Posted by William Charles on January 30, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on January 30th, 2017 | by William Charles

69

Bank of America Closing Some Credit Card Accounts (Limit Of Four?)

There has been multiple reports in the last 48 hours of Bank of America closing some credit card accounts (here, here & there). At this stage we aren’t 100% sure why accounts are being closed, regular customer service representatives are unable to provide any details – simply telling customers that they will receive a letter in the next few days explaining the decision.

All of the data points I’ve seen seem to remove accounts so that the consumer has a maximum of four open credit cards (e.g if they had ten, six will be close). They seem to be closing cards with the lowest credit limit first (e.g if you have cards with limits of $10k, $5k, $4k, $4k, $4k, $8k, $3k then they’d close the 3k account first and then the 4k accounts until you had a total of four open credit cards).

It’s also unclear how you’ll be able to pay existing balances on the card and if your rewards will be forfeited or not. Please share your datapoints in the comments below, we will update this post as the story develops.



69 Responses to Bank of America Closing Some Credit Card Accounts (Limit Of Four?)

  1. James says:

    Why is it any mystery how one will be able to pay down existing balances? Same as any closed account, I’d presume?

  2. Ang says:

    I received a letter saying my card is to be closed Feb 8. I received the letter about a month ago. It’s my oldest and only Boa card. Close to ten years and has been sock drawed so no activity except redeeming points last year.

  3. TG says:

    DP: Applied for card in late Dec and instantly denied. I called in and they said I had too many cards, 4, and I was able to get approved by closing one.

    Counter DP to my own DP: Applied for Merrill card a month later and approved without calling in as my 5th card.

  4. johnny says:

    BofA closed two of my accounts, I was super pissed off. I called and they converted my travel rewards card to cashback. He was able to help me get that converted for 1:1 ratio. I had 5 BBR, 1 Merrill+, 1 Travel, and 1 Cash Rewards. They closed 1 BBR and my travel. So it seems I have more than 4 what the posting states.

  5. Jim says:

    Good DP here: During the last MLB saga, I had 14 cards closed down to 4 after they approved me and sent me the cards. 4 of the closed accounts had 500$ charge to meet the MS requirement. They closed 9 of MLB and a even a BBR. When I called in, the lender said the reason was that they only allow X amount of accounts open each month, and that X seemed to be 4. He kept on saying that it was bank policy. Main time, I had to call in to pay off the charges on the cards via my checking account that I had with BoA. THE BONUS WAS NOT HONORED. I sent in requests regarding such and received letter stating that since the account was closed, all bonus associated with it are forfeited. Yes it did seemed that they closed the account from the lowest CL up. I did ask the lender whether he could be able to reinstate the accounts though. He said he could but each will result in a hard pull (not sure if it’s for every single card). They need to have a better system where you would just get a straight denial if you reached their bank policy limit instead of closing it out at a later point.

    • Eric says:

      Did you end up getting the rewards on the closed accounts? If so, what steps did you take? Did you file a CPFB complaint?

      • Kevin says:

        It’s kind of hard to file a complaint when you are clearly (from the bank’s and the CPFB POV) gaming the system and opening a dozen or more of the same product.

        The terms clearly state that if you or the bank closes your account you forfeit your rewards. They are not your property until they are redeemed. Until then the bank has every right to revoke them if they choose.

    • Thanks Jim, sucks the bonus is forfeit as well. Interesting that it might be related to new accounts per month.

  6. Lisa says:

    Are business cards and personal cards combined? Or could a client have a business card AND 4 personal cards. That’s either 4 cards or 5 cards, depending on whether Amex counts the business card.

    Thanks.

    • Michael says:

      I think the main issue is the MLB cards. My wife applied & received 7 MLB cards last year. Got bonuses on all and cashed rewards out. Since this move by BofA, I checked her (and my) accounts and seems she got the ax. Out of 7 MLB cards, 1 BBR & 1 Business (Cash Rewards) on her account, just 3 MLB cards were cut.

      As for myself I had 2 MLB cards, 1 BBR, 1 Travel Rewards & 1 Business (Worldpts) on my account, none were cut. FWIW, I’m Preferred Honors as well.

      No warning or anything else. Long arm of the BofA strikes back.

  7. Corridor says:

    Are Merril Lynch points safe or would those be lost if that card was closed?

  8. Adam says:

    wow WTF BofA… just checked and it looks like they closed a cpl accts down. I had closed 1 acct on my own (due to AF) a week or two ago. however contrary to other DPs, I have more than 4 open currently. not by much tho and wont give specifics due to obvious reasons. they werent cards I was using anyways, but this still sucks that they arbitrarily did that.

    worst part is when they close accts they drop off your profile automatically. before you get a chance to reconcile everything for record keeping sake :/ no wonder BofA was ranked towards the top of the worst companies wrt to customer service in the survey that came out last month.

    they also ‘downgraded’ one of my Cashrewards cards from Visa Sig to Plat Plus apparently coz it had a CL less than $5k (it dropped below that threshold many months ago when they automatically borrowed from it to open a new card I think)… but it continued to be a Visa Sig all this time, until this IT refresh from hell.

  9. Callie says:

    If an account disappears from online view, re-register it with a new user ID/password/email/phone #. It usually re-appears IF you do this the same day the account is “closed.” BoA actually says the CC is closed, but it takes them a day or so to do this.

  10. Elias says:

    wtf 2 of my cards were also closed! Yesterday they were there!! They were 1 year old! I am a platinum honors client btw.

  11. Arnold says:

    opened 7 BOA MLB cards in September. They just closed 3 of them 2 days ago.

  12. Dan says:

    DP: Had 5 cards (4 MLB and 1 BBR) and noticed they closed down one of my MLB cards that had the lowest credit limit. Wouldn’t have even thought to check if I hadn’t seen this blog post.

  13. Chris says:

    My account is untouched and I hope it stays that way. 1 checking, 6 CCs (4xBBR, AS, M+), 1 529. Preferred Rewards Gold.

    • BeyondtheWrap says:

      Mine also appears to be untouched. 1 checking, 1 savings, 8 CCs (4xBBR, 2xCR, 2xTR), 1 investment.

      Wonder if having a checking account protects against the closures?

      • Alan says:

        Probably, especially if the checking account was opened years ago.

      • Joel says:

        BofA will close all of your accounts including checking accounts in some rare occasions, generally when carrying high balances on their cards or even other cards from month to month.

  14. Norman says:

    I applied a fifth card in mid-Jan and was instantly approved.
    However, the next day, they dropped the credit line on another existing card of mine to $1000

    • Kevin says:

      This is common with BOA, they will use limits from existing cards to approve new ones (a fact which, in all fairness, they state on the application pages)

  15. John says:

    I have 5 Credit cards out of which 2 are Alaska. Should I proactively close one Alaska to ensure that BoFA does not close my oldest credit card?

    • CGID says:

      What John just said. My oldest card is also a BOA.

      I would be happy to proactively close 1-2 of the BOA cards I care least about if it would protect my Merrill Lynch BOA and my BBR.

      Any advice?

      My portfolio:
      Better Balance Rewards (15 years old)
      Merrill Lynch (53,000 in unsused points)
      *Two personal MLB cards (rewards used last year)
      *Two business cards (rewards used last year)

      *Cards I do not care about.

      For the last few months I have been a good scout and have showed a continued small use each month of the MLB and business cards even in the months after I got my bonus. Just to avoid the impression that I was a pure bonus chaser.

  16. Curmudgeon says:

    My DP: I have four personal BOA cards and one corporate card. No closures as of today.

  17. John K says:

    Before the shutdown, I had 1 travel rewards card and 10 MLB cash back cards with BoA – 11 total. They shut down 6 of my MLB cards, so I now have 5 cc accounts with BoA. Here are the approximate dates I opened my accounts:
    January 2016: Travel rewards
    Early May 2016: 3 MLB cards
    May 20th, 2016: 3 MLB cards
    https://www.doctorofcredit.com/bank-america-cash-rewards-200-sign-bonus-2/#comment-260794
    June 3rd, 2016: 4 MLB cards

    I’ve already received all my cash back, and I only have a few hundred dollars in my BoA checking, so I’m not worried about a clawback.

    Not sure its the high limit credit accounts that remain open. I have two accounts that are a higher limit, but then one is $5000 and the other is $1500. So who knows?

    Hopefully when I get home this weekend I’ll have more info – letters in the box.

    Totally a guess here – but I’m assuming they did the closure based on some dollar limit of bonuses that were received by customers in 2016 since they’re doing taxes and have the data.

    I only have personal accounts with BoA so no data points on businesses.

    Someone commented that the lines will be expunged from our credit reports. That would be nice, so I don’t have 6, 7 month old credit lines on their for the next decade.

    • shaun says:

      “That would be nice, so I don’t have 6, 7 month old credit lines on their for the next decade.”

      Why would this matter? I was thinking people actually prefer this since this props up your AAoA anyway.

      • John K says:

        Yeah, I guess it depends on your situation. Personally, my AAoA is around 20 months with these cards. If I remove them, it would jump to around 24. So YMMV

    • John K says:

      Update: I received the letters today. Here is what they say:
      “Credit Card ending: XXXX

      We recently approved the above referenced account. After a further review, we have closed the account because you have a sufficient number of accounts with us and/or our affiliates.

      We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

      Then there’s standard account closure notices for a credit card.

      They do provide a number: 1-866-618-4587, Monday through Friday 8am to 7pm eastern. I’ll give them a call to see if I can get further clarification.

      After some research, I’ve also noted that the four remaining BOA MLB cards I have are the first four I received, which had the highest limits (and the teams I most wanted… 😉 )

    • John K says:

      Quick update on the credit history: a review of my most recent Credit Karma data on average age of accounts shows only the five remaining accounts. So it does appear that BoA has expunged the account credit data for my MLB accounts that were forcibly closed.

  18. Jay says:

    I have a checking account. Still have 2 MLB, 2 Alaska, 1 ML.

  19. Jay says:

    My wife has a checking account. Still has 6 open: 2 MLB, 1 NEA, 1 Amtrak, 2 Alaska.

  20. Young says:

    DP: I have a checking account and had 2 of 5 MLB cards closed. Still open: 1 Alaska Personal, 3 MLB, 1 Merrill+

  21. NoVA Eric says:

    DP: BoA shut down four of my wife’s eight MLB Cash Rewards cards the very day after I redeemed all of her bonus money. I was waiting until she received Platinum Preferred Rewards Status. DP2: BoA most definitely paid out the Preferred Rewards bonus on the signup bonus (so $300 on redemption instead of $200). They also let you use a joint account for preferred rewards status.

    As for her closed cards, it’s as reported – all of a sudden they just disappeared w/ no correspondence yet from BoA as to why. I was afraid they wouldn’t follow through w/ crediting our bank account w/ the rewards I redeemed, but to their credit they did.

    Now if I could just get them to let us convert all our cards to Better Balance Rewards…

  22. Kent C says:

    No problem here. Still have 5 cards, 1 Alaska, 3 BBR and one Travel card. Have a long history with BofA. Have had a checking acct since 1986, so 30 year relationship. Not sure if they are looking at that though.

  23. Klad says:

    I have only one CC with them – Cash Rewards with just 1700 credit limit. I do use it for small transactions couple of times a month. Over the weekend I opened a Core Checking account and yesterday received an email that my debit card has been shipped. And today I tried to login to mobile app, it says account is locked and to call so and so number. I called them and lady over the phone says your online account is deleted because account is pending closure and we are not bound to give any specific reasons to customer as per the user agreement signed when opening the account. And she said further that our decision is final and cannot be reverted. This is ridiculous. This is one of my old account and I do not want it be closed as it affects my AAoA. Can anything be done in this regard – like sending an email to CEO may be so that executive office can take some action?

    • Jason says:

      So sounds like opening a checking account triggers the closure of bank account and existing credit card?

      • Klad says:

        That’s the only thing I can think of now.. I am still surprised because of this they closed my credit card. They could have simply rejected opening my checking account, instead they did this. Need some advise if there is any way I can keep my card?

  24. I seem to be safe so far: 5 personal cards, 3 business cards, 1 checking account.
    No MLB cards.

  25. 11 personal, no MLB, 0 business, 1 longstanding personal checking, no visible change or notice. Recent card apps (Nov) did cite no approval due too many cards open with them.

  26. Ryan says:

    Why would your wife have 8 Bank of America cards, poster above? That’s just crazy.

  27. Ryan says:

    Opening a whole bunch of cards for bonuses is going to get you shut down. Banks are now changing the way they handle customers who do this.

  28. Vijay says:

    Did anyone got any letter until now? BOA closed 2 of of my MLB cards which has a balance and yet to get any communication from them. Don’t know how to pay it off since the cards are closed and invisible.

    • NoVA Eric says:

      No, no letter yet for either my or my wife’s closed accounts. I think she had a negative balance of a few dollars on one account; I assume BoA is legally required to give us a refund check for that. Given that it’s been a couple weeks, I would have expected some kind of communication from them by now.

  29. JP says:

    any communications from BOA?

  30. Dirah says:

    I had an account closed with over 75K Merril Points.
    Are they somehow recoverable, or gone?

  31. Vijay says:

    Hi William,

    Any advise for me for my situation. Bank of America has put a ‘missed payment’ negative mark in my credit report, after they closed my account which had a balance where I cannot able to make payment since they closed it without notice. I went to the branch and they have no idea on how to deal with this situation and the banker called BOA credit card CS and they are also not aware of this and asked me to wait for any future letter/communication (I don’t know what it means). All I got is the account closure letter from BOA, can I be able to dispute this negative remark with the BOA letter I received OR can I file a CFBC ? and will find success in doing so?

    Thanks!

  32. Vijay says:

    Today, I got letters from BOA stating they are closing all of my pending 5 credit cards with them now. The reason they have mentioned is clueless ‘we’ve found your account as delinquent’. Basically, they are shutting down all the credit cards I have with them….anyone got such letters?

    William, I know its going to affect my credit history, what are my options? filing a CFPB complaint will help?

    • You don’t have any delinquent accounts I take it? Filing a CFPB complaint should help.

      • Vijay says:

        I never had a missed payment, and this is the 2nd round of account closure after they closed 1 credit card during 1st round. Please explain on what’s the resolution CFPB complaint will bring to me….I have no idea about it…

  33. Rips says:

    DP:

    Just want to share my experience in Alaska cc

    #1 Alaska CC (approved in June 1 2016, closed Dec 2016)
    #2 Alaska CC (approved in June 1 2016, closed in Mar 2017)
    #3 Alaska CC (approved in Aug 1 2016, closed in Mar 2017)
    #4 Alaska CC (approved in Aug 1 2016, currently active)

    I have BOA checking account for 15+ years and only 1 active Alaska CC from Aug 2016
    and no other BOA cc.

    I applied for another BOA in mid May 2017, instant approval for $18k,
    received the card and activated it in around 1-2 weeks.

    I brought this card with me to an overseas trip, setup the travel
    notification online and thought everything should be fine. The card was declined
    2 times during the trip so I used my AMEX during the trip.

    Came back to US and called the CS and the told me they have closed my account and sent a letter
    on June 6 (which I never receive as of today), as they said I had 4 BOA cc since June 2016.
    The approval of the 5th one was a mistake.

    I know BOA limit the no. of cc to 4 earlier this year, so didn’t expect that included closed account.
    I asked them what’s the limit of cc I can apply/have for now and they wouldn’t confirm it.

    They said they won’t discourage ppl from applying their cc but can’t comment whether they will
    close it immediately.

    Good luck guys with BOA cc. I guess if you’re approved cc doesn’t mean they wont close it right after.

  34. JN says:

    If anything, it seems like the BoA credit card crackdown is getting even stricter.

    New Travel Rewards May 2017.
    New Cash Rewards May 2017.
    Applied for MLB Mastercard June 2017, first approved, then denied on review.
    Decreased the credit lines on both current cards to increase chances of success on reconsideration.
    Reconsidered for MLB Mastercard August 2017, denied again.

    Both times the MLB Card was denied due to “already have sufficient number of cards with BoA.” So despite excellent credit and perfect payment history with BoA, they will not let me have a third credit card. Quite a drastic change from the company that used to approve a dozen cards at once for some customers.

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