Posted by William Charles on February 2, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on February 2nd, 2016 | by William Charles


23 Things Everybody Should Know About Bank of America Credit Cards

We’ve done this for Citi, American Express & Chase before so now it’s Bank of America’s turn. Here are 19 things everybody should know about Bank of America when it comes to their credit cards.

  1. Bank of America has an application rule called 2/3/4. They’ll only approve you for at most two cards per rolling 2 months, three cards per rolling 12 months, and four cards per rolling 24 months.
  2. Bank of America will merge multiple hard credit pulls into a single hard pull. You need to apply on the same day. Keep in mind sometimes personal and business inquiries will merge, but sometimes they won’t.
  3. If you’re denied for a Bank of America card, call their reconsideration department! In a lot of cases you’ll be able to get that denial turned into an approval by answering some basic questions. If you haven’t called reconsideration before, read our tips first. They might also only do a soft pull on your credit report if you’re denied.
  4. It’s possible to check for pre-approved offers with Bank of America. As far as I know they never show offers that are higher than the public bonuses though.
  5. There is no hard limit on the amount of credit cards you can have with them. They are more concerned about the total credit limit that they extend you. Sometimes they will automatically reallocate credit limits from existing cards to approve you. Some people are being limited to four cards.
  6. You may receive an inferior offer instead of being denied. A lot of the Bank of America credit cards have different tiers (e.g Signature, Platinum, Secured). If you’re not approved for the Signature card (usually due to Bank of America already extending you too much credit) they might approve you for the Platinum card instead that comes with a lower sign up bonus.
  7. It’s possible to churn Bank of America cards. In the past there hasn’t been any waiting period (even possible to get multiples of the same card in the same day), but it now seems like they are more strict on this. Also keep in mind what we mentioned above about them sometimes offering inferior versions of the same card.
  8. Bank of America does a soft pull for credit limit increases. They used to do a hard pull, but this has since changed to a soft pull.
  9. Reallocating your credit limits between your cards is only a soft pull. Sometimes you can call up after being approved for the Platinum card and offer to reallocate existing credit limits to the new card.
  10. If Bank of America increases the sign up bonus on a card you recently applied for, they’ll probably match it. No matter the card issuer, it’s always worth asking for a bonus match but Bank of America has a history of matching them.
  11. Bank of America will expedite your card if you have a valid reason. For example, if your heading international and need the card before your trip.
  12. Bank of America will usually waive the annual fee on your card, but you need to ask. It’s generally worth calling their retention department after the annual fee posts to get it waived, when your card has been open for 180 days (or 180 days after the annual fee posts in year two onwards) call again and try to get some free points/miles.
  13. They will also refund the annual fee in most cases if you cancel within one statement cycle. This seems to depend your banking history with Bank of America though.
  14. You can downgrade your Bank of America credit cards. Now that the better balance rewards card is no longer available there isn’t that many good options.
  15. Bank of America used to offer a referral program to card members. Unfortunately it looks like this program was axed.
  16. Bank of America will sometimes pull a different credit bureau if you have one or more of them frozen. This seems to vary wildly person to person though, you can’t give them a PIN to access a frozen report though.
  17. They’ll let you change the statement closing date on your account. You just need to call the number on the back of your card, but as far as I know you can’t use this feature to expedite bonus points/miles posting.
  18. Bank of America reports your credit utilization as what shows on your statement balance. So make sure to pay it off earlier if you need to lower your credit utilization for FICO score purposes. It might also be possible to get them to report this mid cycle by changing your contact information.
  19. Bank of America will typically only give you an instant credit card number on the Alaska credit cards. This can be useful when you have a big purchase coming out and want to knock out a minimum spend requirement.
  20. The period you have to meet your minimum spend requirement begins at card activation. It’s also based on billing cycles (e.g you’ll have three billing cycles to spend $1,000). Reader leifinseoul says that they were told it was based on card approval. 
  21. Bank of America business credit cards don’t get reported to the personal credit bureaus which is useful for keeping your credit report cleaner.
  22. If you closed out a Bank of America credit card and change your mind, you can have the account reinstated for up to six months, but it will require a hard pull, unfortunately.
  23. You can check your credit card’s application status online.
  24. Setting up auto pay with Bank of America is a pain, in addition there is mixed data points on what happens when you make a partial payment.

You can view other posts in this series by clicking the links below.

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Do you know if they waive annual fees on specific cards or all cards? I have a few BOA Alaska Airlines cards and was wondering if I could waive those fees the following year since they charge them on the first statement cycle after you apply.

What about debit payments?

I thought I read somewhere (your post, maybe?) that reallocation of BofA CL from one card to another results in a HP. I just did that recently and was worried about that.

2) it isnt so straight forward anymore, atleast IME. once BoA closed down their spanish line & a few other key/easier recon lines, it’s much harder to get your acct approved if the system denies you.

8) reallocating CLs for existing accts is def a HP… it may only be a SP for new accts. but say you had a card where the AF hit & you were tryna close it, and wanted to move that over to another existing card, it will unfortunately be a HP :/ so be creative keeping 1 in mind!

11) BoA will usually NOT waive AFs. this mostly applies to co-branded cards and not once have they ever waived their fees for me on the AS Visa Sig card. most BoA bank cards have no-AF to begin with so not sure what point 11 is all about or how you figured that?!

13) once again very difficult to accomplish even after playing agent roulette, due to reps being specifically told NOT to PC to BBR. one of the reasons I heard was “its just too popular” LOL wtf? that never made sense to me.

9)If Bank of America increases the sign up bonus on a card you recently applied for, they’ll probably match it.

Interesting…I just contacted BofA through live chat yesterday for a recent AS app and the rep said that BofA does not match offers, in this case, the 25k + $100 statement credit with $1k spend.

I couldn’t find many match stories with AS cards after I realized my mistake. Guess I’ll hit the spend anyway and call after I pay the balance.

I don’t know if this is a unique data point, but I opened AS cards #1 and #2 in November and then #3 this week along with an AS business card. I was approved automatically, but I just realized that they pulled credit from an old Bank Americard to create the new personal without asking me. The old card dropped from $22,600 to $5k, and the new AS card is $17,600.

This ties in with #4. BoA will automatically reallocate your credit around and you likely will get snailmail about their action to do so. It’s happened to me on a number of occasions when applying for Alaska cards.

Data point: asked BofA if it’s possible to reallocate credit lines between my two existing credit cards and was told that this request would require a hard hit to my credit file

I’ve done this twice in the last month. Both reps said the opposite, no hard pull. CLs were reallocated. No hard pulled showed.

Called them again, and again was assured that it is a hard hit on my credit.

Re Point #13 – My recent experience with this is that their CSRs are now almost all trained not to allow this. I’m not suggesting it’s impossible, but it may require a dozen or more calls to find someone unsuspecting who will override their computer prompt not to do a the product switch.

Can folks also comment here about which credit agencies are getting hit for BofA hard pulls (or reallocations of CL, if that’s the case)
Wife and I’ve applied for probably 15 BofA cards over the last few years. All pulls were TU up until Aug 2014. Every pull since has been on Experian which you cannot view through Credit Sesame or Credit Karma. Access your annual free credit report or better yet, if denied for a card in last 60 days, go to Experian and get a free report that way.

Are others getting pulls on TU or Equifax as well?

I’m in CA by the way

I applied for BOA Alaska Airline credit card last week and they only approved me with a Platinum visa card (only $600 credit line!!!!). Since it’s not a visa signature card, I wouldn’t be getting the opening bonus of 25K AK miles. So I contact the customer service yesterday and move some credit line from my BBR card (I have 17K credit line on my BBR card) to Alaska credit card. Since the new credit limit on my Alaska credit card is over $5,000, am I gonna get the 25K account opening bonus miles? I know I will get a visa signature card. But I’m not sure if 25K bonus miles offer only applies to instant approval of visa signature card…

Applied for Merril Lynch and Alaska Signature card on same day last week. Was approved for both, but it turned out BOA automatically approved me for an Alaska “Platinum” since my CL was only $1000 (min $5K needed for Signature). The Bonus on The Platinum is only 5,000 miles and a $50 Credit.

Anyway, I was told that I could upgrade my card to a Signature but I would DEFINITELY not get the bonus. In the end, I just canceled the card since I didn’t want to pay any AF ($50 on the Platinum) without a decent bonus.

Did some more research and found lots more info and details about the whole scenario on FT. Should have done more homework in advance.

Anyway, might be worth adding a note to the Alaska Signature Card review or this BOA page.

Is the $100 statement credit for the Alaska card churnable? From the T&Cs: “This one-time promotion is limited to new customers opening an account in response to this offer.”

I’ve successfully churned the AS card w/$100 stmt credit twice in the last 120 days so, yes, I can confirm its possible.

Do you need to close first AS card before getting another or is it like Citi and they’ll approve for two of the same card? If you need to close one first, how long should you wait before applying for same card again?

“19. The period you have to meet your minimum spend requirement begins at card activation. It’s also based on billing cycles (e.g you’ll have three billing cycles to spend $1,000)”

Does that mean if one activates the card one day prior to the billing cycle closing, that one only has 62 days? Or does the billing cycle not start unless the card is activated? Can one wait 6 months to activate the card, and then have 90 days to complete the spending from that date, effectively meeting the spent 9 months after approval?

Back in August 2015, I got an email from BofA offering a no hard pull CLI on one of my BBR cards (which was at $600 credit line at the time). I went ahead with this, and got bumped up to $1,300 if memory serves. No hard pull from what I can tell.

I also reallocated credit lines for BofA in early Jan 2016 after getting approved for an Amtrak card (applied in December 2015, failed phone recon, wrote a letter and got approved). I haven’t gotten a notification about an extra pull yet, but I need to double check on that!

Note: I am in CA

where did you send the letter?

One suggestion is to put the recon number in the post too so it can be referred to in the future. Very helpful info otherwise.

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