Full Review of Bank of America BankAmericard Secured Credit Card
Bank of America's origins date back to 1904, when American banker Amadeo Pietro Giannini founded the Bank of Italy in San Francisco, primarily as a means of providing banking services to Italian immigrants. It eventually became Bank of America, which is now one of the largest financial services operations in the United States (and the world). Its headquarters is in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Deposit may be returned
No annual fee
High minimum deposit
No rewards program
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 $200. 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.
High APR: Like many secured credit cards, the BankAmericard Secured card has a higher-than-average APR; you'll pay 25.49% APR on purchases. Though that's not an uncommon rate for a secured card, you can find other cards with much lower rates. 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 26.24% 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 $915 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||Credit Card A|
|Time to Pay Off Balance||54 months||40 months|
High minimum deposit: The minimum deposit for the BankAmericard Secured card is $200. 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.
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. Though 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 charges no annual fee. However, the Discover it Secured card offers 5% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,500 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
Motivated to create positive credit history
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.
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.
Bank of America has a strong reputation for customer service. According to J.D. Power’s 2021 Credit Card Satisfaction Study, Bank of America ranked fifth out of 11 national card issuers. Its score was 805 out of 1,000, compared with a national average of 809.
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.
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.
Although the BankAmericard Secured credit card from Bank of America has no annual fee and 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Credit Score Do You Need for a Bank of America BankAmericard?
The Bank of America BankAmericard requires that your credit is at least in the good range, the minimum score of which is 670.
What Is the Limit on the Bank of America Secured Credit Card?
The starting credit limit for the Bank of America Secured Card can range anywhere from $300 to $4,900, depending on how much you put down with your security deposit and your income. After that, your maximum limit may increase if you prove capable of meeting the card's payment requirements.
How Long Does It Take to Get Approved for the Bank of America Secured Credit Card
Approval for the Bank of America Secured Credit Card can take anywhere from instantly to about 30 days, depending on how comprehensively you meet the application requirements. Generally speaking, the more qualified you are in terms of factors such as income and credit score, the sooner the bank will approve you.
Does the Bank of America Secured Credit Card Require a Hard Credit Pull?
Applying for the Bank of America BankAmericard will most likely result in a hard pull on your credit. However, you can opt into a preapproval process by which Bank of America may determine that your qualifications are strong enough to warrant forgoing a hard pull in favor of a soft pull.