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Million Mile Secrets reader Bryce comments:
I’m wondering about eligibility to get sign-up bonuses again. If I had a credit card, used it, got the bonus, and canceled the card, is there a possibility to apply for the card again and get the sign-up bonus again?
If so is there a time period you have to wait to apply and get the bonus again?
This is 1 of the most common questions asked by Million Mile Secrets readers. If you’ve had a credit card in the past, can you re-apply and get the sign-up bonus a 2nd (or 3rd, or 4th…) time?
I wrote several years ago that getting the bonus again depends on the bank that issues the card. And that’s still true, but the rules have changed!
The US credit card market is saturated, so banks offer large sign-up bonuses to get you to apply for their cards. And they hope that you’ll use their cards even after getting the sign-up bonus!
Major Banks and Their Policies
Link: Hot Deals
Applying for lots of credit cards is NOT for everyone. Before you consider applying for a card again (or even for the 1st time), read my post about the dangers of applying for credit cards!
1. American Express
In the past, you could get the bonus on many American Express cards again, as long as you hadn’t held the card in the previous 12 months.
2. Bank of America
You can apply for Bank of America cards more than once and get the bonus. In fact, some folks report getting the bonus again while still having their 1st card account open! But you should wait at least 30 days between applications.
Keep in mind, Bank of America is well-known for not always approving folks for the premium version of a card.
For example, the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa card comes in 3 versions: Visa Signature, Platinum Plus, and Classic. You’ll only get the full 25,000 mile sign-up bonus if you’re approved for the Visa Signature.
So if you already have a lot of Bank of America cards open, they may not be willing to extend you the larger credit line required for the Visa Signature card. And you’ll miss out on the bigger sign-up bonus!
Note: If you decide to apply for Bank of America cards again, remember they don’t usually waive the annual fee on their travel cards. So you’ll have to do the math and figure out if paying another annual fee is worth getting more miles (Hint: it usually is!).
Barclaycard allows folks to get the sign-up bonus on their cards more than once. However, reports suggest that you should wait at least 6 months between applications.
That said, Barclaycard has become very strict about the number of credit cards you can apply for. Most folks can only get approved for 1 to 2 cards per year!
And be careful about calling the reconsideration line, because some cardholders have existing accounts canceled when they’ve done this!
If you’ve had the Barclaycard Arrival Plus in the past, folks confirm they’ve been able to get the sign-up bonus again.
Update: If you’ve opened 5 or more credit card accounts (from any bank) in the past 24 months, it’s VERY UNLIKELY Chase will approve you for any of their Chase Ultimate Rewards earning cards, like the Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or Chase Ink Plus.
Chase’s policy used to be that you could only get the sign-up bonus ONCE per card. But that’s changed!
The terms and conditions on cards like the Chase Freedom indicate you can get the card again as long as you hadn’t received the bonus in the previous 2 years AND you don’t have the card currently open.
This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.
It looks like most Chase credit cards let you get the bonus again, with similar terms!
Note: You can also get the bonus again if the card changes significantly, like when the Chase Ink cards went from being issued as MasterCards to Visa cards. That’s because it’s considered a different card product.
It was once quite easy to get Citi cards over and over again. But that, too, has changed.
For example, the terms and conditions for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® say:
American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles offer is not available if you have had a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® opened or closed in the past 24 months.
And for the Citi ThankYou Premier, the rules currently say:
This offer is only valid for new accounts.
Weekend Night Certificates offer is not available if you have had a Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card account that was opened or closed in the past 18 months.
Note: While Citi cards seem to be quite variable in allowing more than 1 bonus, the following rules apply for all Citi applications:
- No more than 1 application in 8 days
- No more than 2 applications in 65 days
- No more than 1 business application in 95 days
6. US Bank
Depending on the card, you could get a sign-up bonus again with US Bank. For example, the terms and conditions on the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card card say:
If your account is not open for at least 6 months, Club Carlson and US Bank reserve the right to deduct the new account bonus Gold Points from your Club Carlson account.
That said, some folks elect to keep this card long-term, because you get 40,000 miles on each anniversary.
I checked the terms and conditions for the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® card, and they’re quite different:
You are eligible to receive one-time bonus FlexPoints for each new FlexPerks Travel Rewards and FlexPerks Select Rewards Visa account type. Existing and previous FlexPerks Travel Rewards and FlexPerks Select Rewards Visa accounts do not qualify for bonus FlexPoints for a similar account type.
Note: US Bank is notorious for being very picky about approving credit card applications. They don’t like it if you have a lot of recent inquiries on your credit report! So you might be better off just hanging on to the cards you have, instead of trying to apply again.
Depending on the bank, you could get the sign-up bonus for some credit cards even if you’ve had them before (or still have them!).
Banks which allow you to get the bonus again generally require you to wait until a certain amount of time has passed since you last had the card or received the bonus.
If you’re applying for a Chase card, it’s unlikely you’ll be approved in most cases if you’ve opened ~5 or more cards from any bank in the past 24 months.
If you’ve had a different experience with getting a bonus again, please share it in the comments!