BankAmericard Secured Credit Card

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This card is an average choice. We think you can do better.

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If you’re exploring secured cards, you likely either have poor credit or no credit history. And while the BankAmericard Secured Credit Card is an OK option, there are other secured cards that will give you a little more for your money.

Review

If the goal is to improve your credit profile so you can qualify for an unsecured card, then the BankAmericard Secured Credit Card will deliver if you use it responsibly. With this card, your payment behavior is reported to all three of the credit bureaus, an absolute must-have attribute of any secured card. Like other cards of this ilk, the line of credit granted is equal to the amount of your security deposit, starting at a minimum of $300 up to a maximum of $4,900. You should know that the amount you deposit will not earn interest, a standard practice among secured cards.

But this card has an interesting twist: you may get approved for a partially secured card, where you can receive a credit line that exceeds the amount you deposit. Bank of America says that it considers three factors in determining who is eligible: the amount of the security deposit you are able to provide, your income, and your ability to pay the credit line established.

Even if you’re willing to fork over more cash to get a higher credit limit, don’t bother without bank approval. On their application page, Bank of America clearly states that if you provide a deposit that exceeds the calculated maximum amount based on your ability to pay, a check will be returned to you for the difference.

After 12 months, your account can be reviewed and you may qualify to have your deposit returned to you, turning your card into an unsecured card. Not all secured cards have this option and it’s a huge benefit. Having to apply for a new card can adversely affect that credit standing you worked so hard to build up.

But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine with this card. For starters, there’s a $39 annual fee, which can eat away at the amount of useable credit you’ll actually have. For example, if you get approved for the lowest limit of $300, you’ll only start out with $261 of useable credit.

There are also other secured cards on the market, like the Discover it Secured Card, that offer more favorable terms including no annual fee, cash-back rewards, and no foreign transaction fees.

If you’re determined to bank with Bank of America, this card is an average choice—not the worst, but not the best. We think you can do better.

Who should get this card

Someone with less-than-stellar credit who wants to stay with Bank of America.

Fees and APR

  • There’s a $39 annual fee.
  • This card has a variable APR on purchases and balance transfers of 21.24 percent.
  • Balance transfers incur a fee of 3 percent of the total amount being transferred.
  • Foreign transactions will be assessed a 3 percent charge.
  • Late payments won’t affect your APR, but you may be subject to a late fee of up to $38.

Extras, perks and using points

You can link this card to your eligible Bank of America deposit account to protect you from overdrafts. Funds will be transferred in multiples of $100 from your credit card to your bank account. A fee of $12 will apply for each transfer unless the amount being covered totals less than $12.

This card comes with Bank of America’s ShopSafe service, which lets you can generate a temporary account number to use while shopping online.

How this card compares

Discover it® Secured Card
  • No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
  • Your Secured Credit Card requires a refundable security deposit up to the amount we can approve of at least $200 which will establish your credit line.
  • You will need to provide your bank information when submitting your security deposit.
  • We will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • New! Receive Free Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
Credit Needed

No Credit

Regular APR

23.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

10.99% for 6 months

The Discover it Secured Card packs a powerful punch of attributes not typically seen in secured cards. For starters, you earn cash back with the card—something no other secured card on the market offers. And it will double your cash back at the end of the first year. The bank will also review your account, starting at seven months in, to see if you qualify to graduate to an unsecured card.

Credit One Bank® Platinum Card
  • Credit One Bank automatically monitors every account for credit line increase opportunities each month. We'll let you know as soon as you're eligible for a higher credit line. A fee may apply.
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score. Find the card that's right for you in less than 60 seconds.
  • Eligible purchases will automatically get you 1% cash back, terms apply.
  • This is a fully functional, unsecured credit card—not a debit, prepaid, or secured card. No need to load funds or tie up cash in deposits. There are no out-of-pocket costs to open your account.
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability
  • Email and text alerts remind you when your bill is due, your payment posts, or your available credit is running low
Credit Needed

No Credit

Regular APR

16.99% - 24.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 - $99

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

The Credit One Bank Platinum Card offers some rewards, and offers decent APRs for a secured card. A major drawback of the Credit One Bank Platinum Card is that you won’t know the exact terms of your offer until you’ve applied.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
  • No credit check necessary to apply. OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.
  • The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
  • Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
  • 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
  • We have a Facebook community of people just like you; there is a forum for shared experiences, and insights from others on our Facebook Fan page. (Search "OpenSky Card" in Facebook.)
  • OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.
  • *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card.
Credit Needed

No Credit

Regular APR

18.39% (Variable)

Annual Fee

$35

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

The two reasons you may want to apply for the OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card is if you don’t own a checking account, but still want access to a credit card, or if you’re looking for a secured card with a decent annual percentage rate. There’s a very narrow band of consumers this applies to, we imagine.

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®
  • Pre-qualification available with no impact to your credit score
  • Previous bankruptcy OK
  • Easy pre-qualification process with fast response
  • Free online account access (mobile friendly)
  • Protection from fraud, if your card happens to be lost or stolen
  • Accepted at over 35 Million Locations Worldwide!
Credit Needed

Poor

Regular APR

23.90%

Annual Fee

$0 - $99

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is aimed at those with fair credit, which means it’s easier to be approved for than many other cards. It also reports to all three of the major credit bureaus, so with regular on-time payments, you can improve your score and eligibility for credit cards with lower APRs. This card has three different fee structures, and the one you’ll be offered is dependent on your credit.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.