Posted by Chuck on July 28, 2015
Credit Cards

Published on July 28th, 2015 | by Chuck

97

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.

[RelatedBest Downgrade Options & Rules For Each Card Issuer]

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.

Recent Problems

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.

 



97
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
jay
jay

I have an issue with my rewards this month. None of my cards got quarterly cash rewards even though my balance was over $20. They asked me to wait till end of month as they have until 31st July to pay off the reward. I doubt it will come though. Anybody else have that issue this quarter?

FB
FB

Yeah, they have not posted the bonus yet for me. It was always on the 5th – 7th in the past.
I asked them about it on the 9th, and was told it would post by the cycle date (16th for me).
It did not post, so I asked again and was told it will post by the end of month..

jay
jay

Check today. My rewards posted!

JF
JF

Been giving 18 cents to charity a month – No issue yet

Raj
Raj

Are you actually costing the charity money by using a CC?

Steve
Steve

Possibly. Depends on whether they worked out discounted transaction costs with the CC network.

Kyle
Kyle

What charity do you use that accepts $0.18? Most charities I have seen need a $1/5 minimum.

Henri123
Henri123

I got waived for $4. Does the $120 consider as interests?

Jay
Jay

I’ve been offered to split my CL with another card in their line up, however, they do advise that it would be a hardpull to do so. Is this true?

Fiby

Interesting. This hasn’t happened to me but it looks like I should step up my Amazon allowance to $5, or switch the charge on my BBR to something else that is >=$5

JC
JC

I put Netflix on this card every month. I usually pay it off a week or two after the charge goes through. Will I need to do anything extra to get this working correctly?

Alex
Alex

BoA cs would not allow downgrading to BBR. Says this card has a different rewards structure and other cards cannot be switched to it.

Tried two persons and got the same answer. Hope someone has better luck.

John
John

I called about 15 minutes ago to “downgrade my Cash Rewards card.” The first rep said it was not possible to change the card, but then suggested that if I would like to apply for a new card she recommended the BBR. (lol)

I called a second time, and said “I want to product change my card to the Better Balance Rewards card.” The rep said absolutely, and completed the request process with a happy attitude. Hopefully I don’t get some secondary notification that my request cannot be completed. I’ll follow up when I’ve got card in hand.

Keith
Keith

What card did you change from to get the Better Balance Reward card

John
John

The Cash Rewards (3/2/1) card.

Vic
Vic

Thanks for the positive data point.
I’ve called 4 times and given up already.
But now I’m going to keep trying!

Vic
Vic

John,

Is your Cash Reward is a VISA or a MasterCard?

My CR is VISA and my existing BBR is a Master, not sure if this is a problem.

John
John

It is a Visa. The rep at one point said something like “and you want to keep this as a Visa?” I said whatever is easiest. (Based on all the HUCA failure reports I’ve seen, I wanted to make sure everything went smoothly!)

John
John
John
John

Update: BofA rep just called to confirm they were working on my requested product change to BBR. He said they can do it, but need to confirm I’m OK changing the product level from Visa Signature to Platinum. Once I said fine, they confirmed everything was ok, and I’d be receiving my new card in the mail in about 3 weeks.

Sam
Sam

Called 7 times already, is that even possible? Any strategy for the talking?

William Charles

Try again and ask to speak to supervisor.

Johnny
Johnny

I had the same response, which is not. But do I really ask for a supervisor to speak to?

univs
univs

According to BofA’s description: “Earn $25 per quarter … when you pay MORE THAN the monthly minimum on time each month”. Many blogger and I thought we should have a balance that is more than $25 which is usually the minimum payment so that we can pay “more than” that to earn the rewards. From this post, it seems like we actually just need to pay “equal to” the monthly minimum?

Fiby

That’s not how the minimum balance works. If your closing balance is less than $25, then the minimum payment is your closing balance. If your closing balance is greater than $25, then your minimum payment is $25 (or more I think? I’ve never actually charged much to a BoA card).

You still need to pay MORE than your minimum payment to get the rewards.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen any blogger claim you must have a balance of at least $25 on the BBR to get the rewards.

univs
univs

You are right about how the minimum payment is calculated. But that doesn’t change my concern that if you charge, say, 10$ on your card, your minimum amount due would be $10 which is equal to your balance. In this case you can not pay MORE THAN $10, as $10 is the max amount you can pay. In this case, are you still qualified for the rewards?

Fiby

I’m confused. Why would you not be able to pay more than $10 in that example? Are you saying the BoA website won’t let you pay more than the minimum payment? Because that’s not true, I’ve forced the balance on a BoA card to be negative before by making a payment through the BoA website.

If for some strange reason it’s not letting you do that, then “push” a payment from somewhere else such as your bank’s bill pay center or Amex Serve.

univs
univs

“Forcing” a payment that is large than the balance? Wow never thought about this as an option 🙂 Have you been doing this and actually get the rewards? It surely sounds very interesting.

BeyondtheWrap
BeyondtheWrap

It says in the terms that payment in full will count for the bonus.

Fiby

@univs

I’ve forced a negative balance before on a different BoA card. Just say make a payment and type in the amount you want. Pretty sure you can still do this with the BBR.

I don’t do it this way though for the BBR, because by the time I got the BBR I got a Santander extra20 account. Because I charge an Amazon allowance to my BBR, I know exactly what the closing balance is going to be on the BBR. So I just schedule a payment from Santander for more than the closing balance.

On the first statement of my BBR, I let it close with a balance of $1.01. From then on, I charged a $2 Amazon gift card and pushed a $2 payment every month, so my closing balance is always $1.01 and I’m always making a payment more than the minimum.

I’ve been getting my rewards this way. But this may not even be necessary, as BeyondtheWrap says payment in full counts too.

Bargainator
Bargainator

The best way to pay more than the minimum payment of a statement is to do a transfer payment from your checking account (if you have one through BoA). I have had this credit card for 2 years now and have been successful on paying 2 cents each month on my 1 cent statement balance to get $30 every 3 months.

univs
univs

@Fiby @Barginator @BeyondtheWrap Thank you all for the input. I’ll start to charge my card much less each month and than overpay it with Transfer. It’s good to know that paying in full also counts, but I would not risk it because they could change their fine print anytime to match what is publically advertised.

Steve
Steve

Despite what the T&C’s say, and despite what I was told by both my banker and a CSR, paying off the statement balance in full, and not a penny more, works to generate the rewards.

I’ve got a $0.50 monthly Amazon Allowance set up, which is paid in full by autopay, and I’ve gotten the rewards.

Eddy
Eddy

“You still need to pay MORE”

That’s simply not true. I also spent over a year doing $26 charges when I didn’t have to! PIF any balance counts. The wording could be improved.

Qualifying Payment — A monthly payment received on or before the Due Date, which is more than the Minimum Payment due;
a payment in full received on or before the Due Date is a Qualifying Payment

Jan B
Jan B

I received my $30 mid year return into my BOA checking early July.

Note to JC: It’s unclear what was meant by “after the charge goes through”. One must let the statement cycle and be issued with a balance. If it’s not done and one pays after the charge goes through but before statement ends, the terms have not been met and there will be no bonus. It must be done three statement cycles to obtain quarterly.

Your monthly minimum can be what BOA requests as your minimum payment to qualify for your bonus each of the three months OR your entire balance. My balance has been about $9 and I have no issues after paying it in full.

Fo\r those who occasionally carry a balance on any card and find that one is unable to completely liquidate spending and need a little time by turning to a 0% BT with a fee, this $25-30 is a great way to cover the fee on a maximum $750 BT “loan” (if you will).

PSA: Things happen. An amount like $30 could hardly be considered significant income alone. Give 10% to the church and if you feel you need a stretcher, use to cover your fee. BUT, pay it off on time!

(The example given is not endorsed by DOC or any entity involved with doc.com).

Paul
Paul

The days of this deal are numbered. First, they make it difficult to downgrade. Now, they are purposefully crediting people once a quarter small balances so they don’t have to pay the bonus. The fact that they are doing it only for this very card and only once a quarter means that they are very deliberate about it.

Steve
Steve

They’re paying $100/yr per card. Their public sign-up bonuses are $100 per card, and those are paid out much quicker than over the course of a year. I don’t think this is gonna get nerfed.

Robert
Robert

Just called (several times) and had 3 different reps and 2 supervisors tell me it’s no longer possible to product change from the Cash Rewards to the Better Balance Rewards. Waaaah!

William Charles

Keep trying, it’s still possible you just need to get lucky.

Robert
Robert

Took your advise, called again, got it on the first shot! Product change request submitted, now I’m just wanting for the confirmation call.. Thanks Doc B-)

William Charles

Glad you finally got it.

trackback

[…] transactions. For someone who spends a lot on Amazon, it’s really not a big deal. We’ve also noted that for the purposes of getting the bonus on the Better Balance Rewards card, it’s smart to […]

Quilty
Quilty

I just closed my month with a balance of $6.45. The minimum payment is also showing up as $6.45. Since there’s no way for me to pay more than the $6.45, does that mean that I’m screwed out of getting my bonus for this quarter? I have a feeling that that’s not what it means and would appreciate any advice on how much to pay as I will follow that advice to the letter. Thank you!

trackback

[…] To get the most value out of this card, you’re going to want to automate this promotion as much as possible. Here is what I’d recommend doing, find a small monthly charge that you don’t receive a category bonus on. Put this charge on your new BankAmericard Better Balance Rewards and then set it up so this card is automatically paid in full each month. [See also, PSA: Put a $5 Charge on that Better Balance Rewards Card] […]

Dani
Dani

My BOA cb rewards for visa sig & BBR are set-up to deposit into BOA savings account…This month they used $3 cb from visa to pay my $5 BBR bill?

Back to Top ↑