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 cards in this category—but you won’t get special benefits or perks, either. 

BankAmericard Secured Credit Card

overall rating
3.6
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 (%) 25.24% variable
  • Annual Fee No Annual Fee
  • Minimum Deposit to Activate $300
  • Allows upgrade to unsecured card No
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.0
for Rewards
1.9
for Credit
3.5

Top Rated For

  • Credit Cards for No Credit
  • Secured Credit Cards

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

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

For those who 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, no foreign transaction fee, or one-time late payment fee forgiveness that other secured cards offer. 

Like most secured cards, it 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

  • High ongoing APR

  • No rewards

  • Foreign transaction fee

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.

Since the BankAmericard Secured doesn’t offer rewards, its biggest benefits are that it doesn’t charge an annual fee, and that it automatically evaluates whether you’re ready to upgrade to an unsecured card.

Cons Explained

  • 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 hefty interest charges as a result of this card’s high APR is another reason to avoid carrying a balance.
  • No rewards: Some secured credit cards let you earn rewards like cash back, or if they don’t, they offer benefits like the option to make a low security deposit. The BankAmericard Secured isn’t one of them. It’s simply a tool for building credit, sans the perks. 
  • Foreign transaction fee: If you want the flexibility to use a credit card while traveling abroad, a secured card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees would be a better bet.

Customer Experience

Bank of America earned an average rating in J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Online Credit Card Satisfaction Study, although its mobile app and online banking experience have been certified by J.D. Power for providing "An Outstanding Customer Experience."

Security Features 

The BankAmericard Secured offers most 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, it does charge foreign transaction fees. Other than that, its fees are in line with industry standards.

For BankAmericard Secured Credit Card

Compare This Card

See how this card stacks up to the competition
CURRENT CARD
BankAmericard Secured Credit Card
overall rating
3.6
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 (%) 25.24% variable
  • Annual Fee No Annual Fee
  • Minimum Deposit to Activate $300
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    350 579
    580 669
    670 739
    740 799
    800 850
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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.