How Many Credit Cards Can You Apply For In A Day?

Filed Under: Credit Cards
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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)

Bottom line

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.

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Comments
  1. Did this yesterday: Citi AA Executive and Barclaycard Aviator Red.
    Probably will book EK AUH-SYD and SQ SYD-SIN to try new suites next year. Have to figure out the other flights though to/from SFO.

  2. Hoping to get the Southwest companion pass.

    Can I apply for both of the personal Chase Southwest cards in one day?

  3. @ mike — Personally I’d recommend spacing out the applications a bit, though you may have luck applying same day. Seems to be a case of “your mileage may vary.”

  4. I did get the IHG and Hyatt in the same month. So I cannot apply for Aviator Red if I just got Wyndham ? Bummer

  5. I’m at 4/24 with Chase so I’m wondering if I can hit Chase for two 5/24 cards within a few minutes. Planning of applying for the 1st card, once I get approved, I’ll submit the 2nd request. Anyone has success with this?

  6. I’m at Chase 4/24 and am planning of applying for two 5/24 cards with in minutes of each other. I’m planning of hopefully getting approved for 1 card and then immediately submitting the 2nd card request. Anybody has success with this strategy?

  7. Concerning the Barclay “one new card every six months”, is that just for the same co-branded card? My daughter and I both obtained Barclay Hawaiian and Barclay Aviator cards within 3 months of getting the first ones.

  8. Appears to me that getting new cards is getting tougher. I am presently locked out by Chase, Citi, and Barclays for too many applications on record — and that is with an 827 credit score! Who woulda thunk?

  9. @Lucky: me and my wife both applied for the Barclay Aviator card using your link, and got approved instantly. The weird thing is, that even though we have almost identical FICO scores, her credit limit was $25k, mine only $5k……..

  10. Daniel B: Same thing happened to me. Applied for the Aviator card for myself and my wife. Practically identical FICO scores (800+), but my income is double my wife’s. She got exactly double the credit limit…..

  11. I applied for 2 Amex credit cards and 2 Amex charge cards…1 Amex Business and 1 Citi Credit within two days and was approved for all! I have been following this site for months and hard work pays off:) Thanks @Lucky

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