The BankAmericard Secured Credit Card (Bank of America) offers relief from bad debt or a puny credit score. In my BankAmericard Secured Credit Card (Bank of America) review, I’m going over all the details about this card to help you decide if it’s right for you.
What credit score do you need for this card? To qualify for the BankAmericard, you need a good to excellent credit score. That usually means a minimum credit score of 690.
Read on to learn everything about the BankAmericard Secured Credit Card, including its basic details and pros and cons.
About the BankAmericard Secured Credit Card
Secured Credit Card
Unlike the regular “unsecured” credit card, a “secured” credit card requires a cash deposit when you open an account. The amount of the deposit is typically equivalent to your credit limit.
The money deposited to the account serves as a safety net for the card issuer. If you’re unable to pay, they can take it from your cash deposit. That’s why it’s a good option for people with bad credit or short credit history (or no credit history at all).
One of the Top Secured Credit Cards
The BankAmericard (Mastercard) is one of the top secured credit cards out there. It has some basic features that you’ll typically find in secured credit cards, like digital wallet technology and access to your FICO score.
But, unlike others, it comes with a sign-up bonus of $100 statement credit online bonus when you make purchases worth $1,000 in the first three months (90 days) of account opening.
The good thing about the BankAmericard Secured credit card is you can be approved even with bad or limited credit. A credit score to aim for is between 690 and 850:
BankAmericard Secure’s Interest Rates and Fees
1. Introductory APR
Late payments will not immediately increase your APR (interest rate). The BankAmericard credit card offers an introductory APR of 0% for more than a year or up to 18 billing cycles. This applies to all the purchases and balance transfers you made within 60 days after opening the account.
Once the introductory purchase APR is over, the APR will go back to the base rate of 12.99% to 22.99% variable. The upside is the BankAmericard credit card has no yearly fee or other unnecessary fees.
2. Security Deposit
You need a cash deposit ranging from $300 to $4,900 when applying for a BankAmericard credit card. Three factors determine the total amount of money Bank America will allow you to use:
- The money you gave for the security deposit
- Your income
- Your ability to pay back your debt on time
The bank will regularly evaluate your account to determine if you’ve exhibited solid payment behavior on all of your credit accounts. And depending on your credit history and other factors (e.g., your relationship with the bank and your account), they might return your security deposit to you.
Note: Not all cardholders will be qualified to get their security deposit back.
3. Balance Transfer Fee
The balance transfer fee is at least $10 or 3% of the U.S. dollar amount transferred for every transaction, whichever is higher.
Note: Bank America will apply minimum payments to balances with lower interest rates first. Balances with higher interest rates will get additional charges first.
Again, what does the BankAmericard Secured Credit Card offer? To qualify for the BankAmericard Secured Credit Card, you should have a good to excellent credit score. Meaning, you need a minimum credit score of 690.
BankAmericard Secured Credsit Card’s Security & Features
1. Online and Mobile Banking
Bank of America has a robust mobile and online banking platform, so you can quickly and securely perform your banking transactions almost anywhere. Choose paperless credit card statements to keep your account more secure while you help the environment by reducing paper consumption.
2. Overdraft Protection
Nothing’s more embarrassing than a declined purchase because you don’t have enough money in your account. Bank of America will cover a transaction and prevent returned checks or declined purchases if you link your eligible checking account to your BankAmericard secured credit card.
Note: Transfer fees may apply.
3. Contactless RFID Technology
The latest Bank of America commercial cards are now with RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology. The chip technology is embedded in the BankAmericard for a faster and more secure checkout experience at millions of locations in over 130 countries. You can also link your card to your smartphone then shop in-store or via Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay.
4. Fraudulent Activity Protection
Once they detect any fraudulent activity, they’ll block it then let you know about it. What’s more, they guarantee that you won’t be held responsible for those fraudulent transactions made with your account or account information.
Pros and Cons of BankAmericard Secured Credit Card
Before you click Apply Now, read the following considerations first:
1. Offers a Welcome Bonus
Most secured credit cards, especially those with long introductory 0% APR periods, don’t offer bonuses. But when you qualify for the BankAmericard secured credit card, you’ll get a $100 statement credit online bonus (cash credited back to your credit card account) when your purchases reach at least $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening.
It might not sound much, but it’s already a respectable offer from a credit card that didn’t have a welcome bonus before. You could probably use the statement credit to partially pay for the $10 or 3% balance transfer fee.
2. Helps Build or Rebuild Your Credit
If you’re struggling to build credit from scratch or rebuilding bad credit, the BankAmericard is an excellent tool to use to achieve your purpose. The absent annual fee, lengthy 0% APR period, and reasonable 3% balance transfer fee make it relatively easier to do that.
How fast can you build or fix credit with a secured credit card? Depending on your purpose—whether you want to fix a damaged credit or start building one—it could take as little as one month.
However, it could take months or years to build good credit consistently. You always need to practice responsible credit behavior, such as consistently paying your bills on time and avoiding getting into more debt.
3. No Penalty APR
For anyone with poor credit, finding a way to avoid APR charges—even if it’s only for a limited period—is a huge plus. One of the best benefits of “no APR penalty” secured credit cards is to borrow a certain amount of money for a short period without the accrued interest until the introductory APR period ends. Plus, it gives you more available cash to pay off your debts.
Yes, you still need to pay back the money you owe. And you could also incur a steep late fee ($28 to $39) if you miss a payment deadline. That could cause your credit score to take a hit. But as the BankAmericard secured credit card doesn’t charge any penalty APR, your mind is at peace in knowing that the interest rate won’t go through the roof.
4. Great Customer Service
Bank of America has a good reputation when it comes to its customer service. In the 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power, Bank of America ranked third in customer satisfaction among national card issuers. American Express ranked first, and Discover ranked second.
Bank of America’s customer service team is on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can contact them through a secure messaging system or by calling 800.732.9194.
No Rewards Program
Let’s get this straight, paying down your debt and building good credit are more important than rewards. Even so, a secured credit card with some bonus and rewards program is always welcome.
BankAmericard’s zero-interest period is excellent. But beyond that, it doesn’t have the side perks you might be looking for in a credit card.
Let’s take the Discover it Secured credit card as an example. It has the Cashback Match intro offer.
Here’s how it works:
For a year or throughout the first 12 consecutive billing periods from the day they’ve approved your new account, Discover will match all of the cashback rewards you’ve accumulated on your secured credit card. Then, they’ll add it to your rewards account in as fast as two billing periods.
High APR and Security Deposit
After the promotional 0% APR period, a standard APR of 22.99% takes effect. It’s a common interest rate for secured credit cards, but other cards have much lower interest rates. Unless you pay your credit card balance in full every month, these differences in interest rates could have a significant effect on the number of interest charges you’ll pay.
For example, you have a credit card balance of $1,000. The APR is at 22.99%, and the minimum monthly payment is $35. If you only pay the minimum, it would take around 42 months to pay off the remaining amount. Plus, you need to pay $463 in interest charges.
Conclusion – BankAmericard Secured Credit Card
Is the BankAmericard Secured credit card worth the consideration?
The verdict: It’s one of the easiest ways to effectively whittle down debt, repair bad credit, or build credit for the first time. Just be aware that most of its value lies on its 0% intro APR. So, if you’re looking forward to earning rewards (or other perks) and low permanent APR, you might want to look for alternatives.