BoA Better Balance Rewards (BBR) Credit Card Review (Discontinued)

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Bank of America Better Balance Rewards Credit Card (BBR) Review

2017.5.25 Update: It’s now discontinued. The previous application link is now redirected to the front page of credit cards. It seems what’s replacing it is this useless credit card.

2017.5.4 Update: Today there’s a rumor: reddit user Kilifi said he is working for BoA, and BoA is going to discontinue BBR in the end of May. Existing customers are not affected for now. HT: DoC. My guess is that, even though existing customers are not affected for now, it won’t last long. BBR will be mandatorily converted to other cards sooner or later, and I guest it’s probably 1~2 years. If so, I recommend not to apply for BBR any more. It’s only $240 if it lasts two more years, so we’d better apply for a card with better sign-up bonus instead.

Application Link

  • This card no longer accepts new applications. If you are lucky to have this legacy credit card, you can still enjoy its original benefits.

Benefits

  1. Earn $25 per quarter when you pay at least the minimum due every month during the quarter, and additional $5 per quarter if you have a Bank of America checking or saving account. Notice that the minimum due needs to be more than 0 to qualify. (We strongly suggest that you pay full statement balance every month because you don’t need to pay interest, and it’s good for your credit score)
  2. No annual fee.

Disadvantages

  1. No sign-up bonus.
  2. No foreign transaction fee.

Recommended Application Time

  1. We recommend you apply for this card after you have a credit history of at least one year.
  2. You can have at most 1 BoA credit card if you are an undergrad student, 2 if grad student. Other people don’t have such a restriction, but BoA may cancel your credit cards to 4 if you have too many.
  3. You can have multiple same credit card from BoA. You must wait at least 90 days to apply for the same credit card, otherwise the application will be automatically cancelled.
  4. [New] 2/3/4 Rule: BoA will only approve you for at most: 2 cards per rolling 2 months; 3 cards per rolling 12 months; and 4 cards per rolling 24 months. Because their IT system hasn’t been fully updated yet, you may not get declined because of this rule. Instead, you may get approved at first, and then the account will be closed because of “approved in error”.

Summary

The unique requirement to earn cash back on BoA Better Balance Rewards Card (BBR) makes the usage of this card also unique: use this card at least once per month regardless of the amount used, then pay at least minimum due each month after you get the statement. The most convenient / lazy way to get the reward is using monthly charge services like Amazon Allowance, plus setting up automatic payments properly. Note that you’d better let the balance more than $5 every month, because if the balance is too small, BoA might use “small balance adjustment” to clear the balance. In order to get the additional $5 per quarter, you could set up a BoA Saving Account, and put $300+ in it to get rid of its monthly fee. Finally, don’t forget to set up how you get the reward dollars online so that the rewards will go to your BoA Checking / Saving Account directly and won’t make your BBR balance negative. Then you are done, just sit there waiting for your rewards dollars. This card is a no-brainer credit card if you want to maximize your rewards.

It is still possible to product change to this card (though hard), you may want to try if you have a useless BoA card. Usually representatives will directly decline the product change request to BBR, but if senior manager is in, you might have a change. Here are some recent data points: 1,2,3,4

BoA Better Balance Rewards Card (BBR) is very special, so many people don’t quite understand how it works. Here is an example to illustrate the usage of BBR: suppose the account closing date (i.e. statement date) is the 23rd of each month. I use Amazon Allowance to reload $5 to my Amazon account on 10th of this month, do not make payment before you get the statement (23rd of this month). Then on the 23rd of this month I get a statement where the statement balance is greater than 0. The due date of my statement is the 20th of the next month. I have my automatic payment set to pay full balance as soon as possible after receipt of e-Bill, so I pay off all the balance on 24th of this month, which meets the requirement to pay off at least the minimum due before due date. Then this month is done, next month repeat the same cycle. Don’t forget to set up how you get the reward dollars online so that the rewards will go to your BoA Checking / Saving Account directly and won’t make your BBR balance negative. Thus you don’t need to do anything during the whole time, everything is automatic.

Useful Links

After Applying

  • Click here to check BoA application status.
  • BoA reconsideration backdoor number: 877-383-0120 or 866-811-4108. It seems that the number is changing. Please inform us at once if it fails. The representatives here can get in touch with decision-makers directly.

Historical Offers Chart

This card is discontinued on 2017.5.25.

Application Link

  • This card no longer accepts new applications. If you are lucky to have this legacy credit card, you can still enjoy its original benefits.

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