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Bank of America Credit Cards
- About Bank of America
- Who Should Get a Bank of America Card?
- Pros and Cons of Bank of America
- The Best Bank of America Cash Back Card
- The Best Bank of America Travel Rewards Card
- Preferred Rewards Members
- The Benefits of a Co-branded Card
- What to Consider Before Choosing a Bank of America Card?
- How to Apply for a Bank of America Credit Card?
Like all credit cards, the best Bank of America credit card is the one that fits your spending habits and generates the best bang for your buck. For example, if you are a traveler, looking for a co-branded card with a travel partner then the Alaska Airline co-branded card will likely allow you to benefit the most. For individuals or business that don’t spend a lot of time on the road, a cash back card might be the option for you. Prior to choosing any credit card, you should spend some time thinking about what you want and where you spend the most. This process will help you choose the credit card that is best for you.
About Bank of America
Bank of American is the 2nd largest bank in the United States, headquartered in Charlotte North Caroline. The company is one of the largest companies by revenue as its multi-product diversification allows the bank to be active in consumer banking as well as corporate bank and capital markets trading. The bank purchased Merrill Lynch during the heart of the financing crisis making Bank of America the largest wealth management company and a major investment banking player. Bank of America holds nearly 11% of all banking deposits in the United States. The bank operates in all-50 states but does not have a retail presence in each state. The company serves nearly 47-million consumer customers and small businesses and has 4,600 retail branches throughout the United States.
Who Should Get a Bank of America Card?
Bank of America offers a wide variety of credit cards that are geared to many different types of lifestyles and spending habits. They do offer some benefits to all-ready existing customers, so if you currently have a checking or savings account with Bank of America you should consider their credit products. Most of the cards offered by Bank of America are for consumers who have good to great credit which is above 690 FICO score.
Pros and Cons of Bank of America
Bank of America provides many services and products for its customers, but this multinational company is public and is in business to make money, which means that fees and penalties are part of their business model.
Bank of America, provides retail banking services which include, checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, certificates of deposit, mortgages as well as, auto loans. Additionally, Bank of America is an investment bank through its subsidiary Merrill Lynch. This means it also participates in corporate finance, trading, portfolio and wealth management and project finance.
Pros of Bank of America
With 4,600 retail branch locations, Bank of America provides access to face to face business transactions, which many of its competitors cannot equal. In addition, Bank of American offers ATM locations throughout the globe. Here you can make payments and withdraw cash and perform many of the same transactions that are available at a branch. Bank of America also offers cardless ATMs, which further secures your transactions.
Bank of America is also a leader in internet banking. Their low fees and high-interest rates offered online rival some of the best in the industry. You can check balances, deposit checks, review statements and transfer funds between accounts. The company also offers mobile access to your banking accounts. The mobile application makes deposits very quick and easy. You just take a picture of the front and back of your check and deposit it to your account.
Bank of American has excellent security protection. Your account will have security alerts, password reminders, and two-step authorization. If you spend money on your debit or credit card that is outside of your normal spending activity, you will even receive a fraud alert.
Cons of Bank of America
While rates on any interest-bearing accounts are good, Bank of American offers 0% on checking for balances less than $50,000. This compares to many online checking accounts that have 0.50% for balances less than $15,000.
The Bank of America basis checking account is free if you maintain an average daily balance of $1,500 or more. Fees that you could incur include a $12 monthly maintenance fee if the account does not have a qualifying direct deposit methodology or an average daily balance of $1,500 or more. An ATM fee of $2.50 is charged to your account if you withdraw funds outside of the Bank of America network of ATM machines. There is no fee if you withdraw funds from a Bank of America ATM. In addition, Bank of America imposes a $35 transaction fees for insufficient funds, which is quite steep, including overdraft or declined transactions. These fees might be higher than those found at some community banks or credit unions.
The Best Bank of America Cash Back Card
Cash back cards are a great option, and the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card is an excellent choice as it has no annual fee and offers a signup bonus. Avoiding an annual fee takes the pressure off your spending, as you will never feel that you must spend a specific sum, to make back your annual dues. This cash back card is also great for everyday spending and will reward you for items like gasoline and well as groceries. The card offers 3% cash back on gasoline purchases and 2% cash back on groceries (as well as wholesale clubs), on your first $2,500 dollars of spending in a specific quarter. You can earn 1% cash back on everything else and 1% on gasoline and groceries after you hit your quarterly maximum. If you spend close to $200 per week on gasoline and groceries this card will offer you some of the most advantageous cash back percentages available.
There is no annual fee for this credit card and a $150 signup bonus if you spend $500 or more within the first 90-days of receiving your Bank of America Cash Back Card. This card allows you to set up automatic redemption that can be deposited in your Bank of America checking or savings account or a wealth management account from Merrill Lynch. You can attain a 10% bonus when redeeming if you hold a Bank of America checking or savings account or a Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Account. Additionally, if you are a preferred reward client, you can receive a 25-75% bonus.
The Best Bank of America Travel Rewards Card
With your travel rewards card, you will receive 1.5 reward points for every dollar spent. The benefit of this travel card is that you can apply your rewards to any qualifying travel-related spending you transact on your Bank of America Travel Rewards Card, as a statement credit. For travelers that are constantly looking for the best bargain and not tied to one airline carrier or hotel chain, this card is perfect. It provides flexibility without giving up benefits. The card offers you a generous 20,000 point signup bonus after spending $1,000 during the first 90-days of receiving your card. Like the Bank of America Cash reward card, you can attain a 10% bonus when redeeming if you hold a Bank of America checking or savings account or a Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Account. Additionally, if you are a preferred reward client, you can receive a 25-75% bonus.
Preferred Rewards Members
Your credit card bonuses will be enhanced if you are a preferred rewards member. To achieve this goal, you will need to have a total of $20,000 in assets between qualifying Bank of America and Merrill Lynch investment accounts, to qualify for the Gold-tier Preferred Rewards benefits. If you have $50,000 in total assets you will qualify for the Platinum tier preferred rewards benefits and if you have $100,000 in total assets, you will be able to achieve the Platinum Honors tier of Preferred Rewards. The total assets held at Bank of America or Merrill Lynch can be in deposit accounts or investment accounts. You can also include your IRA to Merrill Lynch and this will help you qualify for a higher level.
The Benefits of a Co-branded Card
If you frequently travel and find that you spend lots of time using the same airline or hotel chain, then you might find a rewards program for a certain airline or hotel, and receive a better bang for your buck on your credit card purchases with a co-branded credit card.
For example, if you use Alaska Airlines or Virgin America or any of their partners then the Alaska Airline Visa Signature Credit Card is a prudent choice. One of the amazing benefits to cardholders is that offers an annual companion fare, that starts at $99 plus tax. The card offers 3-mile for every dollar that is spent on the credit card if its directly with Alaska Air or one of its patterns. The credit card offers one mile per dollar for every other purchase on the credit card. One of the cons of using this credit card is that it comes with a $75 per year fee. This can easily be made up with your companion fee. It will not matter if the cost of your fare is $300 or $800 dollars, the cost of your companion ticket will only be $99 plus tax.
What to Consider Before Choosing a Bank of America Card?
Prior to choosing a Bank of America card, you need to perform some due diligence and determine if the banking giant offers a card that suits your spending habits. One of the most important features that Bank of America offers is there preferred rewards if you have additional accounts at Bank of America. If you have a checking/savings or investment account at Bank of America or Merrill Lynch the bonuses you will receive make credit cards from Bank of America very attractive. If you live in an area where Bank of America has retail branches and ATM’s then opening an account might be a logical consideration if you are looking to get a credit card from Bank of America.
There best credit cards focus on cash back and travel. If put your everyday expenses such as gasoline or grocery shopping on a credit card, then their cash back card is attractive. When combined as a preferred reward customer, the offer is very attractive. If you travel but need flexibility then their travel reward card is reasonable but becomes very attractive if you combine it with a preferred reward status.
Additionally, you should consider what type of institution you want to develop a relationship with. Bank of America offers many products including credit cards, as well as mortgage services, general banking services, and wealth management. They have specialists in each area so if you see yourself needing a large financial institution currently or down the road, this company might be a fit to handle your financial goals. You should evaluate the terms and conditions, to make sure there are no issues that could adversely affect your financial situation.
Bank of America also offers secure and easy access to your account via a branch, ATM, online, or mobile device. Having the reflexibility to pay on the road or deposit a check when you are on the go, are very nice features that make Bank of America a good choice. The one downside is that they generally look to offer credit to those who have good to great credit and generally avoid providing a credit card to induvial that have fair to bad credit.
How to Apply for a Bank of America Credit Card?
You can apply for a credit card online, or on the phone or at a Bank of America retail branch location. For those with good to great credit, you will likely have an answer very quickly, along with a credit limit. For those who have borderline credit, the answer will come slightly slower as an underwriter evaluates your financial situation.