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Million Mile Secrets reader Don commented:
Can you explain “different product” as it relates to applying for various credit cards?
Don’s question refers to the fact that some credit card companies won’t let you get the sign-up bonus on a card, unless the card is considered a “different product.”
It Depends on the Credit Card Issuer
The rules about what is considered a different product vary for each bank. In general, 2 cards are treated as different products if:
- They’re for different airlines or hotels (ex. Chase Hyatt vs Chase IHG)
- They’re personal and business versions of the same card (ex. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express vs Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express)
- They’re for the same hotel or airline,but 1 version is a premium card and the other is an entry-level card (ex. Citi American Airlines Platinum Select Mastercard vs. Citi Executive American Airlines World Elite Mastercard)
- They’re for the same hotel or airline but issued by different banks (ex. AMEX Hilton HHonors vs. Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve)
- They’re similar cards, but 1 is a charge card and the other is a credit card (ex. Chase Ink Bold vs. Chase Ink Plus)
- The card changes from being a Visa card to a MasterCard or vice versa
Chase is notoriously strict about not allowing folks to get the sign-up bonus more than once on a particular card. For example, if you sign-up for the personal Chase Southwest Premier, get the bonus after spending $2,000 in 3 months, you usually won’t be able to get the bonus again on the Southwest Premier personal card if you sign-up in the future.
You CAN get the sign-up bonus if you’ve had the regular Chase Sapphire card but then get the Chase Sapphire Preferred. That’s because it’s a premium card, so it’s considered different. And vice versa.
Chase is issuing a lot of Visa branded credit cards. Both MasterCard and Visa offer perks with their cards. For example, the Visa business cards get you additional savings through the Visa SavingsEdge program.
So if you got the 60,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 in the 1st 3 months on the Chase Ink Bold when it was a MasterCard, you could get the bonus again on the Chase Ink Bold Visa. That’s because the Visa and MasterCard versions are considered different products.
Citi has gotten strict about approving more than 1 application at a time. Now, you can only apply for a 2nd personal card after waiting at least 8 days after your 1st application. And if you want a 3rd card, you have to wait at least 65 days.
That said, there are reports of folks getting repeated bonuses on the same card (specifically the Citi American Airlines Executive 100,000 mile offer). But this is the exception.
You CAN still get the personal and business versions of the same card. Just not on the same day.
AMEX usually considers the personal and business versions of their cards to be different products.
Barclaycard has also tightened their rules. Folks used to get 2 or more of the same card product (for example, the US Airways Mastercard) without even canceling the 1st card! Now, things are much different.
You can only get approved for 1 or 2 Barclaycards a year, and not a card you’ve already had.
You can still get business and personal versions of the same card, but remember that you’ll probably only get 1 or 2 Barclaycards a year total.
Banks have different rules about what is considered a different product when you sign-up for their credit cards.
But there are exceptions, most notably getting the personal and business version of the same card. And when the card changes from either Visa to MasterCard or vice versa.
Have you been able to get the sign-up bonus again on the same card recently? What was your experience?
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