You’re Not Using Your Points, So We’re Taking Them Back

First, let me address the issue of why I never use my personal Visa card…because it is sponsored by Bank of America. They offer points for rewards, but the cash rewards are horrible. If you want 1% cash back, you have to spend $30,000. Meanwhile, Discover offers you 1% cash back for only spending $5000, and, if you get a Starbucks gift card, they give you 1.1% back.

Now, I have two business Visa credit cards – one for each of my businesses. Each one individually takes a while to spend $30,000, but combined, they get to $30,000 rather quickly. So, I routinely transfer my points from the business Visa cards to my personal Visa and then redeem the points for cash from my personal Visa. (Of course, since it’s Bank of America, they only let you transfer them in blocks of 2,500 points…how convenient for them.)

One day they decided to introduce an expiration date for transferred points, but failed to notify me. I went to redeem 35,000 points for $350. However, the Bank of America website crashed on me. I didn’t get a chance to try again until a few days later…the beginning of the next month. All of a sudden, I found 15,000 points (equivalent of $150) missing from my account. When I called them up, they told me, “Oh, they expired.”

After several days of phone calls, amounting to about 6 hours of my life wasted, they offered me a consolation of $120 for the expired points. Unfortunately they wouldn’t offer me the points back, which mean that the remaining 20,000 points could only be redeemed for $160.

Essentially, Bank of America cheated me out of $70 that was never theirs to begin with along with 6 hours of my life. If I tried to fight them on the issue, 10,000 more points were going to expire at the end of the next cycle.

And they wonder why I don’t like to use my Bank of America credit cards.

Let Me Give You My Money, So You Can Charge Me For Taking It Back

Without disclosing how much money is transacted from some of my accounts, I will tell you that I manage a helicopter flight school, and aircraft rental and aviation fuel isn’t cheap. That being said, Bank of America still decided to charge me $61 to reorder checks for my account. Do they not realize that anything can be used as “legal tender” and that I can actually write “Pay to the Order Of” on a bar napkin and it is legal? Next time I will order $61 of bar napkins and use them out of spite.

Deposit Checks with Your SmartPhone: Pay a Fee

Bank of America recently started offering a service where you can deposit checks on your phone. “This is great!” I thought. I’ll save time by not having to go to the bank, save gas in my car, save the environment by not burning gas while I’m sitting in line at the ATM, and save Bank of America some money because they don’t have to hire as many tellers or service as many ATMs.

I called up Bank of America and asked to add the service to my account. They told me they wanted $20 per account per month for the service. I currently have 9 accounts remaining with Bank of America. I was not going to spend $180 per month to save Bank of America money.

Need a Business Loan? Don’t use Bank of America.

I have been a loyal Bank of America customer for 20 years. I casually mentioned that I am in the market to purchase an aircraft for my successful aviation business. The rep at the local banking center told me that Bank of America could lend me the capital. I told her “I doubt it,” but she insisted.

A few days later I received a phone call from a business lender. He had me run through the extensive process of applying for credit. I have an excellent credit score, cash in my account, am willing to put 20% down, mortgage the aircraft, personally co-signed for the business, and was considering using my house as collateral.

“We are not in the business of aircraft lending,” is what they told me.

“Then why the tell did you put me through this entire process to start with?!”

How are you today?

The reps at my local banking center know me by name. I went in today to make a transfer from my business checking account to my leasing company’s business checking account – both of which are Bank of America. Of course, this would have been much easier if done online, but Bank of America charges a fee for online transfers.

Banking Center Rep: How are you today Mr. Schapiro?
Me: Oh, you know, just another day, hating Bank of America.
Banking Center Rep: I’m sorry to hear that. Is there anything I can do?
Me: Please no, it will probably end up costing me more money or wasting more of my life when I try to get a hidden fee reversed.

Looks Nice From the Outside…Look Closer

I thought it was unusual that at a Bank of America banking center which houses six drive-thru teller windows and two drive-thru ATM, that service could possibly be as slow as it was. Then I looked a little closer:

It turns out that even though there were six drive-thru teller windows, there was only one teller working and of the two ATMs, only one of them worked.

Moving to Discover Bank

I found out recently that Discover Bank offers 1% APR on their online savings account. This is contrasted with the 0.09% APR that Bank of America offers on their Preferred Client Money Market Account. (Money market accounts generally have better interest rates than regular savings accounts.)

It was very satisfying when I got to walk into the local banking center and tell the personal banker, “I am closing my account. GIVE ME MY MONEY!”