Bank of America is one of the largest financial institutions in the country with an accessible footprint of ~4,000 branches and 16,000 ATMs. Credit cards are just one of the bank’s financial products, but one of its most important from a consumer’s perspective.
With 68 million customers, the bank reaches a broader selection of them due to its diverse credit card portfolio.
If you currently have a banking relationship with Bank of America and/or thinking of securing a credit card with the bank, you’ll be interested in the information we’ll be covering today.
Here are all the basics you’ll need to know about the minimum requirements necessary for securing a Bank of America credit card.
The Value of a Bank of America Credit Card
With several card issuers out there, you have choices. Here are some of the reasons you’d want to consider Bank of America credit cards:
Access to a Variety of Credit Cards
Regardless of your credit situation, chances are Bank of America has a credit card that fits your credit profile. Not all banks offer solutions for those who have no credit or poor credit, but Bank of America offers a path from basic secured credit cards to cards with premium benefits and rewards.
Also, unlike other card issuers, Bank of America does not have a limit on how many cards you can have.
With the exception of cards specifically designed for building or rebuilding credit, every purchase you make on a Bank of America credit card will earn rewards. Most cards have bonus earning categories that elevate your earning potential and help you build rewards faster. Bank of America has options for every preference.
Bank of America also has an incentive program for credit cardholders who are existing customers. Cardholders can earn up to 75% additional rewards via the Preferred Rewards program when meeting related account requirements. We’ll talk more about existing customer incentives later in our article.
Multiple Redemption Options
Whether you prefer cash-back, travel, shopping with retailers, gift cards, or making a charitable donation, you’ll have several options to use your rewards at redemption time. Plus, Bank of America customers enjoy a 10% boost when redeemed cash-back earned on an eligible credit card is transferred to a qualifying Bank of America account.
Travel and Shopping Protections and Benefits
Bank of America credit cards offers a long list of potential benefits that differ by the card you select. You’ll find travel protections on most cards, such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, car rental insurance, and even emergency evacuation insurance on its premium cards.
Premium travel benefits can include worldwide lounge access, elite-style benefits at luxury hotels, and concierge assistance.
You’ll want to use your Bank of America credit card for shopping to take advantage of return protection coverage, warranty manager, and purchase security. Coverage varies by card.
Bank of America Additional Services
Establishing a credit card relationship with Bank of America can offer long-term financial benefits. The full-service financial institution offers wealth management services, home and auto loans, health savings accounts, retirement products, mobile banking, savings/checking accounts, and more.
Bottom Line: Securing a credit card with Bank of America gives you access to a variety of card choices that can earn rewards on every purchase plus offer several ways to redeem your rewards. Qualifying current Bank of America customers can earn even greater rewards. Additionally, cards come with travel and shopping protections/benefits, plus you’ll have access to the bank’s additional financial services.
Recommended Minimum Requirements for Bank of America Credit Cards
What We Know for Sure
Higher Credit Scores Increase the Chance of Card Approval
Although Bank of America offers credit cards for most credit profiles, to qualify for the best credit cards (those with the best rewards and benefits), you’ll need an excellent credit score. Those with credit scores of 740 or higher have the best chance of being approved for the best Bank of America credit cards.
Sufficient Income and a Credit History Are Important
While having a good credit score is important, Bank of America will also consider additional aspects of your credit history, including its length, what types of accounts you have open, payment history, and whether you have sufficient income to make future payments. Additionally, if you’ve had a lot of recent credit inquiries, you may not be approved for a Bank of America credit card. We’ll talk more about this shortly.
Even if you have good credit, these factors and more can affect your chances for card approval.
An ITIN or Social Security Number Is Required
You must be a U.S. resident to apply for a Bank of America credit card. You may apply online or at a local branch if you have a Social Security number and only in person if you have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
You must also be 18 years of age or older to be approved for a card. If under 21 years of age, an independent income source is required.
Optional, but Potentially Helpful
While the following are not official requirements, these factors may influence the outcome of your credit card application with Bank of America:
An Existing Relationship
You do not need to have an existing bank account with Bank of America to be approved for a credit card, but it can help.
Consider Carrying a Balance
While carrying a balance from statement to statement negates any rewards you’ll be earning due to interest rate charges, card issuers make money when cardholders carry over balances. When completing the application, consider that you may need to carry a balance sometime in the future and indicate this when asked during the application process.
Bottom Line: You’ll need excellent credit for the best Bank of America credit cards, income and credit history are also important, and a Social Security number or ITIN number is required to be considered. Being an existing Bank of America customer can also help in getting approved.
Before You Apply for a Bank of America Credit Card
Check To See if You Have Offers
Before submitting an application for a Bank of America credit card, you’ll want to utilize some risk-free tools that help give you an idea of cards for which you might qualify. These tools can tell you if you have existing card offers already available.
Bank of America participates in CardMatch, a tool that can help you find existing credit card offers with no risk to your credit, as no hard credit inquiry transpires during the process.
You’ll need to provide minimal information to access a list of cards you’re more likely to be approved for. You are not guaranteed to be approved for these cards but it’s a start to finding cards that fit your profile.
Bank of America also has its own prequalification tool. When you visit the Bank of America website and select Credit Cards at the top of the page, you’ll see Shop All Credit Cards banner. Click on this option and all of the featured most popular cards will be listed, but not cards that are specifically a match for you. If you scroll down, however, you’ll see the box below. Click on Check Offers.
If you’re not currently a Bank of America customer, you’ll need to provide your full name, birth date, and the last 4 numbers of your Social Security number to access your curated list. No hard inquiry is done on your credit report, however, so it is a no-risk process. Remember, the list of cards does not guarantee you’ll be approved for these cards, just that these are likely matches for approval based on your profile.
Know Your Credit History and Score
Before applying for any credit card, you’ll want to be up to date on your credit situation. Even if you know you have good credit, it’s prudent to check your report periodically for accuracy and correct any errors before you apply for a card.
Knowing where you stand can also help you apply for the cards you’re more likely to be approved for and not waste any hard inquiries just to receive a subsequent denial.
Consider Opening a Bank of America Account
If you’re looking for a Bank of America credit card, having an existing account may help you get approved but it can also be an economically savvy move. Here’s why.
- Cash-back Bonus — Receive a 10% bonus when redeeming cash-back from a Bank of America credit card if you have a checking, savings, 529, or Merrill Lynch account and have the cash-back transferred to that account.
- Preferred Rewards Program — Existing Bank of America customers or those with Merrill Lynch or Merrill Edge investment accounts with $20,000 or more in deposits may qualify for the Preferred Rewards program and receive 25% to 75% bonus rewards on their Bank of America credit card. There is also a Preferred Rewards program for business customers.
What if You Have Poor Credit or No Credit
It doesn’t matter where you stand in your credit journey, there may be Bank of America credit card options that can assist you in changing your situation. Even if you have bad credit or no credit at all, there are card products that can help you build, or rebuild credit.
Bottom Line: Before applying for a Bank of America credit card, be sure to utilize prequalification/preapproval tools such as the CardMatch tool and the Bank of America website to check the personalized offers that may already be waiting for you. Additionally, order a copy of your credit report to find out where you stand currently and to check it for accuracy.
Best Bank of America Credit Cards for Good (670 to 739) to Excellent (740+) Credit
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Card
For those who want to earn well on travel and dining, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card can be a good choice, especially if you’re a current qualifying Bank of America customer. Like other Bank of America rewards-earning cards, cardholders who qualify for Premium Rewards receive 25% to 75% more rewards. The card also comes with a $100 airline incidentals credit and Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement.
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite Credit Card
The frequent traveler will enjoy the Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite card‘s premium benefits, such as worldwide lounge access via Priority Pass Select membership, up to $300 in travel statement credits, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement, and travel protections. Additionally, cardholders who redeem rewards for airfare will receive 20% more in value for their rewards points.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
Travelers who prefer a card with no annual fee and simplified rewards earning will like the Bank of America Travel Rewards card. The card offers unlimited earnings of 1.5x points on all purchases and comes with an introductory 0% APR period for purchases and balance transfers. Terms apply.
To check out more Bank of America rewards-earning credit cards, here’s a list of some of the best.
Best Bank of America Business Credit Cards
Bank of America offers a nice collection of rewards-earning business credit cards. Qualifying existing Bank of America account holders will also receive Preferred Rewards for Business bonuses of up to 75% more on eligible business credit cards.
Here are just a few of the top Bank of America business cards:
|Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards Card|
- 3x points on select travel via the Bank of America Travel Center
- 1.5 points on all other purchases
- Travel protections
- No foreign transaction fees
|Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards|
- 1.5% cash-back on all purchases
- Secondary car rental insurance
|Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card|
- 3% cash-back on your choice of 1 category, including gas stations, office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom/wireless, computer or business consulting services
- 2% cash-back on dining
- 1% cash-back on all other purchases
- Secondary car rental insurance
Learn more about these and other Bank of America business credit cards in our related article.
Best Bank of America Credit Cards for Poor or No Credit
Even those consumers with poor credit or no credit have credit card options with Bank of America. While you won’t be earning rewards, you’ll be making positive steps toward better credit and qualifying for greater card options.
|BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students|
- No annual fee
- Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
- 0% APR on purchases for 21 billing cycles
- 0% APR on balance transfers made within 60 after card approval, for 21 billing cycles
- Free FICO score access
- Doesn’t earn rewards
- A balance transfer fee of 3% or $10 whichever is greater applies
|BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card|
- No annual fee
- Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
- Requires a refundable minimum deposit ($200 to $5,000), credit limit is determined by the security deposit and income/ability to pay
- The account is reviewed periodically for possible credit limit increase and refund of security deposit
- Free FICO score access
- Doesn’t earn rewards
- Security deposit required
For more information on credit cards that can be secured with no credit or poor credit, we’ve put together this additional article.
Everything Else You Need To Know
While Bank of America does not publish a limit on how many credit cards you can have (it may be unlimited), the amount of total credit afforded to you by the bank could affect how many cards you could ultimately be approved for.
Application Frequency Limits
Although Bank of America does not limit the number of cards you can have, it does have what is referred to as a 2/3/4 rule on how often you can apply:
- 2 new cards within a 30-day period
- 3 new cards within a 12-month period
- 4 new cards within a 24-month period
For example, if you were to apply for 2 new Bank of America credit cards today, you could not be approved for another card until after 30 days have passed. Then, you would be able to apply for just 1 more card to reach the limit of 3 new cards within the 12-month period.
Cardholder reports also suggest that Bank of America has a limit of 7 new cards (from any issuer) within the past 12 months for bank account customers and a limit of 3 new cards in the past 12 months for customers without an additional banking relationship. Business cards do not seem to be included in these limits.
When you apply online for a Bank of America credit card you’ll generally receive a decision within 60 seconds. If you are declined, calling the reconsideration line may help you find out why you weren’t approved and allow you to provide any additional information that may be useful for reconsideration.
Before you make the call it can be helpful to be prepared with a copy of your credit report and the information you provided on the application (income, employment history, etc.).
It’s not unusual to have a decision reversed after a live representative looks at your application and receives additional pertinent information.
To check your application status, you can call 866-422-8089. For customer service and application reconsideration call 800-732-9194. Note that these numbers change periodically but are current at the time of this writing and are easily found online.
Bottom Line: Bank of America does not have a set limit as to how many cards you can have with the bank at one time. Application limits are 2 new cards within 30 days, 3 new cards within 12 months, and 4 new cards within 24 months. If your application is declined, it can be helpful to call the reconsideration line.
Bank of America offers a wide variety of credit card options — more than most issuers. And, you don’t have to have pristine credit to qualify.
More importantly, those who have no credit or poor credit can secure a card that will help them improve their credit profile and subsequently qualify for rewards-earning cards without changing card issuers.
If your credit is good to excellent, however, you’ll have a greater selection of cards from which to select.
If you’re looking specifically for a travel rewards-earning credit card, you’ll also want to check out our recommendations for some of the best cards in our article on this topic.
The information regarding the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card, Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite Credit Card, Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards Card, Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards, Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card, BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students, and BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.