Bank of America Credit Cards: How to Qualify and Explore Your Options

FT Contributor  | 

If you’re in the market for a new credit card, it’s important to learn about the credit card and its terms, conditions, perks, and rewards before signing up. There are numerous credit card options offered through different banks and retailers.

By reviewing your options and figuring out which benefits are important to you, it’s possible to find the best credit card that can help you attain your financial goals. Bank of America offers several credit card options with different requirements, benefits, terms, and characteristics. Use this guide to learn more about these credit cards so you can identify the right choice for you.

Types and Benefits of Bank of America Credit Cards

Cash Rewards

If you qualify for the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card, you’ll enjoy a 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR) for your first 15 statement closing dates when you open an account, as well as no annual fee. After this introductory period, the APR on your financed purchases is between 15.49% and 25.49%, depending on the current prime rate.

If you’re late making your payment, your financed purchases are subject to an APR up to 29.99%, based on your credit score. Keep in mind, if you don’t completely pay off your credit card balance for the month, your current balance is subject to a minimum interest charge of $1.50. Additional charges associated with the Cash Rewards card include the following:

  • Late payment: Up to $39;
  • Returned payment: Up to $28;
  • Balance transfer: $10 or 3% of the amount of the transaction, whichever is greater;
  • Purchase of wire transfer from non-financial institution:  $10 or 5% of the amount of the transaction, whichever is greater;
  • Foreign transaction: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount for the transaction in addition to any other applicable fees.

Check cashing or direct deposit cash advances are subject to either a $10 fee or 3% of the transaction amount, whichever is greater. An ATM, over-the-counter, cash equivalent, or same-day online cash advance is subject to a $10 fee or 5% of the transaction amount, whichever is greater.

Travel Rewards

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card offers a 0% APR introductory period for your first 12 statements after you open an account, and no annual fee. At the close of this introductory period, your financed purchases are subject to an APR between 16.49% and 24.49%, based on how high your credit score is when you apply.

An APR between 19.49% and 26.49% applies to direct deposit and check cashing advances, with a 26.49% APR for bank cash advances.

Late and returned payment, minimum interest, balance transfer, and wire transfer fees for the Travel Rewards card are the same as they are for the Cash Rewards card. However, the Travel Rewards card charges no foreign transaction fees.

Premium Rewards

The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card doesn’t offer an interest-free introductory period and charges a $95 annual fee. Other charges are similar to the Travel and Cash Rewards cards, including the late and returned payment penalty fees, transaction fees, and minimum interest charge. Additional fees include the following:

  • Purchase and balance transfer APR: 17.49% to 24.49%;
  • Direct deposit and check cash advance APR: 20.49% to 26.49%;
  • Bank cash advance APR: 26.49%.

BankAmericard

With the Bank of America BankAmericard, cardholders are offered a 0% introductory APR period for their first 18 statement closing dates, no penalty APR, and no annual fee. The APR for purchases and balance transfers after the introductory period is 14.49% to 24.49%, depending on the prime rate.

Fees for late and returned penalty payments, cash advances, and minimum interest are the same as the Cash Rewards card. If you enroll in the BankAmericard foreign transaction overdraft protection cash advance program, each transaction costs $12 and the foreign transaction fee is 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars.

Bank of America Credit Cards Cashback Match

Most Bank of America credit cards are associated with their own unique cashback rewards, which you may redeem for balance credit, travel discounts, or other rewards.

  • Cash Rewards: $200 rewards bonus when you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days, 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back on groceries, and 1% back on all other purchases.
  • Travel Rewards: 25,000 bonus points when you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days and an additional 1.5 travel points for each dollar spent.
  • Premium Rewards: 50,000 bonus points when you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days, two points for every dollar spent on travel and dining, and 1.5 points earned for every dollar spent on other purchases.

The BankAmericard doesn’t offer a cashback rewards program.

Bank of America Credit Cards Minimum Credit Score

Credit score requirements for each type of Bank of America credit card are similar. Generally, your credit score must be considered “good” to qualify, or at least 670. The average credit score in the U.S. is 703, which is also considered “good.”

Bank of America Credit Cards Credit Limit

The credit limit associated with your Bank of America credit card depends on your credit score and income. The company periodically reviews your card usage habits and may increase or decrease your credit limit based on your actions.

How to Apply for Bank of America Credit Cards

You may apply for a Bank of America credit card online or by mail. You must provide your contact information and agree to a credit check. Once the bank processes your credit card application and you’re approved, you’ll receive your card in the mail. After you activate your card, you can use it to make purchases, cash advances, or balance transfers.

Using Bank of America Credit Cards in Your Credit Strategy

Adding a Bank of America card to your credit strategy can help build your credit history and give you access to rewards and benefits. However, to be a responsible borrower, you must:

  • Stay under your credit limit.
  • Pay attention to the high APR associated with your account.
  • Pay off your balance as soon as possible.
  • Take advantage of rewards programs.

There are many perks to being a Bank of America credit cardholder. As long as you follow the principles of responsible borrowing, you can build your credit while utilizing the company’s generous rewards program and other cardholder benefits.


Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/