Posted by William Charles on February 2, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on February 2nd, 2016 | by William Charles

104

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 will merge multiple hard credit pulls into a single hard pull. You need to apply on the same day and it doesn’t matter if it’s a mixture of personal & business cards or not.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Bank of America does a hard pull for credit limit increases. Maybe not such a bad thing considering the above mentioned points, but still a hassle if you need a bigger credit line on one of your cards.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Bank of America used to offer a referral program to card members. Unfortunately it looks like this program was axed.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  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). Reader leifinseoul says that they were told it was based on card approval. 
  20. Bank of America business credit cards don’t get reported to the personal credit bureaus which is useful for keeping your credit report cleaner.
  21. 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.
  22. You can check your credit card’s application status online.
  23. 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.



104 Responses to 23 Things Everybody Should Know About Bank of America Credit Cards

  1. Susan says:

    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.

  2. Mike says:

    What about debit payments?

  3. Dave says:

    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.

  4. Adam says:

    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.

    • 2. More difficult, but still possible and worth trying.
      8. When are your latest data points from? Received a lot recently saying soft only.
      11. Myself and others have gotten the AF waived on the AS cards before, how much spend are you putting on yours?
      13. Again, I’ve gotten all my cards turned into BBR cards. It’s a hassle but still works. Keep trying.

  5. Drew R says:

    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.

  6. Brenton says:

    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.

  7. Albrecht says:

    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

  8. Paul says:

    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.

  9. Kent C says:

    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?

  10. Kent C says:

    I’m in CA by the way

  11. Ming Lou says:

    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…

    • Andy says:

      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.

  12. Brian says:

    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.”

  13. Milk says:

    “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?

  14. Dillon Welch says:

    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

  15. Raj says:

    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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  17. Darv says:

    I’ve opened three BofA personal cards in the past 45 days and BofA has not increased my credit limit. They approved the first of said three automatically online and sent me a letter of credit re-allocation a week later.

    The second and third cards required recon calls requesting credit re-allocation to enable approval of card applications. They were very nice over the phone and promptly processed the requests–as in a few minutes. By the way–the recon number posted here does not seem accurate; I was transferred to a credit analyst from that number.

    I don’t know what this has done for hard pulls. Anybody care to speculate? They send me reports each time indicating my score with Experian but I don’t know if they did hard pulls for each. According to Equifax, the last time I had a hard pull from BofA was in November and that was a business-related inquiry.

    In any case, they do not seem to care how many cards you have.

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  19. Ryan says:

    Well worth mentioning that BoA also provides virtual card numbers (at least my TravelRewards card does). I know this is a big + for some people, since Citi is the only other (major) card issuer I know that regularly provides this feature.

  20. Allen says:

    I’m considering apping for the Travel Rewards. Does anybody know if BoA Visa Signature cards are still not reporting credit limits/only reporting high balances? If so, this could destroy utilization. Most data points date back to ’11-’12 and seem to concur they report as flexible spending accounts only with no CL.

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  25. leifinseoul says:

    “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)”

    I recently activated an Asiana card about two months after the approval date. Called to check the minimum spend period, but the representative quoted 3 months from approval date.

    Is there any way to confirm that the period is still based on card activation, and that this is true across all BoA card products?

  26. Jay says:

    I know this post is old, but would you happen to know the current telephone number of the Bank of America reconsideration line?

    I submitted an application for their Travel Rewards Credit Card last Tuesday, and the status still says “Your application is in review. Thanks for choosing Bank of America. We’re carefully reviewing your application and need to check a few more things. We appreciate your patience.

    We’ll also send you a letter in the mail after we’ve completed processing your application. If we have any questions, we’ll call you.”

    This is starting to look like a denial, and all the telephone numbers for the recon line for BofA that I found on Google are no longer working. Thank you!

    • Try this: 866-224-7803

      If it works let me know so I can update post.

      • Jay says:

        Just called, it appears to be a working number but they are closed now. I’ll try calling again Monday. If, for whatever reason, it is not though, I’ll reply back here again. Thank you so much!

        • Jay says:

          Hi William, I can confirm that that number works. The reason for the holdup in my application was that it got referred to their fraud department to ensure there is no fraud occurring. Why it got referred to their fraud department, they couldn’t tell me.

          Anyway, I got approved for the card, thanks for giving me that recon telephone number!

  27. Jon says:

    Do you need to close an existing card in order to apply for the same card bonus, say 6 months later? The post seems to suggest yes but it is unclear. Thanks!

  28. Paul says:

    Is it possible to get multiple better balance cards.

  29. DB says:

    Thank you for the phone # directly to the credit analyst line! My application had been”pending” for over a week. I called customer service the other night who told he “just to full out another application. ” I knew better, so after endless websites, i came across this one and tried this number. It went directly to a very nice credit analyst who approved my application within 5 minutes! Thank you so much!

  30. Paul says:

    Multiple hard pull DP:

    Applied for BOA Merrill + and BOA Business Cash Rewards on 12/8

    Got 2 Hard Pulls

    1 on Transunion and 1 on Experian

    Live in PA.

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  32. Aaron says:

    The Alaska Business card (and many other BoA business cards) are managed by FIA. This is an entirely different creditor than BoA. FIA also consistently pulls from a different bureau than BoA. It is impossible for credit inquiries from BoA and FIA to be combined. Could the main post be updated to reflect which “BoA” cards are actually issued by FIA since these credit inquiries will not be combined with BoA inquiries?

    Also, can anyone confirm whether or not FIA inquiries on the same day are combined?

  33. Matt Willman says:

    Another DP for 1-866-224-7803 being the new recon number. Got approved today!

  34. Abey says:

    They pull TransUnion for business cards.

  35. Singh says:

    I applied for Alaska business card and it went pending. After taking to an analyst, he agreed to approve card only if I provide a secure deposit. My Cl will depend on how much I put as deposit. 5 yrs back I forgot to pay $11 BOA CC bill and from that time, i have been in bad books of Boa. I wasn’t able to apply for any boa cc or checking account for that reason.
    Analyst said I have to keep money with Boa for a yr. what you guys think? Is it a good call to keep $5k interest free to repair banking relationship with Boa?

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  37. chad says:

    Can I apply for two Merrill Lynch cards on the same day with any likelihood of both being approved? All else being equal.

  38. raz says:

    I applied for the BoA Alaska Business card this weekend and the application went pending with the 5-7 days language. I never received an email confirming the cc application and BoA application status website says that they cannot find an existing application with my information. Anyone have any clue what’s going on? Should I call csr/recon?

  39. Peter says:

    Applied for Alaska airlines personal credit card today and was denied due to “too many credit cards opened in the last year” (called 866-224-7803 as well). I guess all the companies are joining the same protocol.

  40. Joe says:

    DP Applied Alaska Personal today using targeted mailer. Approved for $10K+. Pulled experian (midwest), as if it’s not buried deep enough with inquiries. Also was able to have them UPS the card.

  41. Bodiddely says:

    Is there any kind of “waiting period” (e.g. 12 months like with Citi) to PC a card after opening? Just got a Merrill+ that I’d like to PC to an AAA card after I use signup bonus (in order to cash out points from the 2.625% Travel Rewards with Preferred Honors).

  42. Lc says:

    How easy is it to get approved for a business card with BoA? How about 2 same day?

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  44. Mina Bolis says:

    I think this is important to mention.

    I applied for the Travel Rewards and Better Balance Rewards on the same day. Got approved for the Travel Rewards but not the BBR. When I called the recon line they said that the reason for the denial is that am a college sophomore, as I stated on my application, and that for college sophomores they only allow 2 credit cards per their policy (I already had a secured cc from them that got turned into an unsecured card). Not sure if that is actually true or not but I though it’s worth mentioning.

  45. Nick says:

    I want to add a DP. Applied for Merrill+, Alaska, Travel Rewards, and Cash Rewards (already owned one since 2013) all on the same day. Was instantly approved for the latter 3 and was approved 2 days later for the Merrill. However in the meantime, they canceled the Cash Rewards and no one would tell me why or even see that I had ever applied. Finally someone did find it and cited a “Only 3 cards per 12 months rule”. I have never heard this. Anyone else?

  46. TomT says:

    I have read several postings about BofA now limiting the total number of credit cards to 4 per person and even closing (randomly?) cards in excess of that number if/when a new card application is received. If true, please update this page accordingly, as it now states under item #4: “There is no hard limit on the amount of credit cards you can have with them”. Also, does that limit count personal + business cards, or is it personal cards only?

  47. Mickey says:

    Adding a strange DP here – Just applied for the Alaska Business Card, and got a pending status.

    I called the reconsideration line, and they said the rep said the bank needs to verify ownership and requires the articles of incorporation, and two years of tax history, as in tax returns for the company.

    He said that people are randomly selected for this process.

    Has anyone else had such an invasive request by Bank of America? It reminds me of the AMEX financial review but only before you get the card.

  48. Aahz says:

    Might want to update or remove #13-

    “It’s still possible to downgrade to the better balance rewards card, but it takes some work. This card gives you $25/$30 per quarter for on time payments, it’s a hassle doing a product change to this card but can be worth the effort.”

  49. fathiss says:

    Applied for the Alaska and Merrill + on same day last Friday. Alaska immediately approved but Merrill declined. Called the number you provided above and analyst said I was denied because they have extended me too much credit. I only have the one Alsaka card that was just approved with $16 K credit limit and I knew that was not the reason with my income and assetts. I said I would move credit from the Alaska card but she said it would not matter. I pressed her on that and the analyst then went through all the cc openings and closings I have had with them in the past year.
    She implied that was a factor in the decision. She said they realize that people are opening and closing accounts just for the benefits. I said that I could understand that reason but not the other then thanked her and hung up.
    So it appears they are scrutinizing accounts more closely now. These cards are getting more difficult to churn.

  50. mazz says:

    Hey Will,

    Just wanna add a DP. Got declined for the cashback BOA card today, called recon and the Credit Analyst told me that I had three cards and that was the maximum that I’m allowed at this time.

    My prior cards:
    Alaska Visa Sig – 30k opened 3/17 (still open)
    Travel Rewards – 20k after $1k spend opened 3/17 (still open)
    Alaska Visa Sig – 30k opened today(6/2017)

    I know you state people have been giving datapoints of 4 cards max, but my history is a little different she she gave me a hard stop of 3 cards.

    My last card opened in general was back in March being the Alaska card as well, so not too many enw accounts.

  51. Chris says:

    Never combine personal and business apps as both are pulled from different bureaus.

  52. dan says:

    called the spanish recon # for the spirit mc recon, but was told by a mgr that the system didn’t allow more than 3 CCs; as presently have 3 CCs, suggested that closing a BBR & have the existing CL xferred to the spirit MC, but it’s still a no go; went ahead moving CL from a BBR to another card & closing that BBR; then will call recon again some time next mo to see if could be successful at that time; the mgr told me that she had tried different methods hoping that my spirit appl would be approved, but its system still rejected

    haven’t applied for another BoA CC for a while, seems that it’s much harder now to get approved for 1

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  54. William D. Moran says:

    I currently have a Bank of America Visa credit card. I will be traveling in Northern Europe in August. I have notified Bank of America concerning my foreign travels. My question : Is there an additional charge for using my B of A Visa card in various N.European countries ?

    • Anna says:

      Unless it’s the Travel Rewards card, you’ll most likely have a foreign transaction fee. If you it’s possible, try upgrading your card to the Travel Rewards to avoid the extra fee(s). Safe travels!

  55. MP says:

    B of A puts up with unused cards for a looong time. Then again, that may be due to my relationship with them. I have 2 cards with no benefits at all, but I want them open because they’re very old. One of them used to be MBNA; I don’t remember what the other one used to be, but it was either Visa or Master that was converted to Amex later. I haven’t touched either one for 4 years. However, I do have 2 checking accounts with B or A and another CC I use on a regular basis. These 2 cards are basically dead weight. Amex doesn’t bring any of the benefits of Amex. I just did some small charges on them recently because MBNA is due to expire in December. Even though I never carry a balance, I was curious to see what the interest rate was because I remember it being the lowest (8.x%). I even thought it was fixed, but it’s not, I guess, or they can change it. It’s currently 9.9% variable, which IS low in comparison to the current craziness I just noticed (I usually don’t pay attention to that).

    On the other hand, Citi really ticked me off. Not that I needed their darn card, but they closed it without any warning, due to inactivity. Well, your loss, Citi. Now I’m not fond of you at all. Citi double cash is a good card, but I’m not going to get it because I happen to hold grudge.;-) I might get some bonus from them some day, though.

  56. Bodiddely says:

    “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.”

    Applied/auto-approved for the AAA Mid-Atlantic Visa Signature yesterday and was offered an instant credit card number.

  57. Frito Pendejo says:

    I currently have three BoA cards: Cash Rewards and Travel Rewards that I’ve had for years and never use, plus a Merrill+ I opened a couple months ago. I’m interested in getting another Merrill+, and the new premium 50k BoA card coming up in September. What is the best approach? Should I cancel a Rewards card and the Merrill+ and then do applications? Or will they see recently closed accounts as a reason to deny new applications?

  58. shipitkthx83 says:

    Just wanted to leave a datapoint re: BOA. I’ve been trying to get a card from them recently with no luck. I have zero issues getting approved for premium cards at other banks. I finally got them to tell me the real reason through recon: I had a charged off account through them. I actually never had any business dealings with BOA, but because BOA bought MBNA and I hard a charged off MBNA card in 2002…they will not extend me credit.

  59. JB says:

    New Travel Rewards and Cash Rewards May 2017.
    Applied for both on the same day, first BoA cards ever.

    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 due to “already have sufficient number of cards with BoA.”

    So beyond the four cards max and three cards in a year rules noted above, there may be a minimum waiting period between new cards. Just wish I knew exactly what the wait time is.

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