Bank of America Card Shutdown With No Notice
Last week I talked about my recent application for the BofA Travel Rewards card. The main reason I decided to apply for that card is because I will soon become a Platinum Honors customer of Bank of America. Platinum Honors members get a 75% bonus on cashback earned on certain cards including the Travel Rewards cards. Basically that card goes from earning 1.5% back everywhere to 2.625%!
Another great card to have if you are Platinum Honors is their Cash Rewards card. That is because it earns 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 3% on gas. (Those categories have a combined cap of $2,500 per quarter.) Thankfully I didn’t need to apply for this card, because I have had one for awhile. Or, I did have one, but it disappeared.
Solving the Mystery
To find out what happened to my Cash Rewards card, I hopped on chat with Bank of America. I’ll skip through the pleasantries and get to the meat of the discussion. Here is why the agent said they closed my account.
Agent: Yes, I’m showing that account is closed
Me: When was it closed and why?
Agent: Checking the notes on the account now
Agent: It was closed on 6/1/16 due to inactivity. If there is no activity on the account, the account can be closed.
Hmmmm. 6/1/16 you say? Strange that June 1 is the same day I applied for the Travel Rewards card. Also strange that the Cash Rewards card disappeared from my profile shortly after the approval. Still, she is right that I hadn’t used the card in awhile. To clarify, I did ask her how long an account needs to be inactive in order to be shutdown.
Me: How long does a card need to not have activity before you close it?
Agent: Usually, it is 6 moths to a year without any activity.
So that is their official policy, although in practice I have seen BofA cards left open with years of inactivity.
The Good News, Sort Of……
So the good news is that my wife also has a Cash Rewards card and she too will be Platinum Honors so that should work. Unfortunately, there is a bit of bad news as well. Last year in an effort to beef up her Alaska Airlines credit line for bank account funding, she reduced the line on the Cash Rewards card to just $200. Wah wah waaaaaaah. I guess we need to think about shifting credit back.
I am not quite sure what happened to my account. Perhaps when the new account was opened, the system automatically closed the inactive account. I refuse to believe it is a coincidence that the account was closed the same day as I opened a new card. Hopefully the account won’t show “Closed by Credit Grantor” on my credit report, but it probably will. A good reminder I suppose that it is never a bad idea to keep cards active by putting a small purchase on them every once in awhile. Lesson learned.