Be Aware of BOA Credit Cards issued throught Member Associations — There can be Gotchas

klaxonstrongFACT: I haven’t seen the need to have more than one personal credit card for about three decades now. It has, however come to my attention that when cruising it is possible to encounter folks who won’t accept Mastercard. So after researching cards from three member associations, the cards appeared identical, and we picked one. [The association is unmentioned because their apology came from an unscripted human less than an hour after I emailed them about the following. The association conveyed the Bank’s apology. The Bank hasn’t bothered to contact me directly.]

FACT: When I activated the card I was told I would have to use it frequently or they would cancel the account.
>> Hmmm….my bells should have been clanging…

FACT: Bank of America added a fee-based service to the account I did not request. [Nor had they disclosed the fee on the sign up page.].
>>I called to have it removed and was told it was free for thirty days, and I could opt out at the end of the free period. I told them “No,” and instructed them to remove it. After nearly ten minutes of repeating my requirements to a scripted individual, he finally relented and recorded my request.
>>Thirty hours later the service was still showing on my account page. I called and I received the same scripted run around. When I wouldn’t take opt out in 30 days as an answer I got “one moment,” click, beep, oooooo, para español marque….

FACT: I check my checking and credit information daily using Quicken. It allows me to check for incorrect transactions, gratuity kiting, and other fraud. When I went to do this with the BOA card, the Quicken process failed (5x) for no obvious reason.
>> I called tech support and got a (very) unscripted, helpful human who explained one can’t use Quicken to get ones BOA card information except as a manual closed statement download–unless you open a BOA checking account! AHA! When I told him I thought that worked against responsible cash management practices, he said “I have to agree with you there.” [The Quicken interface conditions were not available at sign up nor explained on the “Help” page.]

FACT: When I called in to cancel the account (tech support’s phone transfer sent me back to the looping phone help desk system). I got an abrupt [euphemism here], scripted person who informed me it would be sixty days before the credit bureaus were informed the account had been closed. Her apology was roughly “sorry about that…,” click, silence.

Just information to help people make choices.

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