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I wrote a few months ago about an offer that Bank of America was offering, that gave 25,000 bonus Alaska miles for opening up a new checking account. Since I already have (several!) Alaska Airlines cards, this seemed like a good fit. Even though I don’t live near an airport served by Alaska, Alaska Airlines has some great partners, and I’m definitely heavily considering using my Alaska miles to fuel my next (first!) round the world trip
Opening the Bank of America checking account
Both my wife and I opened up our Bank of America checking accounts, and all went well. We made our qualifying direct deposits, and a short time after, the 25,000 bonus miles were credited to each of our Alaska Airlines mileage account.
But then… the problems began!
How my new Bank of America checkout totally screwed me over!
My system for keeping track of my spending and bonus offers is that every week or two, on Saturdays, I log on to each of my accounts, make sure I have accounted for the spending, and make sure there aren’t any charges I don’t expect. Another important part of my system is that every time I sign up for a new credit card, one of the first things that I do is set up an automatic payment to pay off the statement balance in full each month. This has been working very well for me, including with my existing Bank of America Alaska cards
Wait… what?!?! It would not have been the first time that I had signed up for a credit card and then forgotten to set up the automatic payment, but some of these accounts were NOT old accounts! They had been on auto pay for several months!!
I used the online chat system to try and figure out what was going on. The chat agent was able to waive one of the 2 interest fees, but said for the other one, I’d have to call the online banking department.
So I called them up and got passed around to 3 different people, before eventually getting to someone who explained what was going on. She said that when I opened a Bank of America checking account, it changed my online profile to a “full” profile (because I guess before I was not a “full” customer, only having credit cards with them).
She said that when that happened, my previous online bill pay profile was deleted. Sure enough, when I go into my Automatic Payments section, there’s nothing there
They were able to waive all the interest charges, and I was able to get all my accounts paid up and set up again, but talk about super shady! I am guessing that if (WHEN!) I close my Bank of America checking account, it may mess up my bill pay profile again, so I’ll make sure to double check when that happens.
Has this ever happened to you? If not, you’ll need to be careful to check