BankAmericard Student Credit Card

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Picture of BankAmericard Student MasterCard
By : Mr Credit Card

Quick Introduction

The BankAmericard MasterCard for Student is a basic credit card from Bank of America that will help a new college student build a credit history. For those looking to make a large purchase (like a new laptop or school supplies), this card becomes with a 0% intro APR for 15 months.

Card Details

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfer for 15 months

APR: 13.74% to 23.74%*(v)

Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%

Rewards: No Reward Program

FICO Score Monitoring: FICO - TransUnion
 

Peer Comparison

Card Annual Fee
APR
FX Fee
Rewards
Score
BankAmericard Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 12.74% - 22.74%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = N.A.
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
BankAmericard Cash Rewards Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 13.74% - 23.74%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 3% on gas and 2% on grocery & wholesale club for first $2500 in these spending a quarter
1% on everything else
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
BankAmericard Travel Rewards Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 15.74% - 23.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 1.5X
Score Monitoring - FICO TU
Citi ThankYou Preferred Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 14.74% - 24.74%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 2X dining out and entertainment
1X everything else
Score Monitoring = N.A.
Capital One Journey Annual Fee = $0
APR = 20.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 1.25% Cash Back
Score Monitoring = Vantage 3.0 TU
Discover it Student Annual Fee$0
APR = 13.74% - 22.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 5% rotating categories
1% everything else
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
Discover Chrome Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 13.74% - 22.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 2% gas and dining
1% everything else
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
Wells Fargo Cash Back College Annual Fee = $0
APR = 11.9% - 21.9%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 1% cash back
Score Monitoring = Bankcard Score 2 - Experian
State Farm Student Visa Annual Fee = $0
APR = 12.24% - 19.24%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 1X for every $2
3X for State Farm Insurance Payments (up to $4000 a year)
Score Monitoring - N.A.
SelfScore Classic Annual Fee = $0
APR = 19.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = N.A.
Score Monitoring = N.A.
SelfScore Achieve Annual Fee = $0
APR = 19.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 1% Cash Back
Score Monitoring = N.A.


I was quite surprised to see that most of the student credit cards offered by mainstream banks all have reward programs. The BankAmericard Student MasterCard is one of the rare ones that actually do not have one. I guess this counts against it.

They do try to make up for it by offering you a 0% APR for both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. For those getting a student credit card for the first time, the 0% intro APR for purchases might come in handy if you need to make a large purchase. For example, if you need a new laptop or have to buy lots of textbooks. The 0% intro APR offer for balance transfer will not be useful if you are applying for your first credit card.

Bank of America has other credit cards like their cash rewards and travel rewards which have rewards programs. Aside from the 0% intro offer, these cards offer slightly better value than this card.

Many colleges offer students the opportunity to study abroad for a semester or two. Having a credit card that does not charge a foreign transaction is very helpful for students who go abroad. This card though, charges a 3% foreign transaction fee. In contrast, Bank of America's own travel rewards card does not. And either does Discover or Capital One credit cards. So, in this aspect, this card comes up short relative to it's peers.

One feature that more and more cards are having is giving their card holders the ability to monitor their FICO scores. It used to be that you have to pay for those. Fortunately, this card (along with all BOA's cards) allows you to monitor your Experian FICO score. Other cards like Discover offer it.
 

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • 0% Intro APR for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
  • Free FICO Score
  • No annual fee

Cons
  • No Rewards
  • 3% foreign transaction fee

 

Our Take

The Bank Americard MasterCard for Students is a plainly card that does not offer any rewards. If you are looking for your first card, I would suggest trying to get one that has a reward program. Bank of America has both a Cash Rewards and Travel Rewards for students.

If you have plans to study abroad or taking a semester abroad, this card may not be for you. The BankAmericard Travel Rewards for Student would be a better fit since it does not charge any foreign transaction fee.

However, if you have a large expense or want to transfer a balance, then this card has the longest 0% intro APR among all student cards (15 months) and would probably be the best card to get.