Hello everyone, I've been lurking the forum for just over a month now, I wanted to share my experiences. Hopefully I can help someone as others before have helped me.
First off, a little history. I exited college with a solid credit score thanks in large part to my father. Got a BoA cash rewards card with a $4k limit on 02/14. Costco Amex True Earnings on 05/14. Still I didn't know much about credit.
I redeemed ~$100 from BoA in November and that got me thinking... I get a much better rate for spending money than I do leaving it in my savings account... I decide to do some digging.
12/14 - first thing I come across is util ratio. Uh oh... I put most of my spending on my lower limit card. I request a CLI to 8k. Approved!
Next, begins my addiction with rewards card hunting. I made a list and decided to go after the Quicksilver card. Overall, this card isn't as good as the double cash card, but I want the sign up bonus! I call to apply and I'm instantly approved for $10k in credit
I also hear a out the preferred rewards program. An extra 25% to my rewards, that's great (I later realized that BoA offered me the program due to the joint acct with my father that I do not, under any circumstance, touch. I explain to him that I converted his acct, after explaining the perks he okays the change.
2 hard inqs later, I hear about the Sallie Mae WMC. I heard that they reject applicants for too many recent inquiries. I am a sad man.
1/15 - the itch for 5% on groceries and amazon grows stronger. I decide to call in and scout the application line. I explain that I have 2 recent hard inqs, but years of spotless credit (again, thanks dad!). The CSR informs me that I should still apply, and I do without a moment of hesitation. Instantly approved for $5k!
I have mixed feelings... $5k? That's my lowest credit line! My overall util hovers at 3% anyways, but I get greedy and decide to recon. I am plesant with the rep and explain that i want my util on each card as low as possible. The credit analyst asks what limit I'm looking for. "I'd like $10,000 but I'd settle for my lowest limit of $8,000". She takes a look at my credit and approves of the CLI to $10,000. I am a happy man. I ask to speak with her supervisor to leave her a good comment.
But wait, now my cash rewards card is essentially useless to me. I like BoA, they have been good to me! The rewards structure is simply dwarfed by the Sallie Mae card. Feeding my addiction, I continue eying cards longingly until I stumble across the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card. I'm not a frequent flier, but the rewards don't expire and I'm sure free airfare will be a pleasant reward eventually!
"Can I do a product change? Google had no answers for me. Should I ask a forum? Why not just ask BoA?" I tell them my predicament. Great news, I'm eligible for an upgrade! But wait... I hear you guys have a sign up bonus for $100.00, am I eligible for that promotion with a product change?
After a brief hold, my CSR tells me that I am not eligible for the sign up bonus, but her supervisor offered to credit $100.00 into account and that I'm eligible for a change! I did lose $15 in rewards, but the generous statement credit more than makes up for it! Once again, ask to speak with her supervisor and give her glowing notes.
Overall in December/January, I am $225 richer (once my bonuses kick in) with $24,000 more available credit. I have the following rewards structure:
5% groceries, 5% gas not from Costco, 5% amazon & bookstores
3.75% travel via BoA
3% costco gas (a better overall deal in terms of total savings in my area)
2% on restaurants
1.875% on everything else
I plan to garden before applying for any new cards. Thanks to superb customer retention tactics from BoA, I won't be applying for the cities double cash card for gain an extra .125% on my everyday purchases. I am, however, eyeing the Discover it (with $100 amazon gift card bonus) and Chase Freedom (if they run the $200 sign up bonus again) cards in the future.
Overall, the take away that I got from this month is: don't be afraid to call customer service and ask for what you want. The worst they can do is say no.
Thanks again to the collective minds on here for sharing info with me! I'm always open to suggestions!
Do not use BoA travel site its kind of ripoff
Use skiplagged for domestic flights
airfarewatchdog for internationa flights
Kayak for hotels
If you compare these to BoA travel you will know its a ripoff
also look at AAArewards card by BoA in the future it gives you 3points on all travel
Thanks for the tip! I just compared the price of a domestic flight in March and it comes out to nearly the same price, although I don't know what kind of fees I'd expect to pay on either site. I'll look into the AAA card, can non-members apply?
Also like to throw in hotwire to the hotel mix for last minute needs.
No need to be member for the AAA card
I think its a great card if you travel a lot