Last updated on September 11th, 2023
Advertiser Disclosure – BestCards is an independent, Florida-based credit card comparison platform. Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which BestCards receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). BestCards does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.
Editorial Disclosure – The opinions expressed on BestCards’ reviews, blogs, and all other content on or relating to the website are solely those of the content’s author. They are not reflective of any card issuer or financial institution and have not been reviewed or approved by these entities unless otherwise noted. Further, BestCards lists credit card offers that are updated daily with information believed to be accurate to the best of our knowledge.
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card
- 28.24% variable based on the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
- 28.24% variable based on the Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
- 30.24% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR
At a Glance
The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card is a cash back rewards and secured credit card that provides up to 3% cash back on purchases for no annual fee.
- Best Benefits
- Rates & Fees
- Why Should You Apply?
- 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas and EV charging, online shopping, cable, phone, and internet plans, select streaming, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
- 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
- Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
- No annual fee
- Regular Purchase APR: 28.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR: 28.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 30.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
- Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transactio
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
- Minimum Deposit Required: $300
- You have bad credit or no credit history at all
- You want to earn up to 3% back while building your credit score
- You have $300 available for a security deposit
- You do't want to pay an annual fee
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card Review
The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card is an intriguing secured credit card that allows users to build credit – and earn rewards at the same time. The card offers many of the features of the unsecured Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Card, but with a security deposit requirement.
How to Earn Rewards
As mentioned, the Secured version of the Bank of America Card operates in much the same way as the Customized Cash Rewards Visa. Cardholders earn 3% cash back on purchases in their chosen reward category. Those 3% back categories include gas stations, travel, dining, drug stores, home improvement (or furnishings), or online shopping.
Customized Cash Rewards Secured Cardholders also earn 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Both the 3% back and 2% cash back categories are limited t the first $2,500 in combined choice purchases each quarter, which, while frustrating, is probably more than most new applicants will require (depending on their initial deposit). In this regards the card is somewhat of a competitor for the impressive Chase Freedom Unlimited (or even the Freedom Flex or Citi Custom Cash℠ Card). The Citi Rewards+® Card is another popular gas rewards credit card, though it does not offer the flexibility of the Customized Cash.
How to Redeem Rewards
The cash back rewards are straightforward to redeem; Bank of American lets cardholders use their cash rewards towards statement credits on the card account, as deposits into Bank of America checking or savings accounts, or into eligible investment accounts with Merrill. The best option for redemption is likely statement credits. This can help build credit by keeping credit utilization low and ensuring the minimum payment due requirements are met each month.
Building Credit with a Secured Card
Making on-time payments and keeping credit use low are the two most critical factors in building a positive credit history. Payment history and credit utilization are the two biggest impactors on a person’s FICO score, accounting for 65% of what goes into a credit score (35 and 30%, respectively).
Because payment history has the most significant impact on your score, it’s critical to pay the minimum payment due on a card statement on time every month. Even one missed payment can lower an individual’s score. And, since late payments remain on a credit report for seven years, those late payments can cause significant harm for years to come.
Secured credit cards differ from unsecured credit cards in that they require a cash deposit that acts as collateral for the loan – and the credit limit. With the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card, the minimum deposit is $300, while the maximum is $4,900.
As with other secured cards, Bank of America checks the credit growth of cardholders periodically – and may return the security deposit for those who demonstrate financial responsibility. Keep in mind, however, that not everyone will qualify for graduation with an unsecured credit card.
Other Card Features
Other notable features with the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card include:
- No annual fee
- 3% foreign transaction fee
- Complimentary access to the cardholder’s FICO credit score every month
- Contactless payment and EMV chip technology
- Overdraft protection via an eligible Bank of America checking account
- Visa Zero Fraud Liability coverage
- Digital wallet technology through Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay
Should You Apply for the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card?
Secured credit cards typically offer little more than a platform to demonstrate financial responsibility. With the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card, holders can earn up to 3% cash back on select purchases. That rewards rate is impressive for an unsecured credit card – so earning it while improving your credit is tough to pass up.
The card, which also features no annual fee, is a direct competitor to the Discover It Secured Card. That card, however, only offers 2% back on gas and dining, which makes the Bank of America offering the stronger of the two. The Discover Card, however, has a slightly lower minimum deposit requirement. Those considering credit-builder options outside of Bank of America should check out popular options, such as the Mission Lane Visa, Revvi Card, or the Merrick Bank Double Your Line Visa.
Overall, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card is an impressive secured credit card for those with bad credit, a recent bankruptcy, or no credit history at all. Rebuilding credit can be challenging, so the bonus of earning cash back makes the journey that much more rewarding.