BankAmericard Secured Review

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The BankAmericard Secured credit card is designed to help those with poor credit or limited credit histories make improvements in their credit scores. You won’t pay an annual fee like you must for many other secured cards—but you won’t get special benefits or perks, either. 

BankAmericard Secured Credit Card

overall rating
3.2
BankAmericard Secured Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Minimum Deposit to Activate $300
Allows upgrade to unsecured card Yes
Pay deposit in installments No
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.1
for Fees
3.2
for Rewards
2.3
for Credit
5.0

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly See more cards
    Credit Builder

If you can’t qualify for an unsecured credit card, the BankAmericard Secured is a viable entry into the world of credit. Its credit qualifications are more lenient since you’re required to make a cash deposit. 

It’s a solid choice for a secured credit card if you don’t want to pay an annual fee, but you won’t find benefits like cash-back rewards, one-time late payment fee forgiveness, or a lack of foreign transaction fees, which other secured cards offer. 

Like most secured cards, the BankAmericard Secured reports your activity to the three credit bureaus, which can help you build positive payment history. Your goal should be to make small purchases with the card, then pay your bill in full and on time each month. Bank of America will keep tabs on your account, and eventually, you may qualify to have your security deposit returned and your account upgraded. 

Once you’re eligible for an upgrade to a traditional unsecured account, you may not want to stick with the BankAmericard. You’ll likely find one that can offer you more bang for your swipe.

Pros
  • No annual fee

  • Free FICO score, updated monthly

  • Automatic review for security deposit return

Cons
  • Relatively high minimum deposit requirement

  • No rewards

  • High ongoing APR

Pros Explained

  • No annual fee: Many secured cards charge an annual fee, which makes the BankAmericard Secured stand out. Since you’re already paying a security deposit, it’s nice to know that you don’t have to cough up any additional money to use this card.
  • Free FICO Score, updated monthly: Credit improvement is the name of the game for secured cardholders. Being able to track your progress by accessing your free FICO score—online or on the Bank of America mobile app—can be a great motivator, and a helpful tool. 
  • Automatic review for security deposit return: Bank of America will occasionally review your credit activity to see if you qualify to have your security deposit returned and get upgraded to an unsecured card. Not all secured credit cards offer this; in some cases, you must request an upgrade.

Cons Explained

  • Relatively high minimum deposit requirement: $300 is hefty, compared to what competitors require. Some of the best secured credit cards only require a $49 deposit, which may make them more accessible (though keep in mind that the higher your deposit, the higher your credit limit).
  • No rewards: Some secured credit cards let you earn rewards like cash back. The BankAmericard Secured isn’t one of them. It’s simply a tool for building credit, without the perks.
  • High ongoing APR: Your best bet is to pay off your balance in full each month—especially when you’re trying to build credit. But if you have to carry a balance, the interest rate you’ll pay is higher than the average APR for a secured card.

Customer Experience

Bank of America earned an average rating in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, although its credit card mobile app were ranked “better than most” in a separate J.D. Power study. The bank does offer 24/7 customer service.

Security Features 

The BankAmericard Secured offers security features that are standard in the industry, including the option to set up balance and due-date alerts via text or email, a $0 liability guarantee if fraudulent charges are made with the card, and 24/7 help with free card replacement if it’s lost or stolen. 

Unlike most other secured cards, though, the BankAmericard Secured does not let you lock or freeze your account from the website or mobile app if you lose it. 

BankAmericard Secured’s Fees

This card does not have an annual fee or penalty APR, meaning your APR won’t increase if you fall behind on payments. Unlike some secured cards, however, it does charge foreign transaction fees. Other than that, its fees are in line with industry standards.

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CURRENT CARD
BankAmericard Secured Credit Card
overall rating
3.2
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Minimum Deposit to Activate $300
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Bank of America. "BankAmericard Secured Credit Card." Accessed May 13, 2020. 

  2. J.D. Power. "Credit Card Rewards War Reaches Inflection Point as Competition Grows, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed May 13, 2020. 

  3. J.D. Power. "Feature Overload Strains Customer Satisfaction with Online Banking and Mobile Apps, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed May 13, 2020.

  4. Bank of America. "BankAmericard Secured Credit Card." Click "Security and Features." Accessed May 13, 2020. 

  5. Bank of America. "BankAmericard Secured Credit Card." Click on "Interest Rates & Fees Summary" tab, then "View complete list of rates and fees" link. Accessed May 13, 2020.