When can you get a credit card signup bonus again? TravelSort reader Dave writes “I'm just getting started with travel rewards credit cards, and my question is: when can I get a credit card signup bonus again? Is it after 1 year? Is it a year from when I last applied or when I canceled the card? How much does it vary from bank to bank?”
Great question–this is something that definitely varies from bank to bank, and even for a given bank has varied over time and even among card members sometimes. I'll tackle this for the major U.S. credit card issuers: Chase, American Express, Citi, and Barclays. Of course, if you have a spouse or partner, don't forget that you can each apply for and receive the bonus for a given card, even if one of you has previously been an authorized user on the other's card.
The general rule of thumb is that with Chase, you can only get a signup bonus once for a specific card product. So, for example, if you previously got the Hyatt Visa with its bonus of two free nights at any Hyatt worldwide, you won't be able to earn that bonus again, even if you closed the card a couple of years ago.
That said, if you apply for what Chase considers to be a different credit card than those you've had before, you should be able to receive a bonus for that new product. For example, if you previously had an Ink Bold charge card and received 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points as a signup bonus, you can apply for an Ink Plus credit card with another 50,000 signup bonus since it's a different product.
Chase will even typically consider a MasterCard version of a card as a different product than the Visa version of that card, for Chase's own cards (but not, say, an affiliate card such as the IHG Rewards Card). That's why some who originally had (or converted to) a Sapphire Preferred MasterCard were able to get another signup bonus when applying for the Sapphire Preferred Visa, and why most who have had the MasterCard version of the Ink Bold or Ink Plus are now able to get a new signup bonus for the Visa version of those cards, since Chase has switched to exclusively issuing Visa versions of these cards.
American Express used to allow you to get another signup bonus for a given credit card if you hadn't had that card within the past year, and hadn't had any Platinum, Gold, or Green AMEX within the last 90 days. More recently, however, AMEX has become stingier with signup bonus rules (for example, the Mercedes-Benz AMEX Platinum and regular AMEX Platinum are considered the same product, even though they have different annual fees and slightly different benefits) and indications are that all AMEX consumer card signup bonuses are becoming once in a lifetime.
Citi is interesting, since there are some cards where a number of folks have been able to earn the bonus twice for the exact same card product (for example, the current great 100K Citi Executive AAdvantage card) and yet you can no longer earn another bonus for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card within a short time period (see Citi AAdvantage: No More Churning). So if you recently had the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa and closed it, you can't just turn around and apply for a Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World MasterCard to earn another 50,000 miles signup bonus, as they the Visa, MasterCard and AMEX versions are all considered the same product. You may be able to reapply and earn the bonus again for a Citi Platinum product, but only 12-20 months after your most recent application for a Citi AAdvantage consumer card, including the Citi Executive AAdvantage card.
With Citi Business AAdvantage cards, some have been able to reapply and earn the bonus again every 3-6 months or so, but they've had to have closed out the card and the Master account. Some have not been able to earn the bonus again for the Citi Business AAdvantage card, ever–so count yourself lucky if you're able to keep reapplying and earning the bonus for the Citi Business AAdvantage cards.
What's your experience been in earning another signup bonus for the same credit card?
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