Best Bank of America Credit Card

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If you already have a relationship with a bank it makes sense to take a look at their credit card offerings first. They know you, trust you and can make a solid judgement. That extra degree of trust can also lead to a higher credit limit or lower interest rate.

They’re one of the big four banks (along with Citigroup, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo.) In fact, it’s the second largest bank in America, and serves all 50 states. Their stature allows Bank of America to offer a wide range of credit cards -- 21 in total. These include standalone cards, or cards partnered with companies like MLB, Alaska Airlines and Royal Caribbean.

These cards should be able to match whatever needs you have. Whether it be low intro APR on purchases or balance transfers, no foreign transaction fees, rewards cards, and whether you want a Mastercard or Visa. The range of cards on offer from Bank of America cover all of these needs.

BankAmericard

On Bank of America's home portal

750 - 850
Best for excellent credit

Highlight: 0% APR for 15 months
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    0% APR on purchases for 15 months
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    0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months
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    No balance transfer fee for first 60 days
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    No annual fee
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    No penalty APR for late payments

Intro APR

0%

Variable APR

13.49% - 23.49%

Annual Fee

$0

Intro BT Fee

$0

Why It's Good

The BankAmericard is designed for one thing -- to allow you to reduce your debt.

I wouldn't bother with the Bank of Americard for everyday spending, and you won’t get any rewards for using it. There are only really two sensible use cases. Firstly, to make a large purchase you want to pay off over a 15 month period. Or, to transfer over the balance from another credit card you’re looking to pay off over 15 months.

My view is this card is particularly suited towards the second option. You find a lot of cards offer a 0% introductory APR on a balance transfers for a period of time, but very few do so for fifteen months. Even fewer cards also add in the benefit of no fee on balance transfers. Just to be clear, you have to make sure to complete the balance transfer within 60 days of opening an account to ensure you're not charged the standard 3% on balance transfers.

So, it seems this card would be ideal for those looking to transfer their debt over from another credit card to pay off over 15 months and save on interest payments. This ties in nicely to the fact there's no penalty APR applied to late payments (although you will have to pay a late fee of $38.)

Bank of America Cash Rewards Card

On Bank of America's home portal

750 - 850
Best for excellent credit

Highlight:3% cash back on gas
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    3% cash back on gas
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    2% cash back at grocery stores
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    1% cash back on all other purchases
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    $0 annual fee
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    0% introductory APR for 12 months
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    $150 online cash rewards signup bonus

Intro APR

0%

Variable APR

14.49% - 25.49%

Annual Fee

$0

Cash Back

1% - 3%

Why It's Good

The Cash Rewards Credit Card from Bank of America is more of a general credit card. It combines rewards (in the form of cash back), with no annual fee, and a decent introductory APR offer.

Let’s start with the rewards. You get 3% cash back when you use the card to purchase gas, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. This makes the card ideal for everyday use. You’re getting something extra for your money when compared to using a debit card. 

Usually, it would make sense to pay the balance off at the end of each month. This way, you don't incur interest on your purchases. However, there's no interest for 12 months. So you don’t necessarily have to pay it off every month if you don’t want to. The card gives you options.

The 0% APR for 12 months also makes this card an option if you want to make a single large purchase. There's zero interest for 12 months, and you get rewards for your spending. It’s also worth noting the $150 cash rewards bonus for spending $500 within the first 90 days. Say you want to buy a lawn mower for $600. You can pay this off over 12 months at $50 per month. Meanwhile, you get $150 back in cash back as part of the introductory offer.

Or you might want to transfer over the balance from another card. This card gives you less time to pay off your balance than the BankAmericard though, and you have to pay a balance transfer fee of 3%. You’re also not eligible for the rewards cash back on balance transfers. So, in this case the BankAmericard seems to be the better option.

All in all, the Bank of America Cash Rewards Card seems to be be a good all round card. In fact, if you know you want a credit card but don’t know what you want to use it for, this could be a good option. For me though, it seems to be a great fit for families looking to get something back for their everyday spending.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Card

On Bank of America's home portal

700- 850
Best for good
to great credit

Highlight:20,000 bonus points signup offer
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    20,000 bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days
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    1.5 points for each dollar spent
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    No annual fee
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    No foreign transaction fees
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    0% APR on purchases for first 12 months
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    No blackout dates on rewards
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    No airline or hotel restrictions on rewards

Intro APR

0%

Variable APR

16.49% - 24.49%

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards

$1 = 1.5 points

Why It's Good

The Bank of America Travel Rewards card's name suggests this card is all about travel points or air miles. However, there are a few additional features that make this more than just about the points.

To start off with, there's the introductory APR offer. It's 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months. Note that this only applies to purchases and not to balance transfers. The fact you don't need to pay off your balance immediately makes it easier to earn the 20,000 bonus points available as part of the introductory offer. To get these you have to make $1,000 worth of purchases within 90 days of opening your account. While you may not do this as standard, the fact you can pay off that $1,000 over a longer period of time without accruing interest makes the bonus criteria easier to achieve. These points can be redeemed as a $200 statement credit to be used on travel.

When it comes to travel rewards, you get 1.5 points for every dollar you spend. When you work out the rewards points in terms of pure cash back, you find out that you're getting 1.5% cash back to put towards travel. When you do come to redeem these points there is more flexibility than you'll find with a lot of rewards schemes. The eligible purchases are stated as 'flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees' on the Bank of America website.

Overall, this card is clearly aimed at those who travel a lot. The issue here is there are cards out there that give you larger rewards. This is offset somewhat by the flexibility of the rewards program. 

BankAmericard Secured

On Bank of America's home portal

300 - 640
Best for poor credit

Highlight: Build up from a bad credit rating
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    Help build your credit score
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    Deposit is refundable if your credit rating improves
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    Access to learning material about money management

Intro APR

None

Variable APR

21.74%

Annual Fee

$39

Min. Deposit

$300

Why It's Good

Once you get yourself in a situation where you have a bad credit rating it can be hard to dig yourself out the whole you’ve created. The BankAmericard gives you the chance to do just that. However, Bank of America want their pound of flesh. Sure, they want you to improve your credit score, but they don’t trust you to improve your score.

They require you to pay a security deposit. This can be anything from $300 to $4,900. The amount you pay in will go a long way towards determining your credit limit. They’ll take this amount, then consider your income and other debts to try to understand what they believe is your ability to repay the debt. After considering all this information, they’ll let you know what your credit limit is.

The bank will check your account now and again. They’ll assess your credit credit, how it has improved and take a deeper look into how you have used the credit card to determine whether or not they will return your deposit. This is completely at the discretion of the bank. There is no ‘if you do x, we’ll return your deposit.’

Overall, this card isn’t a particularly attractive option. There’s no cash back, no introductory APR, an annual fee and you have to give them a chunk of cash upfront. But, if you are looking to improve your bad credit rating, and being rejected elsewhere this card is clearly worth looking into.

BankAmericard for Students

On Bank of America's home portal

300 - 640
Best for limited credit

Highlight: 0% APR for 15 months
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    0% APR on purchases for 15 months
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    0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months
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    Fixed payment date each month
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    Access to money management educational materials

Intro APR

0%

Variable APR

13.49% - 23.49%

Annual Fee

$0

Intro BT Fee

$0

Why It's Good

Students are poor (unless they’re rich.) Everywhere from Chicago to Casablanca. Students just don’t have cash to spare. They're also young for the most part. Being young translates into having a limited credit history This can make it hard for students to access additional funds they should be able to pay off after graduating and landing their dream job.

The BankAmericard for Students gives them access to the same features and benefits as the full BankAmericard, but without the credit rating to deserve it. The only real difference is the fixed payment date each month. This is designed to make it easier for students (who are famously disorganized) to manage their money.

So, students get access to the introductory APR of 0% for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. This could be great for a student if they can get a credit limit high enough to actually impact their lives.

As with the full BankAmericard, the main use cases are balance transfers or large purchases. But, in the case of a student, you can see how they would use this for everyday spending, or even in case of emergency when they run out of cash at the end of the month.

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