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Master List of Lowest Balances CCCs will report:

Senior Contributor

Master List of Lowest Balances CCCs will report:

This thread is to list data points on the lowest statement balance that various creditors will report.  In many threads, especially those FICO score related, advice is usually given to allow a "small balance" to report on a single credit card every month (AZEO) to help maximize scoring.  Often values of $5 - $20 are suggested, as an amount too small may be reported as $0.  I'm the type of person that likes to be able to quantify these things, so for several months I've tested different tiny balances with my creditors to see which will report and which are too small to report.  Below are the results I've come up with and it would be awesome if others chimed in with the smallest balance they have known any other creditors to report.  I can add additional data points to this original thread post, so a large list can get compiled over time:

 

Amex - $1.00 reports.

Blispay - $4.00 reports, have not tried less than that yet.

Capital One - $1.00 reports on statement bal of $1.01-$1.99.  $1.00 bal adjusts/reports as $0.

Chase - $1.00 reports, $.99 reports as $0

Citi - $1.00 reports.

Discover - $3.00 reports, up to $2.99 reports as $0.

Synchrony - $1.00 reports.

15 REPLIES
Valued Contributor

Re: Master List of Lowest Balances CCCs will report:

There was a post a while back saying that Bank of America excused a $5.00 balance and reported zero on a BBR card. But that may have been card-specific due to the rewards structure.

Senior Contributor

Re: Master List of Lowest Balances CCCs will report:

I hadn't heard about that with BoA.  If anyone has a data point on that I'll add it to the list for sure.  I put $2.99 on my Discover card today (payment due date is today) which will close and should report on the 4th.  So, in 3 days I'll know if Discover excuses a $2.99 balance and lowers/reports $0.  Update to follow in a few days.

Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: Master List of Lowest Balances CCCs will report:

In particular, there were reports of Bank of America issuing a “small balance credit” or something like that on the Better Balance Rewards card. Not only did it report as $0 to the credit bureaus, but it prevented a handful of people from qualifying for the $25/$30 quarterly bonus on the card.

$500k+ club. | FICO 08 [Oct 2017]: EQ 746 EX 738 TU 733 | World's worst gardener.
Senior Contributor

Re: Master List of Lowest Balances CCCs will report:

I'm surprised that "small balance credit" is given.  It's basically money just being thrown away.  $2/mo for the year is $24 in extra "rewards" if you want to look at it that way.  I don't really see what a bank gains by taking your $2 balance down to $0.  Maybe if that balance sat there for months and months, but that's not the case with CCs as a minimum payment is due so 99/100 people are going to pay it off rather than take a late payment for 2 bucks. 

Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: Master List of Lowest Balances CCCs will report:


BrutalBodyShots wrote:

I'm surprised that "small balance credit" is given.  It's basically money just being thrown away.  $2/mo for the year is $24 in extra "rewards" if you want to look at it that way.  I don't really see what a bank gains by taking your $2 balance down to $0.  Maybe if that balance sat there for months and months, but that's not the case with CCs as a minimum payment is due so 99/100 people are going to pay it off rather than take a late payment for 2 bucks. 


In this case, it was much cheaper for Bank of America to write off a couple of dollars on a balance than to give a $30 credit (or $25 for those that didn't have BoA checking/savings accounts) for simply making payments on time every time for 3 months.  Essentially, there were a lot of people opening up multiple BBR accounts, making very minimal purchases to satisfy the bonus requirement and just having BOA pay them $120 a year per card for using it for a handful of swipes a year.  The card is no longer available and they've since instituted a firm policy on the number of new BoA credit cards one can be approved for during set periods of time.


$500k+ club. | FICO 08 [Oct 2017]: EQ 746 EX 738 TU 733 | World's worst gardener.
Senior Contributor

Re: Master List of Lowest Balances CCCs will report:

I completely undestand that with the BBR example, but I'm referring to examples like Discover that will lower your balance from $2 to $0 every single cycle or Capital One that will take $1 down to $0.  From my POV, there seems to be absolutely no benefit from them doing so, be it financial or otherwise.

Senior Contributor

Re: Master List of Lowest Balances CCCs will report:

Updated data for Discover on the original post.  I left a $2.99 statement balance this last cycle and today when they reported the account was reported as $0.  So, with Discover, $3.00 reports (as $3) and anything from $0-$2.99 reports as $0.

Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: Master List of Lowest Balances CCCs will report:

Thanks for the update! Wish I could offer data points right now, but almost all of my cards are either $0 or “yikes!” and my scores need as many reporting at $0 as possible for the time being. Maybe I could offer to do a card a month, though, since that would be negligible. Would be easy enough to do with like $1.99 Amazon gift card balance refills.

$500k+ club. | FICO 08 [Oct 2017]: EQ 746 EX 738 TU 733 | World's worst gardener.
Senior Contributor

Re: Master List of Lowest Balances CCCs will report:

For sure.  Data points would be great to add here from creditors that I don't have.  For those with enough cards that they don't need to do AZEO for a top score it's a bit easier to play around (if you can let 2-4+ cards report balances, that is). 

 

The two best/easiest ways I know of to get the perfect balance to leave on your account is to start with a higher balance and pay it off leaving the exact amount you want, OR, starting with a zero balance go to a merchant such as a grocery store that has a self-checkout and swipe your card for the exact amount you want and then pay off the remaining balance on another card.

 

With the exception of a Blispay update to my original post, I have no other data points that I can add... so if anyone else can provide some please do so!