. You should check your credit report regularly to ensure that all information is up to date and that there are no erroneous or fraudulent activities in your credit profile. Fixing these issues can improve your credit score, especially if they report particularly malicious activity.
Consider Other Cards Until Your Credit Score Improves
If you’re trying all of these approaches to improve your credit profile and it doesn’t seem to be helping your credit score, consider getting another card until your score improves. If you choose your “in the meantime” card strategically, it may even help boost your credit score.
You should consider credit cards for those with a fair credit history, such as the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards credit card (with low annual fees and 1.5% cash back on purchases) or Visa® Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees » Credit card (which returns 1% cash back on qualifying purchases and then increases cashback to 1.5% after 12 timely monthly payments).
You can also choose a secured credit card, which requires you to provide the issuer with an initial deposit as collateral for the line of credit. With a secured credit card, your card activity is reported to three credit bureaus and this can help you build a positive credit profile if you use your card responsibly. This means that you should strive to make payments on time and maintain a low balance on a secure card.
Fortunately, there is a secure version of the card: the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secure Credit Card. The secure version can help strengthen your credit and allow you to still get cash, an uncommon feature for secure credit cards. If you use it responsibly, it may provide an upgrade path to an insecure version at some point in the future.
Bank of America Individual Cash Rewards can certainly be a good card for your wallet. But because of all the perks and benefits it offers, it’s very important to have at least a “good” credit score in order to qualify.
If you don’t have an acceptable credit score for this card, all is not lost. If you take the time to improve your financial habits in general, an improved credit score will follow. And a higher credit score means you can access a range of top bonus cards in the long run, including Bank of America personalized cash rewards.