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If your goal is to chip away at or completely pay off credit card debt, the no-annual-fee BankAmericard® credit card has likely grabbed your attention. This balance transfer card offers one of the longest zero-interest balance transfer periods on the market, along with an equally-as-long offer on new purchases.
Although it lacks ongoing rewards and a first-year welcome bonus, the BankAmericard offers straightforward, money-saving benefits that make it a valuable option for debt payoff.
As a reminder: Details of the BankAmericard
- Rewards rate: None
- Welcome bonus: None
- Annual fee: $0
- Balance transfer intro APR: 0 percent intro APR for 21 billing cycles on balance transfers made in the first 60 days (3 percent fee, minimum $10, applies)
- Purchase intro APR: 0 percent intro APR for 21 billing cycles
- Regular APR: 16.24 percent to 26.24 percent variable
There may be fewer benefits associated with the BankAmericard, but the potential impact each one has on your finances could be significant. Here are the BankAmericard benefits to focus on:
0% intro APR for 21 billing cycles
The standout feature of the BankAmericard is its 0 percent intro APR offer on both balance transfers and purchases for 21 billing cycles, followed by a variable APR between 16.24 percent to 26.24 percent. While there is a 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $10), having 21 billing cycles with zero interest could help you achieve your debt payoff goals even sooner.
The key is to initiate the balance transfer within 60 days of account opening, otherwise you lose this valuable benefit. Calculating the cost of the 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $10) is also critical so you can compare it to how much you will save over 21 billing cycles.
The BankAmericard’s intro offer on balance transfers is in line with those offered by the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card and Citi Simplicity® Card, yet these Citi cards offer much shorter intro APRs on purchases, as well as slightly higher variable APRs.
Lower ongoing variable APR
The card’s 0 percent introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers is enticing, but the ongoing variable APR deserves a second look, too. After your introductory period ends, you’ll receive a variable APR between 16.24 percent to 26.24 percent.
This variable APR range is on the lower end compared to other balance transfer cards, which can provide you peace of mind should you end up taking longer than 21 months to pay off your debt.
No penalty APR
With most credit cards, it’s common to charge a penalty APR after a missed payment. While this is meant to encourage cardholders to make their payments on time, a simple mistake with one late payment can end up costing you a lot in interest.
Thankfully, the BankAmericard doesn’t charge a penalty APR, which is a sought-after perk among popular balance transfer credit cards. However, there is a standard late fee of up to a $40 for late payments. If this sort of perk is important to you, consider reading our guide to the best credit cards with no late fees.
No annual fee
The BankAmericard does not charge an annual fee. This further adds to the card’s appeal when you need to pay off debt. Using a balance transfer card can definitely save you a lot when it comes to interest, but it should always be weighed against the cost of owning the card.
$0 fraud liability
Should your card or card number be used to make fraudulent transactions, you can rest easy knowing you’re covered by Bank of America’s $0 fraud liability perk. Simply report the transaction(s), and you can gain access to your funds by the next business day.
Free FICO score access
With the BankAmericard, you can get free monthly access to your FICO credit score, allowing you to stay on top of any changes in your score and view any factors that are affecting it. To check your score, log in to your online account or Bank of America mobile app.
Museums on Us
BankAmericard cardholders are eligible for Bank of America’s Museums on Us program. This lesser-known benefit, available with all Bank of America cards, grants you free general admission to over 225 cultural institutions across the U.S. on one designated weekend per month.
Although the BankAmericard does not offer a rewards program, it does offer eligibility for BankAmeriDeals. This program allows you to earn anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent cash back for purchases through select retailers participating in the program. You must activate a deal to participate, but doing so could earn you a lot of cash back.
How to maximize the BankAmericard
If you want to make the most of the BankAmericard’s benefits, be sure to focus on its time-sensitive offers, such as the 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 21 billing cycles (16.24 percent to 26.24 percent variable after). Most importantly, if you’re interested in completing a balance transfer, be sure to do so within your first 60 days of account opening so that you don’t lose access to the intro offer.
While the card does provide an intro period on new purchases, it’s wise to keep your spending to a minimum if you plan on paying off existing credit card debt. The worst thing you can do is rack up additional charges during your payoff window and end up in more debt than you started with.
Lastly, try and take advantage of the card’s free monthly access to your FICO credit score, in particular. If you hope to eventually raise your score enough to qualify for a more premium rewards card down the line, keeping an eye on your progress is one important step.
The bottom line
The BankAmericard’s introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers is one of the longest available among balance transfer cards — and can certainly make the card worth it for anyone who needs an ample amount of time to pay off debt. But before you make the decision to apply, read through our list of the best balance transfer credit cards to ensure you choose the perfect option for your debt payoff needs, rewards goals and more.
The information regarding the BankAmericard® credit card was last updated on January 9, 2023.