Chase, Citi, Amex: Application and Bonus Restrictions You Need to Remember

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Credit card issuers have made it challenging for the same customers to be approved for the same cards and bonuses and have placed a number of restrictions on their applications. It’s hard to keep track of which bank has which rules, so we have compiled a cheat sheet for three major card issuers’ application and bonus restrictions.

JP Morgan Chase

Application Restrictions

 Chase has the most restrictive rule of them all—the dreadful 5/24, which means the bank will not issue a customer another card if he or she opened five or more credit cards with any bank in the last 24 months.

The bank will simply reject most applications for seeing too many recently opened accounts on a credit report. Luckily, some co-branded Chase cards are not restricted by the 5/24 rule, such as British Airways Visa Signature Card or IHG Credit Card.

Related: The 100,000 Avios British Airways Visa Bonus Is Back

Additionally, you want to stay under two personal Chase cards in 30 days or one business card in 30 days to make sure you can be approved for more Chase cards if under 5/24.

Bonus Restrictions

Chase features a 24-month language on most of its cards, which means that members who have received a bonus on a specific card in the last 24 months or currently hold the card do not qualify for another bonus on the same card. I recommend keeping track of your records to calculate how long it’s been since the bonus posted and perhaps you can qualify again in the future, provided you’re under 5/24, of course.

American Express

 Application Restrictions

 Unlike Chase, American Express does not care how many new accounts with other issuers a customer opened recently. However, the issuer will not approve its members for more than two Amex cards in a 90-day period.

It’s possible to open two cards on the same day—for example one personal card and one business card, or one credit card and one charge card—but the second application likely will not be approved automatically for security reasons and go pending.

As far as the total number of cards, American Express allows holding up to five active credit cards at a time. If you apply for a fifth credit card with Amex and are declined, you may reach an account specialist at 800-266-1260 for a manual approval. Please note that charge cards are exempt from the magical number.

Bonus Restrictions

American Express has the most draconian rules when it comes to receiving multiple bonuses on the same card. Customers are eligible for a sign-up bonus as long as they haven’t received a bonus on the same card previously.

BUT, Amex bonuses are once per lifetime, which means applicants are not eligible for a bonus if they have received a bonus on the same credit card before. For this reason, I recommend applying for Amex cards with the highest welcome offers available.

Citibank

Application Restrictions

Citi doesn’t implement any fast and hard rules involving other issuers’ cards, but the bank restricts its customers to one personal Citi card per eight days, two personal cards per 65 days or one business card per 95 days.

Bonus Restrictions

Citi allows earning multiple bonuses on the same cards, but the bank gives a 24-month “cooling” period for opened or closed accounts. For example, if you opened a Citi ThankYou Premier Card, received the bonus and closed it a year later, you cannot qualify for another bonus until 24 months after closing the account. If you received the bonus but did not close the card, it’s possible to qualify for another bonus on the same card 24 months after opening the original account.

Additionally, the 24-month rule includes a whole “family” of cards, including ThankYou Points cards, Citi / AAdvantage cards and Citi Hilton cards. For example, Citi ThankYou Premier Card and Citi Prestige both earn ThankYou Points. They’re in the same single family of credit cards, hence are restricted by the rule.

Which bank do you think has the most relaxed rules for credit card collectors?

Anya Kartashova

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Annual Fee:
    $95 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees:
    No
  • Card Type: Bank

Apply Now
Add to Favorites

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


First 3 months

50,000

$4,000


Travel Purchases

2.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Coffee Shops Purchases

2.00

$1


Fast Food Purchases

2.00

$1


Alcohol & Bars Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Annual Fee:
    $95 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees:
    No
  • Card Type: Bank


Apply Now
Add to Favorites
FTG Review Reward Breakdown Points Breakdown
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


First 3 months

50,000

$4,000


Travel Purchases

2.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Coffee Shops Purchases

2.00

$1


Fast Food Purchases

2.00

$1


Alcohol & Bars Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


Apply Now

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