Bank of America is joining a growing number of major credit issuers offering new or extended balance transfer promotions. The BankAmericard® credit card is Bank of America’s flagship product for balance transfer offers, and it’s now offering a longer introductory APR period.
Typically, this balance transfer credit card offers an 18-month 0 percent introductory APR term, but as of Aug. 22, the introductory APR period has been extended to 21 billing cycles. Learn more about this offer, including associated balance transfer fees, below.
Quick details of the BankAmericard
- Intro APR: 0 percent intro APR for 21 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers made in the first 60 days
- Regular APR: 14.24 percent to 24.24 percent variable APR
- Balance transfer fee: 3 percent (minimum $10)
While the BankAmericard doesn’t offer ongoing rewards or a welcome bonus, its zero-interest period is now one of the longest balance transfer offers on the market. Two similar Citi credit cards, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card and Citi Simplicity® Card, offer 21 months at zero interest for balance transfers, but their introductory periods on purchases are much shorter — and their variable APRs a bit higher.
With the BankAmericard’s updated offer, new cardholders can take 21 billing cycles to either pay off debt or a large purchase over time at a 0 percent APR. Note that after the introductory period ends, the card’s variable APR kicks in between 14.24 percent and 24.24 percent. There’s also a standard 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $10), which is in line with competing cards.
Other notable card features
Typically, balance transfer cards with longer intro APR periods don’t add too many bells and whistles, like premium benefits or high ongoing rewards rates The idea is that you’re saving enough money on interest with your balance transfer, and if you’re mainly focused on debt payoff, it won’t be a dealbreaker.
Although you won’t earn any rewards on your spending with this card, BankAmericard benefits include no penalty APR (should you make a late payment), $0 fraud liability, free FICO score access and the ability to participate in Bank of America-specific programs like Museums on Us and BankAmeriDeals.
Despite recent Fed rate hikes, the card has actually lowered the regular APR range from 15.24 percent to 25.24 percent to 14.24 percent to 24.24 percent variable, which is still lower than the national average for credit card APRs. Another plus is that there’s no annual fee for this card.
Should I get the BankAmericard?
Whether you should apply for the BankAmericard comes down to your financial goals. While having 21 months of interest-free borrowing can be a huge help when paying off debt, you should consider the potential to earn rewards with cash back credit cards as well.
There are plenty of rewards cards with generous welcome bonuses, respectable rewards rates and even perks and benefits that enhance the long-term value of your credit card. With a balance transfer card that doesn’t offer as much, you probably won’t use it after the zero-interest promotional offer ends.
Cards like the Discover it® Cash Back and Chase Freedom Unlimited® offer rewards, valuable perks and welcome bonuses for new cardholders — plus zero-interest offers on purchases and balance transfers. If you don’t need 21 months to pay down a higher interest balance and can do so with a shorter time period, it’s worth considering either of these cards — or other options from our list of the best balance transfer credit cards.
The bottom line
Credit card issuers are jumping on the balance transfer trend as Americans contend with increasing credit card debt. Balance transfer cards like the BankAmericard offer longer-than-usual promotional APR periods, which can help eliminate high-interest debt.
However, if you don’t need that much time, you may want to explore your options for rewards credit cards with a better long-term value proposition.