2021 Review: Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card
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With no annual fee, the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards delivers a strong, flexible reward structure and a handful of benefits. But there’s a $50,000 annual spending limit on its bonus categories, which may seem fairly limiting, especially to bigger businesses.
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The information related to American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, Capital One Spark Cash for Business, and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card is an exceptionally good small business credit card.
You get to pick from one of six business-related categories where you’ll earn 3% cash back each month, tailoring your rewards to your spending habits. You’ll also get 2% back on dining purchases and 1% back on everything else.
Unfortunately, there’s a $50,000 annual spending limit on the 3% and 2% cash back categories combined. Not a huge deal if you’re a smaller business or even a freelancer who’s flying solo, but that could be an obstacle for bigger, more established businesses.
The card features a few potentially helpful benefits, like cash flow management tools and travel protections, as well as a promotional introductory APR that gives you 0% for 9 billing cycles on purchases (then 12.24% - 22.24% Variable APR).
And there’s not much more to it. Pairing simplicity with strong cash back rates, the BofA Business Advantage Customized card is a great pick if you’d like to earn rewards on your business spending, but aren’t looking to pay an annual fee to do so.
The Cash Rewards Mastercard is one of five BofA-issued business credit cards:
|Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card||$0.00|
|Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card||$0.00|
|Bank of America® Platinum Plus® Mastercard® Business Credit Card||$0.00|
|Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card||$50 for the company and $25 per card|
Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars
We’re giving the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard 5 out of 5 stars. The $50,000 annual limit on its 3% and 2% cash back earnings might seem too small to some, but that’s basically the card’s only drawback. It’s a fantastic (and simple) option for smaller businesses or anyone who’s new to business credit cards.
Why We Like It
- 3% reward rate on a category you choose is impressive enough for a card with no annual fee, and 2% cash back on dining makes the offer even more compelling
- Cash back rewards can be deposited into a Bank of America bank account, redeemed as a statement credit, or mailed as a check
- Decent introductory bonus: $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening (see cards with high intro bonuses)
- Introductory purchase APR offer lets you carry a balance interest-free for a limited time
- BofA Preferred Rewards for Business members can earn up to 75% more cash back depending on membership tier
- Rewards don’t expire
- Some useful benefits, like travel protections and cash flow management tools
- No annual fee
Why It Could Be Better
- $50,000 spending limit on 3% and 2% categories
- 3% foreign transaction fee (see business cards without foreign transaction fees)
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
- Choose your rewards wisely: The Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards credit card lets you pick a different category in which you’ll earn 3% back each month. If your spending habits evolve, switch things up.
- Use BofA bank accounts if it makes sense: If you’ve ever considered using Bank of America’s business bank accounts, it could be especially fruitful if you’re also applying for this card. Bank of America Preferred Rewards for Business members can earn up to 75% more cash back, depending on membership tier.
- Pair it with different cards: While this card’s reward structure is quite good, you can only choose one 3% category at a time. Want to earn rewards on gas and office supplies simultaneously? Consider adding another business rewards card or two to your wallet. You might also want to use a flat-rate card for miscellaneous purchases where cards like this, with specific spending categories, will typically only give you 1% back.
- Use another card after you hit the $50K limit: If you really want this card but know you’ll spend more than $50,000 in the bonus categories, find something else with similar categories to use afterward. The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card (Review) (discussed below) is a perfect example.
- Use the welcome bonus: If you can meet the spending threshold with purchases that actually benefit your business, take advantage of this card’s introductory offer to maximize the value you’re getting.
- Make a pricey purchase: Been eyeing a big purchase to spice up your operations? Pay it off over time with the card’s intro APR offer (or see other cards with long intro rates)
In spite of its customizability, this card’s rewards program isn’t too tough to wrap your head around. You pick a 3% category, use the card where it makes sense, then choose from three simple options to redeem.
That’ll give you a cash back equivalent of up to 3%, or up to 5.75% if you’ve reached the highest tier (Platinum Honors) of Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards for Business program.
Most of these 3% category options are common enough when it comes to business credit cards, but there aren’t many that let you choose between such a useful selection every month. And 3% is a very good rate for a business card with no annual fee.
Keep in mind that you need to activate the category of your choice each month, if you want to change it, but gas is selected by default. If you don’t change anything you’ll keep the same 3% category.
Certain business owners may not find the 2% dining category quite as useful, but it can still come in handy if you ever travel for work, or meet with clients or coworkers.
Remember that you’ll only earn at the 3% and 2% rates until you’ve spent $50,000 in those categories annually. After that, it’s 1% on everything until the end of the year, so you’ll want to switch to a different card for the year’s remainder.
Maximize Your Earning with Preferred Rewards for Business
The Business Advantage Customized Cash card provides strong rewards from the start, but you can ramp up your earnings considerably as a member of BofA’s Preferred Rewards for Business program.
The program features three tiers, and your tier is determined by the combined balances of your BofA business deposit accounts and/or Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch business investment accounts. Each tier gives you a rewards bonus with eligible Bank of America business cards, among other benefits.
|Tier||Minimum Combined Balances||Rewards Bonus||Business Advantage Cash Earnings|
|Gold||$20,000||25%||3.75%; 2.5%; 1.25%|
|Platinum||$50,000||50%||4.5%; 3%; 1.5%|
|Platinum Honors||$100,000||75%||5.25%; 3.5%; 1.75%|
Redeeming with this card is incredibly simple. There aren’t too many options, which might seem a detriment to some, but that simplicity could be perceived as a benefit by others. Not everyone wants to spend time strategizing reward redemption schemes.
You have three ways to redeem your cash back:
- Deposited into an eligible Bank of America account
- As a statement credit on your credit card account
- Mailed as a check
It doesn’t matter which you choose — you’re always getting the same value for your rewards.
The Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards card offers a few useful benefits, but nothing too flashy. That’s perfectly normal at this fee tier.
- Cash flow management tools: Simplify behind-the-scenes finances with a host of online services, from automatic payments to QuickBooks integration.
- Travel and emergency services: Protections include $100K in travel insurance and auto rental insurance, emergency ticket replacement, lost luggage assistance, and extended protection.
- Fraud protection: You’re not liable for any unauthorized charges, and you’ll receive alerts if abnormal spending is detected.
The Terms & Fees
|Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|0% for 9 billing cycles, then 12.24% - 22.24% Variable APR||12.24% - 22.24% Variable APR||24.24% Variable APR for Cash Advances and Convenience Checks|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|$0.00||3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transaction|
|Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.||Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. Includes Convenience Checks.|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|None||Up to $49||$39|
The main attraction here is the card’s introductory APR offer. It’s not the longest offer of this sort on the market, but it could be useful if you’re looking to make a big business purchase in the near future and you’re not sure you can knock out the full price in a month to avoid interest.
Take note that there’s a foreign transaction fee, so this isn’t the best card for international travel.Read more Best Business Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees
The Bottom Line
Though it’s not for everyone, the Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card is one of the more impressive no annual fee business credit cards. The reward rates are commendable, and the chance to pick your own category every month is a huge plus. The simple redemption options are sure to appeal to the busy business owner.
The benefits, while few in number, are fairly good for a card this basic.
The introductory purchase APR offer is good, too, if you’ve been looking to make an important purchase that you don’t think you can cover in a single month.
The card’s main downfall is the $50,000 annual spending limit on its 3% and 2% rewards categories. But while that could be a dealbreaker for some businesses, there are plenty of potential cardholders out there who won’t have any trouble working within those confines.
How to Apply for the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard
Click the “Apply Now” button below, and you’ll be directed to Bank of America’s official, secure application for the Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard. Fill out and submit the necessary personal and business information, and BofA may approve or deny you instantly after conducting a hard personal credit inquiry.
If not, the bank may tell you to wait while your application is reviewed, or you could be asked to provide more information.
What Credit Scores Do You Need for the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard?
The Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards card is intended for applicants with excellent credit. Though it’s a business card, that still refers to your personal credit, because business cards typically require a personal guarantee.
“Excellent credit” has a fairly ambiguous definition. VantageScore clearly defines “excellent credit” as scores of 750 or more. FICO, on the other hand, defines “very good” credit as scores from 720–799 and “exceptional” scores as anything above that.
So you can typically assume that credit scores above 750 or so are considered excellent or approaching excellent, regardless of scoring brand. However, you can still be denied with excellent scores or even approved with scores that only fall in the “good” range; each business card application is approved or denied on a case-by-case basis. (Not sure if you’ll qualify? See how easy it can be to qualify for business cards.)
Qualifications and Requirements
- Must be 18 to apply
- Basic business information: Legal business name, business name as it should appear on the card, business address, phone number
- Business legal and financial information: Federal tax ID number, country of formation, business structure, country of operations, industry, gross annual sales, year and month established, various qualifying questions
- Personal information: Name, job title at the business, name to appear on card, residential address, phone number and email address, citizenship status, occupation, household income, income source, housing status, monthly housing payment, percentage of business ownership
Alternatives to the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard
Strong as it may be, the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards card isn’t a one-size-fits-all credit card. You may benefit more from a card with travel rewards, or something that delivers a flat reward rate on every purchase. We’ll walk through a few cards you might want to use in place of, or alongside, the BofA Business Advantage Cash.
The information related to American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
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Sean Messier works to empower individuals with the knowledge required to use credit cards responsibly and to their advantage. His writing- and research-based background has granted him experience in an array of topics, from finance to business and beyond. Sean distills the knowledge accumulated over years of experience in the credit space into consistent, actionable articles, guides, and reviews.
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