DON'T EVER APPLY FOR A BANK OF AMERICA CREDIT CARD... EVEN IF IT GIVES 0% APR FOR 10 YEARS... That's the advice I have for all our friends who are looking for new credit cards. This credit card has given me more pains that any other credit cards I have. I have cancelled this card now and wish to share my experience with you so that you don't make the same mistake.
The Customer Service: First the customer service is not at all accommodating. These people are rude (especially if you talk of cancelling their service). I expected them to be nice at least when I was about to cancel my credit card but they never were.
Partners in the game: Bank of America has many other small units working under its banner like "PRIVACY SOURCE AUTO ADVANTAGE". And these agencies have all the rights to access your credit card without your permission. These two companies had charged $99.89 and $79.99, each for no apparent reasons. When I called my credit cards company (Bank of America), I was told that they don't handle these charges and I have to talk to these companies myself. I was given toll-free numbers to call these guys (the customer service is only on the weekdays, when we have no time to call), somehow I managed to call these guys.
First, they wouldn't be able to find my account, after a lot of hassle when they did they give me some bogus records of my registration. And guess what? I was registered and I was charged but I didn't know my account numbers. I felt helpless and was being robbed. After I told them the situation that I am not a registered member and please refund my amount they agreed to do so in the next statement and never did. I had to call them up again to go through the same hassle. Even this didn't work. At the third time when I was really angry these people managed to refund me partial amount $54.99 and $62.99. It took couple of calls more to get my money bank.
The Big Brother (Bank of America). I would not have had cancelled the credit card and written this review if that was the end of the things. Bank of America had charged me the APR on these amounts and wanted to refund me that amount of APR. But they did not agree. And I got so upset that I cancelled my credit card (05/26/2005).
Still not the end of the tunnel. After cancellation I asked them how I am going to make the payments. They said "you will receive your statement and will pay it as you have been doing." But to my surprise I did not receive the statement for June, which I have received around 7th or 8th June 2005. So I called them on 26 the June to see what happened, just to find that I was charged $39.00 late payment fee charged to my account.
I requested them to cancel my late fees (since I pay my bills regularly, and this time since I had a partial fault of not calling up the company to find out how much my payment is?) and will pay the full amount immediately. At this time they said that since the statement was in fact mailed to me and it's not their fault so I HAVE to pay the late fee.
As of today I have paid the full amount, and filed a complaint to BBB and writing this review. But I am really, really angry with kind of bully credit cards company. I feel that middle-class consumers like me always get this crap and the credit card companies always escape.
PHOENIZ, ARIZONA -- Worst Bank Ever! Held a credit card with this company for over 20 years. Also have a mortgage with them for several years now. They closed my credit card with no notice due to inactivity (granted I have several credit cards and seldom used this one as they turned it into a crappy Amex card several years ago from a Visa Card owned by someone else). Obviously they don't care about their customers, great thing is I have options and have been looking at Chase and Citibank rewards cards for awhile. As for my mortgage - See you later BofA and my stock holdings with you will follow. Buyer beware they do NOT care one bit out you as a customer!
FLORIDA -- I had a BOA Visa since 1982, yes 1982... I had a 12k limit. The last 5 years have been hard on me financially, but always paid card balance was around 9k. I maybe have been a little late here and there but nothing too bad. Finally business improved and I paid off the card. Over a few months. One day I went to use it to find out they canceled it... No letter or anything. I was in shock. Of course when I called they claim they mailed me a letter and I could not talk to anyone who cared or would do anything... I love how they waited until I paid them in full to cancel my card. Moral of the story I would not be so fast to pay them off. I love their loyalty.
NATIONWIDE - WE ARE IN FL -- Over 13,000 points are missing from our Mycruise Points from our Royal Caribbean Cruise Line credit card serviced by Bank of America. When I noticed that points were not adding up, spent hours going back through statements. Called BOA and they said they could not help me because I did not know my password - have had the credit card since around 2007 and have never called about any problems before... and have no idea what my password is.
Also, "security" said I failed her security questions(???). She said she can't keep asking me questions that I can't answer and offered no other help. Thought I could solve the problem by visiting a local branch but they had me waiting over 30 minutes and had to leave. I have never had such a problem with my Discover card and am going to go back to using Discover full time. But, I need to fight for my missing (stolen?) points. Amazing BOA stays in business.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Because of reduced income from my former home (now a rental property because it didn't sell when my job transferred out-of-state), I proactively sought a mortgage modification on my primary residence. I am current on my mortgage, but knew I needed lower monthly mortgage payments. My credit score was ~780. I started a trial mod, in which you make reduced payments for 3 months. During that time your payments are held in a separate account, and the mortgage company reports you as 30, 60, and 90 days late on your regular mortgage payment.
Even though you make the trial payments as instructed, the missing "normal" payment is considered "derogatory". Here's where Bank of America gets involved: I have 3 credit cards with them, due to bank mergers. B of A conducted a "review" of all my accounts because the trial mod caused a derogatory item on my credit report. B of A closed 1 card account, and reduced my available credit on the other 2 cards to a few dollars over the outstanding balance.
In 15 minutes BofA damaged my FICO score in 3 ways: 1. I went from using approximately 29% of my available BofA credit, to 99%. 2. My total available credit (on my credit report) was reduced to 75% of what it used to be. 3. The account they closed was a long-standing account, so the average "age" of my credit became lower. All these things damage my FICO in a big way.
My credit score will now be in the "fair" category, so I won't be able to get new credit or a reasonable car loan. I can't repair my credit until I reduce my indebtedness by over half... But B of A told me they will continue to reduce my available credit as I reduce my balance, preventing me from remedying the situation. This will further reduce my FICO, and when they eventually close the other 2 cards, it will be a MASSIVE FICO drop.
My payment history is perfect with B of A, and I ALWAYS pay more than the minimum payment. 2 of the 3 cards I always paid in full. This is how Bank of America "rewards" its excellent customers. I can't close the 2 remaining accounts and get a different credit card without further damaging my credit.
And now this credit score is preventing me from changing the terms on my rental property's mortgage (even though I am current on it too, just like I am current on all my debt). My new low FICO score caused by Bank of America's impulse reaction to the trial mod program definitely paints a different picture of me... EVEN THOUGH I STILL HAVE NEVER PAID LATE NOR BEEN A NON-PAYER FOR 20 years.
If you speak with BofA credit department, DO NOT REVEAL if you are in process of getting a mortgage modified. They will automatically close all your zero-balance cards and remove your ability to use your cards that have balances. DO NOT REVEAL THAT YOU ARE IN THE OBAMA Home Affordable PROGRAM!!! Bank of America will cut you!!!
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE -- I had two BofA credit cards although I'd forgotten I had two as I got divorced six years ago and only had one in my wallet. I heard somewhere that if you didn't use your credit card the bank would cancel it. I am 63, single, self-supporting, and self-employed. I've worked hard to build up my credit score. Approx. four months ago I used the credit card already in my wallet to make a large purchase at Lowe's so I wouldn't have the card canceled. I never got a bill. Right after 30 days was up, I called them and they told me I didn't owe them any money. I thought maybe I'd mistakenly used my USAA credit card.
In Sept. I got a notice from credit watch that my credit rating had changed, from 730 (good) to 680 (fair). BofA had reported me delinquent on two payments on my credit card. I called them and they told me I didn't owe them any money. I asked them to run a search. She did and said she would fax me a letter saying that I don't owe them any money. That was approx. 9/16. I didn't receive a fax so I called back. This time the person ran a search and found my bill. I paid it off over the phone. I asked to have the two late notices removed from my credit card and he said he couldn't but he was transferring me to customer satisfaction and they would.
Instead I got a rude woman who determined that the address on that card was wrong which is why I didn't get a bill. That was when I figured out what happened: I had one credit card in my wallet, I moved, the other credit card not in my wallet managed to get to my new address. I thought it was a replacement for the card in my wallet which I'd already charged on so as not to lose my card (I hadn't used either card for anything in over two years).
I cut up the card in my wallet not realizing there were different numbers and put the, what I thought, replacement card in my wallet so when I was calling they were looking up the wrong card number and I didn't know it but I did repeatedly ask them to search for any debt I might owe BofA and they said they did from the very first phone call. The rude woman corrected the address and after I paid it off, I closed the account.
I asked her to reverse the bad credit ratings and she said she'd have to transfer me which she did to an even ruder man who told me it was my fault and they'd do nothing, even after I asked him and he acknowledged the number of times over months that I'd called. He said it was my problem not BofAs. He was rude, saying he wouldn't reverse anything. I hung up and called back and got a nice woman, explained the entire story, she immediately reversed the late payment complaints and then said she needed to ask me some questions. I agreed and answered her questions. Since my credit limit was $57,500 on the card I had left I figured she was going to reduce my limit.
At no time did she give any reason for asking me questions. Then she put me on hold, came back, and said she was closing my account because I don't make enough to have a credit card with them. Nothing in my life has changed since they issued the two cards with high limits. I told her I make good money but am self employed so a lot of what I earn does go to overhead but I live where I work so it's not that bad. She said that was too bad. I then asked her if I could close the account and she said, "No," the she'd made the decision so it would be recorded that way.
I said she knew that would ding my credit and she said she did know that but she wouldn't let me close the account, she was going to do it. I hung up in tears. I am the one who called them repeatedly to pay a bill they couldn't find. I am the one who had a card with a $57,500 limit and the other was also high, and I had no balance, except that one bill, on either card. I am the same responsible person they gave two high limit credit cards to less than six years ago. Now I have no cards with them which is good because I'll never do business with them but they have dinged my credit and been very unfair to me.
I am so upset I can barely type. Today I received an opt-out notice from my Citi/Sears card raising my rate to over 25% or I have to opt out. So I decided to move the debt to a lower interest card. I have had for many, many years a Bank of America card with a $22,000 limit and I only owed $7,500. The interest rate was bad at 14.9 but better than the 25% with which I was suddenly faced at Sears. I have never been late on a payment for Bank of America and have a very good credit rating, so I went to the website to see what transfer options were available.
The website (which doesn't list APRs anywhere reasonably available for the consumer to see) INVITED me to take advantage of my good credit and my available balance to transfer other cards and I could have applied online but decided in an abundance of caution to talk to a live person. After being on hold for half an hour, I finally got to a personable young man who assured me this would be no problem at all - he just needed to get "approval" from a supervisor.
After another long hold I was greeted by a very aggressive young man with a demand for how much money I made last year, what my mortgage payments and office rent were, all my sources of income, how many employees I have and so forth. I am self employed, I was upset already about Sears having done what it did, and I didn't have any records or financial info in front of me late at night and out of the blue.
Finally, the man informed me that I had "too much" credit card debt and demanded to know what my PLAN was for paying it off. I was so taken by surprise that I stammered around and didn't make a very good answer and I was already upset. Without taking into account that I have over two hundred thousand equity in my home and a paid for $10,000 vehicle (part of the other low rate debt I have), this man not only denied the transfer (saying I "didn't need to incur any more debt" when I wasn't incurring any more, only seeking to MOVE it to a lower interest rate).
But he LOWERED MY CREDIT LIMIT BY $15,000 to only $200 over what I presently owe. So now, simply because I was upset and tried to accept Bank of America's INVITATION, I was punished by having my credit limit lowered which will look bad to other companies which will then also use it as an excuse to screw me over. In a few minutes, I went from having a nice credit score and an emergency resource to a decreased credit score and NO emergency resource (not even enough available credit to buy a ticket to a funeral).
The guy punished me for ASKING for a credit transfer by lowering my limit (rest assured they'll find a way to raise the rate again, too) and it was posted on the Bank of America website before I had even hung up the phone. I would never have called about the transfer if Bank of America had not INVITED me to do so on its website. This is purely a trick and a scam to extract financial info from consumers to use as an excuse to benefit Bank of America. My advice is never ever give them any financial info they can use against you and not to deal with them at all if there is any alternative. Being honest, faithful and timely gets you nothing but treachery from Bank of America.
OHIO -- I haven't seen this complaint yet... so I figure I should warn others. BANK OF AMERICA CAN GET YOU - EVEN IF YOU DON'T BANK WITH THEM!!! January 30, 2008 - I receive a letter (dated Jan 18) explaining that my 5/3 credit card is being transferred to Bank of America. I will receive my new cards the week of March 10, and my old account will be closed March 16. Not a pleasant surprise. I call 5/3 about the whole thing, they assure me I can opt out of the transfer if I send a written, signed opt out letter to FIA Card Services (Bank of America) by February 20.
February 8, 2008 - I read a news story about BoA raising rates randomly to excruciating levels. Now I REALLY don't want my credit card transferred to BoA. I immediately write 2 opt out letters - one from me, one from my husband. Both declaring our demand to opt out of the transfer to BoA, both asking for written correspondence acknowledging our opt out decision, both signed, etc. I send both letters, each in their own envelope, using USPS and Delivery Confirmation. It cost me a lot more money, but I felt it was worth it.
Feb 11, 2008 - I receive notice from the USPS website that both letters were delivered to FIA Card Services at 11:50 am. March 6 or 7, 2008 - Having not heard anything from BoA, I call customer service (I had to ask 5/3 for a phone number as the letter I received did not include a number for BoA). I was told there was no record of such a transfer and that the computers only showed that there was a major credit card transfer happening in May. That I must be mistaken about the time of the switchover and that I obviously won't need to worry about any of it for another two months.
March 12, 2008 - Open my mail... guess what?!? I have two shiny new credit cards from BoA! I have to search to find an actual customer service number on the papers included - but the activation phone number is printed EVERYWHERE. I call customer service. I explain. I'm told I need to talk to someone in Sales. I get switched over to... the automated customer service line!
I try again... same thing. I try yet again and I get hung up on. One more try and I am assured the representative will stay on the line to be sure I make it the sales department. She didn't stay on the line - and I was switched to... you guessed it, the automated customer service line. I again call back. I explain everything that has happened. This time it's a little different:
** (so and so) tells me she will help me. I go through the whole story again. She puts me on hold. She comes back and tells me that they can't do anything. I make a fuss. She puts me on hold again. She comes back to tell me that she was told that I CANNOT opt out of a credit card transfer (from one bank to another). I ask to speak to a supervisor. She tells me that the information she gave me is from her supervisor.
Eventually, her "supervisor" interrupts the call and talks to me. I explain everything yet again. He tells me that I opted out of rate changes - or something like that. I tell him I opted out of the transfer entirely by following the exact directions given to me by 5/3 Bank. He then claims that BoA bought out 5/3 Bank (not true at all). When that version doesn't work, he tells me that BoA bought my account from 5/3 and that's why I can't opt out. I calmly explained to him that the State Attorney General's office would be "all over their asses" by day's end. (Well, I was close).
I call 5/3, they confirm that I do have the option to opt out of the transfer (mind you, I have 4 days until my 5/3 account is closed and I HAVE to use BoA). I call my state's Attorney General's office - they, too, confirm that I am fully within my rights to opt out of the transfer to BoA. But, they can't handle my problem. They tell me to call Comptroller of Currencies (OCC - helpwithmybank.gov) and generously supplied me with a phone number.
So, I call. OCC also confirms that I have every right to opt out. I'm told to mail a complaint form. But my deadline is in 2 days (barring Sat and Sun since they're not business days)! I'm told to download the forms instead - fill them out - scan them - and e-mail copies of the completed forms. THANK YOU OCC! It's not every day someone helps you rush your complaints through.
After all of that, I call BoA again. I want to see if anything has progressed - or if they're ready to start fixing the problem. I call - they ask for the credit card account number. All of a sudden, they can find NO RECORD of the account number. They found it every single time I called earlier in the day. Hmm... interesting. They decide to switch me to Sales. Yes, again I was sent to the automated customer service line.
This time I talk to someone. She asks for every fine detail about my life that I can remember. She can find no record of this credit card account and tells me to call back on the 16th (the day my account will be finally switched over). No way in HELL will I wait that long. I explain to her that I already spent 2 hours on the phone with various BoA representatives - and that I've filed a complaint with Comptroller of Currencies. Guess what?! She asks me to hold. Several minutes later she comes back to tell me that she's leaving a note for her supervisor to handle this situation immediately. Hmm... interesting. Is the big bad OCC scary to BoA?
So, I sit and wait and hope that I do not have to do business with BoA. The moral of the story? RUN FAST AND HARD WHEN BANK OF AMERICA COMES KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR!!! And remember to keep track of every detail of everything. Mail letters with AT LEAST delivery confirmation. Write letters on your computer so dates are verified. Don't let Bank of America do this to you. And remember this site: helpwithmybank.gov
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Several months ago, I was a BofA customer - credit card, checking account, money market account, and even an IRA. As it happens, I ran into a month where I had all of my liquid assets tied up, and needed some cash to pay the security deposit on a new apartment. As my previous deposit would be returned the following month, I only needed the cash for less than 30 days and would pay off any loan during the next period.
I happened to be on the BofA site paying some bills when I noticed ads splashed across every page for "no interest on balance transfers and cash advances for six months," which sounded perfect for my problem. As a fraud specialist at one of the big four auditing firms, I made sure to read all the fine print very carefully, and noted that there was a $75 limit on the transaction fee, and, indeed, no interest for the first six months.
So, I went to the "Balance Transfer" section of the website, where I was quickly able to transfer cash from my credit card to my checking account. Once again, I read all of the fine print on each page very carefully, but all it stated was that there may be a fee for the transaction, and the interest rate might be different from my normal card rate - none of this was unexpected, so I went ahead with the transaction. Well, lo and behold, on my next statement, there was a $300 transaction fee, and I had been charged 20% interest on both the advance and the fee.
After going months with repeated calls to their customer service line without getting a straight answer (and being accused on several occasions of not reading the warnings on the website), I was finally told that the offer was only available through the access checks I had gotten in the mail, or by phone... although there was no mention of this in any of the literature.
Completing the transaction online was a special case and did not qualify as either a "Balance Transfer" or "Cash Advance", even though I was in the "Balance Transfer" section of the database, asking for a "Cash Advance". After being bounced from one representative to another, a "specialist" finally admitted that there had been a number of BofA customers who had had this same problem, but that the bank had decided their policy would be that they would not refund any of the money, despite their choice of words and lack of disclosure.
In continuing my discussion with the rep, I pointed out that UCC law clearly states that a court should find with the customer if they relied upon information from the business in the manner which a "reasonable person" would act. Based upon the language on the website, I fully acted in a reasonable manner, and told the rep as much; but the bank still refused to give any ground.
I still believe I have been defrauded by Bank of America, and if the amounts were greater I would be taking them to court, confident that I could win. However, as BofA is obviously aware, it's not worth my time to go through all that for the amount involved. So, instead, I have closed all of my accounts and have moved to another bank. This is one customer who had enough and got out.
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE -- Folks: I have a credit card that was issued by MBNA. I also have a 15 year home mortgage with Bank of America. I have been paying on this loan for 10 years. The reason for getting the card was to transfer some other debt I had on to this low fixed rate card. The credit card said the rate was fixed for life. The credit card became a Bank of America card when BOA took over MBNA. The interest rate I was issued was supposed to be 9.90% for the life of the balance. I have paid every payment early and online.
The payment amount was also much more than the min payment. I did not use the card for extra activity since I was trying to pay down my debt. Everything was smooth for until 6/30/2007. I went online to make sure my payment was scheduled for next week. I saw that my min payment had more than doubled. The interest rate went from 9.90 to 23.99 percent from the last payment made which was 6/6/2007.
I figured this was a mistake since my credit rating is good. I also have had a Bank of America Mortgage for over ten years and I have never been late. I called the number and got the run around by a couple of people. The customer service person said I was sent a letter in late April saying if I wanted to keep the same rate I had to write them by mail telling them I did not want my rate raised and I would not be able to have any additional purchase charges added to my account.
I told them I have had the same address for over thirty years and did not receive any letter. I would have sent in the request to keep the same rate and no longer use the card had I received the letter. I was told that was too bad because if I had responded timely the rate would have been left alone. The person told me they would not lower my rate.
The thing I find funny here is the man ** told me he could not help me with the present rate but was willing to send me to a person who could wrap the debt into a unsecured personal loan. ** said this is my only option. I ask to speak to another person or his supervisor. ** would not send me to anyone else. I called back later and told another person my story.
On Monday 7/2/2007 I took some of these reports to the local Bank of America branch along with my credit card statement. The manager was very nice and acted shocked at this situation. The Manager Vice President Ms. Moneymaker (her real name) in Goose Creek SC was very concerned and wanted to try to help me. She sent the information to one of her contacts. I don't expect them to do the right thing and bring the rate down to the promised fixed rate. I have already made arrangements to pay this debt off.
The bottom line here is BOA is stealing money from people. They are cheats and gangsters. Please write your US Senator and have them promote senate bill S.1395, the Stop Unfair Practices in Credit Cards Act introduced on May 15, 2007.