BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students Review
The BankAmericard Credit Card for Students provides a long 0% introductory APR but doesn’t have many other cardholder benefits. Instead, students are often better served with a college card that offers a rewards program.
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BankAmericard Credit Card for Students
BankAmericard Credit Card for Students
What we like:
Students looking to get their first credit card
|Intro Offer||0% APR for 15 billing cycles|
|Regular APR||15.24% – 25.24%|
- 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfer for 15 billing cycle
- Free FICO score and access to credit education tools
- No annual fee
- $0 liability and optional overdraft protection when you link an eligible checking account
- No rewards program
- Balance transfer fee of 3% (minimum $10)
- 3% foreign transaction fee
Recommended Credit Score
- Limited credit history
Is the BankAmericard Credit Card for Students a Good Option?
Although the BankAmericard Credit Card for Students offers a few great perks — including no annual fee and a 0% introductory APR for 15 months — most students can probably find a card that lets them earn rewards as they build credit.
In this review:
- Benefits of the BankAmericard for Students
- Downsides of the BankAmericard for Students
- How it Compares to Similar Cards
Benefits of the BankAmericard for Students
The BankAmericard has some advantages for young people looking for a simple student credit card that can help them work toward a good credit score. These card details include:
- No annual fee: Some cards charge a fee to be a cardmember. Although these fees can sometimes be worth it for high spenders or those who take advantage of the various perks those cards often come with, many students are better off with a no annual fee credit card.
- Easy qualification process: Student cards like this one are designed for young people who are still working on building credit and who don’t have the credit score necessary to qualify elsewhere.
- Long 0% APR period: This BoA student credit card offers a 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles, both for purchases and for balance transfers that are made within 60 days of account opening. (After the intro period, an ongoing APR of 15.24% to 25.24% applies. There is no penalty APR.)
- Credit-building tools: Student cardholders enjoy free access to both credit education tools and their FICO score so they can track their efforts to improve their score over time. (These tools are available online and via the mobile banking app.)
- Overdraft protection is available: If you have a Bank of America checking account, you can link your eligible account with your credit card to avoid overdraft fees if you spend more than you have available in your checking account. There is an added fee for this service, however.
Downsides of the BankAmericard for Students
Unfortunately, there are some downsides to watch out for with this card, including:
- No rewards program. Many cards, including other BoA student credit cards, allow you to earn cash back, miles, or points for spending.
- No signup bonus. It’s common for new cardholders to get some kind of bonus for signing up, such as cash back or extra points or miles. This card provides no bonus for opening a card.
- Balance transfer fees. Although the BankAmericard Credit Card for Students lets you transfer high-interest credit card debt, you have to pay 3% of the transferred amount with a minimum $10 fee. This makes the card less attractive as a balance transfer credit card, even with the 0% introductory APR.
- Late payment fee: If you miss a payment or are late in submitting it, you’ll be charged a late payment fee of up to $39.
- Foreign transaction fees. When you buy something and the transaction is processed in foreign currency or if you shop anywhere outside of the United States, BoA will charge you a 3% foreign transaction fee. This makes buying outside the U.S. more expensive, so it’s an especially impractical card for any student considering studying abroad or vacationing outside of the country.
How it Compares to Similar Cards
There are many other student credit cards to consider that have a similarly easy approval process but that also give cardholders a chance to earn rewards.
BankAmericard for Students vs Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students
Like the BankAmericard for Students, the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students has no annual fee. It does, however, allow students to earn both reasonably generous rewards and a decent signup bonus.
Cardholders can earn 3% cash back in a category of their choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, home furnishings, or drug stores. You also get 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Although these bonus rewards are limited to $2,500 in spending per quarter, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. New cardholders who spend $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening can receive a $200 online cash rewards bonus.
The downside of the Cash Rewards Card vs the BankAmericard is that the Cash Rewards card provides a 0% introductory APR for just 12 months, compared to the BankAmericard’s 15 months. If college students need more time to pay off a transferred balance or new purchase, the BankAmericard may be a better option.
BankAmericard for Students vs. Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is one of the best travel credit cards for students that we’ve seen. It stands above the other two BoA student credit cards because not only does it have no annual fee and a rewards program, it also charges no foreign transaction fees. You can also score 25,000 bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening, which is redeemable for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
If you plan to study abroad or take an overseas trip, this is definitely the card for you. Plus, as an added perk, BoA customers with an eligible checking or savings account earn a 10% rewards bonus on every purchase.
If you’re looking for a card with good approval odds that allows you to defer paying interest on purchases or balance transfers for a long time, the BankAmericard could be a good choice. But if you’d prefer to be rewarded for the spending you do, you should consider other Bank of America credit cards or balance transfer cards that provide cash back or miles.
Author: Christy Rakoczy
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