There is hardly anyone with a credit card that doesn't know the sinking feeling of making minimum payments or the pain of missing one altogether. However, getting paid to pay your credit card company isn't a concept that many have had experience with either. Luckily, the concept has caught on with Bank of America and its Better Balance Rewards card.
Bank of America is offering every quarter to BBR cardholders who not only make more than the minimum payment each month but consistently make their payments on time. As an added bonus, BBR cardholders that also maintain a checking or savings account with Bank of America will receive an extra each quarter as well. Finally, there is a chance to earn up to 0 dollars of free money per year just for being a fiscally responsible adult.
Credit card companies are well-known for punishing cardholders that miss payments but ignoring the good practices of those who manage their debt consistently and responsibly. Bank of America's hope for this type of rewards card is to encourage those who already pay consistently to keep doing so and offer extra incentive for those who are looking to get better at paying on time. Eventually, the bank hopes to grow a deeper, more genuine relationship with its customers that will also help repair its damaged public image.
Many consumer credit experts consider the Better Balance Rewards card a breath of fresh air because it provides a combination of benefits that can motivate consumers to reduce their credit debt instead of increase it. In addition to offering no annual fee and a 0% interest rate for the first 12 months, the interest rate is extended to new purchases as well as balance transfers as long as they are made in the first 60 days of opening an account.
Still, BBR cardholders who miss a payment can be subjected to a late payment fee of up to and have the 0% interest revoked. The card's interest rate can then jump as high as 29.99%. Furthermore, once the 0% interest period is over, the interest rate is adjusted to reflect the cardholder's credit score. That's fine for those with good credit. For those whose credit is a little shaky, the number can go as high as 21.99%.
As easy as it is to like the concept of getting rewarded for doing the right thing especially by a bank consumer credit experts feel those looking for balance transfer cards may do better with credit cards whose 0% interest grace periods last longer than 12 months. Experts also caution that even with all the benefits, the Better Balance Rewards credit card is just a credit card and the ability to eliminate debt is strictly in the hands of the cardholder, not the card itself.
Nonetheless, Bank of America feels that it will reach the right customers for the Better Balance Rewards card by offering it as an option to existing customers and approaching prospective customers through targeted marketing. For those who don't qualify for the card through Bank of America, take heart. It is likely there will be enough appeal in the concept that, soon enough, other credit card companies will follow Bank of America's lead, creating a wider, competitive market of rewards cards that genuinely pay.