Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Bank of America BankAmericard Secured Credit Card Review

overall rating
2.8

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If you want a secured credit card to start building a credit history or improve your credit score, one option is the BankAmericard Secured credit card from Bank of America. It charges no annual fee, but it doesn't have a rewards program or bonus. However, cardholders may be able to have their security deposits returned to them after they've demonstrated good credit habits and made their payments on time.

BankAmericard Secured Credit Card

overall rating
2.8
BankAmericard Secured Credit Card
On Bank of America's Secured Site.
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Minimum Deposit to Activate $300
Pay deposit in installments No
Allows upgrade to unsecured card Yes
Rewards Earning Rate This card does not offer a rewards program.
how this card stacks up
When compared among all secured cards in our database:
Secured Features
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
Rewards
Benefits
worst best

Currently rated one of our

Full Review of Bank of America BankAmericard Secured Credit Card

Pros
  • Deposit may be returned

Cons
  • High APR

  • High minimum deposit

  • No rewards program

Pros Explained

  • Returnable deposit: Because this is a secured credit card, you have to put down a security deposit that will act as your credit line. With this card, your security deposit must be at least $300. However, Bank of America will periodically review your credit history. If it has improved and you’ve made all of your payments on time, Bank of America may decide to return your security deposit to you, giving you your money back while still allowing you to use the card. Not all secured cards offer this benefit.

Cons Explained

  • High APR: Like many secured credit cards, the BankAmericard Secured card has a higher-than-average APR; you'll pay 22.99% APR on purchases. While that's not an uncommon rate for a secured card, you can find other cards with much lower rates. For instance, the Primor Gold card has a 9.99% fixed APR. Unless you pay your balance in full every month, the difference in rates can have a big impact on your total interest charges. For example, let’s say you had $1,000 in credit card debt at 22.99% APR, with a minimum monthly payment of $30. If you only made the minimum payments, it would take you 54 months to pay off the balance, and you'd pay $610 in interest charges. By contrast, if you had $1,000 in credit card debt at 9.99% interest with the same minimum monthly payment, you'd pay off your debt in just 40 months. And, you'd pay just $177 in interest charges. Opting for a card with a lower interest rate would help you save $433, and you'd get out of debt 14 months earlier. If you think you'll carry a balance on your card, it may make sense to choose another card to save money on interest charges.
Paying Down a $1,000 Balance
  BankAmericard Secured Card Primor Gold Secured Card
APR 22.99% 9.99%
Balance $1,000 $1,000
Monthly Payment $30 $30
Time to Pay Off Balance 54 months 40 months
Total Repaid $1,610 $1,177
  • High minimum deposit: The minimum deposit for the BankAmericard Secured card is $300. That deposit is higher than what some other cards require, which could be a hardship for some applicants. For example, the Secured Mastercard from Capital One offers an initial credit line of $200, but security deposits can be as low as $49, making it much easier to get started. And, if you make your first five monthly payments on time, you can get access to a higher credit line. 
  • No Rewards Program: The BankAmericard Secured card doesn’t have a rewards program, so you won't earn points or cash back when you make purchases. While that’s not uncommon for a secured card, there are some exceptions that offer rewards. Like the BankAmericard Secured card, the Discover it Secured card has no annual fee. However, the Discover it Secured card offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, on up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter. And, you’ll earn unlimited 1% cash back on every other purchase. To put that in perspective, let's say you spent $1,000 at gas stations and restaurants in one quarter, and $500 elsewhere. If you used your Discover it Secured card to pay for those purchases, you'd earn $25 in cash-back rewards. 

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Motivated to create positive credit history
    Credit Builder

With no annual fee, the Bank of America BankAmericard Secured credit card is a useful option for people who have bad credit or no credit history and are looking for a secured card to build good credit. 

If you already have a Bank of America checking or savings account, you may also find it convenient to get your secured card from the same bank. 

Standard Benefits

The BankAmericard Secured card offers some basic benefits that are fairly standard for secured credit cards:

  • Digital wallet technology: You can sync your card with Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay. 
  • Free FICO score access: You can review your FICO credit score for free on your monthly statements or online. 

Cardholder Experience

Unfortunately, Bank of America doesn't have the strongest reputation for customer service. According to J.D. Power’s 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study, Bank of America ranked seventh out of 11 national card issuers. Its score was 798 out of 1,000, compared with a national average of 806.

That said, Bank of America's customer service team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through its secure messaging system or by calling 800-732-9194. 

Security Features

Like other secured cards on the market, the BankAmericard Secured card has several basic security features: 

  • $0 liability protection: You're not responsible for any unauthorized charges made to your account.
  • Fraud alerts: Bank of America says it will monitor your account for suspicious activity and send you alerts if there are any unusual transactions. 

Our Verdict

While the BankAmericard Secured credit card from Bank of America has no annual fee, and it may return your security deposit to you after a period of time, it offers few other benefits. It has a high APR on purchases, charges foreign transaction fees, and requires a larger security deposit than many other cards. It also lacks a rewards program, so you won’t earn any points or cash back when you make a purchase. 

You're likely to be better off with another secured credit card that has a lower APR or a cash-back program. Those cards will be more cost-effective, while still allowing you to establish a good credit history.

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For BankAmericard Secured Credit Card
on Bank of America's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
BankAmericard Secured Credit Card
overall rating
2.8
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Minimum Deposit to Activate $300
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.