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Freedom Flex Card vs. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card [Detailed Comparison]

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Christine Krzyszton
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Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

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Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
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Earning rewards from credit card purchases is an effective way to accumulate miles and points that can be used to offset, or sometimes fully cover, the cost of travel. However, earning cash-back rewards may be preferred for its simpler earning structure and ease and flexibility of redemption options.

The debate as to which type of rewards are better (miles, points, or cash-back) will go on, but there’s no doubt cash-back is a popular choice. Below we will dive into how 2 popular cash-back cards can earn you a ton of rewards.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card are cards you want to keep ready in your wallet for earning on everyday purchases. The card that might work best for you, however, will depend on a few factors, including your spending mix.

We’ve set out today to compare how these 2 cash-back cards earn rewards, the options you’ll have at redemption time, and the additional benefits you can expect.

Freedom Flex Card vs. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card — Summary

We’ll get down to details shortly but first, let’s glance at a quick comparison of the Freedom Flex card and the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card.

Here’s how the cards compare overall.

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Feature or BenefitChase Freedom Flex℠Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Welcome OfferEarn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months.Earn $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
Earning
  • 5% cash-back on rotating quarterly bonus categories (on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter); Chase Travel bookings; and Lyft rides (through March 2025)
  • 3% cash-back on dining and at drugstores
  • 3% cash-back on the category of your choice from select categories*
  • 2% cash-back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs*
  • Preferred Rewards additional earnings

* Maximum of $2,500 in spending each quarter for 3% and 2% categories combined, then 1% cash-back

Redemption Options
  • Travel via Chase travel portal
  • Transfer to premium Chase credit cards for potential greater redemption value
  • Cash-back, statement credit, gift cards, shopping with select retailers
  • Cash-back, statement credit
  • Transfer to a Bank of America bank account or to an eligible 529 plan or qualifying Merrill account
Top Travel Protections and Benefits
  • Travel and emergency assistance, car rental insurance, trip cancellation and trip interruption
  • Travel and emergency assistance, roadside Dispatch
  • Museums on Us
Shopping Protections and BenefitsIntroductory 0% APR on purchases
Top Shopping Protections and Benefits
  • Cell phone protection
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Chase Offers, Shop through Chase
  • BankAmeriDeals
Annual Fee and Authorized Users$0 annual fee, no additional fee to add authorized users$0 annual fee, no additional fee to add authorized users

The Value of a Welcome Offer

While a key component of selecting a cash-back card is its rewards-earning structure, you’ll also want to consider its initial welcome offer. The Freedom Flex card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card each have a cash-back welcome offer that can be earned by meeting minimum spending requirements in the months immediately following card approval.

You’ll find the most current welcome offers, and details on how to earn those offers, in the card table overviews below.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.

The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.

Pros

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • Powerful cash-back earner: 5% back on quarterly categories and travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Excellent cell phone insurance
  • Ability to pool points
  • Mastercard World Elite benefits

Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fees in U.S. dollars
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card allows you to maximize your cash-back in your choice category each month.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card allows you to maximize your cash-back in your choice category each month.
Earn $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers. Variable rate of 18.24% - 28.24% applies thereafter.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

If you’re looking to the rake in the cash-back rewards, then the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great option. Not only do you get to choose the 3% category for the card, but you can also boost the cash-back you earn by being a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program.

Pros

  • 3% cash-back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings (your category can be changed each month)
  • 2% cash-back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • 1% cash-back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Boost your rewards rate with the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program

Cons

  • 3% and 2% cash-back categories are limited to the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter, then you’ll earn 1%
  • Charges a foreign transaction fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn 3.75%-5.25% cash back on purchases in your choice category.
  • No annual fee and no expiration on rewards.
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 18.24%-28.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee applies to all balance transfers in the first 60 days your account is open. After the intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for all future balance transfers is 4%.
  • Contactless Cards – The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers. Variable rate of 18.24% - 28.24% applies thereafter.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

Card Categories

Bottom Line: Both the Freedom Flex card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card come with solid cash-back welcome offers that can be earned by meeting minimum spending requirements in the immediate months after card approval. While these bonuses may be very similar, welcome offers change frequently, so be sure to check for the current bonus and terms before applying. 

Earning Potential

Pharmacy
Everyday purchases earn well on both of our featured cash-back cards. Image Credit: Authentic Images via Pikwizard

Before selecting a cash-back card, you’ll want to carefully review the bonus-earning categories for each card to determine which one better matches your spending patterns.

Here’s how the Freedom Flex card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card earn rewards.

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Earning CategoryFreedom Flex CardBank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card
Quarterly Bonus Categories5% cash-back on select categories that rotate quarterly, up to a maximum of $1,500 in purchases each quarter, then 1%3% cash-back on the category of your choice from select categories each quarter on a maximum of $2,500 in purchases each quarter for 3% and 2% categories (listed below) combined, then 1%
Travel 3% cash-back when selected as a choice category (limits as noted above apply)
Additional Earnings3% cash-back at drugstores and dining (including takeout and eligible delivery)
  • 2% cash-back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • Preferred Rewards members can earn up to 75% more rewards
All Other Purchases1% cash-back1% cash-back

Both of our featured cards earn cash-back. However, the bonus-earning structures differ greatly on each card.

Here are some important details you don’t want to miss on how rewards are earned:

Freedom Flex Card

Quarterly Bonus Categories

Each quarter a new set of 5% cash-back bonus categories are announced. Examples of previous quarterly bonus categories have included home improvement stores, Amazon, grocery stores, gas stations, warehouse clubs, PayPal, drugstores, and more. There is a limit of $1,500 in purchases each quarter that will earn 5% back, then 1%. You must activate this bonus-earning feature each quarter.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card

Choice Category

Choice Categories allow you to select your own bonus-earning category each quarter. Select your preferred 3% cash-back category from these options: gas stations, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores, or home improvement/furnishings. Your Choice Category can be changed once each month.

There is a limit of $2,500 in purchases each quarter for your 3% Choice Category and 2% bonus-earning category combined.

Preferred Rewards

If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn additional cash-back on all your purchases. Those cardholders who have $20,000 or more in assets across Bank of America and/or Merrill investments qualify for the Gold Tier which includes a 25% bonus on credit card rewards. Those with $50,000 or more qualify for the Platinum Tier and a 50% bonus and those with $100,000 or more qualify for Platinum Honors and earn a 75% bonus.

This translates to the ability to earn 1.25% to 5.25% in cash-back when spending on the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card, depending on what Preferred Rewards tier you’re in. Here is how much cash-back you would earn depending on your Preferred Rewards status:

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Base Earning Category GoldPlatinumPlatinum Honors
3% cash-back3.75% cash-back4.5% cash-back5.25% cash-back
2% cash-back2.5% cash-back3% cash-back3.5% cash-back
1% cash-back1.25% cash-back1.5% cash-back1.75% cash-back

Bottom Line: Both the Freedom Flex card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card earn cash-back on select everyday purchases, however, earning structures differ by card. While each card offers flat rate earnings on select categories, the Freedom Flex card offers additional rotating quarterly bonus categories that earn 5% cash-back. The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card offers an option to select your own bonus-earning categories, with the ability to earn additional cash-back for Bank of America Preferred Rewards customers. However, both cards have spending caps on their rotating bonus categories. 

Redemption Options

Cash Back
Cash-back is just one of the options at redemption time. Image Credit: CucuMberStudio via Shutterstock

Although both the Freedom Flex card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card are cash-back earning cards, the Freedom Flex card actually earns rewards in the form of points that can be redeemed for cash-back. The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card earns cash-back directly.

This is an important difference as it affects how rewards can be redeemed.

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Redemption OptionFreedom Flex CardBank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card
Travel
  • Redeem points for travel at 1 cent each via Chase travel portal
  • Transfer points to premium Chase cards for up to 50% more value towards travel or Pay Yourself Back or to transfer to airline/hotel partners for potentially greater value
  • Redeem points for statement credits to offset travel purchases
Redeem cash-back for a statement credit to offset travel purchases; minimum redemption is $25
Cash-backStatement credit, check, transfer to a bank accountStatement credit, check, transfer to a Bank of America bank account
Additional Redemption OptionsGift cards, shopping with select retailers, Pay Yourself Back for select charitable contributionsTransfer to eligible 529 accounts or a contribution to an eligible Merrill account

Bottom Line: Both the Freedom Flex card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card earn flexible cash-back rewards that can be redeemed via a statement credit or transferred to an eligible bank account. The Freedom Flex card, however, offers the additional redemption options of purchasing travel via the Chase travel portal or transferring points to premium Chase cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Once transferred, Chase points offer greater redemption value through the Chase travel portal, Pay Yourself Back, or with one of Chase’s 13 airline or hotel partners like United Airline and World of Hyatt. 

Travel Protections and Benefits

Family sitting in trunk of car
Check your card for travel benefits before setting off on your journey. Image Credit: Day Of Victory Stu via Adobe Stock

Travel protections and benefits can save you money and provide protection when your trip is disrupted. Here are the protections and benefits you can expect on our featured cards:

  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services — If you need assistance when away from home, you’ll have 24/7 access to help finding medical, transportation, translation, legal services, and more with just 1 phone call. The cardholder is responsible for the actual services received. Both the Freedom Flex card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card come with this service.

Freedom Flex Card

  • Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver — Use your card to reserve and pay for your entire rental, decline the rental agency’s CDW/LDW coverage, and receive secondary coverage for theft or damage to the rental car. Secondary coverage means that a claim must first be filed with other applicable coverage before card coverage kicks in.
  • Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption — You could receive up to $1,500 per person, up to $6,000 per covered trip, if your trip needs to be canceled or is interrupted for a covered reason. Coverage is applicable for prepaid non-refundable passenger fares.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is a Visa Signature card so you’ll find limited related benefits in addition to Bank of America benefits.

  • Roadside Dispatch — For a flat rate fee (currently $69.95) you could receive benefits such as limited towing, tire changing, jumpstart service, standard winching, lockout service, and emergency fuel.
  • Bank of America Museums on Us — Enjoy free admission to select museums on Museums on Us program weekends.

Shopping Protections and Benefits

Kitchen appliances
Shopping benefits such as 0% APR periods can help you save money on large purchases. Image Credit: Curtis Adams via Pexels

Introductory 0% APR on Purchases

Repaying large purchases without incurring interest rate charges can be a money saver. Fortunately, both the Freedom Flex card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card offer an introductory 0% APR period for purchases.

The Freedom Flex card comes with a 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%..

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card comes with a 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers. Variable rate of 18.24% - 28.24% applies thereafter..

Here are some additional shopping protections and benefits you’ll find on the Freedom Flex card:

Additional Shopping Protections and Benefits — Freedom Flex Card

  • Cell Phone Protection — Receive up to $800 per claim, a maximum of $1,000 per year, for covered damage or theft to your cell phone. Your monthly bill must be paid for with your card, a $50 deductible per claim applies, and there is a maximum of 2 claims each 12-month period.
  • Purchase Protection — For eligible items purchased with your card, you could receive up to $500 per item, $50,000 per account, for damage or theft for up to 120 days from the date of purchase.
  • Extended Warranty — Eligible items purchased with your card that have manufacturer’s warranties of 3 years or less will have the warranty extended by 1 additional year.
  • Chase Offers — Login to your online Freedom Flex card account and select cash-back offers for making purchases with participating retailers.
  • Shop through Chase — Purchases made via the Chase shopping portal earn extra cash-back.
  • ShopRunner Membership — Receive a complimentary 1-year membership that includes discounts at dozens of retailers and free 2-day shipping.
  • DoorDash DashPass — Receive a complimentary 3-month membership and an additional 9 months for 50% off. You must register for this offer by December 31, 2024.
  • Instacart Benefits — Activate this offer by July 31, 2024, and receive a free Instacart+ membership plus a $10 quarterly credit.

Fees and Authorized Users

The Freedom Flex card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card do not charge an annual fee and neither card charges a fee to add authorized users.

Everything Else You Need To Know

Getting Approved

To increase your chances of being approved for either the Freedom Flex card or the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card, you’ll need a good to excellent credit score. This translates to a score of at least 670 or above.

Introductory 0% APR Period for Balance Transfers

Each of our featured cards also comes with an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers. If you have high-interest credit card debt that you’d like to pay off over time without interest charges, you might be able to save money by transferring the balances during the 0% APR period.

The Freedom Flex card offers a 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%..

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card comes with a 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers. Variable rate of 18.24% - 28.24% applies thereafter..

Each card charges balance transfer fees, so be sure to consider this cost before completing the transaction.

Foreign Transaction Fees

Both the Freedom Flex card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card charge foreign transaction fees of 3% of the total transaction.

Final Thoughts

Although the no-annual-fee Freedom Flex card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card each have robust earning structures for everyday spending, the Freedom Flex card has the edge at rewards redemption time with flexible, and potentially transferrable, points. The card also comes with additional travel and shopping benefits, plus valuable cell phone protection.

If you’re a Bank of America customer and qualify for Preferred Rewards, however, the elevated rewards may prove more lucrative and provide an incentive to select the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card, depending on your asset level with the bank.

Be mindful that there are limits as to how much you can earn each quarter in the 3% and 2% bonus categories on the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card whereas the Freedom Flex card does not have a limit on 3% categories, 5% cash-back on Chase travel  portal purchases or Lyft ride purchases. However, the Freedom Flex does have a $1,500 limit on 5% quarterly bonus category purchases.

The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which card is better, the Freedom Flex card or the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card?

The Freedom Flex card is arguably the better choice.

When we compare earning rewards, either card could be a good fit to earn cash-back if the earning structure matches your spending habits. However, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card does have limits on all of its bonus category spending.

At redemption time the Freedom Flex card offers the additional option of redeeming rewards for travel either via Chase travel portal or transferring points to premium Chase cards for potentially greater redemption value.

The Freedom Flex card also comes with benefits such as cell phone protection, secondary car rental insurance, and trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance.

How do Bank of America cash rewards work?

Cash rewards are earned as a percentage of each purchase. You can select a bonus category from a Choice Category list, receive bonus cash-back earnings at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and receive additional cash-back if you are a Preferred Rewards member.

When you have accumulated at least $25 in cash rewards, you can redeem the rewards for a statement credit, check, or transfer to an eligible Bank of America or Merrill account.

Is it hard to get approved for the Freedom Flex card?

You will need a good to excellent credit score to increase your chances of getting approved for the Freedom Flex card. A good to excellent score is considered 670 to 850.

Does the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card have an annual fee?

No, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card does not charge an annual fee.

Christine Krzyszton's image

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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