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Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card Review: Bonus Cash Back in a Category You Choose

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The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured credit card lets you build credit and earn lots of cash back rewards along the way. There's no annual fee for this card, which also offers free credit score monitoring so you can watch your credit improve. Check out our Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured credit card review to find out if it's the right option for you.

Great for: Secured card with rewards

  • One of the most competitive secured credit cards we've come across. The rewards program and $0 annual fee are standout features that beat many similar offers.

    • Cash back rewards
    • No minimum credit score required
    • No annual fee
    • Can graduate to an unsecured card
    • Minimum deposit amount
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • A minimum security deposit of $200 (maximum of $5,000) is required to open this account.
    • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.
    • No annual fee and no expiration on rewards.
    • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.

Full Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card review

This credit card is a good fit for: Consumers who are new to credit cards or rebuilding credit and want to earn cash back while raising their credit score.

Top perks

You get several great benefits from this secured credit card.

No annual fee

Building your credit shouldn't be expensive. The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured credit card doesn't charge an annual fee, which is an important benefit with credit cards for bad credit.

See more: Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Up to 3% back

This is one of the few cash back credit cards you can get with a poor credit score. It offers 3% back in your choice of the following categories:

  • Gas
  • Online shopping
  • Dining
  • Travel
  • Drug stores
  • Home improvement/furnishings

You'll also get 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. The 3% and 2% cash back rates apply to your first $2,500 in combined purchases per quarter. Other purchases earn 1% back.

Flexible credit limit

Your Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured credit card can have a credit limit between $300 and $4,900. Your credit limit depends in large part on your security deposit. If you want a higher credit limit, you can deposit more money up front.

Bank of America will, however, calculate a maximum credit limit based on your financial information. You can't get a credit limit higher than this amount, even by depositing more money. If your deposit exceeds the maximum credit limit Bank of America has set for you, then it will refund the difference.

Read more: What Is a Secured Credit Card?

FICO® Score for free

As a cardholder, you can view your FICO® Score through your online account or the mobile app. Your FICO® Score is the type of credit score that's most widely used by lenders, so it's great to have access to this specific score.

This is a valuable tool when you're working on your credit. You can monitor your progress and find out the exact steps needed to increase your credit score.

Graduate to an unsecured card

Bank of America will periodically review your account to see if you qualify for graduation to an unsecured credit card. If so, you'll get a refund of your security deposit. You can improve your chances of this by always paying your credit card bill on time and keeping your balance low (aim to use no more than 20% of your credit limit).

This is a crucial feature for secured credit cards. When you graduate from a secured card, it means you get your deposit back and keep the credit card account open, which is good for your credit score.

Alternatives to consider

  • If you want a cheaper security deposit: The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card offers a minimum deposit of $49, $99, or $200, depending on your credit and income. Although it doesn't earn cash back, there's no annual fee, and you can save cash up front thanks to the lower deposit.
  • If you want a big cash back bonus offer: With the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, you get 2% back on up to $1,000 in restaurant and gas station spending per quarter, plus 1% back on other purchases. Even better is that Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year for new cardholders.

Read more: Best Rewards Credit Cards

As of Jun. 29, 2022
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Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured credit card

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Rates & Fees

Credit Rating Requirement:

Fair/New to Credit Under(669) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Fair/New to Credit Under(669) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

New/Rebuilding Under(579) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Welcome Offer:

N/A

Welcome Offer:

N/A

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Cashback Match

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1% - 3% cash back

Rewards Program:

N/A

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1% - 2% Cashback

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: 10.99% Intro APR, 6 months

Regular APR:

24.74%, variable

Regular APR:

26.99% Variable

Regular APR:

24.49% Variable APR

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee:

$0

Highlights:

  • A minimum security deposit of $200 (maximum of $5,000) is required to open this account.
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee and no expiration on rewards.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.

Highlights:

  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you're approved in seconds
  • Building your credit? Using the Capital One Platinum Secured card responsibly could help
  • Put down a refundable security deposit starting at $49 to get a $200 initial credit line
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with online banking to access your account from your desktop or smartphone, with Capital One's mobile app

Highlights:

  • No credit score required to apply.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200. That means a $200 deposit for a $200 credit line. Or a $500 deposit for a $500 credit line. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit, and the security deposit equals your credit limit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.
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What could be improved

Although there are no major problems with the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured credit card, it does have a couple minor issues.

High minimum deposit

You need to deposit at least $300 to open the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured credit card. That could be on the expensive side for some.

It's also more than the minimum deposit amount for most other secured cards. Several have $200 minimum deposits, and some have minimums of less than $100. If you don't want to put down a big deposit, it's better to check out credit card reviews for different secured cards.

Foreign transaction fee

This card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee. The fee applies to both transactions in foreign currencies and transactions that are made or processed outside the United States. If you decide to do any international traveling, you may want to look at other credit cards to save money.

Learn more: What Are Foreign Transaction Fees?

Find the best credit card for your needs

Compare credit card rewards, fees, APRs, and more using our side-by-side comparison tool.

Suggested credit score

There isn't a minimum credit score required for the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured credit card. Because it's a secured card, you could get approved if you have no credit history yet or if you have a low credit score due to previous issues. That doesn't mean an approval is guaranteed, though. Bank of America will decide after evaluating your application.

During the application process, you'll need to choose a deposit amount and provide a bank account to fund it. If your application is approved, Bank of America will deduct the security deposit from that bank account.

See more options: Best Starter Credit Cards for No Credit

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card is right for you if:

You're trying to increase your credit score and you can afford a deposit of $300 or more. In terms of value, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured credit card is tough to beat.

It offers enough cash back to compete with the top credit cards. It also gets you all the features needed in a secured card, including credit score monitoring and no pesky annual fee. You'll be able to make progress on your credit, earn lots of bonus cash back, and eventually get your deposit back.

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