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BankAmericard Secured Credit Card: Securely build your credit

The BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card can help improve your credit score through responsible use.

The BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card* is a secured credit card with no annual fee and few frills. As a secured credit card, it can help establish or rebuild credit, with responsible use, in exchange for a security deposit. If you're looking for a straightforward credit card to build your credit, this card could be a solid fit -- but don't expect any rewards or perks.

In this article

BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card

BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card

3.5/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR26.24% Variable
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Recommended Credit N/A
Reward RatesN/A
Annual FeeNone
Additional Details
Balance Transfer APR26.24% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Late Payment Fee See Terms
Foreign Transaction Fees 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transaction

Security deposit

Like other secured credit cards, the BankAmericard Secured Credit Card requires a security deposit. The security deposit acts as an assurance for the bank that you will make the required payments. If you don't make your payments as agreed, the bank can draw from the security deposit. 

The security deposit for this card can range from $200 to $5,000, with your chosen deposit determining your credit limit

For example, if you put down $350, you can spend up to $350 at a time on your card. The BankAmericard Secured card's minimum deposit is in line with what most secured cards offer, but its maximum deposit is higher than many competitors. 

If you want a higher credit limit and can put up the deposit to match, this card may be a good choice. But even if your credit limit is low, you can still keep a low credit utilization ratio by paying off your card multiple times a month.

Bank of America will periodically review your account and may decide to return your security deposit if you practice responsible credit habits. Make sure to pay your bill on time and in full each month.

If you pay off your balance and close your credit card, Bank of America will return your security deposit within two billing cycles plus 10 days. However, know that closing a credit card -- especially if it's your oldest one -- can hurt your credit score. 

Additional card perks

The BankAmericard Secured Credit Card doesn't offer rewards or a welcome bonus, but it does have some helpful perks. 

  • FICO score for free: You can receive monthly credit score updates for free through your account, which can be helpful to track if you're building your credit.
  • Overdraft protection: With the Balance Connect feature, you can protect your eligible Bank of America checking account from overdraft fees, declined transactions and returned checks by linking your checking account to your BankAmericard Secured credit card. If you overdraft your checking account, Bank of America will automatically transfer funds from your credit card to cover the overdraft. Although there are no transfer fees, this type of transaction will be coded as a bank cash advance, which accrues interest and can get expensive quickly. Experts don't recommend using cash advances due to the high costs. 

Fees

Like most of the best secured credit cards, the BankAmericard Secured card has no annual fee. 

However, it does feature the standard array of fees including a late payment fee, a balance transfer fee and a cash advance fee. So if you intend on paying late, transferring a balance or taking a cash advance, this isn't the card for you. If you practice good credit habits like paying your bills on time, paying your full statement balance every month and not taking cash advances, these fees won't affect you.

Likewise, this is not a great credit card for traveling abroad. Foreign transaction fees will cost you 3% of every transaction. If you're planning an overseas trip, we recommend a card with no foreign transaction fees, such as the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card*.

Alternative cards

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is another secured card with simple features and few frills. Like the BankAmericard Secured card, this card has no annual fee.  Compared to the BankAmericard Secured card, the Capital One Platinum Secured card offers the option for lower deposit amounts starting as low as $49. The maximum deposit (and credit line) amount is also lower, at $1,000 compared to the BankAmericard Secured card's $5,000 limit. With responsible use, you may be eligible to get your deposit back and upgrade your card to an unsecured Capital One Platinum Credit Card*. This card doesn't have any foreign transaction fees, making it a good secured option for international travelers. 

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Most secured credit cards are meant for building or rebuilding credit, not earning rewards, but the Discover it® Secured Credit Card* offers the best of both worlds. The card has no annual fee and offers a credit limit range of $200 to $2,500, with your credit limit being equal to your security deposit amount. If you make on-time payments for six consecutive billing cycles and remain "in good status" on all your credit accounts (whether they're with Discover or another lender), Discover will refund your security deposit. The Discover it Secured Credit Card earns 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1%) and 1% back on everything else. Discover will also match all the cash back rewards you've earned in the first year at the end of your first year, providing a nice earnings boost.

You can learn more in our Discover it Secured Credit Card review.

FAQs

Is a secured credit card a good idea?

A secured credit card won't necessarily hurt your credit (as long as you pay off your balances on time and in full) but it may not be the best option for everyone. A secured credit card generally has lower spending limits and requires a security deposit, which you may or may not be able to get back without closing your account. Secured credit cards typically don't offer as many rewards or benefits as regular credit cards. Secured credit cards are best used to help consumers with no credit history or low credit scores build credit. 

Do secured credit cards really build credit?

Yes, secured credit cards can help you build credit. If you follow general credit building principles with a secured credit card, it can be a great tool to help boost your credit score. Pay your balance off on time and in full every month and don't spend up to the maximum credit limit. It's generally good practice to use less than 30% of your available credit.

What is the difference between a secured credit card and an unsecured credit card?

Unsecured credit cards don't require a security deposit and are generally only available to those with fair or good credit. Secured credit cards require a security deposit but are more likely to approve applicants with poor or no credit, and are most helpful for individuals who need to build credit. 

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

*All information about the BankAmericard Secured Credit Card, Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, Discover it Secured Credit Card and the Capital One Platinum Credit Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.