Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Card: Great for Credit Building and Cash Back Rewards

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Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card

Editor’s Score: (3.4/5)
Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

  • Intro bonus: N/A
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 23.99% Variable APR
  • Recommended credit score: (No Credit History)

Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Card is a secured credit card, which requires a cash deposit as collateral. After your initial deposit, there’s no annual fee. You can use this card to build credit, since Bank of America reports your balances and payments to the three credit bureaus, and even earn unlimited rewards on your spending.

At a Glance

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Minimum security deposit of $300 required (maximum $4,900) to open
  • No annual fee
  • 23.99% variable APR

Pros

  • 1.5% flat cash back

  • No annual fee

  • Refundable security deposit can be as low as $300

  • Build credit

Cons

  • High APR

  • Requires security deposit

  • Limited ways to redeem your rewards

Additional Card Details

Secured credit cards are important tools for improving credit, but they don’t typically come with the benefits or perks of unsecured rewards cards. As a result, you don’t get many extras with the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Card. 

You can access a free FICO credit score through your account every month, which can help you monitor your progress as you build or repair your credit with the card. Bank of America will also periodically review your account to determine if you’re eligible to have your security deposit refunded. This is based on factors like your overall credit history and history with Bank of America (through this account or others), and can be an indicator of your progress toward a better credit score.

Should You Get this Card?

Secured cards can be great options for people who have a limited credit history or who have made credit mistakes in the past. Because they require collateral in the form of a security deposit, issuers are often more willing to extend approval for a secured card to people with lower credit scores. 

Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured is a standout even among the best secured credit cards, though. It’s uncommon to find one that offers rewards alongside the ability to build credit — especially for no annual fee. Secured credit cards tend to charge more fees than unsecured cards, and many of them don’t offer any rewards at all. 

With that being said, your rewards options are fairly limited if you’re not a Bank of America customer. You can use your rewards for a statement credit toward your balance or for transfers to Bank of America checking or savings accounts or a Merrill investing account.

Pro Tip

Hoping to help your kids save for college? The Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Card lets you transfer your cash rewards to Merrill investing accounts, including a 529 savings plan.

If you’re building credit but want the chance to earn rewards along the way, there are some other options to consider. For instance, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Rewards Credit Card is an unsecured option for credit-building that earns the same 1.5% cash back, though it does have a $39 annual fee. Another secured card option, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, still requires a security deposit but also has no annual fee and earns 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent each quarter at gas stations and restaurants. 

How to Use Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Card

Before you apply for the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Card, you’ll need a plan to pay a security deposit of at least $300 (up to a maximum of $4,900). You’re not guaranteed that amount as your credit limit, though — Bank of America uses multiple factors to determine your credit limit, including your income and ability to pay, but the deposit you provide is an important part. If you’re approved for a limit that is less than your deposit, Bank of America will refund you the difference. 

Keep your credit limit in mind when you determine your deposit amount. Putting down just $300 will leave you with very little open credit to work with and can lead to a high credit utilization rate, making it difficult to build your credit score.

Once you are approved, use your Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Card only for purchases you can afford to pay off right away. With a 23.99% variable APR, high interest debt can accrue very quickly on any balances you carry on this card. 

To improve your credit as much as possible, you should pay your balances in full and on time each month, while keeping your spending well below your credit limit. Payment history and credit utilization are two of the most influential factors in your credit score, so maintaining these good habits can help you earn back your security deposit and build your score quickly.

Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Card Compared to Other Cards

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card

Editor’s Score: (3.4/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    23.99% Variable APR
  • Recommended credit:
    (No Credit History)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (3.0/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $39
  • Regular APR:
    26.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    (No Credit History)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (3.7/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    Cashback Match™
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    22.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    (No Credit History)

Bottom Line

If you’ve had trouble getting approved for a credit card due to limited credit history or a low score, you may want to give a secured credit card a try. And the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Card should definitely be on your list. With a meaningful rewards rate and lack of an annual fee, it’s one of the best secured credit cards on the market today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Card do a hard pull on your credit report?

Yes, Bank of America will pull your credit report when you apply for the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Card, resulting in a hard credit check.

Is the security deposit on my Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Card refundable?

Your security deposit is fully refundable. Bank of America will periodically review your account to see if you’re eligible to have your deposit refunded, or you’ll receive your deposit back when you close your account in good standing.

Does the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Card report to the credit bureaus?

Yes, the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Card reports to the three credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. This will help you build your credit if you use your card responsibly.