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NFL fans: Use your credit card rewards points now or else

Matt Schulz

Got rewards points from using your favorite NFL team’s official credit card? Redeem them soon to get that Peyton Manning jersey or Dallas Cowboys helmet or they’ll disappear forever.

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Consider it a two-minute warning from the National Football League and Bank of America: “After August 31, 2010,” the bank says on its NFL Extra Points program website, “Bank of America will no longer offer the NFL credit card program. All points must be redeemed on or before this date.” Otherwise, the points will expire.

To drive home the point, NFLExtraPoints.com features a giant countdown clock just below a headline that screams “Redeem your points before the clock hits zero! Last chance to spend your points.” The site also says that current NFL credit cardholders will soon receive more information on the situation.

So what’s driving this? The NFL is moving its credit card business from Bank of America — with whom its partnered for 15 years — to British-owned Barclays Bank. According to the Associated Press, Barclays’ new NFL program is set to debut in September. The NFL regular season begins September 9.

BofA still issues Major League Baseball and NASCAR credit cards, but by and large, the issuer has distanced itself from the sports business. It wasn’t always that way, however. In 2006, BofA acquired MBNA. MBNA pioneered the so-called affinity credit card and issued many, many pro and college sports-related credit cards — including one of my first credit cards in the 1990s, an MBNA card associated with the University of Texas. But in the period since the acquisition, the credit card business has been hit hard. According to the AP, the bank’s credit card “default rate went from 3.9 percent in 2006 after it acquired MBNA to 11.2 percent by the end of 2009, though the rate has started to improve.”

The details of Barclays’ deal with the NFL remain unclear, as do the reasons why BofA and the NFL didn’t reach an agreement to extend their licensing deal. BofA remains the official bank of four NFL teams — the Cowboys, Washington Redskins, New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers, the AP says. However, those agreements allow only for debit cards to be issued with the team’s logo, not credit cards.

So starting in September, the official cards of America’s favorite sport will be issued by a British bank. That’s a point not lost on message boards around the Internet, where people seem to be more irritated about that than the fact that their points may be about to vanish. But either way, current NFL credit cardholders need to act quickly. Otherwise, when they try to buy themselves that Reggie Bush New Orleans Saints jersey to wear to the big game, all those rewards points might be worth about as much as a typical NFL preseason game. Nothing.

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  • Susie Supalo

    I have been saving NFL points for 6 years for Super Bowl tickets. I had enough points last Super Bowl for upper level seats but decided not to redeem them because I had been saving for so long I thought I would wait for lower level seats. I have enough points for lower level seats and now I can’t redeem them. Obtaining Super Bowl tickets with my points has been my goal for 6 years. I think BofA and NFL should have given us more notice. I would have redeemed my points last Super Bowl. Is there anything I can do? I feel cheated by the NFL, B of A and the Chicago Bears! How can they get away with this???

  • bob

    I had an Apple Barclays credit card 5 years ago and paid the balance off in 6 months. Tax free day was coming and I planned on getting a new Mac set set @ $6K , so I applied for a new Apple Barclays credit card online and was declined. I pulled all 3 of my credit reports 850,855 and 860. I think they were just pissed because I paid it all of and didn’t pay them any interest. Worst customer service ever ..

  • Susie Suaplo

    Thanks Matt for all your help! I was able to get my Super Bowl tickets for this year! I appreciate everything you did for me!!!

  • James Jinsky

    Due to a family emergency, I unexpectedly had to spend the past 2 weeks out of state. Upon returning to my home, I wished to use accumulated NFLEXDTRAPOINTS, but find the program with Bank of America expired yesterday. It was totally impossible for me to use the points while away due to this unavoidable situation. How can I still get a reprieve to be able to use these points and not lose them??? How this is handled will certainly have a bearing on my continued use of Bank of Amereica for this and other financial matters.

  • Steve H

    Today, I remembered that the program was ending soon, checked on it, and found that the 46,000 points I’d been accumulating over the years expired yesterday. Really sickening. After speaking with reps from BofA, Barclays, and NFL extra points, I confirmed that there’s no recourse for those of us who forgot that the program was expiring on 8/31.
    – The NFL screwed us by switching from BofA to Barclay’s
    – BofA screwed us by not converting unused NFL points to reward points for their new program
    – Barclay’s screwed us by not allowing previous card owners to transfer the NFL points to their NFL card.
    Hard lesson learned. I never used any of the points because I was letting them build up to bigger ticket items. Now I lost all of them.

  • Lori

    I went to redeem my 22,000 reward points today having no idea that my points had “expired”. When I called Bank of America to find out where my points were I was told they no longer contracted with the NFL and that I’d lost all my points. They said I was notified by mail. When I explained that I only banked online and that even though they have both the ability to message me AND send me alerts online and that I had received neither, they didn’t care. Said I should be better about reading my mail, even though they like most companies are encouraging their customers to go paperless. I am livid. For four years I was a great customer, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how they could do this without using every means of notification they had available to them. There has to be a law suit in here somewhere. Why couldn’t the points just be transferred to the new rewards program?

  • Kevin

    I am currently on hold with these guys…I too am losing out on 4+ years worth of saving. I am fighting this and you should too! I’ll even create a message board dedicated to fight this!
    After 3 levels of customer service, I finally had one lady tell me she and ask another dept as a courtesy to see if they can have my points transferred over to a new program…they do have records of your points! WHY WOULD THEY NOT TRANSFER MY POINTS OVER BY DEFAULT? They took my points away and replaced the card with a card that has NO BENEFIT/REWARDS program at all! UNETHICAL!
    Join me in the fight! I will be creating a community to fight this! With enough voices, we can over turn this!

  • Kevin

    Contact me at kevzik99@msn.com I am serious about this fight, but need your help!

  • Pam

    I too lost my points and I’m not happy about it since I was saving them for several years. When I called BofA they said I was notified which is baloney. They told me to call Barclays and that call is routed to someone in the Phillipine’s. I think we need a class action suite.

  • Adrienne

    This is absolutely ridiculous. I just found this site by random after trying desperately to find my points on my mbna account online. Is this for real???! I have had this card for years and have not ever used my points because I was waiting to redeem them for a gift for my husband. This is insane! I found this site right after I emailed their customer service asking them where I can access my points. I knew i had quite a number of them too. What can I do??!

  • stephen

    Just found out today I lost all my MBNA points 100k+ Had the card for 9 plus years and never used the points. I called bofa to find out were my points were and they told me I lost them since I dint redeem them before the deadline. Which is a bunch of bull crap. Never got anything in the mail or email. I hope some one is looking into this. Oh by the way, they canceled my card the first week of Nov for no reason. when I called them they reopend my account a day later. I think this is a scam. I those scumm bags go bankrupt.

  • pattie wolf

    I had been a member since since 1995. I did not receive anyting on the expiring of the points. Does anyone know if I can at lest find out how many points I had?