HRB Emerald Cards BofI

Here is the announcement for this year’s H&R Block Emerald Card advance year round credit line. Having spent two taxes seasons working for HRB I can explain how this works. The cards/ credit line will be offered by BofI as it says here:

“[1]H&R Block Emerald Advance® line of credit and H&R Block Emerald Savings® offered through BofI Federal Bank, Member FDIC. H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard® issued by BofI Federal Bank pursuant to a license by MasterCard International Incorporated”

Every year HRB runs an Emerald card promotion around the Thanksgiving weekend. the idea is that customers who expect a tax refund can go to certain HRB offices that are open and apply for an Emerald Card line of credit with an advance of $350 to $1000. The customer then has that money available to them for holiday shopping.

The win for HRB is that it encourages the customers to have their taxes done through HRB and the credit line can be paid down with their tax refund by February 15th.

“The balance of the line of credit is paid in monthly payments of $25 or 4 percent of the outstanding balance, whichever is greater, and must be paid down to zero by February 15.”

The win for BofI is that the initial credit risk is minimal due to the projected tax refund of the borrower and they may develop a small credit customer year round.…

BofI will collect fees/interest associated with the Emerald Card line of credit.…

Frank - long BofI, see profile for all holdings - worked for two tax seasons at HRB


I have always thought this would be easy money for BOFI. I don’t like it as i feel less educated people are being duped, but that won’t stop me from investing…I am happy with MO paying me a fat dividend. But all the other debris floating around BOFI make me want to take my chances elsewhere. I could write a call spread if i wanted limite risk, but won’t go long.