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Originally launched in mid-September 1958, the ‘BankAmericard’ is back. To coincide with the 40th anniversary, BofA is introducing a new ‘BankAmericard’ credit card offering rewards to customers for banking with Bank of America. Called the ‘BankAmericard Banking Benefits’ card, the new card rewards cardholders with one point for every $100 of their new monthly purchases or two points when they carry a balance on their cards. Reward points can be applied towards checking account fees, mortgage closing fees, homebanking fees, e-bill payment fees, investing in a mutual fund, buying U.S. Savings Bonds, increasing a CD rate, lowering the credit card rate or paying off a credit card balance. The new ‘BankAmericard’ has no annual fee, a fixed, six-month intro rate of 5.9% and a prime +8.99% long-term rate.

Bank of America is introducing a new BankAmericard credit card that rewards customers for banking with Bank of America.

Called the BankAmericard Banking Benefits card, the new card is now available through BofA branches in California. The bank is introducing the card in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the BankAmericard — the first nationally accepted bank credit card.

“We want to make banking with BofA even more rewarding for our card customers, and our new BankAmericard Banking Benefits card does just that,” said Stephen B. Galasso, president of Bank of America NA, BankAmericas credit card subsidiary. “Cardmembers earn points that can add up to savings on a variety of BofA services — ranging from 10 points for $10 off monthly checking fees to 400 points for a 4 percent reduction on their BankAmericard interest rate.”

The new BankAmericard rewards customers with points totaling up to 2 percent of their monthly purchases. Cardmembers earn one point for every $100 of their new monthly purchases — or two points when they carry a balance on their cards. Reward points dont expire and are easy to redeem by calling a toll-free 800 number.

Reward points can be applied toward a variety of products and services and used to:

— Lower banking costs on checking accounts, Pay By Phone, HomeBanking, home mortgages and home equity loans. For example, 50 reward points can reduce bank closing fees on a home loan by up to $250.

— Invest in mutual funds or buy U.S. Savings Bonds. For example, 200 reward points can be redeemed for a $200 investment in a Bank of America managed mutual fund. Fifty points can purchase a $50 U.S. Savings Bond.

— Receive a bonus interest rate on a new BofA Personal Investment Certificate of Deposit. For example, 25 points can increase the interest rate by 1/2 percent on a six-month Investment CD of $5,000 to $10,000.

— Reduce the rate on BankAmericard or apply a credit toward the cards balance. For example, 50 points reduces the BankAmericard annual percentage rate by 1/2 percent and increments of 10 points can be applied to reducing the balance on the card by $10.

The new BankAmericard has no annual fee and a fixed introductory rate of 5.9 percent for the first six months for BofA customers. After the introductory period, the rate is adjusted quarterly based on the Wall Street Journal prime rate plus 8.99 percent. Based on todays prime rate, the standard rate would be 17.49 percent.

According to Galasso, the bank will launch a promotional kick-off of the new BankAmericard Banking Benefits card in September that will coincide with the 40th anniversary of BofAs introduction of the BankAmericard. The forerunner of all other bank credit cards, BankAmericard was launched as a pilot in mid-September 1958 in Fresno, Calif., and was rolled out statewide the following year. Today, Bank of America has more than 9 million cardmembers.

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