BANKAMERICARD CREDIT CARD REVIEW [UPDATED 2019]
With no interest charged for 15 months, and no annual fee ever, it’s not surprising that the BankAmericard has been named the best credit card for balance transfers.
According to Money Magazine, there’s no better credit card you can own if your goal is to consolidate debt. That’s because the BankAmericard makes it extremely easy and cost efficient to transfer balances from other credit cards and lines of credit, and saves cardholders big bucks on interest payments.
While there’s no rewards program attached to this card, for people looking to pay off debt, owning this card should prove to be its own reward.
- 0% APR for 15 months for purchases and balance transfers
- No annual fee
- No rewards points
INTRODUCTORY BALANCE TRANSFERS
The main attraction to the BankAmericard is that it enables people to transfer high interest rate balances and save on interest with an Introductory $0 balance transfer fee for the first 60 days that an account is open.
This feature alone can save people money. But don’t delay. Be sure to transfer balances within the first 60 days because after that there is a fee charged on future balance transfers of 3%, and you have to transfer a minimum of $10.
It’s worth noting that the balance transfer fee of 3% is at the low end as similar credit cards can charge as much as 5% on transfers regardless of the dollar amount.
Another positive with the BankAmericard is that you get introductory interest charges of 0% on any and all purchases made in the first 15 months.
This will help keep interest payments down for more than a year, giving you the time needed to hammer down the principle owing on the card without more money being piled on in the form of interest each month.
But be sure to take advantage of the introductory rate because after the first 15 months, cardholders are charged an interest rate of 15.24% to 25.24%, depending on your credit history. And the annual percentage rate (APR), or interest charged, is variable, which means it is subject to change by Bank of America.
There’s no annual fee with the BankAmericard. You’ll never have to pay for the privilege of owning this particular credit card.
This is another way in which the BankAmericard is affordable and can help you focus on paying off debt. With some rewards cards charging annual fees in excess of $500 a year, the BankAmericard looks very affordable by comparison.
Another positive is that there’s no penalty APR should you make a late payment on this card. Bank of America states: “Paying late won’t automatically raise your interest rate (APR).”
This is a reassuring feature and contrasts sharply with other credit cards that will hike the interest rate charged should you miss a single payment or make even one late payment.
As we’ve already highlighted, the BankAmericard charges 0% APR on all purchases for the first 15 months, which allows people to not worry about interest for more than a year.
However, once that introductory rate expires, people will face APR of 15.24% to 25.24%. The interest rate on the BankAmericard is actually pretty reasonable and towards the low end of the spectrum.
Similar credit cards charge APR of 16.49% to 25.24% variable. Keep in mind though that the APR on this card is also “variable,” which means it could fluctuate with the prime lending rate or at the discretion of Bank of America.
It’s important to take advantage of the 0% APR that’s offered in the first 15 months before higher interest rates apply. And it is always a good idea to keep an eye on the APR that you’re being charged as it can creep upwards over time – often without cardholders realizing it.
There are a surprising number of additional benefits that come with the BankAmericard, most of which are focused on security and protecting cardholders’ personal information.
These include detecting and blocking potential fraud on the credit card and bank accounts. Bank of America promises a $0 “Liability Guarantee” for fraudulent transactions.
There’s also the nifty ShopSafe service that enables people to generate a temporary credit card number when shopping online so that their real card number remains private.
The BankAmericard also comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection when making purchases in more than 130 countries worldwide.
Other features of the BankAmericard include overdraft protection, text banking and the ability to access your FICO score each month for free.
Bank of America also touts that owners of the BankAmericard will have access to its award-winning online and mobile banking services.
WHO SHOULD NOT GET THIS CARD
The BankAmericard credit card is fairly basic and meant to help people consolidate debt and then pay it off as quickly and affordably as possible.
People who want to collect rewards should steer clear of this credit card. Also, while the low interest rate and no annual fee may prove attractive, this credit card is not for people who don’t have debt elsewhere that they’re looking to consolidate.
If your finances are in the black, then you really don’t need this particular card.
ALTERNATIVE CARD: THE CITI SIMPLICITY CREDIT CARD
The credit card that’s most often compared to the BankAmericard is the Citi Simplicity. Like the BankAmericard, Citi Simplicity is for people looking to get control of their debt and improve their finances.
It offers 0% APR on purchases for 12 months, slightly shorter than the BankAmericard but 0% APR for 21 months on balance transfers which is longer than the 15 months offered by the BankAmericard. After that introductory period, the APR jumps up to a rate of 16.24% – 26.24% variable which is higher than the BankAmericard.
One very important point to keep in mind is the Citi Simplicity charges 5% of each balance transfer to move your debt over to this card, which is more than the 3% charged on the BankAmericard.
You get 6 more months of 0% interest on transfers but the card charges you 2% more up front, so the amount of debt you have will determine which card is better for paying down debt.
Citi Simplicity comes with no late fee, penalty APR or annual fee. No late fee is unique among card and can save you $38 if you forget to pay on time at least once.
As with the BankAmericard, the Citi Simplicity card has no rewards program.
When Money Magazine handed out its annual awards in 2017, the BankAmericard was singled out and honoured with the title “Best Card for Balance Transfers.” It’s clear why.
The BankAmericard is one of the best credit cards for people who want to consolidate and refinance their debt load.
Low interest rates, coupled with a $0 balance transfer fee for 60 days and no annual fee helps cardholders manage their debt and get the balance owing down to $0. Multiple security features and no penalties for late payments help too.