Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card – 3/2/1% Cashback & No Annual Fee

Bank of America’s Cash Rewards card, now called Customized Cash Rewards, has no annual fee and offers 1% cash back on all purchases; 2% or 3% on select categories. It’s notable that there’s also a Secured version of the card which is very similar to the ordinary version and is one of the best secured cards available.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card

Card Details

  • No annual fee
  • A minimum refundable security deposit of $300 (maximum of $4,900) is required to open this account.
    • Your maximum credit limit will be determined by the amount of the security deposit you provide, your income and your ability to pay the credit line established. If you provide a deposit that exceeds the calculated maximum amount based on your ability to pay, a check will be returned to you for the difference.
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Rewards earnings rates go as follows:
    • 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
    • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • You’ll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1% with no limit. Each month, as you plan for future purchases, to change your 3% choice category you must go to Online Banking or use the Mobile Banking App. Rewards do not expire.
  • Cash rewards can be redeemed as a statement credit to your credit or a deposit to your Bank of America checking, savings, or Merrill investing account.
  • 23.99% APR
  • No signup bonus on the Secured card version

Our Verdict

Not many Secured cards come with no annual fee and still offer rewards. There are a few other option that offer the same, though the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is from a major bank and could be helpful in establishing a relationship with the bank. Bank of America also offers a Secured version of their Unlimited Cash Rewards card, so be sure to compare which is best for you. The Discover secured card is another good option for a secured card. All of these are solid options for someone who is struggling to get a credit card and wants to build a credit history.

Hat tip to reader Cyan


American Express Blue Business Cash/Blue Business Plus $250/15,000 Membership Rewards

American Express is offering sign up bonuses on the Blue Business Cash & Blue Business Plus cards. The bonuses are as follows:

  • Blue Business Cash $250 bonus after $3,000 in spend within the first three months
  • Blue Business Plus 15,000 Membership Rewards points after $3,000 in spend within the first three months

We’ve seen a bonus of Blue Business Cash card of $500. Blue Business Plus has been as high of 40,000/50,000 points in the past as well.


American Express Claws Back $200 Fine Hotel & Resorts Credit When Rebooked (Booked Before Benefit Added)

American Express recently introduced a $200 hotel credit that can be used select prepaid bookings (Fine Hotels + Resorts® and The Hotel Collection) when using American Express Travel. Reddit user u/JimmyGodoppolo had an existing booking that was made before the benefit was added, there was no cancellation fee so they cancelled and rebooked. The $200 credit posted and then was clawed back, when contacting American Express they said this was done as the original booking was made before the benefit was added.

Seems ridiculous, shouldn’t matter when the original booking was made as the rebooking still met the terms of the $200 credit. Counter datapoint here.


Chase Adds Terms Allowing Ability To Check Checking/Deposit/Investment & Utility Accounts For Card Approvals

Chase has added new terms regarding information they are allowed to access, it states (emphasis ours):

We may obtain and use information about your accounts with us and others such as Checking, Deposit, Investment, and Utility accounts from credit bureaus and other entities. You also authorize us to obtain credit bureau reports and any other information about you in connection with: 1) extensions of credit on your account; 2) the administration, review or collection of your account; and 3) offering you enhanced or additional products and services. If you ask, we will tell you the name and address of the credit bureau from which we obtained a report about you.

This is likely due to Project REACh, or the Roundtable for Economic Access and Change which aims to consumers with no credit score access to credit cards. Some large financial institutions (JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank) have agreed to share information.

Hat tip to Proud Money


Citi Now Allowing Product Changes to the new Citi Custom Cash Card (Preferred, Dividend, Expedia, Etc.)

(Reposting with some additional info based on the comments.)

People are now successfully product changing their Citi cards to become the new Custom Cash card. Readers in the comments report being able to product change their Expedia, Rewards+, Drivers Edge Charter, Diamond Preferred, Premier, Prestige, Preferred, AT&T, Dividend, and American Airlines AAdvantage cards to become a Custom Cash card.

Double Cash cards can not yet be product changed to Custom Cash, though you can try changing it over to a Rewards+ and from there to change it to a Custom Cash. Some people heard from reps that Double Cash will be able to be converted directly to Custom Cash beginning August 1, 2021. Citi Simplicity is a mixed bag with some having success product changing and others being told the August 1st date for doing that product change.

The big question remains whether your card number will change when you product change to the Custom Cash, which might depend on which card you are changing. This matters because, officially, whenever the card number changes it would be considered a ‘card closed’ to reset your 24/48 month clock, whereas if the card number remains the same it won’t reset the clock. You can search the comments below for data points on when the card number will change from a particular card, or you can ask the Citi rep and hope for the best. I’d guess that product changes from cobrands (e.g. AA to Custom Cash) will get a new card number, but product changes from within the ThankYou family (e.g. Preferred to Custom Cash) might keep the same number.

The Custom Cash card uses the ThankYou points system and allows points to also be cashed out at 1 cent per point. The card launched in June and initially was not accepting product changes, but today they began allowing them. When you product change to the card you won’t get the signup bonus, but some people prefer doing it anyone to avoid signing up for a new card. Reports are that the product change can even be done via chat.


Bank of America to launch Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Card in October

Alongside their personal Unlimited Cash Rewards card, Bank of America plans to launch a similar business card in October called the Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards. The bank describes it in their press release with similar details as the personal version, with no annual fee and the same 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Like the personal version, the business card will also have increased earnings rate of 25 – 75% for Business Preferred Rewards clients which can bring up the overall earnings rates to as high as 2.62% on all purchases. Hopefully it’ll come with a signup bonus as well, as does the personal card.


[Update] Citi Virtual Account Number (VAN) Changes

Update 7/20/21: Some additional information regarding the VAN changes. Hat tip to reader Daniel P

Update: In the FAQ they indicate that there’ll be a new, improved system rolling out in early summer 2021. Hat tip to reader diggs

Original Post:

In recent times Citi has made a number of changes to creating a Virtual Account Number (VAN), Citi update the card generation page to no longer use flash and also removed and then readded the feature for American Airline cardholders. Currently at the moment it’s only possible to generate a VAN with an end date of 7/21 or 8/21. At first it seemed like this was just part of the service as it was some period in advance, but as we continue to approach this date it’s unclear if Citi plans to discontinued the service at the end of August or make significant changes to VANs. We’ve reached out to Citi for comment but are yet to hear back.

Hat tip to reader Matt I


[Update] Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Card Review – 1.5% (2.62%) Cashback, $200 Signup Bonus, No Annual Fee

(Update 7/20/21: There’s also a Student card version of this card. All the rest of the details are the same, including signup bonus, just maybe they’ll approve students easier. Could be a nice first card.)

Bank of America has launched a new Unlimited Cash Rewards consumer card which has no annual fee and earns an unlimited 1.5% cashback on all purchases. Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors members will earn 2.62% on all purchases.

Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards signup link | Student Version | Secured Card Version| Press Release

Signup Bonus

  • Get $200 signup bonus after you spend $1,000 within 90 days.

Card Details

  • No annual fee
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Card earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit. Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors members will earn 2.62% on all purchases. Rewards do not expire.
  • Cash rewards can be redeemed as a statement credit to your credit or a deposit to your Bank of America checking, savings, or Merrill investing account.
  • Low Introductory APR Offer of 0% APR for your first 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account. After that, a Variable APR that’s currently 13.99% to 23.99% will apply. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers.

Our Verdict

This card is similar to the old Travel Rewards card, just as cashback instead of points. This is a terrific new card since it removes the annoyance of having to redeem the rewards against travel purchases and creates a straight 2.62% cashback card with no annual fee.

A lot of people carry the Premium Rewards card, with its $95 annual fee, specifically to avoid the annoyance of having to redeem against travel. There are other advantages of the Premium Rewards, including $100 airline incidental credit, 2x (3.5x) on travel & dining purchases, and no foreign transaction fee. But if you don’t care for those benefits you can simply get the Unlimited Cash Rewards and then you won’t need the Premium Rewards card anymore.

Hopefully they’ll allow product changes from the Travel Rewards and the Premium Rewards cards to the new Unlimited Cash Rewards card. You won’t get a signup bonus when product changing, but some will prefer that to opening a new account.

Some people were targeted with a $200 bonus for product changing into this Unlimited Cash Rewards card. 

There’s also a Student version of the Unlimited Cash Rewards card with all of the same details as the regular card, just maybe a bit easier for students to get approved when using that Student link. There’s also a Secured version of this card which is mostly the same, but does not have the $200 signup bonus. The bank plans to launch a similar 1.5%/2.62% Business Unlimited Cash Rewards in October.