Note: The BankAmericard Credit Card is no longer available to new applicants. The information presented below is accurate as of April 2020.
The Verdict: The BankAmericard® credit card is a very good tool for avoiding interest on credit card debt, whether you’re planning a big purchase or need a way to reduce the cost of an existing balance. The stars of the show are BankAmericard’s $0 annual fee and its 0% introductory APRs, which apply to purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles. If you transfer a balance, you just have to do so within 60 days of opening an account to get that rate.
Those features compare favorably to most competing offers. The average 0% purchase APR lasts for about 10.88 months. And the average 0% balance transfer deal gives you about 12.41 months. But that is not to say BankAmericard’s financing offer is flawless. The most important imperfection for folks with expensive debt is the card’s 3% balance transfer fee. Although this is the average for a balance transfer credit card, it’s a distinguishing factor between the BankAmericard credit card and its biggest competitors.
The BankAmericard credit card also requires excellent credit for approval, which obviously disqualifies many potential applicants. BankAmericard’s lack of rewards doesn’t increase its popularity, either, though it is common among elite 0% credit cards.
Continue reading below for more information that will help you decide whether or not to apply for the BankAmericard credit card.
- 0% Balance Transfer APR: You’ll get this intro rate, which lasts for the first 15 billing cycles your account is open, if you initiate a balance transfer within 60 days of being approved. The average balance transfer credit card offers 0% for nearly 12.41 months, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report. So the BankAmericard credit card is ahead of the game. Having a long intro period is crucial because most 0% credit cards have high regular interest rates.
- 0% Purchase APR: This rate lasts for your account’s first 15 billing cycles. That gives you an extra half-year without interest compared to the average card offering 0% purchases.
- No Annual Fee: This is a standard feature among 0% credit cards, so it probably won’t be a deciding factor in your comparison shopping. But there’s nothing wrong with saving about $19.49 per year. That’s how much cheaper the BankAmericard credit card is than the average credit card.
- 3% Balance Transfer Fee: The BankAmericard credit card would be a truly elite balance transfer credit card if not for this fee, which can be no less than $10. The average balance transfer credit card also charges 3%.
- Excellent Credit Needed: The higher a credit card’s minimum credit score requirement is, the better it’s terms need to be. The people who are able to qualify can also get most other credit cards, after all. The requirement also makes most consumers ineligible.
- Very High Regular APR: The BankAmericard credit card’s regular APR could be anywhere from 12.99% - 22.99% Variable, depending on your creditworthiness. Some context is necessary to understand why that’s bad. You see, the average APR among credit cards for people with excellent credit is 13.03%. And you need excellent credit to get the BankAmericard. So you’re guaranteed to overpay on interest if you carry a balance from month to month after the card’s 0% intro period concludes. It’s just a question of how much. If you’re assigned a rate at the high end of BankAmericard’s advertised range, you’ll have a higher APR than even the average credit card for people with fair credit (23.43%).
Other Things to Consider
- 3% Foreign Transaction Fee: Although 35% of Americans do think travel is worth getting into debt for, it’s not the best idea to use a 0% credit card for travel purchases. You should use a rewards card and pay the bill in full every month. So the BankAmericard credit card’s 3% foreign fee probably wouldn’t affect you, anyway. But it would be better not to have to worry about it.
- No Penalty APR: This may sound like a big benefit, but there are a couple of important reasons why it’s not. First of all, you can still lose your 0% intro APR if you don’t make your minimum monthly payments on time while it’s in effect. In addition, the BankAmericard credit card’s regular APR can be nearly as high as the average credit card’s penalty APR (25.56%), anyway.
- Undisclosed Minimum Credit Limit: Unfortunately, you won’t know how big of a purchase or balance transfer you’ll be able to make because the BankAmericard does not list a minimum credit limit you’re guaranteed to get if approved. Some cards provide this information in their terms and conditions. But BankAmericard makes you wait until approval to find out.If you request a balance transfer when you apply, and the amount exceeds the limit you’re approved for, Bank of America may approve only part of it.