Last week BofA promised no more rate hikes between now and February, when the bulk of the credit card reform act’s changes take effect. But now the bank reveals it plans to impose annual fees of $29 to $99 on about 1% of its credit card accounts starting in February.
We can presume that BofA is testing to the waters to see how much its customers howl. If there’s not significant pushback, expect more accounts to be slapped with the fees.
If you have good credit scores (FICOs of 740+), you have plenty of options if your bank imposes an annual fee you don’t want to pay. You can threaten to take your business elsewhere, and the threat has some weight, since other issuers would love your business. If your issuer insists on imposing the fee, you can simply close your account. As long as you keep other cards open, the hit shouldn’t be too bad. If this is your oldest or highest-limit account, you make take a larger hit on your score. But again, the more accounts you have, the less one closure is likely to matter.
If you don’t have good scores, your options are more limited. Other issuers might not be as eager for your business and your scores could take a greater hit from a closure. Paying the fee might be the better option, at least until your scores improve.
For more on recent credit card changes, visit LowCards.com page “Credit card changes by issuer and date.“