The Bank of America (BOA) Visa Review

Widely recognized in the marketplace, the BOA Visa allows you to choose the reward options you want. All options display the BOA trademarked image and the Visa logo.

The first choice you are present with when you visit the BOA website is whether you are seeking a credit card offering cash rewards, balance transfer or power rewards.

BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card

Benefits:
  • $50 statement credit after qualifying transaction
  • 3% cash back on gas, grocery and drug store purchases for 6 months
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Rewards may be redeemed after $25
  • No annual fee
Terms:
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 7 or 10 billing cycles for purchases
  • 12.99%-20.99% variable interest rate based on creditworthiness
  • 4% balance transfer fee
  • Transactions fees of $10 or 4% for balance transfers, cash advances
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • $35 late fee

BankAmericard Power Rewards Visa Signature Card

Benefits:
  • $50 statement credit after qualifying transaction
  • Earn 3 times points on gas, grocery and drug store purchases for 6 months
  • Redeem points for cash, travel, gift cards and more
  • No annual fee
Terms:
  • 0% Introductory APR for 7 or 10 months
  • 12.99%-20.99% variable APR
  • Points may be redeemed at 2500 points
  • 4% balance transfer fee
  • 3% foreign transfer fee
  • $35 late fee

If you are looking for a low interest rate no-nonsense credit card to use for high interest balance transfers, the standard BankAmericard Visa is for you.

BankAmericard Visa Card

  • 0% interest only on balance transfers made within 60 days of opening account
  • 0% balance transfer interest good for 7 or 10 months depending on creditworthiness
  • 10.99% to 19.99% variable rate APR
  • 24.24% APR for cash advances and overdraft protection
  • 4% balance transfer fee
  • $35 late payment fee

BankAmericard Basic Visa Card - the no-frills option

  • 17.25% variable APR
  • 4% balance transfer and cash advance fee
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Late fee $35

Advantages

If you qualify for the lower interest rates due to an excellent credit rating, the reward card offering 0% balance transfers could be very attractive. Only those with the best credit will qualify for the 10 month introductory offer and the lowest APR.

If you are looking for a simple credit card with few bells and whistles, the BankAmericard Basic Visa card will suit your needs. This option provides a plain credit card with an APR that is reasonable in the current credit environment. There are no rewards earned or introductory offers.

Disadvantages

It is concerning that BOA Visa terms and conditions do not clearly describe circumstances that may cause your interest rate to be increased.

Under the new credit card laws a lender may increase APR to a maximum of 29.99% if even one payment is late or missed. The threshold for increasing APR is set by the lending institution.

The increased APR raises the minimum payment by a considerable amount and the increase will remain on the account until you have made six consecutive on time payments.

Another concern is the statement at the bottom of terms and conditions pages which outlines how payments are applied to your account.

If your account has both purchases and cash advances charged to it, for example, you will have balances at two differing interest rates.

The text of the new credit regulations requires payments must be applied to the highest interest rate balance first.

However, Bank of America state payments are applied first to lower interest rate and only amounts you pay over the minimum balance due will be applied to the portion of your debt with the higher balance.

Technically, this is permitted under the new credit regulations. However, in practice, other large credit card banks are applying all payments to the higher interest rates first.

Summary

Bank of America is a big lender and has been highly competitive in the credit card market for years. If you want to choose your rewards or want a card with no frills, BOA Visa could fill your needs.

It would be wise, however, to compare offers with those of other credit lenders as you might be able to find longer introductory rate periods and lower fees.