Reader Daniel B asked the following question in the Ask Lucky forum:
I am planning to apply for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® and the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® . I know that they are from different banks, but want to be sure there is no problem with applying for both card on the same day.
I know the answer is probably obvious to many, though I also know that this is a point of confusion for some, especially those who are new to credit cards.
There’s no issue with applying for multiple credit cards in a day. If you wanted you could even apply for more than two cards. I know people who have applied for four, five, or even more cards in a day. Different credit card issuers pull credit reports from different bureaus, but even if that weren’t the case, there’s not some system in place that prevents you from having more than one card inquiry with a particular bureau in a day.
Now, I wouldn’t recommend applying for 10 credit cards in a day. While there’s a chance you may be approved, if a human ever reviews your credit report (as sometimes happens when your cards aren’t instantly approved), they may find it concerning and suspicious that you applied for so many cards in a day. The logical conclusion most analysts would draw from such behavior is that you were in a bind and needed to max out a bunch of credit cards, and therefore they’d be less likely to approve you, even with a good credit score.
With that in mind, the biggest thing to be aware of are the policies of the individual card issuers. In other words, Amex, Chase, Citi, etc., may limit the number of cards they’ll approve you for in a single day. But as long as you stick to those rules, there’s not any other limitation.
Before I share my general understanding of the policies of the various issuers, it’s worth emphasizing that there are so many conflicting data points on this. None of the below rules are consistently enforced, so use these as general guidelines and not as rules, as your experiences may very well differ.
Based on my anecdotal experience:
- American Express: You’re typically fine applying for two American Express credit cards in a day, though often the application for the second card will be delayed by a few days, which is fine, as it shouldn’t lead to a denial; otherwise, you have decent odds of being approved for both a credit card and a charge card the same day
- Barclays: Typically you can only be approved for one new card every six months
- Capital One: Typically you can only be approved for one new card every six months
- Chase: There doesn’t seem to be an official and consistent limit — many report not being able to be approved for more than one card every 30 days, while others report being approved for two cards in 30 days; the biggest restriction when it comes to many Chase cards is the “5/24 rule”
- Citi: You can apply for at most one Citi card every eight days, and at most two Citi cards every 65 days (this is the most consistently enforced of the rules)
Applying for multiple credit cards in a day isn’t an issue, though I wouldn’t overdo it too much. In Daniel’s case, applying for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® (issued by Citi) and the Barclays Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® (issued by Barclays) shouldn’t be an issue. He potentially wouldn’t have an issue also applying for an American Express and Chase card, while he’s at it.