What’s Considered a Different Card Product?

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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:

What's Considered A Different Card Product

Get the Sign-Up Bonus on the AMEX SPG Personal and Business Cards and Stay at the Hotel Imperial Vienna

1.   Chase

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.  

What's Considered A Different Card Product

Chase Only Allows 1 Sign-Up Bonus per Card

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.

If you have the personal version of a Chase card (like the Chase Southwest Plus) you can get the sign-up bonus on the business version of the same card.

2.   Citi

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.

3.   AMEX

AMEX usually considers the personal and business versions of their cards to be different products.

4.   Barclaycard

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.

Bottom Line

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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31 responses to “What’s Considered a Different Card Product?

  1. Is the Visa black card worth getting especially since it allows unlimited visits to 350 airport lounges? Being stainless steel and carbon is also unique. The card claims to have 2X more rewards than Amex, unlimited cash back and luxury gifts. I just got my invitation to apply and was wondering.

  2. thinking about getting my 2nd citi executive card. can i request for my 18k credit limit from my executive card to be transferred to another card and then close the account by Phone or SM? (rather do SM if possible) Then i will apply for the 2nd card. Or should I just apply for 2nd card online and then call to have credit move around. If so, anyone I can talk to today (Sunday) for approval?

  3. D –

    I have Blue cash everyday and then I applied for Amex Bluecash Everyday Preferred with a sign up bonus. Initially CSR said the bonus is on file, but then they didn’t give the bonus and explained that since I already have Amex BCE, I am not eligible for bonus for BCP. Although I explained BCP is a premium card, CSR said if I have anything in Blue family prior, I am not eligible. This is different from say, Chase sapphire and sapphire preferred. What else can I do?

  4. I have the southwest premier card, could I also get the plus card, even if they are both personal cards, and still get the sign up bonus? I don’t have a business, so those cards aren’t an option.

  5. Hubby and I both have the basic Chase Marriott Rewards VISA. I really want to get the Premier version for each of us. A CSR told me I could not get the sign up bonus on the Premier card since we have the basic card. Although he may have misunderstood me because I mentioned it when I was canceling one of the basic cards and I told him I wanted the Premier. I have not yet applied for the Premier, but I think I will apply in Hubby’s name this summer and see what happens. It has only been about 6 months since I canceled his basic card. Do you think I should wait longer? (18 months??)

  6. I’ve had no problem getting 4 Barclays cards in the past 9 months. My wife and I have also gotten 6 Ink cards from Chase in the past year. Chase seems to allow as many business cards as you have business names.

  7. Grace,

    I got both the personal Southwest Plus and Premier cards last year and got a companion pass after meeting the necessary spending requirements. So I’d say give it a try!

  8. My husband has the Chase Sapphire Card, I have the Sapphire Preferred. He has wanted to get the Preferred for awhile, but we didn’t think he would qualify for the signup bonus. What are the details? Does he need to have the Sapphire card cancelled for a certain amount of time before applying for the Preferred? Thanks!

  9. @jane – The only way you’ll have any chance of moving credit around with Citi is if you apply for a new card and then immediately call in. They can move credit around only during the approval process. FYI – Not every approved applicant will be given the opportunity. I was however, so I moved credit from a 16 month old Citi Platinum AAmex and closed that account and then I moved some more from my Hilton card to the same new executive (my second in less than 30 days).

  10. Question: If the bank changes the card type while you own the card (e.g., Visa to MasterCard), are you then considered to have had both types already? For example, my Chase IHG Visa was converted to a MC. Does that mean that they now consider that I’ve owned both products, even though I only got a sign-up bonus for one? This has happened with several of my cards.

  11. You’re wrong on Barclays card rules: my wife and I both just got approved for our 2nd USAirways MC from Barclays without first closing the original card (opened 6 months previously).

  12. @JD – Were you auto approved without having to call in (ie no human interaction)? Did you do a huge amount of spending on the first card? more details please…

  13. Does a new business enable one to get the bonus on the same business credit card again?

  14. If we already had the BOA Hawaiian Air CC and then received the Barclays Hawaiian Air CC (when they automatically swithced the banks), is it possible to cancel and reapply for the 35,000 miles bonus? What would the typical wait time be between the cancellation and reapplication? Aloha!

  15. So I had the aadvantage Visa from Citi about 12 months back and its been about 15 months since I signed up for it. I did cancel it in month 11 right before the annual fee was due.
    I recently got dinged for the Citi Mastercard aadvantage citing the following reason.
    This specific offer is valid only for first-time Citi® / AAdvantage® cardmembers.
    Our records indicate that you previously had a Citi® / AAdvantage® account with us.
    I started doing some research and I think i may have jumped the gun in applying and should have probably waited about 20 odd months before applying.
    Do you know if I can re apply for it in another 5-6 months or would I need to wait 20 months from this point on.

    • @Dan B – I’d skip it because there isn’t much of a sign-up bonus.

      @jane – Citi usually doesn’t do proactive transferring of credit. But usually does it when you apply for a new card and will call you.

      @ Sam – AMEX has tightened their rules, and are sometimes quite restrictive on the sign-up bonus.

      @Have Child Still Travel (Laura) – Can’t say for sure, but that should be fine.

      @ Tammy – That sometimes is the case.

      @JD – It varies by person, but in general Barclays has tightened up on applications.

      @Paul – Depends on the bank. Yes for Chase and Citi.

      @Sky – 5 or 6 months should be fine.

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  17. I had the Chase IHG Visa and cancelled it a year ago. Now receiving offers for the Chase IHG MasterCard for 80,000 bonus point sign-up after 1,000 spend. If I get this card and do the spend will I get the bonus since was a Visa and now a MasterCard?

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