Do I Have to Cancel a Card Before Applying a Second Time?

by on June 29, 2014 · 14 comments

in Aadvantage, Chase, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Citi, Credit Cards, Southwest, Sunday Reader Questions

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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 [email protected] 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.

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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  • TheRealScottR

    Jet for simplicity sake, why would you keep multiple cards?

  • chaz

    how long does one have to wait in between signing up for this 100k aa offer?

  • skor

    @TheRealScottR:disqus Welcome to the world of miles… :)

  • tm1128

    I’ve gotten multiple Citi AAdvantage cards with bonuses over the last 6 years.
    I’ve also gotten the Chase Sapphire card with bonuses twice.

  • GG

    Hello, chase sapphire has mentioned clearly that bonus points per person will be given only after 24 months, what about Barclays arrival card ?

  • Tara

    Do you have to pay the annual fee for each card or just for one? Specifically asking about the Citi AA Executive.

  • Anna

    Any info on what kind of retention bonuses they offered?? Are these for recently opened cards? Just curious as I’m planning to get my second (first opened in March2014)

  • Kevin

    Is it better to apply online or in-person for a credit card (ie chase sapphire preferred)?

  • taryn

    Is AmEx reluctant to allow multiple cards? I’ve had an AmEx card for more than a decade. Last weekend I signed up for an SPG card, then 5 days later checked my AmEx online account to see if the new card was visible (it wasn’t yet) and to my surprise there was a curse message that my existing AmEx card was cancelled! No notice, no explanation, just cancelled. I called customer service and the rep told me the date the card was cancelled… exactly the same day of my application for the new card. He initially told me the reason was “customer request” which I flatly denied, then later said it was lack of use. Shady! I was able to have the card reinstated.

  • Pamela Newberry

    One thing I’ve never heard you mention is how applying for and having so many different cards will affect your credit score….

  • Ben

    Hi Pamela, Check out the article’s here written by TPG:

  • Pamela Newberry


  • Susan Nolan

    Can anyone tell me what happens to my points/miles that I have accumulated when I cancel the card I got them from? Can I still redeem them and for how long. Aadvantage and Chase Sapphire are the accts. Thanks

  • felix

    There are different bonuses online and in person.

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