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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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.