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BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card review

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While this card can help you graduate, the high cost may cut into its value.

finder.com’s rating: 4.2 / 5

★★★★★

  • 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.

$0

Annual fee

22.99%

Purchase APR (variable)

300

Recommended credit score

Details

Product NameBankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
Card typeMastercard
Annual fee$0
Purchase APR22.99% variable
Balance transfer APR22.99% variable
Balance transfer fee$10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash advance rate25.99% variable
Cash advance fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction fee3% of the transaction value
Interest free periodUp to 25 days
Late payment feeUp to $40
Returned payment feeUp to $29
Additional cardholder fee$0

Expert review

Kevin Joey Chen

Review by


Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.

Expert review

The market for secured credit cards is surprisingly competitive. Perhaps equally surprising, the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card isn’t one of the top contenders. The BankAmericard requires a $300 security deposit, no annual fee, and a rather high 22.99% variable purchase APR.

The card’s $300 minimum security deposit is fairly high compared to some secured cards. For example, you can pick up the Citi® Secured Mastercard® for a $200 deposit, or the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® for deposit of as low as a $49. The card’s APR is also higher than comparable secured cards on the market.

The BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card does have one highlight: You may be able to upgrade it to an unsecured card. Bank of America used to review your account for responsible use after 12 months, but some cardholders have mentioned the bank now reviews accounts much sooner. If you qualify, you’ll get your security deposit back while continuing to use your card.

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.

Card benefits

  • Deposit return.

    After you’ve used the card several 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.

  • FICO score access.

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

  • No annual fee.

    You won’t pay an annual fee to use this card.

What to watch out for

  • $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 $40.

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

    Cash advances and balance transfers accrue interest immediately.

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.

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

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 $40. 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.

Compare secured credit cards

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Starting at $200
17.39% variable
$35
300
Apply for this card with no credit check if you're new to credit or have bad credit.
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
Starting at $200
9.99% fixed
$48
300
No credit check is required for this secured card. Make a deposit of at least $200 to open this card and get a low 9.99% fixed APR on purchases.
Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
0% intro for the first 6 months (then 12.99% variable)
$49
300
A rare secured card with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, followed by 12.99% variable.
Self Visa® Credit Card
Starting at $100
21.74% variable
$25
300
Build your credit with a low minimum security deposit of $100 and no credit score required.
First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
13.99% variable
$39
300
No minimum credit score and no credit history required.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

The BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card lets you build your credit score with timely payments, though it can prove a bit expensive compared to other secured cards. If you’re looking for a card that helps you graduate to an unsecured card, though, this could be a good choice. Otherwise, check out some other strong secured credit card options.

Frequently asked questions

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