The BankAmericard® credit card lets new cardholders avoid paying interest charges on the balance of another credit card by transferring it to the BankAmericard.
This card features one of the longest introductory interest rates for new purchases andalike, so you can also use it to finance large or emergency expenses without breaking the bank.
You won't earn rewards on any purchases, though. As such, it's a good card to pair with ain order to earn a return on your spending.
If you do need to utilize a balance transfer to help, just be aware you'll need to pay a balance transfer fee to do so. The BankAmericard has a balance transfer fee of 3% ($10 minimum), which is the industry average among balance transfer cards. You'll also have to make any balance transfers within 60 days to qualify for the introductory interest offer.
In this article
- Introductory APR on balance transfers
- Introductory APR on purchases
- Other card perks
- Comparable cards
BankAmericard® credit card
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Introductory APR on balance transfers
The BankAmericard balance transfer offer can help you lessen the weight you might be feeling beneath mounting credit card debt.
Cardholders will have the chance toand pay it down at 0% introductory interest for 21 billing cycles (then 14.24% to 24.24% variable).
Twenty-one billing cycles is essentially 21 months, so you'll have a solid chunk of time to get the balance down to zero. Again, just keep in mind that you'll need to make any balance transfers during the first 60 days of account opening in order to qualify for the introductory offer.
Once you've transferred over a balance, it's a good idea toto ensure you can pay the balance down in time. To figure out how much you should pay each month, divide the transferred balance by the number of months (or billing cycles) you have to pay it down.
For example, if you transferred a balance of $5,000 to the BankAmericard, you would need to pay approximately $239 (5,000/21) monthly to get the balance down in time. However, consider paying even more than that each month, if your finances allow, to really be sure you can get the balance paid off before the standard APR takes effect.
Keep in mind that once you transfer a balance and begin to pay it off, making new purchases on the card will still cause your statement balance to go up. So, if you do plan to use the BankAmericard for new purchases following a balance transfer, just remember you'll need to calculate any new balances into your monthly payments.
Why use a balance transfer?
A balance transfer is a good way to get rid of credit card debt quickly and avoid interest charges by doing so.
You can pay your balance down faster by applying any cash you would've normally used for interest charges toward the transferred balance. Your bank account -- and your credit scores -- will thank you in the long run.
Lowering your credit utilization (the percentage of your overall credit you're using) will have a positive impact on your credit score. Basically, by lowering your credit card debt, you'll also lower your credit utilization, and your credit score will be all the better for it.
Is paying the balance transfer fee worth it?
The short answer is yes. Paying a balance transfer fee will be less expensive than paying interest charges on a credit card balance in the long run.
For example, a $5,000 balance on another credit card accruing interest at an APR of 21% (nearly the national 2022 average according to LendingTree), with a 2% minimum payment, would take over 70 years to pay off, and cost you $30,797.92 in interest charges. That means that after seven decades of just paying the minimum monthly payment, you'd have spent over $30,000.
Paying a one-time balance transfer fee (in this case, 3% or $10 minimum) for a balance of $5,000 will be dramatically less. 3% of $5,000 is a measly $150. Spending a total of $5,150 over 21 billing cycles (a little under two years) is far more attractive than paying $30,000 over 70 years.
Introductory APR on purchases
In addition to an introductory offer for balance transfers, the BankAmericard offers cardholders an intro 0% APR offer for new purchases for 21 billing cycles (then 14.24% to 24.24% variable). That means you can make any planned, large purchase and pay it down without accruing interest.
However, this would somewhat complicate using the card for a balance transfer, as it would take longer to pay down a transferred balance if you're regularly adding to it. The BankAmericard also doesn't feature any rewards, which means you'd miss out on any kind of return on your spending.
Other card perks
Outside of its two introductory offer periods, the BankAmericard doesn't have much to offer its cardholders. There are no rewards or impressive perks, so if you're looking for a credit card to use for something other than a balance transfer, consider looking elsewhere.
That said, it does offer cardholders the ability to monitor their FICO credit score from their TransUnion credit reports, as well as your standard fraud and overdraft protections. But once the card's introductory APR promotions end, it doesn't have much use.
While the BankAmericard is a good choice for a balance transfer credit card, it's not the only option available.
Citi Simplicity® Card
Similar to the BankAmericard, the City Simplicity's primary function is to act as temporary relief from high-interest credit cards. Cardholders will have 21 months to pay down a balance at 0% introductory interest (then 16.99% to 26.99% variable APR). Balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening. The card also offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months (then 16.99% to 26.99% variable APR).
Just be aware it has a higher balance transfer fee than the BankAmericard. The Simplicity's fee is 5% or a $5 minimum, which is one of the higher fees out there. Other than that, it's fairly similar to the BankAmericard, offering no rewards or many other perks. If you already have a relationship with Citi and need to utilize a balance transfer, perhaps this is the card for you.
For more information, see our full review of the.
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card is another good balance transfer card you could choose. Cardholders will get 20 billing cycles to pay down a balance transfer and purchases at 0% introductory interest before the standard variable APR of 17.49% to 27.49% applies. You'll need to make any balance transfers within 60 days of account opening and pay a 3% ($5 minimum) balance transfer fee.
You won't get any rewards, but unlike the BankAmericard, cardholders can get up to $1,200 in annual coverage against damage or theft for their cell phone, so long as they pay their phone bill with the Platinum Card.
While you'll have one billing cycle less to pay off a transferred balance, the Platinum Card still presents a good option for people looking to mitigate some of their credit card debt.
You can read more about thefor additional information.
Can you use a balance transfer credit card for new purchases?
You can still use a credit card that you've transferred a balance to for new purchases. However, you'll need to then cover both the cost of the transferred balance and the cost of any new purchases. It's best to pair a balance transfer card with a rewards credit card that doesn't have an annual fee. That way, you can use the balance transfer card to pay down a debt faster, and use the other card for new purchases.
Should I close a balance transfer card after paying down a transferred balance?
While you could close the credit card after you've paid off the transferred balance, that's not always the best move. The age of credit accounts and your overall available credit both contribute to healthy credit scores, meaning your credit scores will suffer should the card be closed. If the card doesn't carry an annual fee, then there isn't much reason to cancel the card. Issuers may even periodically reach out with another intro balance transfer offer following responsible use with the card.
Despite most balance transfer cards not offering any rewards, your overall financial health will be better off by keeping the card open even after you've completed a balance transfer.
Is it worth paying a balance transfer fee?
The answer is yes. It depends on the size of the fee and the balance, but more often than not paying a one-time fee will be less expensive than the money you'd spend on interest over time.
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