Best Bank of America Credit Cards For May 2021
What is the history of Bank of America?
Bank of America Corporation was formed by the merger of San Francisco-based BankAmerica and Charlotte, North Carolina-based NationsBank in 1998, creating one of the nation’s largest banking organizations. Bank of America can trace its roots back to the Bank of Italy, created by an Italian immigrant to serve his community in 1904. BofA launched the BankAmericard in 1958, which was the second universal credit card ever offered, Diners Club being the first. . The card network behind BankAmericard eventually evolved into Visa after being separated from banking in the 1970s. Bank of America significantly increased its credit card portfolio upon acquiring MBNA in 2004.
What types of credit cards does Bank of America issue?
Bank of America issues Mastercard and Visa cards but does not issue cards on the American Express or Discover networks. Its cards include points and cash back options for consumers and small businesses, as well as cards for students and those who wish to transfer balances or increase their credit.
What type of credit is required for Bank of America?
Bank of America generally requires excellent or good credit for the majority of its consumer and business cards, although it considers those with no credit history for its student card options and those that have. lower scores for its unrewarded and secure card options.
How does the Bank of America rewards program work?
Bank of America reward points are earned at different levels depending on the product on the card. They can be redeemed in a number of ways: for cash back, statement credits, gift cards, or for travel through the Bank of America Travel Center. As with many issuer rewards platforms, the points earned generally have the greatest value when redeemed for travel through the Travel Portal.
How good is Bank of America customer service?
Bank of America received a score of 812 out of 1,000 points in the JD Power US 2020 Credit Card Satisfaction Survey and ranked third out of eleven major national credit card issuers.The average score of major issuers was 810. Its mobile app was ranked above average for consumer satisfaction, ranking fifth in a JD Power 2020 survey.As another of its services, Bank of America offers customers access to their FICO credit score.
In order to track and assess the domestic credit card market in the United States, we collect data point scores on nearly 300 cards. This data is collected manually both from the websites of the card issuers and from publicly available sources.
To ensure that our information is as up-to-date as possible, we deploy automated tools that monitor changes in key data such as annual percentage rates, launch rates, launch periods, bonus offers, pay rates for rewards, fees and card benefits. We then quickly make all the necessary updates to our lists of maps, reviews and recommendations so that readers have the most reliable information and advice.
Once we collect credit card data, we organize it in our database based on features, which are grouped into feature sets (such as rewards, interest, fees, benefits, and security / customer service). Each feature on the card is assigned a star score on a scale of 1 to 5, using a prescribed formula. For example, for a single bonus score, we would use a formula like: If the bonus is $ 500 or more, assign a score of 5; if $ 300 – $ 499, then 4; And so on.
Weighting of scores
Once all the features on a card have been scored, we apply a weighting factor to each feature to arrive at a weighted average score for the card (based on the general category it resides in, such as rewards from trip).
This weighting process allows us to place much more importance on attributes that are important to a particular category and minimize those that are less relevant there. This allows us to objectively identify which cards stand out in their category and indicate why they do so. For example, with Travel Rewards Cards, we place much more emphasis on specific travel features such as access to airport lounges or primary car rental insurance than on attributes such as interest rates or fees that might be more heavily taken into account for other categories, such as balance transfer cards.
Rate of pay
Another critical factor that we take into account when evaluating and ranking travel cards and other types of rewards cards is the actual earning rates of the cards. We first calculate the average point or mile value for all of the rewards cards in our database, a painstaking process that involves collecting all airline fare data by carrier for dozens of pairs of popular national and international cities, as well as hotel charges per night. major hotel brands.
The number of points and miles required for air travel or hotel stays from different reward programs is then used to calculate an effective earning rate for each card. This allows our readers to make the more informed choices. By putting in context the large one-time premium or earning rates of a card in many of the card’s dimensions and features, readers can more easily weigh the card’s benefits against its costs. Finding out the real but often opaque redemption value of reward points or miles is, in our opinion, the only reliable way to make wise choices among competing value-based cards.
Features of the card that we note
As mentioned above, there are some travel-related characteristics that we place significant emphasis on in determining our scores for each reward card. Specifically, we base more than 50% of our overall evaluation score on the combination of the following factors:
- Maximum value of any single bonus, whether in points or miles.
- Initial card spending required to earn a bonus.
- Redemption value of miles or bonus points.
- Global card acceptance, as detailed by the four card networks (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover).
- Options to redeem points or miles with travel partners, both airlines and hotels.
Another consideration is card coverage, if applicable, in these travel-related areas:
- Collision insurance for rental cars, whether primary or secondary.
- Travel accident insurance.
- Lost or delayed baggage insurance.
- Trip cancellation, interruption or delay insurance.
- Cell Phone Loss or Damage Coverage.
- Roadside assistance and towing.
- Emergency travel medical / dental benefits.
General non-travel characteristics that we consider and evaluate include:
- Interest rates, including introductory and regular APRs for purchases and balance transfers.
- Fees, including those for annual membership, late payments, cash advances, and overseas transactions.
- Security / customer service functions.
- Other non-travel benefits, such as access to credit scores, identity theft protection, and contactless payment capability.
How we arrive at our final evaluations
We mainly rely on objective scores created by our scoring algorithms to determine which card is chosen as the best in each category or sub-category.
However, we may make adjustments from time to time, both to characteristics and weights that might affect rankings, based on subjective feedback from our credit card experts. Any potential changes will be consistent with Investopedia’s belief that consumers are best served by cards that:
- Provide superior value by earning rewards.
- Charge reasonable interest rates in the event the cardholder has a month-to-month balance.
- Charge lower and / or more reasonable fees.
- Provide strong customer service, based on the number and quality of customer service features.
- Have useful and protective security functions.