Recently I submitted a Bank of America Alaska Visa credit increase request. And for the first time in my life, I was denied an increase in credit or new credit card.
Citi bank has a promotion going on where you can get 50,000 ThankYou Points or 50,000 American Airlines miles for opening a new CitiGold Checking Account (and jumping through a few hoops). While the 50,000 points are great, you also get the opportunity to fund the checking account with a credit card. Some credit cards do not code as a cash advance but instead show up as a purchase. Some of the cards you can use are listed in this Doctor of Credit post.
I applied for the CitiGold Checking Account and was approved (pending my faxing in a copy of my drivers license).
My plan was to fund the account with my Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa card. My credit line with this particular card is $10,000. Therefore, I could fund my bank account with $10,000, get 10,000 Alaska Airlines miles, then immediately pay off my BoA Visa with the funds in the checking account. 10,000 miles for free! And I do love to use my Alaska miles.
But, I thought, why stop there? Why not request a credit increase so that I could earn even more miles (you only get to fund the account with a credit card once)?
I contacted submitted my Bank of America Alaska Visa credit increase request online on October 2nd. I checked my credit limit the next day; still $10,000. Today (October 8) I received a letter in the mail from BoA. My credit request was denied.
Bank of America gave two reasons that are just plain wrong:
- “There have been too many recent credit requests on this account.” This was the first time I had requested a credit increase. Perhaps they include new credit card applications as credit requests. In that case, I opened one card in April and another in June.
- “Your recent payments on this account have been too low compared to your balance.” This one I found even more odd, as I have ALWAYS paid off 100% of my balance each month. In fact, this past month’s statement was a negative amount as I had received credits through their BankAmeriDeals. Maybe what they really meant was that my recent payments have been too HIGH compared to my balance??
While that is the reasons that they gave, my guess is that it was for another reason(s) altogether. There are just my guesses:
- With opening a number of credit cards over the past 6 months, I have been neglecting my poor Alaska Visa cards. There was a month where I made no charges at all. My guess is the they looked at my account and decided that I really didn’t need an increase since I had barely been using my card as it is.
- I have heard that Bank of America has an upper limit on how much total credit you can have across your cards. Some percentage of annual income perhaps combined with your credit score. Between my two cards, I may have reached my maximum limit.
I knew that they may not increase my limit, and I am happy with 10,000 free miles I’ll get by funding my checking account. However, I was disappointed to have a hard pull on my credit through Trans Union with absolutely no benefit. My credit score is very high wasn’t a reason my credit line increase was denied.
Update: After linking to this post on Twitter, I received a call from one of BoA’s social media team member. She said she would look into my denial. A few days later, she called back and said that after talking to an account specialist, that the following two reasons were why I was denied an increase in credit:
- In the past I had asked for a reduction of credit on this account. While not exactly true, I had in fact asked for a reduction or transfer in credit on another BoA credit card. I can’t remember the details, but I am 99% sure it wasn’t on this card since I have only had it since April.
- My account had been open for too short of a time (i.e. since April). I hadn’t established myself as a reliable customer yet, so they didn’t want to give me more credit. This reason actually makes some sense to me.
I’m not sure why the letter would make up two random reasons. The agent said that was just an automated response. Still seems odd that they would just pick two random reasons for denial out of a hat instead of telling you the real reason. Perhaps it is just easier that way?
Sidenote: I was applying for a couple of other credit cards last night and decided to see what would happen if I applied for a another BoA Alaska Visa. I was instantly approved this time. My credit limit? $15,000. Oh Bank of America. You amuse me!