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BankAmericard Secured Credit Card Review

BankAmericard Secured Credit Card Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Apr 07, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you’re new to credit and want to start building a credit history, or if you have bad credit and need to rebuild your credit score, a secured card is a great way to do that.

The BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card is available for Bank of America customers, though it does require a higher minimum security deposit than some competing cards. We’ll walk you through this card’s pros and cons, while providing another secured card for comparison.

BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card pros

No annual fee. Some secured credit cards charge an annual fee, but the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card charges none.

Opportunity for a high credit limit. Your credit limit is based on your deposit, and this card allows a maximum deposit amount of $4,900. While we suspect many consumers may not want to tie up that much money in a deposit, it’s nice to know that you’re not limited to a couple hundred dollars. Be aware that you’re not guaranteed to be able to select the maximum — Bank of America will consider your income and your ability to pay when establishing your credit line.

Ability to upgrade from a secured card to unsecured. Bank of America will periodically review your account to see if you qualify to have your security deposit refunded. Your history across all cards and loans, not just those with Bank of America, will be considered. There’s no guarantee time frame for this review and not all customers will qualify. However, having the option to upgrade to an unsecured card is a benefit you should look for when applying for a secured card.

Free FICO Score access. Your FICO Score is what most lenders will review when you apply for credit cards and other financial products. Landlords may check it when reviewing your application to rent an apartment, and employers may check it when you apply for a job. With this card, Bank of America provides free access to your FICO Score, updated monthly, so you can check your progress.

Read How to build credit with a secured card

BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card cons

High minimum security deposit. There are secured cards that require only minimum deposits of $200 or less. This card’s minimum deposit is $300, which could be a bit steep for some consumers.

Foreign transaction fee. This card is one to leave at home if you’re traveling abroad. There’s a fee of 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transaction (1) made in a foreign currency, or (2) made in U.S. dollars if the transaction is made or processed outside of the United States.

High APR. The interest rate on this card is 22.99% variable. That’s not as high as some secured cards charge, but it’s still high enough that you don’t want to carry a balance and incur interest charges. Pay in full every month.

Compare it with the Discover it® Secured

  • 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically

  • Credit line will equal your security deposit of $200 or more*

  • No annual fee, no late fee on your first late payment. No penalty APR*

Highlights
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Secured

More Info

A popular secured credit card is the Discover it® Secured. The Discover it® Secured offers a cash back rewards program, a reasonable minimum security deposit, and a set time frame for when you can expect Discover to start reviewing your account for a possible upgrade to an unsecured card.

BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card vs Discover it® Secured

 BankAmericard® Secured Credit CardDiscover it® Secured
Minimum security deposit$300$200
Sign-up bonusNoneFor new cardmembers, Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
RewardsNone2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically
Annual FeeNone$0
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transaction (1) made in a foreign currency, or (2) made in U.S. dollars if the transaction is made or processed outside of the United States. None

It’s unusual for a secured card to offer rewards or a sign-up bonus, so the Discover it® Secured stands out for those reasons. Just don’t be tempted by rewards to overspend — even while earning cash back, your goal should be to only spend what you can pay off in full each month.

We should also note that while both cards offer the potential to upgrade from a secured card to an unsecured card, the Discover it® Secured sets a specific time frame, promising that Discover will begin monthly reviews of your account starting at eight months of using the card. Bank of America does not set a time frame for when it might review your account.

Read our review of the Discover it® Secured.

BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card FAQs

What is the meaning of a secured credit card? A secured credit card requires you to submit a deposit that typically sets the amount of your credit limit. If you don’t pay back what you charge to the card, the deposit provides security to the issuer. You can get your deposit back if you pay the card off and close the account, or if your issuer provides the opportunity to upgrade to an unsecured credit card.

Does Bank of America offer a secured credit card? Yes. The BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card is a secured credit card with a minimum security deposit of $300.

Is the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card a prepaid card? No, the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card is not a prepaid card. It’s a secured credit card, which works the same way as regular, unsecured cards, but requires you to put down a deposit that serves as your credit line. Prepaid cards, on the other hand, require you to load funds on the card repeatedly as you spend with the card, and do not help you build credit history.

Will the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card refund my deposit? Bank of America will periodically review your account to see if you qualify to transition to an unsecured credit card and get your deposit refunded. There’s no set time frame and an upgrade is not guaranteed.

How can I check my credit score with Bank of America? If you have a BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card, you can check your credit score for free in the mobile banking app or via online banking. Note that you have to opt in to get your score.

Is the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card a good choice?

If you are a Bank of America customer and have at least $300 to put toward a security deposit, the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card is a good choice to rebuild your credit. However, if you’re looking for a secured card that requires a lower security deposit, there are competing secured cards with more to offer. Check out our list of best secured credit cards for more recommendations.


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March 26, 2019