I have a dilemma with my Bank of America Cash Reward credit card. I got this card years ago when I was in graduate school, because it gave me a $100 cash back bonus after spending $500. That was enough money for groceries for a couple of weeks! I’ve kept it, since there is no annual fee and it helps my credit by increasing the age of my credit history. So now my dilemma…
For the longest time, this card was just collecting dust in a drawer in my kitchen, but I decided that 2015 was going to be the year of Cash back. I only use it for gas when my Chase Freedom or DiscoverIt aren’t 5% on gas. Since I earn 3.3% on gas up to $1500 per quarter and it will be potentially be used for 6 months this year, earning $99 cash back in those 6 months.
A few weeks ago I was cruising around Doctor of Credit site and stumbled on an article about converting an old Bank of America credit card to a Bank of America Better Balance Reward credit card. If you haven’t checked out his site yet, I recommend you do, he’s got a lot of great information.
Why would I want to convert to the Better Balance Reward? Every quarter you pay more than the minimum balance you will earn $25, and an extra $5 if you have a Bank of America checking account. This could be just a dollar per month, meaning I would actually make money doing this!
I thought that would be a great idea, since my American Express Blue Cash Preferred earns 3% back on gas year round, meaning I would earn $90 (for 6 months of use) on gas, in addition to the $120 from the Bank of America Better Balance Reward credit card. Overall, I’d earn more cash back and it would be simple to earn it.
I waited until my statement closed for the month and cashed out my reward money to my account. After all that was finished and the reward money was in my account, I attempted to contact Bank of America a few times:
- First, I tried emailing Bank of America- I kept getting a system error every time I tried to send an email.
- Second, I was prompted for a chat while on their website. I tried that, but somehow when I accepted, all agents were busy and it would be 5 minutes. Not having anything better to do at the time, I waited 15 minutes, but kept getting a nice message saying 5 more minutes.
- Finally, I called and it took a long time to get an actual person on the phone.
With a person finally on the phone, I told them what I wanted to convert my Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card to an Bank of America Better Balance Reward credit card. After only seconds, she said they no longer allow conversion to the Better Balance Reward credit card.
I looked further into it and it seems others are having the same issue. All receiving messages or answers saying converting to the Better Balance Reward credit card is no longer an option.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Bank of America for years now, but since their card has no annual fee and I’ve had it for years, canceling it is NOT an option. I have always thought their customer service to be terrible and have had issues of mysteriously fees added to my checking account, which have been removed when I’ve question them.
Since I cashed in my cash rewards and I’m not able to convert to a Better Balance Reward credit card, should I start using my American Express Blue Cash Preferred, or use my Cash Reward card and build back up my rewards? My Blue Cash Preferred earns 3% compared to 3.3% with Cash Rewards on gas purchases, but American Express has much better customer service and their AMEX Offers, have saved quite a bit of money already, including saving money on a gas purchase.
Is it worth using a card for 0.3% less, for a company who offers better customer service and has better offers on other products that save me money? Or should I keep going with the card that gives me slightly more on gas purchases?
What do you think? Which card would you use for your gas purchases?