Best credit cards with customizable rewards

Oct 28, 2021

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There’s not just one way to go about earning credit card rewards. Are you looking for a card that provides the same earning rate, no matter the purchase? Or, would you rather have a card that offers bonus points on purchases you spend the most on (such as gas and groceries)?

Here’s some food for thought: You may actually want to consider a credit card with a customizable rewards rate instead. A relatively new concept to the world of rewards credit cards, these earning rates are tailored to the consumer and their ever-changing spending habits by offering bonus points that are mostly dependent on how they spend.

In this guide, we’ll go over TPG’s top picks for credit cards with customizable rewards and how to maximize them.

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Best credit cards with customizable rewards

Comparison overview of the best cards for customizable rewards

Card Welcome offer Earning rate Annual fee
American Express Business Gold Card Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with your card in the first three months of card membership. Earn 4x on the two categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle, on the first $150,000 in combined purchases per calendar, plus earn 1x on other purchases. $295 (see rates & fees)
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card Earn $200 after you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases with your card in the first 90 days of account opening. Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice — gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvement/furnishings — and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%. None
Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard Get a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening. Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice — gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom and wireless, computer services or business consulting services — 2% cash back on dining (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year; 1% thereafter) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. None
Citi Custom Cash Card Earn $200 cash back after spending $750 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Earn 5% on your top eligible spending category, on up to $500 spent each billing cycle (then 1%), and 1% cash back on all other purchases. None
Chase Freedom Flex Earn $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Earn 5% on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1% on all other eligible purchases. None

 

Card details for the best cards for customizable rewards

American Express Business Gold: Best for high-spending businesses

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $295 (see rates and fees).

Welcome offer: Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with your card in the first three months of card membership.

Why it’s great for high-spending businesses: As the only card with an annual fee in this guide, the Amex Business Gold is intended for companies with high operating expenses. It offers 4 points per dollar on the two categories where a business spends the most each billing cycle, on up to $150,000 in combined purchases per calendar year (then 1x). The categories include:

  • Airfare purchases directly from airlines.
  • U.S. online, TV and radio advertising.
  • U.S. computer hardware, software and cloud systems from select technology providers.
  • U.S. gas stations.
  • U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery.
  • U.S. shipping.

If your business can maximize this $150,000 spending threshold, the rewards can be outstanding. TPG values Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, so earning 600,000 bonus points is like earning $12,000 in value.

Related: Amex Business Gold review

Official application link: Amex Business Gold

Bank of America Customized Cash: Best for shopping at wholesale clubs

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Online $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.

Why it’s great for shopping at wholesale clubs: The Bank of America Customized Cash offers a unique 3%-2%-1% earning scheme. You’ll earn

  • 3% in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvement/furnishings.
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases. Note that you’ll only earn the 3% and 2% rates on the first $2,500 in the combined choice category, grocery and wholesale club purchases each quarter (then 1%).

Most cards that offer bonus points on groceries (and even some of the cards on this list) specifically exclude earning bonus points at wholesale clubs, so it’s nice to see that the Bank of America Customized Cash still offers a solid 2% earning rate on these purchases.

Related: Bank of America Customized Cash review

Official application link: Bank of America Customized Cash

Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash: Best for small businesses and freelancers

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Get a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening.

Why it’s great for small businesses and freelancers: No matter if you’re a one-person show or manage a small team, you’ll want to keep your business and personal finances separate. That’s why the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards is a terrific choice for those who don’t want to pay an annual fee but do want to have access to a customizable rewards rate that’s quite similar to the consumer version of this card — but with a higher spending limit:

  • 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom and wireless, computer services or business consulting services.
  • 2% cash back on dining (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year; 1% thereafter).
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Related: Bank of America Business Customized Cash review

Official application link: Bank of America Business Customized Cash

Citi Custom Cash: Best for the utmost flexibility

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn $200 cash back after spending $750 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Why it’s great for the utmost flexibility: The Citi Custom Cash is a cash-back card that offers 5% back on your top spending category per billing cycle, on up to the first $500 spent. There are a whopping 10 eligible categories that will make it easy for most people to maximize this $500 threshold:

There’s little to no legwork involved for cardholders since the card will automatically offer the 5% earning rate on where they spend the most each month. Whether you decide to take a road trip one month (and spend abnormally a lot on gas) or decide to stay put one month and purchase more groceries than usual, the 5% rewards rate is truly tailored to how you spend each billing cycle. Be wary that groceries don’t include wholesale clubs, so this isn’t the best card to maximize those purchases if you’re a frequent shopper at a Costco or Sam’s Club.

Related: Citi Custom Cash review

 Official application link: Citi Custom Cash

Chase Freedom Flex: Best for top spending category promotion

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Why it’s great for holiday shopping: The Chase Freedom Flex takes a similar approach to the Citi Custom Cash but with a few noteworthy caveats. First, you’ll earn 5% back on rotating quarterly categories (up to the first $1,500 spent) that are designated by Chase. You can check out the rotating category calendar here, but it’s Walmart and PayPal for Q4 of this year (from now until Dec. 31, 2021). This makes the card slightly less flexible than the Citi Custom Cash, and you’ll have to be diligent about activating each quarter on your Chase account — otherwise, you won’t earn the 5% rewards rate.

Quirks aside, the Chase Freedom Flex is an especially prized card due to a limited-time promotion going on this quarter. Freedom Flex cardholders can earn 5% on their top spend category this quarter, in addition to the 5% rotating quarterly earning rate. The categories include:

  • Travel, including transit.
  • Dining.
  • Home improvement stores.
  • Grocery stores, not including Target or Walmart.
  • Drugstores.
  • Gas stations.
  • Live entertainment
  • Select streaming services.
  • Fitness clubs.

When stacked with the 5% back on PayPal and Walmart, you could double dip to earn even more rewards this quarter. Read this guide on how to maximize this promotion, but you could earn up to 13% on groceries, 11% on drugstores and 9% on home improvement stores if you’re strategic about this top spending category promotion this holiday season.

Related: Chase Freedom Flex review

Official application link: Chase Freedom Flex

Bottom line

Whether this is your first or fifth credit card, a credit card with customizable rewards can offer many benefits for those looking to maximize their everyday purchases. Sometimes, the points you earn can combine with other travel credit cards you have in your wallet (for example, the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card). But if you’re looking for ease, you may want to earn cash back instead. No matter the case, there are many compelling reasons to open a credit card with a customizable rewards rate, especially when your life expenses can be unpredictable.

Official application link: Amex Business Gold
Official application link: Bank of America Customized Cash

Official application link: Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash
Official application link: Citi Custom Cash
Official application link: Chase Freedom Flex

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold, please click here

Featured photo by Johner Images/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.