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BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card review – July 2018

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While relatively expensive, this card can springboard you to an unsecured card, if you use it responsibly.

30-second take

  • Get this card if… you’re looking for the opportunity to upgrade to an unsecured card.
  • Pick something else if… you don’t want an annual fee or you want a card with a low minimum security deposit.
  • Recommended fair credit range of $300 to 679 to apply.
Product NameBankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$39
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases21.99% variable
Balance Transfer Fee3% or $10 (whichever is greater)
Cash Advance Rate26.74% variable
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of the transaction amount
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Minimum Interest$1.5
Late Payment Fee$38
Returned Payment Fee$27
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age

The basics

The market for secured credit cards is surprisingly competitive. Perhaps equally surprising, the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card isn’t one of the top contenders.

For one, the card comes with a $39 p.a. annual fee. That’s a fairly steep price, given you’ll find excellent secured cards that charge no annual fee. The card also requires a $300 minimum security deposit, which is high compared to some secured cards. You can pick up the Discover it® Secured Credit Card or Citi® Secured Mastercard® for a $200 deposit, or the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One® for deposit of as low as a $49.

The BankAmericard does have one distinct advantage: You may be able to upgrade it to an unsecured card. After 12 months, Bank of America reviews your account for responsible use. If you qualify, you’ll get your security deposit back while continuing to use your card.

The perks

  • Deposit return.

    After you’ve used the card for 12 months, Bank of America may review your account for responsible use. If you qualify, it returns your security deposit while you keep using your card.

You’ll also like …

  • FICO score access.

    You’ll be able to view your FICO score, which Bank of America updates monthly.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.

    The BankAmericard Secured Credit Card has a $39 annual fee.

  • $300 minimum security deposit.

    This deposit is relatively high for secured credit cards.

  • It hurts to pay late.

    Making late or returned payments could result in fees as high as $38.

  • No interest grace periods on cash advances or balance transfers.

    Cash advances and balance transfers accrue interest immediately.

Consider other cards if …

  • You don’t want to pay an annual fee.

    You will find secured card options that come with no fee.

  • You want a lower minimum security deposit.

    You could qualify for other secured cards with low minimum deposits.

Compare other Bank of America credit cards

Updated July 21st, 2018
Name Product APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual Fee
12.99% to 22.99% variable
$0
Earn up to 3% cash back on business purchases with the Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card.
14.74% to 24.74% variable
0% for the first 15 statement closing dates (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$0
Transfer high rate balances and save on interest with an Introductory $0 balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10).
14.74% to 24.74% variable
$0
10,000 MyCruise® bonus points offer. Good for onboard credits, stateroom upgrades, discounts, cruises and more.
16.74% to 24.74% variable
$99
No matter where you're travelling, feel free to use your Asiana Visa Signature® credit card without incurring foreign transaction fees when making purchases.
16.74% to 24.74% variable
$75
Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening. There are no blackout dates.
16.74% to 24.74% variable
$90
Get 20,000 Flying Club bonus miles after your first purchase.
14.74% to 24.74% variable
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$0
1% cash back on purchases, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter.
14.74% to 24.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($59 thereafter)
15,000 bonus miles after your first purchase-enough for up to 3 roundtrip off-peak award tickets with taxes and fees from $12 per award.
14.74% to 24.74% variable
$0
10,000 bonus WorldPoints® reward points offer. That's enough for $100 off your next cruise.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates following the opening of your account (then 17.74% to 24.74% variable)
$99
Earn 15,000 Bonus Points - equal to $150 off your next Allegiant trip, after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days
14.74% to 24.74% variable
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$0
Online $150 cash rewards bonus after making at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.
14.99% to 24.99% variable
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
$0
Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.
21.99% variable
$39
Help establish, strengthen - even rebuild your credit
16.74% to 24.74% variable
$0
20,000 online bonus points offer. Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.
14.74% to 24.74% variable
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$0
Online $150 cash rewards bonus after making at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.
14.74% to 24.74% variable
$79
20,000 bonus points offer. That's enough points to redeem for a trip to many of our over 500 destinations.
14.74% to 24.74% variable
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$0
1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and now at wholesale clubs and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card you must be at least 18 years old (or 21 if you’re a permanent resident of Puerto Rico).

When applying for the card, you’ll need to put down a security deposit. The minimum is $300 and the maximum is $4,900. Most likely, the amount you deposit will be your credit limit.

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

Information you’ll need:

  • Your full name and personal contact information
  • Your residential status and monthly housing payment
  • Your annual income, source of income and employment information
  • Your opening deposit and bank account information

How to apply for the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card

  1. Go to the Bank of America website and click Apply Now.
  2. Complete the application form with your name, address, contact information and total annual income. Specify your bank account information and the amount you want to deposit. Then review your application and submit it.

How likely is approval?

Secured credit cards are designed for those who are new to credit. They’re also offered to consumers with fair or even poor credit.

If your credit score is too low, you could be denied for a secured card. In this case, consider a secured credit card that doesn’t require a credit check.

How long will it take to be approved?

Because conditional approval is automated on the Bank of America website, you may get a decision within 60 seconds. In some cases, you’ll need to wait a few days to a few weeks to receive a response.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments. You can pay your card bill online — and enroll in autopay — at the Bank of America website.
  • Avoid paying interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 25 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
  • Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $38. Balance transfers, cash advances and foreign transactions also come with fees.
  • Customer service. If you have questions, call Bank of America at 800-732-9194, email using an online secure form, or connect on Twitter @BankofAmerica or on Facebook @BankofAmerica.

Bottom line

It’s relatively expensive, but the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card lets you build your credit score with timely payments. You’ll also have the opportunity to graduate to an unsecured card after 12 months.

Compare the BankAmericard Secured vs. Discover it Secured

Updated July 21st, 2018
Name Product Annual Fee Minimum Credit Limit APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
$39
$300
21.99% variable
Help establish, strengthen - even rebuild your credit
$0
$200
24.74% variable
2% Cashback at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus 1% cash back on all other credit card purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

Compare the BankAmericard Secured vs. Capital One Secured

Updated July 21st, 2018
Name Product Annual Fee Minimum Credit Limit APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
$39
$300
21.99% variable
Help establish, strengthen - even rebuild your credit
$0
$200
24.99% variable
Take control and build your credit with responsible use.

Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions

Kevin Joey Chen

Kevin Chen is a world-travelin', copy-writin', Game of Thrones-watchin' credit cards writer for finder.com. When he's not crunching the numbers on bonus points and comparing APRs, you can find him flying around the world in search of the perfect beer.

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