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Wells Fargo Active Cash Card vs. the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card

Both earn good rewards and have no annual fee, but one will be better based on your budget.

If you're searching for a rewards credit card, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card and the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card are among the best. However, the Active Cash card has a leg up on the Customized Cash Rewards card thanks to its lack of a spending limit, unmatched flexibility and additional card features.

The Customized Cash Rewards card has its merits, but it's better for people who spend less than $2,500 quarterly or for those who need a longer time frame to pay off a large purchase or existing credit card debt.

Which card does it best?

Card feature Winner
Rewards Active Cash
Welcome bonus Tie
Introductory APR offer Customized Cash Rewards
Additional card perks Active Cash
Annual fee Tie

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

9.5/10 CNET Rating
See Rates and Fees
Card Highlights
Intro OfferEarn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
APR19.24%, 24.24%, or 29.24% Variable APR
Intro Purchase APR0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening
Recommended Credit Excellent, Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
Balance Transfer APR19.24%, 24.24%, or 29.24% Variable APR
Balance Transfer Fee up to 5%; min: $5
Foreign Transaction Fees 3%
Penalty APR None
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

 

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

7.5/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro Offer$200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
APR18.24% - 28.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases
Recommended Credit Excellent/Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • Earn automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • Earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases.
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.
Balance Transfer APR18.24% - 28.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Late Payment Fee See Terms
Foreign Transaction Fees 3%
Penalty APR Up to 29.99% APR
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • Earn automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • Earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

Our Take

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.

Comparing rewards programs

Winner: Active Cash

Here are both credit card's rewards programs:

Wells Fargo Active Cash:

  • 2% cash rewards on your purchases

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards:

  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (up to $2,500 per quarter combined across choice category, grocery store and wholesale club purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 per quarter combined across choice category, grocery store and wholesale club purchases, then 1%).
  • 1% on all other purchases.

While the Customized Cash Rewards may seem more flexible, it ultimately can't compete with the Active Cash's unlimited flat-rate rewards on purchases, particularly because of the Customized Cash's spending limits. At a certain point, the Active Cash will overtake the Customized Cash in rewards earnings.

For example, let's say you spend $5,000 each quarter. If you maximize your higher 3% rewards category with the Customized Cash card, you could earn $75 in rewards when spending $2,500. You'd then earn an additional $25 when spending the remaining $2,500 at the lower 1% rate. This brings you to $100 earned that quarter. 

With the Active Cash, you'll also earn $100 when you spend $5,000 at a flat rate of 2%. If you were to spend more than $5,000 during a quarter, this is the point where the Active Cash would start to pull ahead. Of course, it could pull ahead sooner if you're unable to maximize the Customized Cash's higher rewards tier fully.

But you don't have to choose one over the other. You could use both cards together to maximize your return. Use the Customized Cash card for the purchases it earns 3% on and the Active Cash for other purchases.

Welcome bonus

Winner: tie

Both cards offer the same welcome bonus:

  • Wells Fargo Active Cash: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first three months
  • Bank of America Customized Cash: $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

Both cards' welcome bonuses are equally rewarding and should be easy to reach through normal spending.

Introductory APR offer

Winner: Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards

While both the Wells Fargo Active Cash and Bank of America Customized Cash provides cardholders with an introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers, the Bank of America Customized Cash offers approximately three more months than the Active Cash.

  • Wells Fargo Active Cash: 0% intro APR for purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months from account opening (then 19.24%, 24.24%, or 29.24% variable)
  • Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards: 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (then 18.24% - 28.24% variable)

Introductory APR offers can help if you need to make a large purchase, need more time to pay it off and want to avoid interest charges. Or, if you have any existing credit card debt, you could utilize a balance transfer to help pay your balance down while it accrues no interest -- but you will need to pay a balance transfer fee.

The Active Cash has an introductory balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater, for 120 days from account opening. After that, it increases to up to 5% ($5 minimum). The Customized Cash Card has a balance transfer fee of 3% ($10 minimum).

Since the Customized Cash Rewards card has a longer introductory period, it's the better option if you need more time to pay off a purchase or existing credit card debt.

Additional card perks

Winner: Active Cash

The Active Cash card offers a few more perks than most cards without an annual fee, primarily due to its Visa Signature status. Cardholders can access cell phone protection against damage or theft when they pay their cell phone bill with the card, and utilize Visa Signature Concierge as well as the Luxury Hotel Collection to save money with select hotels.

The Bank of America Customized Cash card is also a Visa Signature card, and includes roadside dispatch, extended warranty and access to Visa Signature Concierge. Because the Active Cash could provide greater value with its cell phone protection and Luxury Hotel Collection perks, it pulls ahead.

Annual fees

Winner: Tie

Neither credit card has an annual fee. They're both inexpensive yet rewarding choices that could work well with other cards you might already have and pair well together.

The bottom line

If you spend more than $2,500 quarterly on purchases like gas and grocery stores, the Active Cash may be the better choice. Overall, the Active Cash is the better card thanks to its high cash-rewards rate for your purchases and additional card features.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is better for lower spenders or anyone who wants more time to pay down a transferred balance or a planned purchase.

FAQs

What is a spending limit?

Certain rewards credit cards provide a higher reward rate for a limited amount of spending. It could be an annual limit or a quarterly limit, but once you hit the specified amount of spending, your rewards will fall to 1% or 1x point depending on the card.

How many credit cards should I have?

While there's no set-in-stone answer to how many credit cards you should have, a good rule of thumb is to limit it to two or three. However, if you're well versed in managing debt and keeping up on required monthly payments, you could have more.

What's the difference between cash back and points?

Generally speaking, 1% of cash back will always equal 1 cent, while points could be worth more or less depending on how they're redeemed. Cash back typically has fewer redemption options compared to points as well.

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