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The king of customization: Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards card review

Oct. 30, 2019
8 min read
Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard_2021_CCSL
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The Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers small businesses a way to mold their rewards structure to fit changing business needs. If you qualify for the Preferred Rewards program, this no-annual-fee card has the potential to easily earn you thousands of dollars in cash back each year. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐½

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG's editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

Points and miles are an integral part to maximizing your credit card rewards strategy, but there is something to be said for a strong cash-back credit card -- especially when that cash-back credit card allows you to customize your rewards structure to fit your business' unique spending habits.

The Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card won't win any awards for the most lucrative sign-up bonus or luxury perks, but it does have a lot to offer small business owners. For existing Bank of America business customers, it's actually one of the best cash-back business cards available.

Who is this card for?

The Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards credit card is built for small business owners who want flexibility in their rewards structure. The ability to customize which category earns bonus rewards is a feature not many cards have, and 3% cash back on the category of your choice — with the chance to change it every month — is a solid return on its own. Unfortunately, there is a $50,000 total cap on the 3% and 2% bonus category spend. If you spend more than that on these bonus categories each year, you'll need another card to supplement this one.

If your business also qualifies for Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program (more on that later on), this is definitely a card to consider. Platinum Honors members will earn up to 5.25% back on their chosen category.

Further reading: Best Bank of America credit cards

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
Bank of America customers will get the most out of this small business card. (Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus

You'll earn a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

For a smaller-budget businesses, this is an easy bonus to hit. Most small businesses would have no issue spending $3,000 over the course of 90 days.

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Main benefits and perks

As is typical with a no-annual-fee card, the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards card doesn't come with a ton of perks and benefits. The card does come with a suite of online services to help you manage your business, including the ability to download your transactions into Quickbooks for easy organization come tax season.

You'll also have travel accident insurance, auto rental insurance, emergency ticket replacement, lost luggage assistance and more through the card.

How to earn points

The BoA Business Cash Rewards card has a somewhat unique rewards structure that mirrors the personal version of the card. You'll earn 3% back on the business-friendly category of your choice from the following list:

  • Gas stations
  • Office supply stores
  • Travel
  • TV/telecom and wireless services
  • Computer services
  • Business consulting services

You'll also get 2% back on dining and 1% on everything else. However, there is a cap on bonus category spending. You'll get 3% and 2% back on the first $50,000 in combined spending within those categories.

(Photo by Hero Images / Getty Images)
The flexibility to choose your 3% rewards category is a major plus for business owners whose spending changes throughout the year. (Photo by Hero Images/Getty Images)

You have the ability to change your rewards structure from month to month, which is an excellent benefit for businesses which have changing needs throughout the year. For example, you may want 3% back on computer services when its time to upgrade your software, but two months later, you might want to switch over to business consulting services. This card gives you the flexibility to earn 3% where and when you need it.

Where this card becomes extremely valuable is when your business qualifies for Bank of America Preferred Rewards. If you have an average combined balance of least $20,000 in eligible Bank of America business accounts, you get a bonus on all rewards earned.

Take a look at what this rewards structure becomes when you qualify for each of the three Preferred Rewards tiers:

Gold Platinum Platinum Honors
Combined account balance needed: $20,000 - $50,000$50,000 - $100,000$100,000+
Chosen category spending:3.75%4.5%5.25%
Dining spending:2.5%3%3.5%
Non-bonus spending:1.25%1.5%1.75%

The Preferred Rewards program has the potential to turn this rewards structure into one of the most lucrative available, especially for a no-annual-fee business card. Platinum Honors members can make up to $2,625 in cash back each year in bonus spending.

Further reading: Stop ignoring the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program

How to redeem points

You can redeem your cash back as a deposit into an eligible Bank of America account, a statement credit on your credit card bill or a check sent by mail. Because rewards are worth a flat 1 cent each, you never have to worry about sub-par redemption options. No matter how you decide to redeem your rewards, you're getting the same value.

Of course, this also means there isn't a way to milk your rewards for more than their advertised value. Points and miles experts may not be a fan of cash-back business cards for this reason. Beginners to the rewards game or those looking to supplement their points and miles with cash back, however, can enjoy the simplicity of the redemption process.

Further reading: How I use cash back — not just points and miles — to hit my travel goals

Paying with a debit card is essentially just paying with cash - you won't reap any of the same benefits as you would by paying with a credit card. (Photo by dolgachov/Getty Images)
Cash back is always redeemed at the same value, meaning you never have to worry about maximizing redemption options. (Photo by dolgachov/Getty Images)

Other cash-back business cards

If you aren't a member of the Preferred Rewards program through your business accounts, you may want to look at other cash-back options.

One option that is similar to the Bank of America Business Cash card is the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card. You'll earn 5% back at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services, plus 2% at gas stations and restaurants. This card does have a lower rewards cap, at $25,000 in spend each account anniversary year, but you'll be earning rewards across all categories at the same time. For smaller-budget businesses that wouldn't hit that $25,000 limit, it's a nice option with a higher bonus rate. Plus, you can pair the Ink Cash with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card to turn your rewards into valuable Ultimate Rewards points.

Bottom line

Existing Bank of America business customers should consider the Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card. It offers a strong rewards structure and the flexibility to mold that rewards structure to your business' needs. While the sign-up bonus isn't stellar and you aren't getting any luxury perks with this card, remember that you could easily earn thousands of dollars in rewards each year without having to pay an annual fee.

There are certainly more lucrative business cards out there, but the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards is a strong contender for small-to-medium sized businesses looking for a customizable credit card to fit spending needs.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.