Bank Of America’s New Restrictions On Credit Card Applications

The major credit card issuers have been adding restrictions on who they’ll approve for new cards, especially based on how many cards that person has applied for lately. They’re trying to prevent people from “gaming,” and applying for cards just for bonuses, etc.

It looks like the latest card issuer to add restrictions on credit card applications is Bank of America. Doctor Of Credit first wrote about this anecdotally over a week ago, but has since received confirmation. It appears as if Bank of America has a new policy where they’ll only approve you for at most two cards per rolling two months, three cards per rolling 12 months, and four cards per rolling twenty four months.

It’s also worth noting that:

  • We’re not sure if business cards count towards this total or not
  • A Bank of America representative can override this based on a customer relationship, but it’s unlikely that they’ll do so unless there’s a compelling reason
  • In some cases people are being approved for cards and then shortly thereafter having them canceled, being told it was an “approval in error”

Personally I don’t view this as a huge deal, as Bank of America doesn’t have as many lucrative cards as some other issuers (my favorite Bank of America card is the Alaska Visa). Furthermore, this rule only restricts how many Bank of America cards you can be approved for, and says nothing regarding your chances of being approved based on how many cards you’ve applied for with other issuers.

To recap some of the most significant restrictions of the other major card issuers:

  • American Express will only let you earn the sign-up bonus on a given card “once in a lifetime”
  • Chase typically won’t approve you for a card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months, though some cards are excluded from that policy
  • Citi limits you to earning one sign-up bonus in each “family” of cards once every 24 months

Will you be impacted by Bank of America’s new restrictions?

Comments

  1. BofA Asiana card is my favorite. You can get 2x at grocery stores, including for vgs. They have some pretty good redemption options.

  2. how does one track how many cards they have opened in last 24 months ? especially since Equifax is toast

  3. After reading Owen’s post, I read your review of the Asiana card from last year and decided to apply. I got instant approval and $16K credit limit.

    I have lots SPG points so can use them to transfer and top off any Asiana points I need.

    Thanks

  4. I and my wife just applied for the new BA premium card, I was approved, she was turned down for to many new cards last 12 monthes. Note Chase counted as credit card ATM Check card because it had a line of credit for overdraft protection

  5. @Lucky it looks like you misstated the 5/24 rule here. “More than five” implies a number greater than or equal to 6. In fact the rule would seem to be if you are at or above 5 new cards in the past 24 months. When I was rejected for the CSR in February Chase said that it was because I had opened too many credit cards in the past 24 months. I was at and not above 5 in the preceding 24 months. Having previously misunderstood the 5/24 rule had caused me this rejection.

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