BankAmericard Review: An Ideal Choice for Paying Down Debt

This card doesn't earn rewards, but when you're trying to rid yourself of high-interest debt, that's not your main concern. Minimizing your costs is.

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THIS PAGE MAY BE OUT OF DATE

This page includes information about one or more products not currently available on NerdWallet:

  • Discover it® Balance Transfer (No longer in market)

  • Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

  • Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • BankAmericard® credit card

As a result, offers described on this page may be out of date. See our NerdWallet’s Best Credit Cards page for updated offers.

Our Take

4.7

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: It's a solid, low-cost tool to help you whittle down debt. Just be aware that there's not a whole lot of value to be had once the 0% intro APR period ends.

BankAmericard® Credit Card

BankAmericard® credit card

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

14.49% - 24.49% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 18 billing cycles and 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers

Cons

  • No rewards

Alternate Pick: 0% plus cash back

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

1.5% cash back on purchases

This card offers an intro APR of 0% APR for 15 months on purchases, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR. The balance transfer fee is 3%. But because it earns rewards, it holds value long after that 0% window closes.

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Full Review

The BankAmericard® credit card rightfully holds a spot among balance-transfer royalty.

It's one of the few cards available that can allow you to move debt and pay it down over time without a penny in interest or (if you apply through Bank of America®) even fees. It's also a decent choice for financing a large purchase upfront.

But the card's value rests entirely on its lengthy 0% introductory APR period. Beyond that, it lacks any of the flourishes you might be seeking in a credit card, such as rewards or even side perks. And with an ongoing APR that's not especially low, that means there's little incentive to keep using it after the promotional APR expires.

BankAmericard® credit card: Basics

  • Card type: Balance transfer.

  • Annual fee: $0.

  • Welcome bonus: None.

  • Rewards: None.

  • Interest rate: 0% APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 14.49% - 24.49% Variable APR.

  • Balance transfer fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

Nerd tip: If you apply for this card directly through Bank of America®, the balance transfer fee is $0 for the first 60 days your account is open, and the introductory 0% APR period lasts for 15 billing cycles. That offer is available only through Bank of America® and not through partner sites like NerdWallet.

  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%.

Why you might want the BankAmericard® credit card

It can help you out of debt for little cost

The BankAmericard® credit card can net you a bunch of zeroes, in a good way. The annual fee is $0. You get an introductory 0% APR period. And there's even a way for your balance transfer fee to be $0, if you apply for the card directly through Bank of America®. That kind of triple threat is hard to find in a balance transfer card and can save you a lot as you pay down debt.

It doesn't charge a penalty APR

With the BankAmericard® credit card, your interest rate won’t go through the roof after a late payment, as the card doesn't charge a penalty APR. You’ll still have to pay a steep late fee if you miss a payment, though. And if you’re more than 30 days late, your credit could take a hit. But the lack of penalty APR can give you some peace of mind, and potentially save you some money.

Why you might want a different card

It doesn't earn rewards

When you're paying down debt, rewards shouldn't be your primary concern. It's more important to minimize your costs. Even so, it is possible to find rewards-earning cards with no annual fee that also offer 0% intro APR periods on both purchases and balance transfers.

Nerd tip: Consumers have often confused the various Bank of America® consumer credit cards. The BankAmericard® credit card, reviewed here, is different from the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card and the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, both of which also had "BankAmericard" in their names until August 2017. These other cards offer rewards but aren’t as valuable for balance transfers.

These no-fee cards have value long after their 0% rates expire:

  • The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card earns 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, plus offers a great welcome bonus. It has an APR of 0% APR for 15 months on purchases, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR. The card's balance transfer fee is 3%.

  • The Discover it® Balance Transfer (No longer in market) has an intro APR of 0% on Purchases for 6 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR. This card earns 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter (after you activate those categories). All other purchases earn 1% back. Bonus categories in the past have included things like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and wholesale clubs. The introductory balance transfer fee is 3%, then up to 5% for future balance transfers (see terms).

You can find a longer 0% period for transfers

If 18 billing cycles isn't enough time for you to pay down your debt, consider the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever. It comes with an intro APR of 0% on Purchases for 12 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR. The balance transfer fee is 5% of the transfer or $5, whichever is greater.

To see how these cards compare with other balance transfer credit card options, see NerdWallet's roundup of top rated credit cards.

Is the BankAmericard® credit card right for you?

The BankAmericard® credit card is a terrific option for anyone looking to zap debt. But if you're looking for a card that you can continue using after you tackle that large balance, you have alternatives, including ones that earn rewards.

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