BankAmericard® Credit Card Keeps It Simple for Debt Payoff: Review
Some credit cards pour on the rewards and offer big bonuses to attract new card members. Others take a more low-key approach. The BankAmericard® Credit Card is designed for people who like paying with plastic, but don't need a lot of bells and whistles.
This card is good for people who want to work on paying off their high-interest credit card debt. The lengthy 0% introductory APR on balance transfers is helpful to achieving that financial goal. The regular variable APR range for purchases is fairly low compared to other cards on the market. Best of all, there's no annual fee.
If you’re on the hunt for a credit card that could save you big bucks on interest, you won't want to skip our review. Keep reading for a closer look at what the BankAmericard® Credit Card brings to the table.
Simplicity and Convenience
Earning miles, points, or cash back with a credit card is a great way to save. The downside is that it often means having to jump through certain hoops. There are rewards programs that have different bonus categories, spending limits, and restrictions. Also, they tend to come with higher APRs.
The BankAmericard® Credit Card doesn’t come with those headaches because there is no rewards program. Some people prefer to keep things simple and skip the fancy card rewards and perks. This card is appealing if you just need a card for making purchases or consolidating credit card debt.
It's also worth a look if you have a Bank of America checking account. You can link your card to your checking account as a form of optional overdraft protection. If you accidentally run your checking account into the red, you can dodge returned check fees or expensive overdraft fees. Instead of a $35 overdraft fee, you’ll just pay a $12 overdraft transfer fee. The overdrawn amount will be charged to your credit card as a cash advance.
Tip: If overdraft fees are eating a hole in your bank account, check out these tips on how you can banish them for good.
Added Card Protections Keep Your Information Safe
Even though the BankAmericard® Credit Card is a no-frills way to pay, that doesn’t mean that you don’t get some extras built in. When it comes to your security, Bank of America has got you covered in a few different ways.
Fraud detection and $0 liability guarantee
If you don't always check your account activity for signs of fraud, don’t worry. Bank of America routinely scans your account for abnormal spending patterns. Even better, they automatically block suspected fraud if they spot any red flags.
Having an identity thief use your card to make unauthorized charges can be a nightmare. Luckily, Bank of America’s $0 liability guarantee means you won’t be held responsible.
Shop safely in-store and online
Your BankAmericard® Credit Card has an EMV security chip, which safeguards your card information when you’re shopping in your favorite stores. Just make sure you’re using your card at a payment terminal that has a chip reader to activate its protections.
You can pay through ShopSafe when you shop online. This generates a temporary credit card number for each transaction. In the meantime, your real number stays protected and out of the hands of hackers. You can even control the expiration date and the limit on the generated card number.
You also have the option of linking your card to digital wallet apps. That includes Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Samsung Pay. This is yet another way to keep your account secure.
Tip: If you find out that your credit card has been hacked, you need to act quickly. Monitoring your credit report and setting up fraud alerts with the credit bureaus can help minimize the damage.
Keep Track of Your Credit Score for Free
A good credit score is important for a few reasons. It can make getting approved for loans easier and help you to qualify for lower interest rates. Fortunately, you get a free FICO credit score every month with your BankAmericard® Credit Card. Normally, people have to pay for it. FICO credit scores are used by most U.S. lenders when deciding whether or not to approve you for a loan or line of credit.
You can review the score every month to track any changes to it. If you see a drop, you can take action to repair your score. (Or, it may indicate fraud that you might have missed.)
See what your credit score means:
|Credit Score Ranges||Credit Quality||Effect on Ability to Obtain Loans|
|300-559||Very Bad||Extremely difficult to obtain traditional loans and line of credit. Advised to use secured credit cards and loans to help rebuild credit.|
|560-649||Bad||May be able to qualify for some loans and lines of credit, but the interest rates are likely to be high.|
|650-699||Average/Fair||Eligible for many traditional loans, but the interest rates and terms may not be the best.|
|700-749||Good||Valuable benefits come in the form of loans and lines of credit with comprehensive perks and low interest rates.|
|750-850||Excellent||Qualify easily for most loans and lines of credit with low interest rates and favorable terms.|
It’s also important to understand what affects your FICO score. You may be able to identify that areas that need improvement in order for you to increase your score. The exact formula remains a secret, but these are the five factors that affect your credit score:
|FICO credit score factors||Percentage weight on credit score:||What it means:|
|Payment history||35%||Your track record when it comes to making (at least) the minimum payment by the due date.|
|Amounts owed||30%||How much of your borrowing potential is actually being used. Determined by dividing total debt by total credit limits.|
|Length of credit history||15%||The average age of your active credit lines. Longer histories tend to show responsibility with credit.|
|Credit mix||10%||The different types of active credit lines that you handle (e.g., mortgage, credit cards, students loans, etc.)|
|New credit||10%||The new lines of credit that you've requested. New credit applications tend to hurt you score temporarily.|
Save on Interest and Skip the Annual Fee
The BankAmericard® Credit Card keeps things simple and that same idea applies to the interest rates and fees.
As mentioned earlier, there’s no annual fee for this card. There is a 3% foreign transaction fee so that’s something to think about if you plan to use the card when you travel outside the U.S.
The fee for balance transfers and cash advances is either $10 or 3%, whichever is greater. If you’ve got a large balance to transfer, the fee could add up pretty quickly.
Cash advances also come with a higher APR than purchases or transfers so you may want to look for other options if you need cash quickly. Note that a cash advance fee does not apply when you use your BankAmericard® Credit Card to cover an overdraft on a Bank of America deposit account.
As far as the APR goes, this card tends to offer a longer 0% interest introductory period for balance transfers than other cards. You don’t get a break on purchases, however. The regular variable APR, which is based on your creditworthiness, kicks in right from the start.
Tip: If you don’t want to pay any interest on what you spend, make sure you’re only charging what you can afford to pay in full each month.
Try These Bank of America Credit Cards If You’d Rather Earn Rewards
The BankAmericard® Credit Card has some strong points but if you’ve got a hankering for rewards, here are three other Bank of America cards that may fit the bill.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card
The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card offers cash back on every purchase with no annual fee. The card pays 3% cash back at gas stations and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, on up to the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter.
After that, you’ll earn 1% cash back on those purchases. You also earn 1% cash back for purchases that don’t fit into one of the bonus categories.
There’s an introductory APR period for purchases and balance transfers, which is good if you’re planning a big purchase. If you’ve got a Bank of America checking or savings account or you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can snag even more rewards when you use your card. The bonus ranges from 10% to 75%, depending on what type of account you have.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
If travel is your thing, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card could be right up your alley. With this card, you earn unlimited 1.5 points per dollar on every purchase. Those points can be redeemed for airfare or hotel stays with no blackout dates or restrictions. You can also apply points as a statement credit for vacation packages, car rentals, cruises and baggage fees.
You won’t pay an annual fee or a foreign transaction fee. The same Bank of America relationship bonus applies so you can really rack up the points if you’re a regular spender. If you meet the guidelines for the one-time new account points bonus, that could put you on the way to free travel even faster.
BankAmericard® Better Balance Rewards™ Credit Card
The BankAmericard® Better Balance Rewards™ Credit Card puts a new spin on earning rewards. Instead of earning points, miles or cash back on purchases, you earn rewards as you pay down your balance.
You can earn $25 per quarter when you pay more than your monthly minimum, plus an extra $5 per quarter just for having a Bank of America checking or savings account. Altogether, that adds up to $120 in rewards for the year.
Like the other cards we’ve profiled, this one has no annual fee. You can also cash in on a low introductory APR offer if you have a balance you want to transfer. You’ll have to complete any transfers within 60 days of opening your account to take advantage of the lower rate.
|Credit Cards||Low APR|
|BankAmericard||Simple credit card with a long 0% intro APR period|
|Credit Card||Cash Back|
|BankAmericard Cash Rewards™||Earn bonus cash back on gas and groceries.|
|BankAmericard® Better Balance Rewards||Earn $25 for each quarter that you pay more than the monthly minimum on time.|
For People Who Prefer a Simple Credit Card
After going over the finer points of the BankAmericard® Credit Card, we think it’s best for someone who needs a basic card for making purchases without a lot of frills. It’s also a solid choice for balance transfers as long as you’re factoring in that 3% transfer fee.