Bank of America BankAmeriCard Better Balance Rewards Intro and Quarterly Bonus Strategy

Update 7am 6/26/15: there is an even easier way to charge your BBR CC with Amazon Allowance, read this post to learn more.

(Hat Tip to Stefan @ Rapid Travel Chai)

Good morning everyone, I recently converted from a Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card to a Bank of America BankAmeriCard Better Balance Rewards Credit Card (BBR CC).  Why?  With the BBR CC, you can earn up to $120 per year in cash back.  How?  Every quarter (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep, Oct-Dec), you can earn a $25 bonus when you make 1 qualifying purchase per statement period (aka month) and paying your bill in full.  If you are a Bank of America customer (checking, saving, or Merrill Lynch account), you will get an extra $5 bonus per quarter.  So if you are a Bank of America customer and make all the qualifying purchases, you will make $120 per year.  If you are not a Bank of America customer, but you do make all the qualifying purchases, you will make $100 per year.

BofA BankAmeriCard Better Balance Rewards Welcome Letter

I summarized the BBR program above, but if you want to read all the small print, go ahead.  One thing I want to point out is that the quarterly bonus will post to your account the following statement period.  So for quarter 1 (Jan-Mar), you will receive the quarterly bonus on your April statement.  This schedule continues throughout the rest of the year.

If you become a BBR CC customer in the middle of a quarter, you just need to complete the rest of that quarter to be eligible for the quarterly bonus.  That is a good news for new customers.  Another thing I wanted to point out is that *you must have a payment due in each of the monthly cycles of the calendar quarter to be eligible for the Quarterly Cash Reward; a zero balance or credit balance does not qualify.*  Do not pay your BBR CC bill before the statement closes, otherwise you will disqualify yourself from the quarterly bonus.

To make a small purchase on the BBR CC, I use Amazon.  It has long been possible to buy Amazon eGift Cards for yourself and load them to your Amazon account.  But what if I told you there was an easier way to do essentially the same thing.  Well, there is.  You can reload your Amazon Gift Card balance in 1 simple step.  Just enter a dollar amount and click Continue.

Amazon Reload Balance Online

Make sure to add your BBR CC and use that as the payment method.

Amazon Reload Balance Online Use BofA Better Balance Rewards Credit Card

After you place your order, you should see your Amazon Gift Card balance increase automatically.  That’s all you need to do, no more steps are needed.

Why did I make a $5 purchase instead of a 50 cent purchase to load my Amazon Gift Card balance?  Great question.  After speaking with Stefan and a few other people who have had a BBR CC, I learned that some purchases are too small and Bank of America issues a “Small Balance Credit Adjustment” thereby paying off your bill and disqualifying you from receiving the quarterly bonus.  I’ve heard that balances under $2 trigger the “Small Balance Credit Adjustment”, so I wanted to be safe and make a $5 purchase.

The $5 Amazon charge shows up as a normal purchase.  Since I recently converted from a Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card to a Bank of America BankAmeriCard Better Balance Rewards Credit Card, the annual fee refund posted to my account.  I’m worried that the credit balance in my account will cause a problem getting the $25 quarterly bonus, so I will ask Bank of America to send me a check for the $75 annual fee refund, leaving a $5 balance, triggering the quarterly bonus.

BofA BankAmeriCard Better Balance Rewards Online Account

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone.

51 thoughts on “Bank of America BankAmeriCard Better Balance Rewards Intro and Quarterly Bonus Strategy

  1. Terry

    Is it your intent to pay $6 each month, thereby creating a $1 credit balance since you must pay more than the monthly minimum? $25 is the lowest minimum payment amount unless the balance is less than $25. So I have been making purchases in the $30 range on my BBR card.

    Reply
      1. Terry

        It looks like Oren has had success with $1 purchases. The terms say that you have to pay more than the minimum balance but maybe you only have to pay the minimum balance.

        Reply
  2. lence

    How to get refund of the annual fee for Alaska card? Is it prorated?

    Also does any purchase from just any store above $5 each for each month make you qualified? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Grant

      The Alaska Airlines CC AF is not pro rated, but you can get it back within 1-2 months of the AF posting. I think any purchase from any merchant over $5 will be fine.

      Reply
      1. Alfred

        Ok. would like to know if anyone had success having more than 1BBR accounts approved. i tried like at least 12 times with no success.

        Reply
  3. Mr. and Mrs. Travel

    For clarification, your BOA Alaska card was a brand new account, not annual fee after the first year? And being brand new you immediately converted them to a new product? Any resistance from BOA?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      The Alaska Airlines CC was brand new, converted to BBR CC after 1-2 months. AF automatically refunded by BofA. First rep said it wasn’t possible to product change. Called back and second rep converted it right away.

      Reply
  4. Mike

    So it’s as simple as a purchase each month of a minimal amount (including almost automatically at Amazon). Pay off your card after the statement. $120/year if B of A customer. Wow.

    Reply
  5. Robert

    I tried HUCA for about 1 week to convert my Alaska card to a BofA Travel Rewards card but each rep insisted that there was a recent change that Alaska cards cannot be converted to “native” BofA cards. I gave up and closed my Alaska card and opened a BofA Travel Rewards card. At least I got a $100 sign-up bonus for the extra credit report.

    Reply
  6. JEM

    Have HUCAd 2 times, and consistent “no option to convert (from AS) – but you can apply for a new one”. Anybody have the magic formula?

    Reply
  7. Scott

    I just have my Netflix account bill here monthly and once a quarter I buy a $25 Amazon gift card to drain the bonus.

    Reply
  8. Kent C

    I converted 5 Alaska cards about 5 months ago, 3 for me, 2 for my wife. Gotten the 1st bonuses, no problem. Doing $1 via the new Amazon allowance method now. I have 2 more Alaska’s but was told months ago, that option to convert to a BBR card is no longer allowed for anyone. In fact I called 4 more times over a month, hoping to get someone who was willing, they said it was hardcoded, no way. 2 weeks ago I called again, lady said no problem, did whatever she did on her end and told me just to wait for the new account to show, wait for new card, etc. 2 days later got letter in the mail saying conversion not allowed.

    When did you do this conversion Grant?
    There is another blog who described this process months ago. There were about 40 others, not just me, who could no longer convert due to more stringent BofA rules.

    I’m glad it worked for you and nice write up.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I’ll check my records and get back to you. I’m surprised it is so difficult now.

      UPDATE: I made the call and the product change was approved on May 27, 2015.

      Reply
  9. Mario

    When did you do your conversion? I just chatted then called BoA and they told me that “it is in the contract with Alaska”, it is impossible to do a product change with the Alaska Airlines card. What?!?

    Reply
  10. Mario

    oops… somehow I just scrolled past this whole thread without seeing it. I have my answers now. thanks everyone.

    Reply
  11. Bill

    How did you manage this, Grant, to convert INTO the BBR?
    I tried to PC an existing account and was denied both by customer service as well as their escalation line that is supposed to help folks who know someone employed by BoA.
    I ended up applying for three BoA cards on the same day – a Cash Rewards, a MLB (works like Cash Rewards), and the BBR.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I don’t know how I did it, I just called and they did it for me. I made the change on May 27, 2015 from Alaska Airlines to BBR.

      Reply
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    1. Grant

      No, the BofA Alaska Airlines sign up bonus is deposited to your AS account first. BofA will not claw back the miles if you do a product change. Just wait for the sign up bonus to post to your AS account before converting.

      Reply

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