BOA: Day Late–DOA

What? Maybe four times of carrying credit cards in our adult lives we’ve missed a payment because I thought she and she thought I had paid it; or it got sorted by mistake into the wrong pile. Four times in decades of full-amount on-time payments to Bank of America or its predecessors.

So I admit I’m naive about how these missed-due-date things work. I slipped up this week and paid a $300 BOA bill due on the 14th on the 14th. So it would be late. Dang, I hate it when that happens once every couple of years.

And this morning, first Amazon, then Netflix tell me there are problems and I need to bill to another card.

Wait a minute. Surely not. That would an idiotic good-customer-alienating policy to inactivate the card for what turns out to be a $15 penalty for a cardholder who carries no outstanding balance beyond this one check that should arrive at BOA today or tomorrow.

But yes, that is the policy at Bank of America. Check’s late, you’re frozen. No skin off their beaks.

Yes, after holding for Eternal Muzac and talking to someone “higher up” about my displeasure, things were made right and the fee was waved, and all is rosy, they tell me.

But I want to know: is this day-late DOA standard policy for all credit card issuers? This has rubbed my fur the wrong way, and if other cards offer more rational and measured grace periods to good customers, I may want to be one of theirs, and t’ell wit Bank of AmeriKa.

Meanwhile, I’m setting up autodraft for this card from our bank. But for the longer haul, I’m shopping around for alternatives and open to any ideas.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Yeesh! If that’s their policy, I would cancel. That’s ridiculous. the only incident we have had that I can remember in the past 15 years or so was last year, when Mr. Geek accidently paid his CC bill with the amount due on my card, and vice versa – so one card got overpaid, and the other underpaid. When he later figured out what happened, he called them and they fixed it, waived the charges on the underpayment even though it was totally our fault, and practically apologized to us for not magically guessing it themselves.

  2. But you aren’t a good customer. You don’t make them any money. Good thing for you they make money off the merchants. 🙂

  3. Just as an FYI for the future. If you pay the bill online at the bank’s web site it is generally credited immediately. I may have had to do that one or twice in the past.

  4. Oh I realize: I’m a terrible customer. So you can imagine their glee at this big GOTCHA!

    I’ve requested forms for auto-draft, but a mailed copy for our records, then pay online from our bank account might be a good middle ground. I just won’t tell certain wives who just KNOW that once they have our banking information, we’ll walk in one day to the Bank of Floyd and find ZERO BALANCE because BOA (or any other entity that uses the web for business) is EVIL.

  5. Nope. Never had that one happen with my bank (a credit union, actually). And I’m sure I’ve been a day or so late a time or two simply because of when the check finally cleared. I think I’d look for another credit card. Sounds draconian to me. Heck, even if you mailed it when you should have, that doesn’t mean the PO would deliver it on time. And that did happen to me once. PO took 9 days to deliver the thing–I could have walked the cash there and back again in that time.

  6. BOA is way too big for their britches. I had a BOA card for perhaps 20 years and then, they offered to give me a card that would give me points for my purchases. I thought, well, why not? So I accepted the offer. The next time that I made travel arrangements, imagine my surprise when Enterprise refused my card (it was an American Express card, now, for some unknown reason) because the charge had to be authorized 24 hours in advance. I used my Chase Visa, instead. So I get to Floyd and get another surprise. The Hotel Floyd turned my card down, too, for essentially the same reason. I used the Chase card. When I got home, I called up BOA and chewed them a new you-know-what. I told them they could take their card and put it you-know-where. They transferred me from department to department, trying to convince me to keep my card, but I told them, “no!!” I also demanded (and got) a paper letter from them confirming that my credit card was cancelled. Like I said, BOA is way too big for their britches. Cancel the card and be glad that you did.

    As for what credit card to apply for, you will do worse than browsing this site – you might even sign up for their newsletter. I’ve found it useful.

    Also, I’d give serious thought to moving your other accounts from BOA, if you have them – checking, savings, etc. They don’t deserve your business.

  7. As I recall, I’ve only missed being on time paying off a monthly credit card bill once. The amount that it cost me was enough to make me sit up and pay attention. (I didn’t complain because I had, after all, been late!)
    For the past several years, I’ve had auto-pay on the one credit card that I habitually use. And…please tell your lovely wife that (in this case it’s a credit union) the financial institution has never done anything untoward. That does not, of course, guarantee that nothing will happen within my (hopefully) long lifetime; but, I’m comfortable with it. It took a couple of years for me to convince Hunky Husband to do the same thing (either of us may be called to work a disaster with little/no time to prep and take care of such trivial matters.) Of course, it took longer than that for me to talk him into high speed internet. At that, I had it installed while he was out directing a disaster response. He loves it!