New Rule When Applying for Bank of America Credit Cards

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After enough data points and confirmation from a reliable source, Doctor of Credit has outlined a new rule to follow when applying for Bank of America credit cards. It is a three-pronged:

  • Bank of America will not approve you for more than two new credit cards within a two month period
  • Bank of America will not approve you for more than three new credit cards within a 12 month period
  • Bank of America will not approve you for more than four new credit cards within a 24 month period

DOC is calling it the 2/3/4 rule.

It has yet to be clarified whether or not business credit cards count towards your total. Thankfully only Bank of America cards are considered towards your total, unlike Chase’s 5/24 rule which counts any five personal credit cards you’ve opened from whatever issuing bank.

How this Will Play Out in Practice

There are really only two cards popularly churned by miles and points enthusiasts: the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card and the Alaska Airlines Business Visa. Back in May I wrote about whether or not the the Alaska cards were still churnable, which outlined various best practices for applying. They’re still churnable. Keep following the points raised in that post and don’t apply for more than two Alaska cards every two months (you really shouldn’t apply for a repeat Alaska card more than once in a three month period), three Alaska cards within a year, and four Alaska cards within two years.

Of course, if you opened a Asiana Visa Signature or Premium Rewards Cards (the other Bank of America cards on our radar), you’ll need to consider those in your 2/3/4 count as well.

Loopholes?

Not really.

It’s possible to get someone at Bank of America to reconsider your application if you apply for more than the amount of cards above. Perhaps you have tons of money in a Bank of America checking account, or a mortgage, or a both–then maybe your chances are better. But the 2/3/4 will apply to the vast majority of customers.

False Approvals

Just because your applications says approved doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.

If you apply for more than the amount of cards that fits Bank of America’s new rule, you might get approved anyways and later receive notice that it was an “approval in error”. This has been happening to a number of people

Bottom Line

If you (even semi-) regularly apply for Bank of America credit cards, you’ll want to start keeping track of when you open new ones if you don’t already do so. If you want approvals on your applications instead of denials, don’t apply for more than two in two months, three in 12 months, and four in 24 months.


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. It will be interesting to see if BofA actually enforces these new “rules”. Of course, in 12 months they may introduce a new “policy”. The more things change the more they stay the same. I’ll be going for 3 new cards w/in the next 6 months. Then a cooling off period for 6 months.

  2. Pretty soon you’ll need to have a computer science degree to be able to chart a course for your card application strategy. Every time a bank adds restrictions like this it compounds the complexity. On the other hand, if they are going to have these policies it’s a good thing to know what they are, instead of just guessing whether or not you’re past some unknown limit when applying.

  3. does anyone know when this countdown starts? From the time this “rule” is put into place? or would they look 2 years back to see what I opened when?

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