Back in June 2016, I applied for the Bank of America Alaska Business and Personal credit card. I was approved and received the signup bonuses for both cards.
Card Usage (Post Signup Bonus)
The minimum spend was $1,000 for each of these cards. Since meeting the minimum spend, I’ve put little to no spend on either of these cards except for the occasional Bank of America cashback deals and other promotions. I probably put about $1,500 total spend on the personal card and $1,100 total spend on the business card.
Annual Fee Time
My annual fee posted in the beginning of July 2017. There wasn’t really much of a reason to keep either of these two cards open.
Bank of America has been known to reject people applying for new credit cards who have “sufficient credit”. For instance, if I have a credit line of $10,000 on each card and Bank of America is only comfortable with my available credit being $20,000. Since I’m already at $20,000 in credit with them it’s highly likely that they’ll reject me. Unfortunately, when you close a card it doesn’t “release” that credit from Bank of America’s back end. However, there’s speculation that if you lower the credit line before closing the card it “releases” that credit, which increases your probability of getting approved for new cards.
I went ahead and lowered my credit lines to $1,000 each. I let this sit for a week (hopefully their systems updated by then) before calling to cancel each card.
Alaska Business Card Retention Call
I called for the business card first and all intentions of cancelling it. Of course the customer service rep asked why I was cancelling. I basically told him that I didn’t use the card that much and couldn’t justify paying the annual fee. I asked him if there were any offers (retention offers) that might make me consider keeping the card. He asked to put me on hold while he looked at my account.
About a minute later he came back on the line and said that there was a one-time option on my account to receive a $75 credit to offset the annual fee. I sat there for a moment trying to decide whether or not to take this offer. In the end, I decided to accept the offer since it means I’ll get an additional companion pass next year (2018), which I value at $30-40.
I wasn’t planning on keeping this card, but for no annual fee for the next year I figured why not. It doesn’t hurt anything to keep it open and helps to maintain my relationship with Bank of America.
Alaska Personal Card Retention Call
My next call went a little more according to plan. I asked to close the card and was offered 2,500 Alaska miles to keep it open and pay the annual fee. I did some quick math in my head and buying 2,500 miles at $75 was definitely not worth it. I went ahead and closed the card like I had planned.
Future Bank of America Apps
I’ll probably apply for another Bank of America Alaska card in the next month or two especially since they have an awesome companion pass promotion going on right now that only involves paying the taxes/fees.