Update – The below offer is now EXPIRED.
When you find yourself struggling through credit card debt you have quite a few options.
You can stubbornly try to pay off the debt, little by little, eating the cost of the interest, or you can take the easier way out and consider a balance transfer card.
I know, getting a credit card to pay off another credit card – sounds crazy, right?
But there are many credit cards that are actually built to help your finances, not hurt them. The BankAmericard® Credit Card is just one of those cards made to get you out of debt fast.
- Best for – Debt-crushers seeking a small cash bonus.
- Intro offer / sign-up bonus – $100 statement credit online bonus for spending $1,000 within 90 days of account opening.
- Cash back – None.
- Intro APR – 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for transfers made in the first 60 days and 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases.
- Regular APR – See terms.
- Other perks and features – No penalty APR, free FICO® Score monitoring.
Let’s disassemble the BankAmericard® Credit Card, bit by bit. What are this card’s chief features, and how does it compare overall in the highly competitive landscape of debt-crushing credit cards?
The BankAmericard® Credit Card has no cash back rewards. That’s pretty typical for cards offering long intro APRs. These hardcore debt-crushing cards are designed to incentivize saving, not spending.
That being said, there are cards on the market offering up to 12 months of 0% APR and generous cash back rewards. So if you think you’ll need a year or less to pay off your debt, one of these would be the better option.
The BankAmericard® Credit Card offers a $100 statement credit online bonus for spending $1,000 within 90 days. That’s awesome.
It’s very uncommon for a balance transfer card to offer a statement bonus, and $100 is the equivalent of earning 1% cash back rewards on $10,000.
I also appreciate the low spending threshold to trigger it – just $1,000 within 90 days, which fits within most budgets.
Ah, the BankAmericard® Credit Card’s shining feature. 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days provides a lot of breathing room for anyone looking to crush and avoid debt. If interested in financing a large purchase, cardholders will enjoy 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases.
Granted, I’ve seen higher. A small handful of cards go to 21 months on balance transfers only – some even go to 21 months on both purchases and balance transfers.
The BankAmericard® Credit Card has an ongoing Variable APR that applies to purchases and balance transfers, which kicks in after the 0% intro rate ends.
The BankAmericard® Credit Card charges no annual fee. This is par for the course with balance transfer cards, since a BT card with a fee would attract fewer signups than a Game of Thrones Season 8 marathon.
Here’s a summary of the BankAmericard® Credit Card’s notable fees. You can (and should) check out the very latest terms & conditions on the banks website.
- Wire transfer fee – The greater of $10 or 5% of the transaction amount.
- Cash advance fee – The greater of $10 or 3% of the transaction amount.
- Balance transfer fee – Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
- Foreign transaction fee – 3%.
- Late payment penalty fee – $0 if your delinquent balance is below $100, $29 on the first occurrence, $40 for subsequent occurrences within 6 billing cycles of previous occurrence.
Two of those fees are worth calling out.
The balance transfer fee may look pretty typical – Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. – but this is actually competitively low for balance transfers. Most of the time you see 5%, and that 2% difference can mean a lot if you’re on a budget. For example, if you transfer $4,000 worth of old credit card debt, 2% is $80 instantly saved.
Second is the late payment penalty fee. Bank of America says “Up to $40,” which sounds punishing, but if you read the fine print it reveals that you won’t be fined for balances under $100 – and your first late fee is “just” $29. Still a pain, but again, competitively low.
Other perks and features
The BankAmericard® Credit Card embodies the phrase “that’s not all!”
To start, you’ll get all of the essentials you’d expect from a modern card from a big bank:
- $0 Fraud Liability.
- Contactless Chip Technology.
- Overdraft Protection.
- Digital Wallets Technology.
But you’ll also get some nice-to-haves like free FICO® Score monitoring, which includes tools to help you understand and improve your credit score.
The BankAmericard® Credit Card also charges no penalty APR. As the name implies, penalty APR is a “punishment” APR that triggers when you’re 60 days late on a payment. For example, your regular APR may be 12.99% – 22.99% variable, but if you’re two months late, your new APR may be 29.99%.
Worse still, some card issuers charge penalty APR for as long as the CARD Act allows: six months. Plus, even if you pay your outstanding balance, they won’t revert your APR back!
Penalty APR is pretty punishing on someone trying to minimize debt, so it’s no small gesture that Bank of America doesn’t charge it.
Finally, because the BankAmericard® Credit Card is a debt-crushing tool, it’s not going to include juicy lifestyle perks like Gold Status or airport lounge access. No balance transfer cards do, so this isn’t a competitive disadvantage.
Pros & cons
- Great intro APR — The intro isn’t that uncommon these days, but the BankAmericard® Credit Card offers this and more, which is generous.
- A debt-crushing card with a cash bonus — Case in point, this card offers a $100 statement credit as a signup bonus – exceedingly rare for this type of card.
- No penalty APR — Miss a payment for 60 days and most cards will charge you a new, higher interest rate for up to six months – even if you pay off that balance. The BankAmericard® Credit Card doesn’t.
- Low balance transfer fee — 5% is a typical balance transfer fee, but the BankAmericard® Credit Card charges 2% less.
- Late payment forgiveness on small balances — The BankAmericard® Credit Card won’t charge a late payment fee for balances below $100, which should bring relief to tight budgeters.
- No cash back rewards — An increasing number of debt-crushing cards are offering cash back rewards, albeit with shorter 0% APR periods.
- Not the absolute longest intro APR period on the market — Some cards offer 0% APR for as long as 21 months, so if you’re looking to maximize your no-interest period, your search doesn’t end with the BankAmericard® Credit Card.
- High credit requirement — Estimates vary from a minimum of 690 to 750 to qualify for the BankAmericard® Credit Card. If you’re under, you may need to rebuild your credit using a secured credit card first.
BankAmericard® credit card compared
Debt-crushing cards are an immensely competitive space right now. So how does the BankAmericard® credit card stack up?
|BankAmericard® credit card||Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card||Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer|
|Intro APR||0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for transfers made in the first 60 days||0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months||0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months|
|Bonus||$100 statement credit online bonus for spending $1,000 within 3 months||None||None|
|Cash rewards||None||None||2% total: 1% back on all purchases plus an additional 1% back when you pay for those purchases|
|Other notable perks||No penalty APR||Up to $600 worth of cell phone protection||Citi Entertainment® (discount/exclusive event access)|
Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card
Introduced in 2021, the aptly-named Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card sets the new benchmark for cards that help you consolidate and crush debt.
The card offers a mic-dropping 21 months of 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers, (after that the standard Variable APR applies) offering the maximum possible breathing room to anyone looking to get out of debt and/or finance a big purchase.
Unsurprisingly, the card offers zero rewards. It doesn’t have to; it’s designed to get you out of debt within 21 months and then be replaced. It does, however, offer $600 worth of cell phone protection against damage or theft sans a $25 deductible, which could be worth far more than 1% rewards.
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer isn’t really a balance transfer card; it’s a strong rewards card that happens to offer a 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers (after that an ongoing Variable APR applies).
It’s a curious mix to offer such a long BT period without 0% APR for purchases. This means you’ll be paying off your old balance and your new purchases simultaneously – which could be a lot – and if you miss a payment, you’re immediately hit by the regular APR.
But if you’re confident in your financial ability to pay off your old and new purchases each month (maybe you got a new job), the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is hugely rewarding. You’ll essentially get 2% cash back on everything – 1% back at the time of purchase, and 1% when you pay it off.
Should you get the BankAmericard® credit card?
BankAmericard® Credit Card is a good fit if you think you’ll need right around 18 months to get out of debt.
The timing of the intro APR period is important because you don’t want to go too high or too low.
- Too high, and you may find yourself sacrificing lucrative benefits like cash back or a signup bonus for an extended 0% APR period you never needed.
- Too low, and you may find yourself getting hammered by regular APR before you can pay off your debt – driving you further into debt and hurting your credit score.
The BankAmericard® Credit Card is a nice, right in the middle choice. You’ll get a stress-relieving 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days plus a generous $100 statement credit online bonus to accelerate your debt-crushing efforts.
If you don’t need the long intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 18 months, the BankAmericard® Credit Card is an easy pass. There are much, much more rewarding cards out there.
For example, if you just got a steady job out of college and need to pay off some credit card debt from school, you probably don’t need 0% APR on new purchases – just a balance transfer.
Conversely, if you’re temporarily between jobs and just want to avoid interest in the meantime, you may not need the entire 18 months to pay off your debt. A card with a slightly shorter 0% APR period, but better cash back rewards, might be a better fit.
Finally, the BankAmericard® Credit Card definitely isn’t a fit if you simply don’t have the credit score to qualify. Most reports indicate you need at least a 690. We can help you bump your numbers, and you may need a secured credit card in the meantime.
How to apply for the BankAmericard® Credit Card
The unofficial first step to applying for a BankAmericard® Credit Card is to make sure you have a 690 or higher credit score. You can check your current credit score at Credit Karma for free, and we can help you improve it if you’re short a few points.
I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but you really don’t want to get rejected for a credit card for having an inadequate credit score since it lowers your credit score even further.
Once you’re confident that you’ll qualify, head to the Bank of Americard’s official landing page.
Now, speaking as someone who looks at pages like these all day, Bank of America® does an admirable job of consolidating the fun stuff (perks) and the unfun stuff (interest and fees) all in one place.
You can click the tabs underneath the card’s photo to hop to the relevant section:
Even though this page is rich with info, it doesn’t tell the whole story. View a complete list of rates and fees to see if anything’s changed, and to confirm you’re still OK with the fine print.
When you’re ready to apply, click Apply Now!
The rest is pretty boilerplate stuff – and I like how Bank of America® puts it all on one page. You’ll enter your personal info, source of income and income level, etc. so Bank of America® can ensure you’re qualified for the card.
If you intend to initiate a balance transfer, be sure to check that box since you only have 60 days from the date of approval.
Once you fill in your information, you should expect an acceptance/denial from Bank of America® within 30 minutes. If accepted, your physical card should arrive within five to ten business days – and don’t forget to initiate your balance transfer.
The BankAmericard® Credit Card offers a nice mix of a lengthy intro APR period on balance transfers with a pinch of rewards – $100 to be exact. Plus, perks like zero Penalty APR and free FICO® Credit Score helps bolster this card’s status as a top-tier debt-crusher.