BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card

Robin Saks Frankel  in  Bad Credit Advertising Disclosure
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Annual Fee:
$39 annual fee.
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
20.74% This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees

Commonly used for: Bad Credit, No Credit History.

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our bad credit category page.

Editor’s note: This offer is expired. Please review our list of Best Secured Cards.

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 credit you can use.

There are also other secured cards on the market, like the Discover it® Secured, 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 or $10 of the total amount being transferred, whichever is greater.
  • 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.