PSA: A Word of Warning About Bank of America Credit Card Applications

A concerning comment was left on our article about the new Merrill+ link last night, and it mirrors some recent data points that have popped up on r/churning. While I don’t want to unduly worry you, our readers, I think it’s worth discussing.

Reader Darv:

Unfortunately, some folks are about to find out soon that their cards were “approved in error.” Particularly those who tried to combine apps into one pull.

Wait for this developing story.

Now – anybody can say anything on the Internet. Here’s why I choose to take this at face value:

  1. Bank of America (BOA) has recently instituted a limit on the number of credit cards, for some people, and closed accounts that have been open for a lengthy period of time.
  2. There are multiple recent reports of BOA refusing to approve a business card unless you put $1,500 in a CD with them. (See this reddit thread for an example.)
  3. There are multiple recent reports of BOA closing cards after approval due to the card being approved in error. (See this reddit thread for an example.)

Taken together, these reports indicate that BOA is an issuer in flux and is in the process of implementing new rules. And given how freely BOA was dishing out cards, some change was probably needed on their part. (Of course, if BOA is having problems, the stupidly obvious fix is to not approve people for seven cards in one application spree (FrequentMiler link), since they are the lone issuer that rewards people for super aggressive credit seeking at one issuer.)

For now, be a little more careful with your applications – especially multiple ones – until more data points roll in. You probably want to limit yourself to at most 2–3 BOA credit card applications at once, and maybe just 2.

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SouthFayetteFan
SouthFayetteFan

Here is my “APPROVED IN ERROR” experience:

APPLICATION INFO:
Applied May 1
Approved May 2 (found out via online status) and got a letter May 5
Closed May 3 (took until May 15 to get the letter tho…grrr!)

STATS (all at time of application)
Inquiries prev. 6 months: 5
Inquiries prev. 12 months: 13
5/24 status: 29/24 (as measured by Chase from all issuers)
# of BofA cards opened in previous 24 months: 5
# of BofA cards opened at time of application: 2 (I had closed 3 cards over 30 days prior to applying)

I attempted recon a couple of times. I got nowhere on this although one of the analysts hinted at having more than 4 opened cards with BofA as being the issue. I couldn’t reallocate credit or close a card. After feeling very frustrated, I put in a CFPB inquiry after getting the “approved in error” citing that this is a very misleading practice and that they did not provide a logical reason for denial. In the letter I got in response here was the wording:
During the application process on May 2, 2017 it was not identified that you had recently been approved for five credit card accounts within the last 24 months. This was identified on May 3, 2017 and as a result the credit card account ending in XXXX was closed as it is the policy of Bank of America.
I had opened exactly 5 BofA cards in the past 24 months (and was 29/24 in total).

Although this is only one datapoint, it seems to suggest that BofA has a 4 card limit, and I know there are other datapoints in these comments and on reddit that back this up. Thanks – hope this helps some folks!

James B.
James B.

Thanks for the DP.

BOA has been restricting application approvals for customers that have more than say several BOA cards. The exact restrictions are not clear and probably at the discretion of the BOA reviewer.

Gives us update on the CFPB complaint.

Elena
Elena

Applied for two BoA CC today: Alaska Airlines and Amtrak. Both said “We’re carefully reviewing your application and need to check a few more things. We appreciate your patience” with status of application now “pending”. I have 2 Capital One CC and 1 Chase with Credit Karma score of 805EQ and 800TU…
Not sure why I wasn’t approved right away, I thought it was a sure thing..

Now I’m wondering how to explain why I applied for 2 CC with BoA if I need to call..?

zalmy
zalmy

I applied for 3 Alaskas last week, then another 2 this week. was initially told all were declined, now I got a letter stating I was approved the first time and the other apps were deemed to be duplicates, and I did not get a pull

Al
Al

is it possible that everyone that used that (now dead) 50k link is getting closed down? i applied friday, approved this past monday, just got a call from bofa saying it was approved in error. i only have 1 credit card with them right now. past 24 months i only had 4 total credit cards with them (including the current active one). and i didn’t go on an application spree on friday either. merrill was the only app i went for across all banks. unbelievable!

MarcoPolo
MarcoPolo

Some people are still getting approved according to this FW thread:
https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1561786

But getting the card in hand is turning out to be harder than expected.

anne
anne

The only problem now is whether they will remove the credit pull out of our report or not.

MarcoPolo
MarcoPolo

They can.
You might have to ask them.

Bryan
Bryan

This is weird. I checked my status online and it shows I was approved and the credit card showed up on my online account. I just received a letter stating that I was denied. So what should i do?

William Charles

Most likely you were approved in error (basically they changed their mind). How many bank of america cards you had in the last 12 months? 24 months?

bryan
bryan

Only one in the last 24 months.

bryan
bryan

Good news. Im assuming it was initially denied and then approved.My card came in and I was able to use it. =) Only one CC with BOA so I am good!

Tom
Tom

sub

eclipsor
eclipsor

Phone app still works: Called today and when I gave him BAABZX code he was able to find the 50k after 3k spend offer. App went to 30 days though so we’ll see what happens.

eclipsor
eclipsor

seems like the link is down, any idea if the phone app is still working? I only have 2 recent biz cards with them (not alaska or mlb) and won’t be trying to get a 2nd card and havent had many new accounts so I think I should be fine.

Rick i
Rick i

We received two cards in the mail last month but could not activate. Received a letter indicating we already HAVE HAD too many b of a and affiliate cards.

They are monitoring churning folks

William Charles

Would be helpful to know numbers.

duffman
duffman

Applied for BoA ML, AS & OZ on the same day. ML was approved, AS/OZ declined after recon for “too many accounts opened”. I had 1 AS & 1 OZ card open at the time of application. FWIW, first decline in 5yrs/65+ apps.

Interestingly/annoyingly, when I called to activate the ML card I was told the account was closed by the bank for “too many accounts opened”. Looks like my recon call got the approved decision on the ML overturned :/. Tread lightly with BoA