All card issuers have different ways that they deal with people trying to “game” the system. Obviously card issuers want to encourage profitable behavior, so they do what they can to create policies that maximize the odds of that.
There’s no doubt that by adding these restrictions they’re missing out on some potentially profitable customers, though there’s a balance there.
The major restrictions card issuers have
Just to look at some of the basic rules that are generally out there among various issuers:
- American Express has a “once in a lifetime” rule, where you can typically receive the welcome bonus on each card at most one time
- Chase has the “5/24 rule,” where you typically won’t be approved for their cards if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months
- Citi has a rule whereby they typically won’t approve you for a card if you’ve opened or closed a card in that “family” of cards in the past 24 months
- Capital One typically won’t approve you for more than one card every six months
Bank of America’s new card restriction
Well, it looks like Bank of America implemented a new rule for their credit card applications in January. Historically Bank of America has been pretty lax when it comes to their rules, so this is a significant change.
Their major rule was known as the 2/3/4 rule, where they would typically only approve you for two cards every two months, three cards every 12 months, and four cards every 24 months.
They’re now adding a further restriction to that. Bank of America has introduced a new 24-month rule on many applications.
For example, the terms for the popular Alaska Airlines Visa Card now say:
This card will not be available to you if you currently have or have had the card in the preceding 24 month period.
And the lucrative Bank Of America Premium Rewards Credit Card notes:
This Premium Rewards card will not be available to you if you currently have or have had a Premium Rewards card in the preceding 24 month period.
This rule doesn’t yet appear on all Bank of America cards. For example, the Alaska Airlines Business credit card doesn’t have the same language as the personal card.
Meanwhile other cards have different restrictions listed. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card says the following:
This Travel Rewards card will not be available to you if you currently have a Travel Rewards card unless you have had that Travel Rewards card for at least 24 months.
As you can see, while it also has a 24 month restriction, it says that you can get a second card as long as you’ve had one for at least 24 months.
It’s not surprising to see Bank of America crack down here, given how many Alaska Visa Cards many people had. With Bank of America you’ll want to look at each individual card application, since different cards seem to have different restrictions as of now.
Will you be impacted by this new Bank of America 24 month rule?