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TPG Reader Christopher emailed me to ask:

“if I apply for the same card multiple times (like you did with the Citi AA) do I have to cancel the existing card first?”

The short answer is “maybe”. Some card issuers are more lenient than others and it even depends which specific product you’re trying to get. The Citi Executive AAdvantage card allows you to get multiple cards, so while I had already opened and received bonuses for two (still existing) accounts, I was recently approved for my third card, and am working on the minimum spend to earn the third bonus. This isn’t just an oversight on Citi’s part; I’ve gotten retention bonuses when I’ve called to cancel my first two accounts, so Citi is well aware that I have three accounts open, and they’re okay with it.

That may not be the case with other cards; for example, the regular Citi AAdvantage card you can only get once. Chase is a mixed bag. They’ll only give you a single bonus for the Sapphire Preferred (you used to be able to get the Mastercard version as well, but that option is long buried). However, Ink cards are different. Chase will let you get different Ink cards for different businesses, all pegged to your one social security number. Having different EINs works, but you can just use your same social and get different accounts for different businesses. I have several Ink Bold cards as we speak, as well as an Ink Plus.

The more important point here is that just because something (like getting multiple cards or bonuses) is prohibited in the card rules doesn’t make it an irrevocable truth. An important strategy to this game is to not just read whatever the bank says or call up an uninformed phone rep, but to observe what other people are reporting online (and to share your own experiences).

Phone reps often don’t know (or really care about) the answers to your questions. Your fellow travelers are much more likely to help. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)

I get questions every day from people who have called Southwest and were told that points earned from their Southwest Rapid Rewards card don’t count towards the Southwest Companion Pass. Hundreds and hundreds of TPG readers have reported that those points do in fact count towards the Companion Pass, and I myself have reported it. So who are you going to trust, a disinterested phone rep, or frequent flyers who have firsthand experience?

The more discussion there is between those of us on the consumer side of the game, the more we’ll all get out of playing. So as always, feel free to comment on threads, share your experiences with us on Facebook or Twitter, or email me at with news and insights that I can relay to the rest of the points and miles community so that we can all learn from each other.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.