Published on July 28th, 2015 | by Chuck97
PSA: Put a $5 Charge on that Better Balance Rewards Card
Better Balance Rewards
We’ve written about the Bank of America’s Better Balance Rewards (BBR) credit card. The card doesn’t come with a signup bonus, but it’s the perfect card for downgrading any unused BoA credit card, since it earns up to $120 per year by simply paying off the balance on the card monthly.
The card earns $25 each quarter that you paid off more than the minimum payment each of the past 3 months, for a total of $100 per year. If you have a BoA checking or savings account, you’ll get an additional $5 per quarter, bringing to a total of $120 per year. And you can have multiples of the card, so you can downgrade all you unused BoA cards to the BBR card.
Note: While the card is available for new signups, it recently hasn’t been easy to get a CSR to convert your cards to BBR since they’ll the card isn’t an option for downgrading. With some persistence, however, you should be able to get it done.
There have been some reports of late that BoA is waiving small balances on the BBR cards. Those who keep ordinary balances shouldn’t have a problem, but if you regularly leave $1 or $2 on the card in order to be eligible for the bonus, they’ve been coming in once-a-quarter and waiving the balance. Since you don’t have a balance when it was waived, there’s no way to fulfill the condition of having paid off you balance 3-months straight. This then exempts them from having to pay out the $25/30 reward.
The most we’ve seen them waive so far on the BBR cards is a $4.75 balance. For this reason, we’d recommend leaving a $5 balance each month. You can automate by purchasing a $5 Amazon gift card each month using the Amazon Allowance feature. Or you can put your Netflix or any other recurring bill over $5 on the card.
We keep a list of card issuers who waive small balances, see Small Balance Credit Card Waiver. BoA typically does not waive any balance at all, and they apparently are doing this just on a quarterly basis and just on the BBR cards. Also note that not everyone has been getting these quarterly $4 waivers, so you can try keeping a smaller balance and risk it.