Can you get the same credit card again?

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When I write about credit card signup bonuses people often ask if they can get the same card again.  The real question in most cases is whether they can get the signup bonus despite having had the same card before.  In almost all cases it is possible to get a new signup bonus for a card you’ve had before, but each card issuer has different rules that must be negotiated to make it happen.

Obviously credit card issuers don’t want people signing up for the same card over and over just for the signup bonus.  They can’t make money that way.  And for those who just want the points, it’s not really necessary.  At the time of this writing, our Best Credit Card Offers page lists over 4 million points and miles available through signup bonuses!  On the other hand, it’s perfectly reasonable to have cancelled a card in the past and to consider returning to being a cardmember in part or entirely because of the signup bonus allure.  There’s nothing wrong with that, and in most cases the bank does want to entice you back.

Our Best Credit Card Offers page has separate sections for each credit card issuer.  At the top of each section there are application tips which summarize the known rules that must be followed.  For example, the Chase App Tips section looks like this at the time of writing (see the Best Credit Card Offers page for up-to-date tips):

Chase
App
Tips
Must wait 24 months after previous bonus to signup for same card, but no wait required for Ink biz cards Better offers may be available. Click for details. Difficult to get approved if you’ve opened 5 or more cards in past 24 months Hard inquiries combined into 1 when approved same day Usual max 2 new cards per month (but rule seems to vary)
Call (888) 338-2586 to check your application status
If denied, call reconsideration here:1-888-270-2127 for both personal and business cards;
or 800-527-7415 for the Ritz card

The App Tips cover topics beyond whether or not you can get a signup bonus again, but the key info you need should be there.

In many cases, there are no hard rules against getting the same card again, but the real limiting factor is whether you can get approved for a new card from that bank.  If you have good credit and only sign up for a new card once a year or so, this shouldn’t be a problem.  Those who regularly sign up for lots of new cards, though, will have trouble getting approved with certain issuers.

To make things simple, what follows are the rules for each major card issuer for getting a signup bonus for a card you’ve had before, along with any relevant rules regarding getting approved in general…

American Express

  • How to get the signup bonus for same card:
    • Watch for targeted offers without lifetime restrictions.  Search your targeted offer for a section titled “Offer Terms” and search for words like these: “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.”  If nothing like that is found anywhere in the offer terms, you should be good to go.  See also: 8 ways to get the best targeted Amex signup bonus offers.
    • Or, wait 7 years since you cancelled the previous card.  Amex doesn’t have a published rule about this, but anecdotally they seem to “forget” that you’ve had a card after 7 years.
    • Note: Applying for an Amex business card with a second business, even with a distinct Tax ID (EIN), does not circumvent the once per lifetime rule.
  • How to get the signup bonus for similar card:
    • Similar cards are fine to get if you’ve had the other card before.  For example, if you had the Delta Gold card before, you can still get the bonus on the Delta Platinum card.
    • Business and personal cards are considered different products, so you can get the bonus on one even if you’ve had the other. For example, if you previously had the Delta Gold consumer card, you can still get the bonus on the Delta Gold Business card.
  • How difficult is approval?
    • Amex is generally pretty easy on approvals, but they have a hard limit you should be aware of: Amex allows each person to have no more than 5 credit cards (but they allow unlimited charge cards).  If you already have 5 Amex credit cards (both personal and business cards count), then you would have to cancel some before applying for new cards.

American Express application tips and signup offers can be found here.

Bank of America

  • How to get the signup bonus for same card: BOA doesn’t have any known restrictions for this, but it’s usually a good idea to close the card before applying for the same one again.
  • How to get the signup bonus for similar card: BOA doesn’t have any known restrictions for this.
  • How difficult is approval? Business cards tend to be pretty easy to get, but BOA limits personal card approvals as follows: No more than two approvals per rolling two months; no more than three approvals per rolling twelve month; and No more than four approvals per rolling twenty four months. If you fall under these limits, BOA tends to be pretty easy on approvals.
  • Other gotchas: If you get approved for a BOA offer, you may be approved for a lesser card: a Visa Platinum card rather than a Visa Signature card.  These cards come with smaller signup bonuses.

Bank of America application tips and signup offers can be found here.

Barclaycard

  • How to get the signup bonus for same card: The only known Barclaycard restriction is with the Arrival card: if you have the Arrival or Arrival+, you must close it before applying for a new Arrival or Arrival+ card.  With co-branded products (such as AA cards), Barclaycard doesn’t have any known restrictions: it’s even possible to open the same card while you still have the previous one open.
  • How to get the signup bonus for similar card: Only known restriction is with the Arrival/Arrival+ cards. You can’t get one if you already have the other open.
  • How difficult is approval? Barclaycard can be very tough with approvals.  If you have a history of applying for cards with Barclaycard just for the signup bonuses and/or you have lots of recent credit inquiries on your credit report, they are likely to deny your application.

Barclaycard application tips and signup offers can be found here.

Capital One

  • How to get the signup bonus for same card: Capital One doesn’t have any known restrictions against getting the same card again.
  • How to get the signup bonus for similar card: No known issues.
  • How difficult is approval? Very difficult, plus you must wait 6 months from any previous Capital One application before applying for a new card from this bank.

Capital One application tips and signup offers can be found here.

Chase

  • How to get the signup bonus for same card:
    • In most cases you must wait 24 months after previous bonus to signup for same card and cancel the old card before applying new.
    • Ink Business cards do not have the 24 month rule. There doesn’t even seem to be a requirement to close the old card before applying new.  It’s definitely possible to keep the old card with a different business, but I haven’t personally tested trying this with the same business.
  • How to get the signup bonus for similar card:
    • In most cases it is fine to get a similar card (e.g. you can get the bonus for the Freedom even if you have the Freedom Unlimited).
    • One exception is with Chase Sapphire products.  The applications for the Sapphire Preferred and the Sapphire Reserve state: “The product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 24 months.”  In other words, if you’ve received a bonus for either product, you must wait 24 months before applying for another Sapphire product.  And if you have either the Sapphire, Sapphire Preferred, or Sapphire Reserve, you must cancel that card (or product change it to a Freedom card) before applying new for the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve.
  • How to get approved: Chase tends to be fairly lenient with approvals, especially after calling for reconsideration if denied.  That said, they have one of the toughest hard and fast rules in the business: 5/24.  You can circumvent 5/24 if you find that you are pre-approved in-branch.
Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.

To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.

Chase application tips and signup offers can be found here.

Citi

  • How to get the signup bonus for same card: To apply for a card within the same brand, you must wait 24 months after opening or closing account. For example, if you opened or closed the Premier card within the last 24 months, then you can’t get the bonus for the Prestige card.  Product changing does not count as an open/close event if you keep the original account number. If you are issued a new account number then it will count as both a close and open event.
  • How to get the signup bonus for similar card: See bullet above. Note that business cards are handled separately from personal cards, so you do not need to wait 24 months to get an AAdvantage business card, for example, if you recently opened or closed an AAdvantage personal card.
  • How to get approved:  Keep within these overall Citibank signup rules: Max 1 personal card per 8 days; Max 2 personal cards per 65 days; Max 1 business card per 95 days.

Citibank application tips and signup offers can be found here.

Discover

Discover application rules and signup offers can be found here.

US Bank

  • How to get the signup bonus for same card: No known restrictions.
  • How to get the signup bonus for similar card: No known restrictions.
  • How to get approved: Approval can be tough.

US Bank application tips and signup offers can be found here.

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