(Video) Sunday Reader Question: Which Credit Cards Sign-up Bonuses Can You Get Multiple Times?

by on December 23, 2012 · 31 comments

in American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Credit Cards, US Bank

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Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express has expired. View the current offers here – personal, business.

TPG reader Doug writes:

“I’ve gotten about 14 credit cards in the last year. I have gotten nearly all of the ones that I am especially interested in, and am starting to think about canceling some cards so that I can reapply for them down the line. I know the basics: keep your oldest cards to help your credit history, keep cards with good renewal benefits, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a consolidated chart of how long various cards need to be canceled before you can reapply and get a sign-up bonus. That would be really useful.”

You haven’t seen a chart on which credit cards are “churnable” because the list constantly changes and there are a lot of factors that come into play. Here is my understanding of each issuer, though please feel free to share your experiences with each so we can get a better understanding of what others have been able to accomplish:

Amex explicitly states the rules for getting a sign-up bonus

Amex explicitly states the rules for getting a sign-up bonus

American Express: Amex is very up-front with the rules around getting a bonus on their charge cards. On most applications, there will be a box that states the eligibility requirements for the bonus. For example, to get the Amex Platinum bonus: “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months or any Consumer ZYNC®, Green or Gold Card account within the last 90 days.” The “have had this product” is a little vague, but to be safe I always interpret that to mean “have had the product open,” so I always like to have closed the account before that time frame. Credit card applications (like the Starwood Amex and Delta Gold Amex) generally do not come with bonus disclaimers, but my understanding is that you can get the same card bonus about every two years. You can get both personal and business versions of the same card – I got both the Starwood Personal and  Business cards on the same day this August.

Bank of America: No limit to how many times you can get a card. You can apply for a new one, even if you have one currently open.

Barclay’s: Pretty flexible, but the rule of thumb is to wait at least 90 days between applications. Barclay’s is known for approving people for cards and then actually giving them a lower/less lucrative bonus. If you are denied for a duplicate card (I know many people who have gotten US Airways cards several times), you can always call the reconsideration line at 1-866-369-1283.

Capital One: Pretty strict with getting multiple bonuses (though they rarely run lucrative promotions, so it generally isn’t an issue). When they ran the 100,000 points on the Venture card again this year, some people tried getting it again and were denied.

Chase:Technically one bonus offer per customer, per lifetime. However, you can have multiple products within the same line of cards. For example, I had the old Ink “Business Exclusives” card that was discontinued last November. When they launched the Ink Bold, I was approved and then I also got the Ink Plus credit card this year when it was launched. Same goes for the Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature and Sapphire Preferred MasterCard. Same goes for the old United and Continental cards – if you had one before they launched the new Explorer card, you can still get the Explorer card sign-up bonus. You may need to call the reconsideration line to get approved (and give them a good reason why you’d need the new card), but many of us have had success with convincing reps or shifting around existing credit lines if needed.

Citi: 18+ months in between applications for the same card and at least 61 days between rounds of applications.

US Bank: US Bank is probably one of the strictest credit card companies and they will reject you even if you have stellar credit, but have too many recent inquiries.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • RakSiam

    I didn’t even know there was a Sapphire MC

  • Tormapleaf

    understanding is that you can get the same card bonus about every two years. You can get both personal and business versions of the same card – I got both the Starwood Personal and Business cards on the same day this August

    Two years since the card was closed or since you last applied?

  • Darrellroch

    Is there a reconsideration line for US Bank, Just applied for the first time and got the exact response above.

  • Anncastro

    Does American Express give sign up bonus if you apply for the same card using different tax ID numbers ? I own several businesses, each with different TIN and company name, however I am the only listed owner of company. I am wondering if they check my personal social security number or the business tax ID number

  • Kathy

    I cancelled my Barclays US mastercard last year and reapplied last week. I have excellent credit. I was denied. When I called I was told that they didn’t even pull my credit but I was denied because I had the card in the past. Should I call again?

  • Grant

    There is also MC Freedom card too

  • PSL

    Is it possible to have an active Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature card and get the bonus for the Sapphire Master Card? If so, is there a time frame between applications?

  • Ace

    They told me no, so i closed the visa version and got the mc version and both bonuses

  • thepointsguy

    It really depends… can’t hurt to ask again, but they may be getting stricter

  • MFK

    In my experience (and that of a few others I know), Chase wouldn’t allow me to get the Sapphire MC if you already have the Visa, let alone give me a bonus, so I’d love to hear how TPG managed to get around this.

  • Gordon_Mc

    Can you please clarify : for Citi, you mention 18+ months between APPLICATIONS…. and I’ve seen similar wording eslewhere too.

    I got a Citi card 18 years ago and just cancelled it a couple of months ago. If the period really is between applications, then I should be good to go again immediately since it’s well over 18 months since the last time I APPLIED.

    However, I suspect that it’s supposed to be 18+ months between last cancellation and next application, in which case I need to wait another year+.

  • bluto

    I had the same issue. They wanted to know why I wanted it now if I had it before already.

  • SgFm

    Was the Sapphire Visa still open when you applied for the Mastercard?

  • scott

    I canceled in July this year and was approved immediately online for a new one last week. Its the first repeat application I’ve ever done though.

  • Boris

    God luck finding a working link for a Sapphire MC – I had an old link but its no longer functional. I’ve searched a fair bit for a Sapphire MC link and have found none.

    If anyone knows of a link for this that’s still working, please share.

  • Brian L.

    You should be able to get one by going through the MasterCard website.

  • thepointsguy

    The link in the post is one I pulled from the MasterCard website last night

  • thepointsguy

    Yep.. Sadly the 10k bonus isn’t great- going to wait and hope it goes back up to 20 or 30k

  • FlyTD

    The phone number you provided for Barclay isn’t working. Please note.
    “you can always call the reconsideration line at 1-866-369-1283″

  • gomike

    How long must one wait between Chase applications?

  • Elizabeth S.

    I had the Continental OnePass Mastercard- applied January 2012. I was recently sent a new card with the MileagePlus Explorer logo on it (to replace the Continental Onepass card). The new card is still a Mastercard. Am I able to apply for and receive the bonus for the MP Explorer VISA?

  • Foo

    No limit on Bank of America? Sounds too good to be true. Can I apply for a new Hawaiian Airlines card every month? There must be a restriction.

  • Gkrebs23

    It is 18 months from the time you applied.

  • cexym

    I had the continental MasterCard, and later it was changed to MP mastercard after merge. Can I still get MP visa card sign-up bonus?

  • disqust101

    I’m curious about your ending comment “I don’t churn every 3 months as I get a lot of points from other methods”

    What are your “other methods” being used? Which method(s) do you use the most? CC is so easy that one wonders what other methods you prefer…

  • Marshall Hughes

    I just got a really crappy personal Chase card last month (Airtran) because I’m new and didn’t know better. Now that I’m reading TPG, I’d rather have the Plus business card AND a Hyatt personal card.

    Should I apply for them today, or should I wait? Should I spread them out 90 days, or does it not matter since one is BUSINESS and one is PERSONAL.

  • Pingback: Credit Card Churning: Which Card Sign-Up Bonuses Can You Get Multiple Times? - Street Smart Traveler()

  • eip

    I applied for a US Bank flexperks with a 20,000 point bonus in reply to an email I received from US Bank (probably because my mortgage is with them). Then, at home I got a phone call asking me to apply for the same credit card and bonus. I had not received a response yet about my email application. I said I had already applied via email, but the guy wanted to take down all my information over the phone. So, of course, I soon received two flex perks cards and just confirmed that I got the 20,000 points bonus for each.

  • Pingback: Video Sunday Reader Question: Will Canceling a Credit Card Raise Red Flags With Banks? | The Points Guy()

  • Mile Hustler

    I recently applied for the Citi ThankYou Business Credit Card (by the 12/20 deadline to get the 50k bonus) and got the dreaded application under review, and then pending. I called the reconsideration line to see if they needed any additional information, and then was denied because I had prior business accounts with a reward program (all closed over 2 years ago). I asked which business cards they were because I’d never had a ThankYou business card. They the explained that I’d had a cash back card and an American Airlines business card (boy am I glad I didn’t accidentally re-apply to that one). In any event, I pleaded that I’d never had a ThankYou business card before, that it seemed a bit unfair and suggested that there might be some kind of glitch in there system. She agreed that it was odd. Then, I pointed out that I do have a personal ThankYou card and wanted a similar one for my business; plus, I am a CitiGold member and have my business banking account with them. She put me on hold and said that she’d be approving my account, but only with a 1k limit. I could have gotten a higher limit, but then would have to drastically decrease the limits on my recently opened personal CitiAA accounts–not worth it. All in all, it was better than nothing–I was able to save it from being a wasted credit inquiry and the bonus points to boot.

  • Devon Pack

    Anyone had success with getting same bonus on same card with Chase? Example: I closed my Chase Marriott at least 4 years ago maybe more, could I apply again and get the bonus?

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