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Solid balance transfer option with sign-up bonus: BankAmericard credit card review

Aug. 30, 2021
6 min read
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BankAmericard® credit card overview

The BankAmericard® credit card comes with a promising financing offer, giving you a chance to pay off your debt with one of the longest introductory APR rates on purchases and balance transfers we've seen. While this card doesn't offer any ongoing rewards, it does include a sign-up bonus. Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐

*Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

Life comes at you with all sorts of surprises. If you're dealing with debt due to unexpected expenses, there are tools to get you back on the right track, including the BankAmericard. While the BankAmericard isn't the flashiest credit card out there, it comes with features that can help you zero out your debt over time. Let's take a look at who would most benefit from this card and other card options that may also be worth considering.

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Who is this card for?

If your priority is to reduce debt, a credit card with the right financing tools is a smart move to consider. (Photo by Anchiy/Getty Images)

The BankAmericard is one of the most forgiving cards on the market. While it doesn't entice new applicants with the opportunity to earn points and miles or even cash-back rewards, this card is geared to an entirely different audience: Consumers with current credit card debt or who have a large upcoming purchase that they may not be able to pay off immediately.

Interest fees can add up quickly if you're unable to pay off your monthly credit card statements. But by transferring your debt over to the BankAmericard, you're given a second chance of sorts. You'll have additional time to focus on paying off your debt without accruing any interest. Plus, there's no penalty APR on this card, meaning a late payment won't cause your interest rate to shoot up.

Related: Are you paying enough attention to your credit card's APR?

Sign-up bonus

Historically, the BankAmericard didn't come with a sign-up bonus. Currently, however, new applicants get a longer intro period. 0% introductory APR for 21 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After that, 14.24%-24.24% variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers. While this offer won't make any of the top charts, most cards that focus on refinancing typically don't come with any sign-up bonuses in the first place. This should be a relatively achievable intro offer for most consumers that will help add valuable cash back into your pocket.

Main benefits and perks

Let's go over the ways that the BankAmericard can help you avoid any unwanted interest fees:

  • Intro APR: 0% introductory APR for 21 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days.
  • No penalty APR: Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR).
  • No annual fee

The 0% introductory APR on purchases is beneficial for consumers who have an upcoming purchase they may not be able to pay for completely within a single statement period. If you're using this card to reduce existing credit card debt, you'll also enjoy an 0% introductory APR for 21 billing cycle and on balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening over the same period. After that, a 14.24%-24.24% variable APR will apply. Note that a balance transfer fee of 3% of each transaction with a minimum of $10 will apply, but that might be well worth it if you're able to avoid interest fees on a large balance with the BankAmericard.

Plus, if you make a late payment, there's no penalty APR that will immediately raise your ongoing APR.

While you're working on financing (or refinancing) your debt, you'll have access to Bank of America's suite of online banking features, free FICO score tool and access to credit education topics.

Related: Do balance transfers hurt your credit score?

Which cards compete with the Bank Americard?

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers a 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening, then a variable APR of 16.74% – 26.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within the first four months of account opening.

For balance transfers, the Citi Diamond Preferred has a leg-up since you'll lock in 0% interest for balance transfers with roughly double the time (four months compared to 60 days) as the BankAmericard. However, its variable APR is higher compared to the BankAmericard, so you want to make sure that you can pay off your interest by the end of the introductory APR period. It comes with a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

There's no annual fee on the Citi Diamond Preferred.

Related: Review of the Citi Diamond Preferred card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The Chase Slate Edge credit card may be a better fit for those focused on balance transfers to reduce existing debt. Cardholders will enjoy a 0% introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening (then a variable APR of 17.24% to 25.99% applies).

There's also a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days from account opening (then $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater thereafter). However, this 18-month period in which you can make balance transfers and apply the introductory financing is much longer than the BankAmericard, which only offers the introductory rate on balance transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening.

You also won't pay an annual fee on this card.

Related: Review of the Chase Slate Edge credit card

Bottom line

The BankAmericard is a solid option thanks to its extended introductory APR offer and sign-up bonus. If reducing debt is your primary concern, this card is here to help you strategize your credit game plan.

Official application link: BankAmericard credit card with $100 online cash bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening.

Updated on 7/6/22.

Featured image by (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
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Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
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Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
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Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees