Bank of America http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/796/all en-US Save Money on Interest with the BankAmericard&reg; Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-credit-card-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bankamericard-credit-card-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000019952359_Large.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Simple credit cards such as the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=150&amp;pid=16&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sname1">BankAmericard&reg; credit card</a>, which do not provide all the extra bells and whistles like rewards and bonuses, are designed primarily to provide a low-interest opportunity for those who typically carry a balance from month to month. Transferring your balance to a card with a lower interest rate will save you money in interest fees. Plus, the BankAmericard&reg; credit card offers an introductory APR of 0% on qualifying balance transfers for 18 billing cycles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>There is an introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers made within the first 60 days of opening your account. The intro APR will last 18 billing cycles, then the APR will be 11.24% - 21.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers, according to your credit worthiness and the prime rate. There is no annual fee.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>ShopSafe</strong>. Bank of America&reg; credit cards include ShopSafe, a feature designed to provide extra protection when you shop online. If you sign up for ShopSafe, you are issued a temporary credit card number, expiration date, and security code, for using when you shop online.</p> <p><strong>Museums on Us&reg;</strong>. Get free admission to 150+ participating museums, science centers, botanical gardens and more on the first full weekend of every month when you present your Bank of America credit card and a photo ID.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>11.24% - 21.24% Variable APR for purchases and balance transfers (0% Intro APR on balance transfers made within the first 60 days for 18 billing cycles)</li> <li>Up to 29.99% Penalty APR</li> <li>3% Balance Transfer Fee, or $10, whichever is greater</li> <li>3% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> <p><a target="_top" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=150&amp;pid=16&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton2 "><img alt="" class="img-exempt" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a></p> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>0% APR for balance transfers</strong>. If you need to transfer a balance from a card with a high APR, you can save money in interest by transferring to this card and paying it down within 18 billing cycles. This is one of the longest durations available for 0% interest rates on balance transfers, with many cards offering 12 months at the most.</p> <p><strong>Low APR</strong>. Although it is recommended that you pay your balance in full each month in order to avoid paying high amounts of interest on your purchases, if you typically carry balances from month to month, cards with low interest rates are the most economical.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>0% only on balance transfers</strong>. The introductory APR of 0% does not apply to purchases. Many credit cards offer an introductory APR of 0% for purchases also. This allows you to save money in interest if you need to make a large purchase when you open the account. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/0-apr-credit-cards">Best 0% Intro APR Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>Balance transfer fee</strong>. Although this card offers one of the longest introductory APRs for transferring balances, you have to keep in mind that there is still a balance transfer fee. The balance transfer fee of $10 or 3% can be costly if you have a large balance to transfer. You should also consider whether or not you can pay the entire balance down within the 0% period, or you might end up paying more, instead of saving money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees">Best Cards without Balance Transfer Fees</a>)</p> <p><strong>No rewards program</strong>. Low-interest credit cards generally do not offer rewards programs as the focus is on providing the lowest interest rate possible. However, if you consistently pay your balance in full each month, you are missing out on valuable rewards you could be earning with your purchases. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-more-cash-back-for-the-essentials-the-bankamericard-cash-rewards-card">BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; credit card</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-travel-rewards-more-rewards-for-more-travel">BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; credit card</a> offer cash and travel rewards respectively.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee</strong>. The foreign transaction fee of 3% can quickly add up if you use your card frequently for foreign purchases. If you travel abroad, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; credit card does not charge a foreign transaction fee, and is a better card for making foreign purchases. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation">Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The BankAmericard&reg; credit card is a simple and straightforward credit card, best for those who consistently carry balances from month to month. It is also best if the majority of your purchases are domestic, and if you can pay down a balance transferred from a credit card with a high APR.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=150&amp;pid=16&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard&reg; Credit Card today!</strong></a></p> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-credit-card-review">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-your-credit-card-debt-with-citi-simplicity-card">Retire Your Credit Card Debt With Citi Simplicity Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/high-credit-limit-and-low-apr-unity-visa-secured-credit-card">High Credit Limit and Low APR: UNITY&amp;reg; Visa Secured Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The 5 Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards">The 5 Best Secured Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rebuild-your-credit-in-8-simple-steps">How to Rebuild Your Credit in 8 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management Bank of America credit card review Wed, 10 Feb 2016 22:44:16 +0000 Christina Majaski 1645519 at http://www.wisebread.com Bank of America Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard Review http://www.wisebread.com/bank-of-america-cash-rewards-for-business-mastercard-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bank-of-america-cash-rewards-for-business-mastercard-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000018970892_Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Despite being a relative newcomer to the small business credit card scene, the Bank of America Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard provides a number of helpful business-related perks and benefits as well as a rewards program that offers points on everyday business purchases. If you are a small business owner whose purchases fall into this card&rsquo;s bonus categories, the cash rewards earned with this card can add up quickly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=review">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a>)</p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>This card awards 3% cash back on purchases made at gas stations and office supply stores on up to $250,000 in combined purchases annually. After that, gas station and office supply store purchases earn 1% cash back. You also earn 2% cash back at restaurants including purchases made at fast food restaurants, bars, discos, and lounges, and 1% cash back on all other purchases, without any limitations. There is no annual fee.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up offer</strong>: If you sign up for this card online, you will receive a $100 statement credit bonus after making at least $500 in purchases in the first 60 days of your account opening. New cardholders also get 0% intro APR for 9 billing cycles on purchases.</p> <p>You can redeem your cash rewards for cash back or request deposits into a Bank of America checking or savings account, starting at $25.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Employee cards</strong>. You can add cards for your employees to the account with credit limits you set, at no additional cost. This allows your employees to make purchases for the business and earn cash back for those purchases. This card also comes with up to $100,000 liability protection against card misuse by terminated employees.</p> <p><strong>Overdraft protection</strong>. You can request to link your card to your Bank of America business checking account for overdraft protection, which allows the bank to cover overdrafts and automatically transfer funds in multiples of $100. This benefit can save you hundreds of dollars in returned check fees and overdraft fees.</p> <p><strong>Account management tools</strong>. This card also includes tools for organizing and managing your business easier. The MyReport Center provides online services that adapt to your business needs, plus you can download your card transactions into QuickBooks for recordkeeping and taxes. Bank of America also provides business owners with dedicated customer service with small business sales specialists available 24/7.</p> <p><strong>Extended warranty</strong>. Cardholders receive double the manufacturer's warranty up to an additional year on purchases made with the card.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>11.24% - 21.24% APR (0% intro APR for purchases for the first 9 billing cycles after account opening)</li> <li>4% Balance Transfer Fee ($10 minimum)</li> <li>3% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Sign-up bonus</strong>. This card offers an opportunity to earn a $100 statement credit if you make at least $500 in purchases with your card within the first three months of opening the account. Although this isn't the highest sign-up bonus, it only requires spending $500 in three months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?ref=review">5 Best Credit Cards That Offer Bonus Cash for Sign Up</a>)</p> <p><strong>0% introductory APR for purchases</strong>. The 0% intro APR for purchases offer can be helpful for small business owners who may need to make a large office supply purchase or have many expenses in setting up their business. A 0% APR gives you 9 months to pay down the purchases before you are charged interest, which can help you save a significant amount of money getting your business off the ground. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=review">The 5 Best Credit Cards with 0% Intro APR</a>)</p> <p><strong>High rate of rewards</strong>. Although this card caps the 3% category at $250,000 per year, it allows you to spend almost $21,000 per month in gas stations and office supply stores. This is one of the highest rates of rewards for these categories, even with the annual cap. Plus, you earn unlimited 2% cash back in the restaurant and dining category, which can add up especially if your business requires you or your employees to eat frequently in restaurants. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-office-supply-purchases?ref=review">5 Best Credit Cards for Office Supply Purchases</a>)</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Not for travel rewards</strong>. Unlike other business credit cards that award travel purchases, this card focuses more on business-type purchases. If your business requires airfare or hotel stays, you can earn more rewards with cards that focus specifically on those types of purchases rather than settling for the &quot;other&quot; rate of 1% that this card offers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=review">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee</strong>. Another reason this card isn't ideal for travel is the 3% foreign transaction fee. If your business requires frequent travel outside the United States or making foreign transactions with the credit card, the foreign transaction fee of 3% can become quite costly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=review">The 5 Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees</a>)</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The Bank of America Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard offers numerous business benefits, as well as an opportunity to earn cash back on some of the most common types of small business purchases. This card is most ideal for small business owners whose spending falls most often in the restaurant, gasoline, and office supply categories, and it's even more ideal if your gasoline and office supply purchases don't exceed $250,000 per year due to the cap on the 3% category.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bank-of-america-cash-rewards-for-business-mastercard-review">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-secured-visa-card-helps-protect-you-from-identity-theft">BankAmericard&amp;reg; Secured Visa Card Helps Protect You From Identity Theft</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spirit-airlines-world-mastercard-review">Spirit Airlines World MasterCard Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaska-airlines-visa-signature-credit-card-review">Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/asiana-american-express-card-from-bank-of-america-review">Asiana American Express Card from Bank of America Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-credit-card-review">Save Money on Interest with the BankAmericard&amp;reg; Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Bank of America credit card reviews Thu, 28 Jan 2016 17:58:10 +0000 Christina Majaski 1625206 at http://www.wisebread.com Get More Cash Back for the Essentials: The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ card http://www.wisebread.com/get-more-cash-back-for-the-essentials-the-bankamericard-cash-rewards-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-more-cash-back-for-the-essentials-the-bankamericard-cash-rewards-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000030748678.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12465099-1451890507000?sid=review_1">BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; credit card</a> offers a program allowing you to earn more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=review">cash back on purchases</a> you might make more frequently than others, such as gas and at grocery stores. Bank of America customers, or those who plan to be in the future, receive an extra perk from the program which has a bonus cash rewards offer.</p> <h2>Why We Like This Card</h2> <ul> <li>$100 online cash rewards bonus offer</li> <li>10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America&reg; checking or savings account.</li> </ul> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>Earn 2% cash rewards at grocery stores and 3% cash rewards for gas, up to the first $1,500 in combined grocery/gas purchases each quarter. You earn 1% cash rewards for all other purchases and for grocery and gas purchases made after the first $1,500 per quarter. You can earn an unlimited amount of cash back at the 1% level, and your cash rewards do not expire.</p> <p><strong>Sign up bonus:</strong> Get $100 online cash rewards bonus after making at least $500 in purchases within the first 90 days.</p> <p>Cash rewards are issued as a statement credit, check or electronic deposit into a checking or savings account with Bank of America. If you redeem your cash rewards into a Bank of America&reg; checking or savings account, you receive an additional 10% customer bonus. For example if you spend $1,250 at the grocery store, you will earn cash rewards of $25. If you redeem your $25 rewards in a Bank of America account, you receive 10% more, totaling $27.50. If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25%-75%.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12465099-1451890507000?sid=review_app2"><img width="154" height="50" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>ShopSafe</strong>. This program provides a 16-digit card number, expiration date, and security code, which can be used when shopping online in place of your actual account information, as an extra layer of protection.</p> <p><strong>Chip technology.</strong> Includes an embedded microchip for making purchases at chip terminals. Chip technology provides increased protection against card hackers and identity theft when used at chip-enabled terminals and is often preferred over cards with only the magnetic stripe.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>0% Intro APR (purchases and qualifying balance transfers) for the first 12 billing cycles; 13.24%-23.24% Variable APR thereafter.</li> <li>3% Balance Transfer Fee (min $10)</li> <li>3% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Sign-up bonus worth $100.</strong> A sign-up bonus worth $100 is generous, considering this is a credit card with no annual fee and the spending requirement for the bonus is reasonable.</p> <p><strong>12 billing cycle introductory APR.</strong> If you plan on making a large purchase or need to transfer a balance from a credit card with a higher APR, you can save money in interest if you pay down the balance within 12 billing cycle introductory period. It is important to note there is a balance transfer fee, which you will need to calculate against your current APR before making the decision to transfer. However, 0% for 12 billing cycles on both purchases and qualifying balance transfers is among the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=review">best introductory offers</a> provided by credit cards.</p> <p><strong>10% bonus cash rewards.</strong> If you have a checking or savings account with Bank of America, you can get a bonus simply for redeeming your cash rewards into the account. This not only increases the value of the rewards earned on purchases, but can end up being a sizable bonus, especially if you are a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25%-75% when you deposit your rewards.</p> <p><strong>No rotating categories</strong>. Many rewards credit cards include rotating categories that you are required to enroll in each quarter in order to earn the bonus cash back. If you forget to sign-up or your purchases don&rsquo;t fall into the quarterly categories, your purchases only earn 1% cash back.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Cap on bonus categories.</strong> You are only able to earn 2% cash rewards on grocery store purchases and 3% on gasoline purchases up to a combined total of $1,500 in those purchases each quarter. If you spend more than $1,500 per quarter in these categories, anything over is awarded only 1%. Depending on your spending, you could earn more rewards from a card which does not include the cap on purchases. Bank of America offers the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-travel-rewards-more-rewards-for-more-travel?ref=internal">BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; credit card</a> which offers 1.5 points per $1 on all purchases with no caps and no expiration on rewards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee.</strong> If you frequently travel abroad or intend on using the card for foreign purchases, the foreign transaction fee is going to cancel out any rewards earned from your purchases. For foreign purchases, you can use the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-travel-rewards-more-rewards-for-more-travel?ref=internal">BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; credit card</a>, which allows you to earn points on purchases without foreign transaction fees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=seealso">Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees</a>)</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>This card is best for Bank of America customers, or those who might plan to be in the future, who will use the card for less than $1,500 in gasoline and grocery store purchases per quarter. It is also best for those whose purchases are domestic and those who are able to take advantage of the sign-up bonus and introductory APR to get the most from the card.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12465099-1451890507000?sid=review_2"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; credit card today!</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-more-cash-back-for-the-essentials-the-bankamericard-cash-rewards-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-credit-card-review">Save Money on Interest with the BankAmericard&amp;reg; Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bank-of-america-cash-rewards-for-business-mastercard-review">Bank of America Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-travel-rewards-more-rewards-for-more-travel">BankAmericard Travel Rewards®: More Rewards for More Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-cash-back-for-everyday-purchases-with-the-american-express-blue-cash-everyday-card">Get Cash Back for Everyday Purchases with the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Bank of America groceries Fri, 06 Nov 2015 19:44:15 +0000 Christina Majaski 1531289 at http://www.wisebread.com BankAmericard Travel Rewards®: More Rewards for More Travel http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-travel-rewards-more-rewards-for-more-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bankamericard-travel-rewards-more-rewards-for-more-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000046932806.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although there are a wide variety of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=review">travel rewards credit cards</a> on the market which award purchases with points that can be used for free flights and hotel stays, the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=77&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sname1" target="_blank">BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; credit card</a> stands out by allowing you to earn points from purchases that can be redeemed as a statement credit for most types of travel purchases, from taxi fare to zoo admission and airline tickets. If your purchases and travel arrangements vary from month to month, this is a great card to use for those purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-travel-purchases">Best Credit Cards for Travel Purchases</a>)</p> <h2>Why We Like This Card</h2> <ul> <li>20,000 online bonus points offer (Worth $200 Travel Statement Credit)</li> <li>Redeem points for most travel purchases</li> </ul> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>Earn 1.5 points for each dollar spent with the card. You can also earn three points per dollar spent on purchases through the Bank of America Travel Center (excludes insurance purchases, and there&rsquo;s a cap on bonus points for airline purchases after $6,000 each year). There is also a 0% introductory APR for purchases for the first billing cycles. After that, the APR is 15.24% to 23.24% varible and based on your credit worthiness.&nbsp;There is no annual fee.</p> <p><strong>Sign up bonus: </strong>Get 20,000 online bonus points after making $1000 in purchases within the first 90 days, which can be redeemed for $200 statement credit toward travel purchases.</p> <p>You can redeem at 2,500 points for statement credit toward a wide variety of travel purchases such as flights, hotels, cruises, campgrounds, tourist attractions, and baggage fees for up to 12 months after the purchase. There is no limit to the number of points you can earn and your rewards do not expire.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Customer points bonus.</strong>&nbsp;Get a 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America&reg; checking or savings account. If you're a Preferred Rewards client you can increase that points bonus to 25% or more.</p> <p><strong>ShopSafe. </strong>You have the option to select ShopSafe which provides a temporary credit card number, expiration date, and security code for shopping online without using your actual credit card information.</p> <p><strong>Chip card technology</strong>. Embedded with a microchip which provides extra protection against hackers and identity thieves when used at chip-enabled terminals. Chip cards are often preferred over cards with just the magnetic stripe, especially in Europe.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>0% Intro APR for purchases for the first 12 billing cycles (then 15.24%-23.24% variable APR); 18.24%-23.24% (cash advances); up to 29.99% (penalty APR)</li> <li>3% Balance Transfer Fee (min $10)</li> <li>$0 Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=77&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton2" target="_blank"><img width="154" height="50" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Sign-up bonus worth $200 in travel.</strong> If you make at least $1000 in purchases with the card within the first 90 days of opening the account, you can receive a bonus of 20,000 points. These points can be redeemed for $200 in statement credit toward travel purchases. This is one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">best sign-up bonuses</a> offered by credit cards, especially because there is no annual fee and a reasonable spending requirement.</p> <p><strong>No rotating categories.</strong> Earn 1.5 points for each dollar spent on all purchases made with the card without signing up every three months for special categories.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Redeem for any travel purchase.</strong> Unlike travel rewards cards which specialize in a certain airline or hotel brand, you can redeem the points for statement credit on most types of travel purchases. This allows a bit more flexibility in redeeming your points and can be more convenient if your travel purchases vary.</p> <p><strong>Customer bonus.</strong> Get a 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America&reg; checking or savings account. If you're a Preferred Rewards client you can increase that points bonus to 25% or more.</p> <p><strong>No foreign transaction fee. </strong>This is one of the few travel rewards cards with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee. This is especially important if you plan on using your card for foreign transactions or if you frequently travel abroad. There are travel rewards credit cards which do not charge foreign transaction fees, but many carry annual fees of at least $50 per year.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Low rewards rate.</strong> Although you can earn an annual bonus on your points, if you are not a Bank of America customer, you only earn a flat rate of 1.5 points per dollar spent. This rate is just half a point more than the default rate offered by rewards programs which award one point for all purchases made in the &ldquo;other&rdquo; category. If most of your purchases fall into one specific category or are with a particular brand, you can earn more with other rewards credit cards. For instance, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-more-cash-back-for-the-essentials-the-bankamericard-cash-rewards?ref=internal">BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; credit card</a> offers 2% cash back at grocery stores and 3% on gas (up to $1500 in combined purchases each quarter), with 1% on other purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card is best for those whose travel purchases do not fall into one specific category or brand, and can benefit from the flexibility of earning and redeeming for a wide variety of travel categories. It is also ideal for Bank of America customers or those who may be in the future, and for those who make purchases outside of the United States or frequently travel abroad.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=77&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; credit card today!</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-travel-rewards-more-rewards-for-more-travel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaska-airlines-visa-signature-credit-card-review">Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spirit-airlines-world-mastercard-review">Spirit Airlines World MasterCard Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/asiana-american-express-card-from-bank-of-america-review">Asiana American Express Card from Bank of America Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-credit-card-review">Save Money on Interest with the BankAmericard&amp;reg; Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel Bank of America Fri, 06 Nov 2015 19:41:50 +0000 Christina Majaski 1531288 at http://www.wisebread.com Spirit Airlines World MasterCard Review http://www.wisebread.com/spirit-airlines-world-mastercard-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/spirit-airlines-world-mastercard-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000042399452.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spirit Airlines is often considered a leader among affordable airfare, providing the basics for jetsetters with the option to add on features that are usually standard with more expensive airlines. This affordability, in connection with Spirit Airlines MasterCard rewards, can save frequent flyers in the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America, a great deal of money. The sign-up bonus offered with the card alone makes the Spirit Airlines MasterCard a travel rewards credit card worth considering.</p> <h2>Why We Like This Card</h2> <ul> <li>15,000 sign-up bonus miles (enough for 3 roundtrip tickets)</li> <li>2x miles on every dollar</li> </ul> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>Earn two miles for each dollar spent on all purchases. There is no cap on the number of miles you can earn and miles do not expire as long as you make a purchase every month with your credit card.</p> <p><strong>Sign up offer:</strong> 15,000 bonus miles after the first purchase.</p> <p>You can redeem miles for airfare with Spirit Airlines for as few as 5,000 Free Spirit miles for round-trip award tickets with taxes and fees of at least $11.20 per award flight. Without the credit card, these flights start at 20,000 miles. You can also earn and redeem miles for online games with Spirit Play or for magazine subscriptions.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Anniversary bonus.</strong> 5,000 bonus miles when you spend at least $10,000 in purchases annually.</p> <p><strong>Chip card.</strong> includes an embedded microchip for protecting your information against fraudulent purchases and identity thieves. Chip cards are often preferred over cards that only have the magnetic strip on the back, especially in many other countries.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$59 Annual Fee (waived the first year)</li> <li>12.99%-22.99% APR (purchases and balance transfers); 15.99%-24.99%&nbsp;(direct deposit and check cash advance); 24.99%&nbsp;(bank cash advance); up to 29.99%&nbsp;(penalty APR)</li> <li>3% Balance Transfer Fee</li> <li>3% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Sign-up bonus.</strong> You can earn enough bonus miles for up to three round-trip off-peak tickets with taxes and fees of at least $11.20 per award ticket, just for making your first purchase with the credit card. This is not only a valuable sign-up bonus, but it is fairly easy to earn without a high spending requirement to meet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=review">Best Airline Cards that Offer Sign Up Bonuses</a>)</p> <p><strong>Double miles for all purchases.</strong> Most other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=review">travel rewards credit cards</a> only award bonus miles for purchases in specific categories, or with specific brands. All purchases made outside of those categories generally earn one mile or point for each dollar spent. Two miles for every dollar on any purchase is a very nice reward offer.</p> <p><strong>Fewer miles for award flights.</strong> Award flights with Spirit Airlines are available for as few as 5,000 miles which means the miles you earn go a lot farther than they do with other airline rewards credit cards. The same amount of miles is usually only enough for a seat upgrade or, at the most, a $50 gift card, but with the Spirit Airlines MasterCard can be redeemed for a round-trip flight.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Annual fee of $59.</strong> Although the annual fee is waived the first year and you do have a couple opportunities to cover the fee later, if you don't earn and redeem miles for flights, the annual fee is going to just be an extra expense. It is important that you use the miles you earn from the sign-up bonus and use the card frequently enough to earn enough miles for free flights. Furthermore, although Spirit Airlines is known for inexpensive flights, you are charged for extra airline features such as checked bags and printing boarding passes. After paying the annual fee for the card, for tickets, taxes and fees, and other expenses, you could end up paying just as much for your flight as you would with other airlines.</p> <p><strong>Miles expire.</strong> As a card holder, your miles won't expire if you use your card every month. Non card holders who are part of the Spirit Airlines reward program are required to earn or redeem miles every three months to avoid expiration. Although it's a little easier to keep from losing your miles with the credit card, you still have to make a purchase with your card every month. Many travel rewards credit cards, like the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-it-miles-simple-and-flexible-travel-rewards?ref=review">Discover it Miles card</a>, offer 1.5x miles that never expire with no purchase requirements.</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee.</strong> Spirit Airlines includes domestic and international flights, but if you plan on using the card while traveling abroad, you will be charged a 3% fee, which cancels out any rewards earned with the card. Credit cards without foreign transaction fees such as the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review?ref=review">Capital One Venture Rewards Card</a> and the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rewards-that-change-with-your-spending-us-bank-flexperks-travel-rewards-american-express-credit-card?ref=review">U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express</a>, are better cards to use outside the United States.</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>If you travel Spirit Airlines frequently and don't mind flying with the basics or putting in a little work to find the best fares and award tickets, you can likely save quite a bit of money with the Spirit Airlines MasterCard. It is also best for those who travel primarily within the U.S. and plan on using the card at least once per month to avoid losing the miles earned.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spirit-airlines-world-mastercard-review">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaska-airlines-visa-signature-credit-card-review">Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/asiana-american-express-card-from-bank-of-america-review">Asiana American Express Card from Bank of America Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review">Travel Rewards Doesn&#039;t Get Easier Than This: Capital One Venture Rewards Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-rewards-card-the-starwood-preferred-guest-credit-card-from-american-express">Best Rewards Card: The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation">Smarter Security and No Foreign Transaction Fees: The Best Credit Cards to Use While on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel Bank of America credit card reviews Spirit Airlines Fri, 14 Aug 2015 06:29:58 +0000 Christina Majaski 1526004 at http://www.wisebread.com Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Review http://www.wisebread.com/alaska-airlines-visa-signature-credit-card-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/alaska-airlines-visa-signature-credit-card-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000041033276.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card provides an opportunity to earn miles from your purchases that can be redeemed for flights with Alaska Airlines and 14 other partner airlines. With flights available to over 100 destinations within the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Hawaiian Islands, it's easy to see why the airline is one of the largest in the country. If you fly frequently with Alaska Airlines or any of its partner airlines, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card can provide you with valuable rewards and travel benefits.</p> <h2>Why We Like This Card</h2> <ul> <li>25,000 sign-up bonus miles</li> <li>Companion Fare every year</li> </ul> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>Earn three miles for each dollar spent on Alaska Airlines tickets, vacations, and cargo purchases, and one mile for each dollar spent everywhere else. You also have the opportunity to earn up to five miles for each dollar spent through Mileage Plan Dining, which is a network of over 11,000 popular restaurants and bars.</p> <p><strong>Sign up bonus: </strong>25,000 bonus miles upon approval</p> <p>Miles can be redeemed for upgrades and flights with Alaska Airline or 14 partner airlines such as Delta, British Airways, American Airlines, AirFrance, Emirates, Korean Air, KLM, Qantas, AeroMexico, and more. Flights are available for as few as 10,000 miles for a one-way ticket and upgrades to First Class Cabin are as low as 15,000 miles. There is no cap on the miles you can earn and miles do not expire as long as your account is not inactive for more than two years, or if no mileage is credited to your account during the first nine months after opening the account.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Free checked bag.</strong> Get a free checked bag for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation.</p> <p><strong>Annual companion fare. </strong>Each year you'll receive a round-trip coach Companion Fare when traveling with another passenger on a paid coach ticket. It is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones?ref=review">Credit Cards That Offer Companion Fare</a>)</p> <p><strong>Lounge membership discount. </strong>Alaska Airlines Board Room lounge memberships provide Wi-Fi, conference rooms, and other amenities when traveling. This membership is typically $250 per year, but as a card member, you receive a $50 discount toward a new membership. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=review">Credit Cards That Offer Free Lounge Access</a>)</p> <p><strong>ShopSafe.</strong> Bank of America offers ShopSafe for added protection when shopping online. If you choose to use this feature, you are provided a temporary 16-digit number with an expiration date and security code that can be used instead of your actual card account information.</p> <p><strong>Embedded chip card. </strong>Includes an embedded microchip for use at chip terminals which adds extra protection against identity thieves and hackers, by encrypting your information. This type of card is accepted in many countries and is often preferred over standard magnetic stripe credit cards.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$75 Annual Fee</li> <li>14.24% (purchases and balance transfers); 17.24%&nbsp;(direct deposit and check cash advance); 24.99%&nbsp;(bank cash advance); up to 29.99% (penalty APR)</li> <li>3% Balance Transfer Fee</li> <li>3% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Award flights with other airlines. </strong>There are at least 14 partner airlines you can redeem your miles with which can be convenient if you don't always travel with Alaska Airlines. Furthermore, if you choose to redeem for domestic flights through American Airlines and Delta, your miles are worth about the same as if you redeem for Alaska Airlines flights.</p> <p><strong>Companion fare ticket.</strong> You receive a round-trip coach companion fare ticket when you are approved for the card for $121 which includes base fare of $99 and taxes and fees of $22 for a companion traveling on your same itinerary. You also receive this companion fare ticket each year on your anniversary in the form of an e-certificate. This fare opportunity is available for 12 months from the date it is issued, but provides a significant savings, every year, on a ticket for someone who is flying with you.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Annual fee.</strong> Of the three Alaska Airlines credit cards that Bank of America offers, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card charges the highest annual fee. Although the other two cards, the Platinum Plus Visa and Preferred Visa carry lower annual fees, approval for the other two credit cards is based on lower credit limits. Depending on where you travel, the sign-up bonus can cover this fee for a couple years, but after that, you either have to make sure you use your companion fare certificates or earn enough miles with purchases in order to cover the annual fee. There are other travel rewards card with no annual fee, such as the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-fees-and-unlimited-miles-capital-one-ventureone-rewards-credit-card?ref=review">Capital One VentureOne card</a> which awards 1.25 miles per dollar spent on travel and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-it-miles-simple-and-flexible-travel-rewards?ref=review">Discover it Miles</a> which offers 1.5x miles on all purchases.</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee.</strong> Foreign transaction fees with travel rewards cards can be a significant drawback if you travel abroad frequently because the fee devalues any rewards earned from the purchases, especially at 3%. If you travel frequently outside the United States, you should instead choose a travel rewards card such as the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-better-with-the-united-mileageplus-explorer-card?ref=review">United MileagePlus Explorer card</a> which does not charge foreign transaction fees.</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>Although you can certainly redeem your miles with other airlines, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card is best for those who frequently travel with Alaska Airlines not only in order to earn triple miles on purchases, but also to be able to take advantage of the extra perks such as the airport lounge discount. Additionally, it is important that you have a companion who travels with you occasionally because the annual companion fare can help offset the cost of the annual fee.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaska-airlines-visa-signature-credit-card-review">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spirit-airlines-world-mastercard-review">Spirit Airlines World MasterCard Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/asiana-american-express-card-from-bank-of-america-review">Asiana American Express Card from Bank of America Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review">Travel Rewards Doesn&#039;t Get Easier Than This: Capital One Venture Rewards Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-rewards-card-the-starwood-preferred-guest-credit-card-from-american-express">Best Rewards Card: The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation">Smarter Security and No Foreign Transaction Fees: The Best Credit Cards to Use While on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel alaska airlines Bank of America credit card reviews Fri, 14 Aug 2015 06:21:34 +0000 Christina Majaski 1526003 at http://www.wisebread.com Asiana American Express Card from Bank of America Review http://www.wisebread.com/asiana-american-express-card-from-bank-of-america-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/asiana-american-express-card-from-bank-of-america-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000057253374.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Asiana Airlines is one of the two major airlines in South Korea and a member of the Star Alliance network. The Asiana American Express Credit Card provides an opportunity to earn miles on not only Asiana Airlines purchases, but gas and groceries as well. The card also includes a number of extra perks to its card members. Even if you aren't a frequent flyer with Asiana, if you just want to be able to redeem points for Asiana flights, this card is worth considering.</p> <h2>Why We Like This Card</h2> <ul> <li>Bonuses for gas and grocery store purchases</li> <li>10,000 bonus miles at sign up and every year</li> </ul> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>Earn 3 miles for each dollar spent on purchases with Asiana Airlines, 2 miles for each dollar spent at gas stations and grocery stores, and 1 mile for each dollar spent everywhere else. Miles expire five years from the date they are posted to your account. There is also a cap of 200,000 miles per calendar year.</p> <p><strong>Sign up bonus:</strong> Get 10,000 bonus miles after your first purchase.</p> <p>Miles can be redeemed for flights with Asiana Airlines at 35,000 miles for a one-way flight from U.S. to Korea. Flights within Korea are available at 5,000 miles. You can also redeem miles for seat upgrades at 10,000 miles.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Lounge access.</strong> You receive two lounge invitations every year for Asiana Airlines lounges in the U.S. The invitation is only valid for the cardholder.</p> <p><strong>10,000 annual certificate.</strong> Each year, get 10,000 bonus miles Certificate to be redeemable for an Asiana international or Korea domestic ticket, seat class upgrade or excess bag allowance.</p> <p><strong>$100 rebate.</strong> Get an automatic $100 annual rebate on Asiana ticket purchases.</p> <p><strong>Overdraft protection.</strong> If you have a checking account with Bank of America, you can link the account to your credit card for extra protection against declined purchases, returned checks, or other overdrafts.</p> <p><strong>Chip card.</strong> Includes a microchip which can be used at chip terminals and provides extra protection and security against fraudulent purchases. Chip cards are accepted globally in over 130 countries.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$99 Annual Fee</li> <li>14.24% APR (purchases and balance transfers); 17.24% (direct deposit and check cash advance); 24.99%&nbsp;(bank cash advance); Up to 29.99%&nbsp;(penalty APR)</li> <li>3% Balance Transfer Fee</li> <li>1% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Earn miles for everyday purchases.</strong> Earn double miles on gas and groceries. Typically, airline rewards cards focus on travel benefits which results in carrying a separate card if you want to earn rewards for your day to day purchases.</p> <p><strong>Multiple anniversary bonuses.</strong> If you travel with Asiana Airlines, you can benefit quite a bit from the anniversary bonuses you receive every year. The lounge certificates are worth approximately 4,000 miles each, plus you receive 10,000 bonus miles and $100 off an Asiana Airlines flight. The bonuses are worth hundreds and you receive them every year on your card anniversary.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Annual fee.</strong> Although the anniversary bonuses you receive every year are enough to cover the annual fee of $99, if you don't actually use the bonuses or don't fly with Asiana Airlines often, it may be difficult to justify the fee. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-better-with-the-united-mileageplus-explorer-card?ref=review">United MileagePlus Explorer Card</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-rewards-card-the-starwood-preferred-guest-credit-card-from-american-express?ref=review">Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card</a> allow 1:1 transfer of points to Asiana Club miles and both have annual fees of $95 waived for the first year. These cards allow far more redemption opportunities on other carriers.</p> <p><strong>Cap of 200,000 miles per year.</strong> Although the cap is set fairly high at 200,000 miles per calendar year, it can be a disadvantage; if for example, you spend more over $66,000 on Asiana Airlines purchases. Any purchases after you reach the cap will not earn miles. Many travel rewards credit cards allow you to earn an unlimited number of miles and even if there is a cap, it is only applied to bonus categories and not the &quot;other&quot; category. If you spend more than $67,000 per year with Asiana Airlines, $100,000 per year in gas and groceries, or a combination of all categories that would push you past the cap, you may be able to earn more rewards with a card such as the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review?ref=review">Capital One Venture Rewards</a> which do not have limits to the awards you can earn.</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee.</strong> Although the foreign transaction fee is low at 1%, it is still an additional fee attached to foreign purchases made with the credit card. If you frequently travel abroad or use your card for foreign purchases, the fee minimizes the value of the awards you earn from your purchases. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review-500-signup-bonus?ref=review">Chase Sapphire Preferred Card</a> has no foreign transaction fees and also allows 1:1 transfer of points to miles to several airline partners.</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>This card is best for those who love to travel on Asiana Airlines and can benefit from the many anniversary bonuses the card provides, especially if you spend a lot on groceries and gas to boost your points accumulation. Because of the annual cap on miles, however, the Asiana Airlines Credit Card is best if you don't spend, as an example, over $67,000 per year in purchases with Asiana Airlines. Something else to consider is the 1% foreign transaction fee and how much this fee might devalue the rewards you earn on your purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=review">Best Credit Cards that Offer Travel Rewards</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/asiana-american-express-card-from-bank-of-america-review">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review">Travel Rewards Doesn&#039;t Get Easier Than This: Capital One Venture Rewards Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-hotel-rewards-card-for-free-nights-marriott-rewards-premier-credit-card">The Best Hotel Rewards Card for Free Nights: Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-fees-and-unlimited-miles-capital-one-ventureone-rewards-credit-card">No Fees and Unlimited Miles: Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-nights-with-ihg-rewards-club-select-credit-card">Get Free Nights with IHG&amp;reg; Rewards Club Select Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-together-for-less-with-british-airways-visa-signature-credit-card">Travel Together For Less with British Airways Visa Signature&amp;reg; Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel Asiana Airlines Bank of America Capital One chase credit card reviews Wed, 05 Aug 2015 05:15:33 +0000 Christina Majaski 1501981 at http://www.wisebread.com BankAmericard&reg; Secured Visa Card Helps Protect You From Identity Theft http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-secured-visa-card-helps-protect-you-from-identity-theft <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bankamericard-secured-visa-card-helps-protect-you-from-identity-theft" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_online_shopping_credit_card_000012191747.jpg" alt="Woman shopping online with credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bank of America is one of the top 21 largest companies in the United States by total revenue and is well-known for providing a wide variety of financial products, including the BankAmericard&reg; Secured Visa. This card is designed to help consumers who have no credit established, are in the process of rebuilding, or just want to boost their current credit rating.</p> <p>Because of its status as one of the largest bank holding companies in the country, the BankAmericard&reg; Secured Visa Card is considered a highly rated secured card, which provides various benefits and services to its card holders.</p> <h2>Why We Like This Card</h2> <ul> <li>Able to qualify for higher credit limit</li> <li>Security deposit return</li> </ul> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>When you are approved for the card, a security deposit of at least $300 is required to open the account. You can deposit as much as $4,900. Your credit limit is determined by your income, ability to pay, and the amount of your security deposit. Your account activity is reported to the three major credit bureaus. If you manage your account responsibly, over time you can build or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-secured-credit-card-can-repair-your-credit-score-heres-how-to-pick-the-best?ref=review">rebuild a positive credit rating</a>. After 12 months, Bank of America will review your account. You may qualify to have your security deposit returned while you continue using your card.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>ShopSafe&reg;</strong>. One of the features included that provides additional security when you shop online. If you sign up for ShopSafe&reg;, you can receive a temporary 16-digit account number to use while shopping online, rather than risking your credit card number. This number also includes an expiration date and security code, and can be valid for up to one year, depending on the time period you choose.</p> <p><strong>SafePass&reg;</strong>. This is another security feature designed to protect your card account information when you bank online or with your mobile phone. SafePass&reg; allows you to register, you receive a 6-digit code that you can use to authorize transactions through verification.</p> <p><strong>Chip card</strong>. Chip cards are cards that are embedded with a microchip and provide better protection and security against fraudulent purchases. These cards are often preferred by retailers, especially in Europe, over standard cards with just the magnetic stripe, and may become the security standard in the United States.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$39 Annual Fee</li> <li>20.49% APR&nbsp;(purchases and balance transfers); 20.49% (direct deposit and check cash advance); 25.24% (bank cash advance); up to 29.99%&nbsp;(penalty APR)</li> <li>3%&nbsp;Balance Transfer Fee</li> <li>3%&nbsp;Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Multiple locations</strong>. There is an advantage to carrying a card backed by the second largest bank holding company in the United States. This provides additional convenience when banking or finding ATMs in the event you need a cash advance from your card. Many secured credit cards are provided by lesser known and unknown banks and card issuers, which makes it difficult if you prefer to stop by a branch while running errands. This is also beneficial if you already bank with Bank of America or plan to in the future.</p> <p><strong>Qualify for higher credit limit.</strong> Your credit limit is dependent on other circumstances, such as your income, which can result in a higher credit limit, rather than just being decided by how much you are able to deposit. The credit limits on most secured credit cards is based on the amount of your security deposit.</p> <p><strong>Security deposit return</strong>. Upon review, there is a possibility that your deposit will be returned to you after 12 months, allowing you to continue to use the card as an unsecured credit card. There are very few secured cards which are able to offer graduation to an unsecured card once you have established a positive credit rating with the secured version. This allows you to keep your account open even after you have improved your credit and provides the benefit of an aged account to your credit rating.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Annual fee</strong>. The annual fee of $39 per year is actually quite common with secured credit cards, but it is near the highest annual fee charged, which can be as much as $50 per year. There are also secured credit cards with no annual fees, like the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-secured-mastercard-credit-card-review?ref=review">Capital One Secured MasterCard</a>.</p> <p><strong>High APR</strong>. The APR of 20.49% is among the highest APRs associated with a secured card. Cash advances can be even higher at 25.24%, with no grace period. This is not a problem if you are diligent in paying your balance in full each month, but if you typically carry a balance from month to month, a card with a lower APR will cost you less money. There are also other options such as the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/first-choice-bank-primor-secured-visa-gold-card-review?ref=review">primor Secured Visa Gold</a> which carry an APR of 9.99%.</p> <p><strong>No interest on security deposit.</strong> The security deposit for secured credit cards is held while the account is open, in the event you default on the balance. When you close the account, and if you have a zero balance at the time, the deposit is returned to you. However, there are secured cards such as the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/first-choice-bank-primor-secured-visa-gold-card-review?ref=review">primor Secured Visa Gold</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/usaa-secured-card-american-express?ref=review">USAA Secured Card American Express</a>, which hold your deposit in CDs or savings account that earn interest so that when it is refunded, you have earned a little extra money on your security deposit.</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee</strong>. There is a foreign transaction fee of 3%, which is generally the highest foreign transaction fee charged by credit cards. If you travel outside of the United States often, this fee can add up. Although it's rare for a secured credit card to not carry a foreign transaction fee, there are options such as the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-secured-mastercard-credit-card-review?ref=review">Capital One Secured MasterCard</a> that offers zero foreign transaction fees.</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The BankAmericard&reg; Secured Visa Card is best for those who are working on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-secured-credit-cards?ref=review">repairing or building a good credit score</a> and prefer the benefits provided by a large bank over those that are lesser known. It is also best if you typically pay your balance in full each month rather than carry a balance from month to month because of the APR. If you travel outside of the United States or intend on using the card for foreign purchases, you should, instead, consider a card that does not carry a foreign transaction fee. (See our favorites for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards?ref=review">best secured credit cards</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-secured-visa-card-helps-protect-you-from-identity-theft">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rebuild-your-credit-fast-with-the-opensky-secured-visa-credit-card">Rebuild Your Credit Fast With the OpenSky&amp;reg; Secured Visa&amp;reg; Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/usaa-secured-card-platinum-mastercard-review">USAA Secured Card&amp;reg; Platinum Visa&amp;reg; Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-card-that-works-hard-for-those-with-average-credit-capital-one-platinum-credit-card">A Card That Works Hard for Those with Average Credit: Capital One Platinum Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/usaa-secured-card-american-express">USAA Secured Card&amp;reg; American Express&amp;reg;: Military Benefits, Low Fees, and Interest on Your Deposit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bank-of-america-cash-rewards-for-business-mastercard-review">Bank of America Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard Review</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Bank of America building credit credit card reviews Wed, 06 May 2015 03:43:01 +0000 Christina Majaski 1406713 at http://www.wisebread.com The Power of the Customer in Banking http://www.wisebread.com/the-power-of-the-customer-in-banking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-power-of-the-customer-in-banking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-aloft-iStock_000017688546Small.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="159" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We tend to think of banks as enormous monolithic institutions against which customers may bang their heads in frustration &mdash; but forget about enacting any real change. And anyone who has ever spent an interminable amount of time waiting on hold for a customer service representative who will fail to explain the surprise fee on your account and refuse to waive it could be forgiven for thinking the little guy will never make a difference.</p> <p>However, that familiar narrative of uncaring banking Goliath vs. powerless customer David got a pleasant shock in November 2011. That was when Bank of America backed down from their proposed <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/bank-of-american-drops-debit-card-fee/2011/11/01/gIQADvugcM_story.html">$5 monthly fee for debit card usage</a>. Their reason for canceling the proposed fee? Incredible customer backlash that included everything from a 300,000-signature petition to tens of thousands of Bank of America customers threatening to leave the bank. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-like-big-banks">Why&nbsp;I Like Big&nbsp;Banks</a>)</p> <p>Apparently, the little guy has more power than we thought.</p> <p>Banking is just like any other retail business &mdash; they need to keep their customers happy. In banking, the CEOs may be accountable to their shareholders, but they depend upon their customers to stay in business.</p> <p>This means that customers have power in the face of unanticipated changes in the banking industry. Here is what you need to know about how banks make their unpopular decisions, and what we, as customers, can do about it.</p> <h2>The Straight Economic Model</h2> <p>For the most part, banks are pretty unsubtle and straightforward institutions. If they see that they will be losing revenue in one area, they will try to make up for it elsewhere.</p> <p>This is what happened with Bank of America in 2011: The Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act was placing limits on the amount that banks could charge retailers each time a debit, credit, or gift card is used. That fee &mdash; familiarly known as the swipe fee &mdash; had previously been unregulated, but the Durbin Amendment placed caps on the amount that retailers will have to pay for each swipe.</p> <p>While these swipe fees are nominally instituted to pay for fraud protection and transactional costs, they have been an enormous income generator for banks. Bank of America in particular was bringing in <a href="http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/durbin-amendment-explained/">$3 billion per year</a> in profit from swipe fees. When the Durbin Amendment went into effect, the bank&rsquo;s top brass wanted to find a way to make up for their lost income &mdash; hence the proposed $5 per month debit card usage fee. It was simply a straight economic decision &mdash; replace lost income with a small fee, spread out over every cardholder.</p> <p>Of course, we all know what happened next. The idea of consumers suddenly having to pay a fee to use their card was infuriating &mdash; to the point where consumers decided to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-switch-banks">switch banks</a>, publicly decry Bank of America, and basically make it clear that the company would lose more money by implementing this fee than they would lose by dropping it.</p> <p>What happened was a failure on the part of Bank of America to understand behavioral economics &mdash; where money and emotion intersect. By looking at everything as a straight financial decision, they shot themselves in the foot. <a href="http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/152156/matters-banking-customers.aspx?version=print">Dr. Dennis Jacobe</a>, the Chief Economist for Gallup, put it this way &mdash; &ldquo;unfortunately, this finance-focused approach to replacing the bank's lost revenue ignored some of the basic tenets of behavioral economics. From a behavioral economics perspective, one of the worst things a company can do is to begin charging a new fee for a service that had previously been free.&rdquo;</p> <h2>The Price-Leader Strategy</h2> <p>The other big mistake Bank of America made was in employing the price-leader strategy when introducing this fee. This is a tactic wherein one major player in an industry changes a price or announces a new fee, and the rest of the industry simply follows suit.</p> <p>This tactic can work very well. For instance, the airline industry often uses it. One airline will announce that it will be charging for checked bags, and suddenly every airline is charging for them. Customers grumble and pay the new fees, because it&rsquo;s almost impossible to switch to a different airline and avoid them.</p> <p>However, in the case of Bank of America&rsquo;s monthly fee, other banks were not necessarily willing to jump on that train. Part of the reason for this had to do with the atmosphere of distrust toward banks in fall of 2011 &mdash; this was, after all, just about the same time the Occupy Wall Street movement started gaining traction.</p> <p>As a result, Bank of America found themselves in the position of pricing themselves out of competition, and they quickly had to back down.</p> <h2>The Power of the Customer</h2> <p>When it comes down to it, customers ultimately have the power to decide if they will play by the rules the banks are setting. The Bank of America fee debacle was hardly the first time that customers just said no to a proposed fee change. In the mid-90s, banks tried to charge customers for <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/27/business/need-a-teller-a-big-bank-plans-3-fee.html">teller transactions</a>, hoping to entice them to use ATMs and the new-at-the-time <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account">online banking opportunities</a>, thereby reducing overhead costs. Customers were horrified at the proposed fees and made it clear they would not stand for it. The banks that prospered were the ones that repackaged their products and found ways to offer discounts for not using tellers, rather than fees for using them.</p> <p>In that case, as in the situation with Bank of America, customers voted with their feet. Their disgust at the proposed changes made it worthwhile to change banks. Making unpopular fee decisions literally cost the banks money in lost customers.</p> <p>However, it&rsquo;s not enough for banks to keep their customers through apathy or lack of other choices. Banks have also found that keeping customers happy and engaged is an important part of growth. According to <a href="http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/152156/matters-banking-customers.aspx?version=print">Dr. Jacobe</a>, &ldquo;Customers become engaged only when four emotional needs are met: they feel pride and passion for the brand they bank with, they believe the bank has integrity, and they're confident they'll always be treated well and fairly. It's financially imperative that banks provoke this response. Fully engaged retail banking customers are <em>much</em> more likely to say they intend to open a new account or take out a new loan.&rdquo;</p> <p>And since customer satisfaction is so important to the growth of banks, judicious use of complaints is one of the biggest weapons in the customer&rsquo;s arsenal. Making it clear to your bank that you are unhappy with their service can potentially bring about change &mdash; or at the very least, prepare your bank for your imminent departure.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>It may feel as though the big banks hold all the cards, but we all need to remember that they really do need us more than we need them &mdash; as it is theoretically possible to keep your life savings in your mattress, while they simply cannot operate without customers.</p> <p>Banks may have always followed the straight finance approach to keeping their revenues high, but they are beholden to their customers. When that straightforward approach ticks off their customers, they will need to find new methods, or else risk losing their most important asset &mdash; us.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-power-of-the-customer-in-banking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/charged-with-an-overdraft-fee-get-your-money-back">Charged With an Overdraft Fee? Get Your Money Back!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-bank-fees">Avoid Bank Fees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-its-time-to-find-a-new-bank">5 Signs It&#039;s Time to Find a New Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-pick-the-bank-thats-right-for-you">7 Ways to Pick the Bank That&#039;s Right for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-and-avoid-late-fees">How to Get Rid of and Avoid Late Fees</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking bank fees Bank of America customer service Tue, 04 Dec 2012 10:36:49 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 959540 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Help With Your Underwater Bank of America Mortgage http://www.wisebread.com/get-help-with-your-underwater-bank-of-america-mortgage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-help-with-your-underwater-bank-of-america-mortgage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/177362360_85ce49aa97_b.jpg" alt="house underwater" title="house underwater" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In February 2012, the major lenders in the United States struck a <a href="http://www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com/">deal with the government</a> to avoid prosecution for improper processing of foreclosures. In order to reduce its share of penalties, Bank of America has revealed recently that it is willing to forgive the principal of many mortgages so that the borrowers will no longer be underwater. Some borrowers may qualify for reductions of $100,000 or more. Here are the details of the program and how you can find out if you qualify. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-options-if-youre-underwater-on-your-mortgage">6 Options If You're Underwater on&nbsp;Your Mortgage</a>)</p> <p>This new principal reduction program is a part of the <a href="http://homeloanhelp.bankofamerica.com/en/nhrpannouncement.html ">National Homeownership Retention Program </a>rolled out by Bank of America since Obama's Home Affordable Modification Program. The borrowers that will receive help must meet these qualifications:</p> <ul> <li>The borrower must be at least 60 days late on payments as of January 31st, 2012. So people who have been paying their loans on time do not qualify unless they can demonstrate that they will default soon due to a rate reset on an ARM. Borrowers who are current also need to submit documentation showing financial hardship.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The amount owed must be more than 120% of the current value of the house.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The loan cannot be a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac Loan. Only loans owned by Bank of America or private investors are eligible.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The property must be owner-occupied.</li> </ul> <p>The maximum amount Bank of America will forgive is 30% of the remaining principal or the difference between the current value and the loan, whichever is smaller. For example, if a house is currently worth $150,000 and the loan is $180,000 then they will reduce the loan to $150,000. If a house is worth $150,000, but the loan is $250,000, then they will only reduce the loan to $175,000, since that is a 30% reduction on the loan. So a borrower in the second situation will still be underwater, but it would still be a significant improvement to pay interest on 70% of the previous principal.</p> <p>The principal forgiveness is also spread out over three or five years, depending on the individual case. From the examples given by the bank's site, it looks like they will take future appreciation of the home into consideration and reduce less of the principal if the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/divining-your-homes-value-the-quick-and-dirty-way">house's value</a> goes up. It's unclear what would happen if the house's value goes down.</p> <p>The program ends on December 31st, 2012, so borrowers that possibly qualify should go to Bank of America's site right away and see if they are eligible. The website allows you to type in your mortgage account number to see your options. You can also click the <a href="http://homeloanhelp.bankofamerica.com/en/nhrpannouncement.html">FAQ tab on Bank of America's page</a> for more details. Bank of America says it will help 200,000 people with this program. As part of the National Mortgage Settlement the other major lenders are also supposed to offer more principal reductions, but Bank of America's site is the only one with clear guidelines so far.</p> <p><em>Are you a Bank of America customer who will benefit from this? Do you think this program will be more successful than previous attempts to curb foreclosure? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-help-with-your-underwater-bank-of-america-mortgage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/principal-forgiveness-the-new-bofa-mortgage-deal">Principal Forgiveness: The New BofA Mortgage Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-secrets-to-refinancing-an-underwater-mortgage">7 Secrets to Refinancing an Underwater Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-not-to-apply-for-a-loan-modification-in-the-home-affordable-modification-program-hamp">5 Reasons Not to Apply for a Loan Modification in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-can-you-stay-in-your-home-after-you-stop-paying-the-mortgage">How Long Can You Stay in Your Home After You Stop Paying the Mortgage?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-mortgage-acceleration">DIY Mortgage Acceleration</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing Bank of America mortgage principal reduction Fri, 30 Mar 2012 10:24:07 +0000 Xin Lu 915042 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Bank of America’s $5 Monthly Debit Card Fee Just the Beginning? http://www.wisebread.com/is-bank-of-america-s-5-monthly-debit-card-fee-just-the-beginning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-bank-of-america-s-5-monthly-debit-card-fee-just-the-beginning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boa_atm2.jpg" alt="Man at a Bank of America ATM" title="Man at a Bank of America ATM" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="157" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In a word, yes.</p> <p>Consider this phrase &mdash; &ldquo;Take money from businesses, they&rsquo;ll just turn around and take it from the customers.&rdquo;</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve heard that, and many variations of it, several times over the last few years. Now it looks like it&rsquo;s coming true for all of us.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s no secret that banks make a lot of their money from fees. Whether it&rsquo;s late payment penalties, interest rate hikes, ATM fees, money-wiring transactions, or any number of other transactions, fees are the bread and butter of the banking industry.</p> <p>These fees seemed to be going away, or getting vastly reduced, as banks tried to outdo each other in the battle for your hard-earned money. Free checking was suddenly the norm, and then banks would offer even more incentives (free iPods, luggage, shotguns, and good old cash) in an effort to get you on board.</p> <p>Of course, nothing lasts forever, and the free checking benefits we&rsquo;ve all enjoyed for many years have started to suffer the death of a thousand cuts. Slowly but surely, free checking is going away and being replaced by certain terms and conditions that give you certain free features IF you maintain a set minimum balance, have a significant number of direct deposits, and so on.</p> <p>In fact, you can actually avoid Bank Of America&rsquo;s new debit card fee if maintain a minimum balance of $20,000. (Once again, we see wealth being rewarded.) You can also avoid the fee by simply using your debit card as an ATM card only. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-beat-debit-card-fees">4 Ways to Beat Debit Card Fees</a>)</p> <h3>So Why Did This New Fee Appear?</h3> <p>Well, it&rsquo;s a direct result of a bill passed by congress that was supposed to save consumers money. Of course, it never works out that way, does it?</p> <p>Banks have been making billions of dollars on swipe fees for many years now. These are<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout"> fees charged to the merchant every time you swipe your debit card,</a> and they average around 44 cents per swipe.</p> <p>Or at least, they did. Merchants lobbied against the fees and won, saying that by lowering the price of these swipe fees, we, the customers, would get lower prices on goods and services.</p> <p>But when they passed the law, they didn&rsquo;t think of the ramifications of the ripple effect. It&rsquo;s also known as &ldquo;unintended consequences.&rdquo; By cutting these fees in half, billions of dollars have been taken away, annually, from the banks. Ouch. You know as well as I do that those losses are not going to be absorbed by the banks. The CEO, Brian Moynihan, isn&rsquo;t going to pay for it out of his <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/01/bank-of-america-ceo-pay_n_816789.html ">$950k salary or his $9 million in stock awards</a>.</p> <p>So who pays? You&rsquo;ve guessed it &mdash;&nbsp;we&rsquo;re the ones who pick up the tab. And the $5 per month debit card charge is only just the beginning; I guarantee it.</p> <p><img width="233" height="350" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/BOA%20debit%20card.jpg" /></p> <h3>Bank of America Is Not the Only One Raising Fees</h3> <p>JP Morgan Chase customers in Wisconsin have felt the pinch, with $3 per month being deducted for debit card usage. Sun Trust (Georgia) and Regions Financial Corp. (Alabama) are also charging $4 to $5 per month.</p> <p>And Wells Fargo recently announced that it will test a $3 per month debit card fee in five states &mdash; Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada, Georgia, and Washington.</p> <h3>What Does the Future Hold?</h3> <p>Fees. Lots of them.</p> <p>Right now, with the financial institutions just starting to roll out fees, you obviously have the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/30/bank-of-america-fee_n_992623.html?ir=Business">option to walk away</a>. But that won't be an option for long. If you want the conveniences that a typical bank offers, you&rsquo;re going to have to start paying for them. Banks across the U.S. will follow Bank Of America&rsquo;s lead, because they&rsquo;re losing out if they don&rsquo;t. And any banks who don&rsquo;t charge the fee will no doubt find other ways to make up the losses. You&rsquo;ll see free checking replaced by checking that requires maintenance fees. You&rsquo;ll get dinged if you go below a certain balance, or if you make more than a set number of purchases with your debit card each month.</p> <p>There will be tiered plans &mdash; $3 a month for 50 swipes, $15 for unlimited swipes. And why not? The cell phone industry is all about tiered pricing. And you&rsquo;ll have to pay for the privilege of online banking, automatic bill payments, even checking your balance on your phone. This is the future, and if everyone&rsquo;s doing it, so we really don&rsquo;t have an option other than to remove ourselves from the banking system and go back to the stone-age. Anyone for a mattress stuffed with cash?</p> <h3>And What About the Merchants Who Said They&rsquo;d Cut Prices?</h3> <p>That&rsquo;s a tough one to prove. Walmart has been rolling back prices for years, long before this bill came into effect. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-perimeter-perusing-at-target">Target</a>, Home Depot, Best Buy, you name it &mdash; they constantly claim to be slashing prices, so how can we tell if those savings are being passed on to us?</p> <p>Truth is, as consumers, we can&rsquo;t. I&rsquo;m not saying that the big corporations are going back on their word to pass on savings to the customers, I just can&rsquo;t prove that they are. I suspect the reality is somewhere in the middle, with some savings being passed on to us, and some money going back into the wage packets of CEOs and senior management.</p> <p>Sadly, it&rsquo;s just another example of the consumer being at the bottom of the hill&hellip;and we all know what rolls down hill.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-bank-of-america-s-5-monthly-debit-card-fee-just-the-beginning">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-simplifying-your-accounts-can-improve-your-finances">How Simplifying Your Accounts Can Improve Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-credit-card-review">Save Money on Interest with the BankAmericard&amp;reg; Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-prepaid-debit-cards">5 Best Prepaid Debit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards">Travel and Money: Using Prepaid Travel Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards-vs-debit-cards-a-comprehensive-comparison">Credit Cards vs. Debit Cards: A Comprehensive Comparison</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Credit Cards Financial News ATM Bank of America banking fees debit card fees Fri, 07 Oct 2011 10:36:34 +0000 Paul Michael 733796 at http://www.wisebread.com Principal Forgiveness: The New BofA Mortgage Deal http://www.wisebread.com/principal-forgiveness-the-new-bofa-mortgage-deal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/principal-forgiveness-the-new-bofa-mortgage-deal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fish underwater.jpg" alt="fish under water" title="underwater" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="169" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Starting next month (May 2010) or as soon as its operationally ready, Bank of America may reduce principal balances on certain mortgages of deeply underwater loans. This move expands the scope of its National Homeownership Retention Program (NHRP), which was established to make amends for predatory lending practices by Countrywide Financial, which Bank of America acquired in 2008.</p> <p>The overview of the <a href="http://homeloanhelp.bankofamerica.com/en/nhrpfactsheet.html">original program</a> on Bank of America&rsquo;s website is skimpy on details. A more detailed description of the <a href="http://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/index.php?s=43&amp;item=8662">new-and-improved NHRP</a> indicates that eligible borrowers consist of those who:</p> <ul> <li>Purchased a primary residence by taking out a subprime mortgage, Pay Option ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage), or Prime 2-year Hybrid ARM loan from <strong>Countrywide</strong> on or before January 1, 2009;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are now 60 days or more delinquent on the mortgage loan;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Have a principal balance that is 120% or more of the market value of the home (LTV).</li> </ul> <p>Loans are to be modified through 1) principal forgiveness and 2) interest rate reductions. The hoped-for result is a monthly mortgage payment that is affordable according <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-not-to-apply-for-a-loan-modification-in-the-home-affordable-modification-program-hamp">HAMP guidelines</a> AND a fully amortizing loan so that borrowers can avoid the scenario of making payments for decades&nbsp;but&nbsp;never shrinking loan balances.</p> <p>In some cases, the principal reduction isn&rsquo;t really about lowering the original loan balance to reflect market value but rather undoing the harm caused by interest capitalization associated with negatively amortizing loans. (In plainer language, if you owe more now than you borrowed a few years ago &mdash; because interest was added to your loan balance &mdash; then help might be on its way.)</p> <p>But forgiveness isn't quick, simple, and all-encompassing. The following conditions may apply:</p> <ul> <li>Principal reductions will be based on borrower performance over a period of 5 years<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Loan term will be extended to 40 years (rather than a standard 30 years)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Arrearage (past obligations not paid) will be capitalized (added to the outstanding loan balance)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Principal amounts <em>not forgiven</em> (because there are limits to forgiveness, up to 100% LTV) will be &ldquo;non-interest bearing and a balloon payment of the forbearance amount will be due on the maturity date, upon sale of the property, or upon payoff of the interest bearing balance.&rdquo; (according to the <a href="http://www.mass.gov/Cago/docs/press/2010_03_24_countrywide_agreement_attachment_2.pdf">Final Judgment by Consent</a> &nbsp; PDF indicating the settlement of a complaint filed by the Attorney General's Office of Massachusetts).</li> </ul> <p>The program (both the original and enhanced NHRP) is part of a settlement of lawsuits filed by Attorney Generals of multiple states, such as:</p> <ul> <li>Alaska <a href="http://www.law.state.ak.us/pdf/consumer/072309-CountrywideAlert.pdf">settlement</a> (PDF) <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>California <a href="http://ag.ca.gov/newsalerts/release.php?id=1618&amp;year=2008">news release</a><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Louisiana <a href="http://ag.state.la.us/Article.aspx?articleID=328&amp;catID=2">basic info</a><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Massachusetts <a href="http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=cagopressrelease&amp;L=1&amp;L0=Home&amp;sid=Cago&amp;b=pressrelease&amp;f=2010_03_24_countrywide_agreement&amp;csid=Cago">press release on settlement</a><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Rhode Island <a href="http://www.ri.gov/press/view.php?id=9408">press release</a><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Washington <a href="http://www.atg.wa.gov/countrywide.aspx">website on Countrywide loans</a></li> </ul> <p>Check the website of your state's Attorney General's office for details on loan programs that may relate to your situation. To see if you are eligible for National Homeownership Retention Program, check <a href="https://homeloanhelpworksheet.bankofamerica.com/nhrp/default.aspx">Bank of America's website</a>.</p> <p>Note that &ldquo;Countrywide has <strong>initiated proactive outreach</strong> to eligible borrowers,&quot; which seems to mean &quot;we&rsquo;ll call you, don&rsquo;t call us.&rdquo; However, the legal agreements require assistance to a certain number of borrowers so Bank of America needs to find people to help. Borrowers can take action rather than waiting for a phone call.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/principal-forgiveness-the-new-bofa-mortgage-deal">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-help-with-your-underwater-bank-of-america-mortgage">Get Help With Your Underwater Bank of America Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/low-interest-rates-do-not-make-homes-affordable">Low Interest Rates Do Not Make Homes Affordable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-mortgage-crisis-solution">A Mortgage Crisis Solution</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/countrywide-tried-to-steal-my-parents-money-how-you-can-avoid-being-a-victim-of-mortgage-servicing-f">Countrywide tried to steal my parents&#039; money - How you can avoid being a victim of mortgage servicing fraud</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-secrets-to-refinancing-an-underwater-mortgage">7 Secrets to Refinancing an Underwater Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Financial News Real Estate and Housing Bank of America countrywide mortgage mortgage loan modification principal reduction Wed, 28 Apr 2010 13:00:04 +0000 Julie Rains 48221 at http://www.wisebread.com Behind the Times - I learn about Keep the Change http://www.wisebread.com/behind-the-times-i-learn-about-keep-the-change <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/behind-the-times-i-learn-about-keep-the-change" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000036827754_Large.jpg" alt="hand holding coins" title="hand holding coins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I tend to ignore most promotions that banks send my way. I use Bank of America for my primary checking account, and they often interrupt my online banking log-in to try to sell me on some kind of promotion, and it&rsquo;s usually crap.</p> <p>So it was with Keep the Change &mdash; I just assumed that it was another little gimmick that wasn&rsquo;t worth a second glance, and I would sigh heavily whenever the advertisement prevented me from immediately seeing my account balance when I logged into my online checking account. It wasn&rsquo;t until a friend told me that she was participating that I started to pay attention.</p> <p>(Now, to show you just how out of it I am, Keep the Change launched in October 2005, and I&rsquo;m blogging about it in January 2007. The fact that I know what a &quot;blog&quot; is should probably be surprising. Aren't you glad that I get paid fractions of pennies per day to give you financial advice?)</p> <p>Bank of America's Keep the Change program works like an electronic version of a change jar. You know how you hear that when you pay cash for something, if you ALWAYS put your leftover change in a jar, at the end of a year, you&rsquo;ll have several hundred dollars saved up? That&rsquo;s true if you are the cash-paying type &mdash; I&rsquo;m not, although that may change over time. I tend to use my debit card for everything. And this is where Keep the Change comes in.</p> <p>Keep the Change pretty much works like a change jar. Every time you pay for something with your B of A debit card, Bank of America will round the total up to the next dollar (no matter what the amount) and deposit the difference in your savings account. So, if your morning latte comes to $3.13, an extra $0.87 is taken from your checking and deposited into your savings account.</p> <p>So, initially, they take extra money out of your checking account and deposit it into savings. This isn&rsquo;t really revolutionary, but it&rsquo;s not a bad idea.&nbsp;If you&rsquo;re already a Bank of America customer, and you tend to ignore most promotional offers from your bank, then you should consider it.</p> <h2>Pros</h2> <ul> <li>It makes balancing your checkbook a lot easier. Whole numbers = simple accounting.</li> <li>You save money automatically, without thinking about it.</li> <li>Earn as much as you can by tipping. When I go out to eat (every night), I add my tip so that my total comes to exactly one cent over a whole dollar amount &mdash; $29.01, for example. That way, Bank of America will save $0.99 for me.</li> <li>It appears as though you can go ahead and transfer the money out of savings (although this sort of defeats the purpose of saving the money, and you won&rsquo;t earn as much interest as if you left it there, but in a pinch, you can grab those funds).</li> </ul> <h2>Cons</h2> <ul> <li>If you overdraw your account for a day, Bank of America will not round up to the nearest dollar amount and the Keep the Change transfer will be cancelled.</li> <li>I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s really worth it to open a checking and savings account with Bank of America if you don&rsquo;t already have one. You don&rsquo;t get great interest rates on savings, and other banks are more than happy to give you better promotional deals.</li> <li>You only make a good deal of money on this if you spend like I do, on tons of little items, many times a day. I do this, but I&rsquo;m trying hard not to, and trying not to makes it difficult to earn as much money from Bank of America.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>I've been enrolled in Keep the Change for a little over a month, and I've set aside a little over $70. Hey, it's not a lot, but it's a manicure and pedicure, right there.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/behind-the-times-i-learn-about-keep-the-change">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-25-free-for-opening-a-savings-account-with-5-05-interest">Get $25 FREE for opening a savings account with 5.05% interest. - UPDATED</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-post-really-suk-kuks-examining-islamic-finance">This Post Really Suk-kuks: Examining Islamic Finance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-ways-to-count-and-cash-in-your-change">Best Ways to Count (and Cash in) Your Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-can-you-afford-to-risk-in-a-play-money-account">How Much Can You Afford to Risk In a Play Money Account?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Investment Bank of America change interest Keep the Change promotions savings Thu, 01 Feb 2007 22:19:21 +0000 Andrea Karim 244 at http://www.wisebread.com