Full Review of Bank of America BankAmericard Secured Credit Card
Deposit may be returned
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 $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.
- 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|
|Time to Pay Off Balance||54 months||40 months|
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.