If you are on round two of getting the same credit card, I applaud you. You have figured out that one of the fastest ways to rack up points is by applying for travel credit cards and meeting the required minimum spend. That makes you a churn-er.
The question is, will you still get the sign up bonus if you have already received it in the past?
The first thing you must understand is that each credit card is considered its own product. What I mean is this.. Chase has three Southwest cards, Plus, Premier, and Business. Each one of those cards is 100% independent. If you were approved for the SW Plus card you could then immediately sign up for the Premier card and receive both sign up bonuses. You would want to wait about 30 days between applications but the point still stands.
Business cards too!
This same logic applies for the business and personal cards. The Southwest Business Premier and Southwest Personal Premier cards are SEPARATE. You can have each card and receive the sign up bonus for each one. Business credit cards do not have to be used just for business expenses. I have five business cards and do not own an official business. (Remember, Amex, Citi, and Bank of America business cards DO NOT count towards Chase’s 5/24 rule)
I have a rental property which I inputted on my business credit card application for a source of business income. You also don’t need a EIN (business tax ID) to be approved for a business credit card, just use your SSN in place of the EIN when applying. Learn about how you can get a business credit card without having an ‘official’ business, here.
By the way, when you are sign up for the same credit card more than once you are “churning” the credit card. When we discuss which cards are churn-able, that is referring to cards that allow you to receive the sign up bonus more than once. Okay, now that we have that out-of-the-way let’s talk about the credit cards that can be milked.
Okay, starting with Chase, their cards are churn-able. There are a few catches that should be noted. Their cards are only churn-able every 24 months. The 24 month clock is based on the date from when you received your first bonus to the date you apply for the second card. If you received your first bonus on 12/31/14, you will want to wait to apply for the second card until (at least) 1/1/17.
I would give it 25 months if it were me. You could also send a message to Chase and ask them the dates if you wanted to be ultra-safe. You would need to cancel the first card before you re-apply for it. Be sure to read the terms of the sign up bonus before you apply, they could change at anytime.
One thing to note with Chase is that they are becoming increasingly more strict with approving people who sign up for a lot of credit cards. This rule Chase is implementing is called the “5/24” rule. It means, in theory, that they won’t approve you for the card if you have opened 5 or more new credit accounts in the last 24 months. Doesn’t matter the bank you opened the card with, if it is on your credit report, Chase will count it.
This rule currently applies only to Chase cards that are not co-branded such as Freedom, Sapphire, and Slate. Co-branded cards, which are currently not affected, are cards with two companies: Chase > Southwest or Chase > United or Chase > Hyatt.
However, these co-branded cards are rumored to be falling under the 5/24 rule in April. If this rumor is true, you would want to sign up for that one last Chase card ASAP (assuming you have opened 5 or more cards in the last 24 months)
Southwest Plus Credit Card link (if you already signed up for the Premier card)
Next, American Express. Sadly, there is not much to say about this one. American Express cards are NOT churn-able. You can only receive each offer once in your lifetime. You can, like I mentioned before, sign up for the business and personal version of the same card because they are separate products.
So you could receive the sign up offer for the Starwood Personal card and the Starwood Business card. They are currently offering 35,000 Starwood points for each card, that happens to be the highest offer ever. American Express business cards a notoriously easy to be approved for, so do keep that in mind if you already have the SPG personal card. (I have three Amex biz cards)
American Express business cards were churn-able in the past, every 12 months. Unfortunately, they just put the ax to this. Amex business cards are now only one bonus per lifetime. Make sure to read the terms before applying.
How about Barclay Card? Yes, Barclay credit cards ARE churn-able. A couple of their popular cards are the Arrival Plus, Wyndham, and Hawaiian Airlines. I have personally received the sign up bonus twice for the Barclay Arrival Plus card. There is some evidence, here, that shows that the other Barclay cards are churn-able as long as you are approved. Barclay is pretty strict on approvals so make sure you apply for the one you really want. They are known for only approving 1-2 new cards a year. They also want to see you using your existing Barlcay card before issuing you another.
Citi cards are churn-able but they have some caveats. This is the text that you will find on most of their credit cards: “bonus miles offer is not available if you have had a [Card Name] opened or closed in the past 18 months“. So they are pretty smart with the way they try to stop churners. If you close the card, that is when the 18 month clock starts. The best way to speed things up is to close the first card down as soon as the points are received (on co-branded cards).
The earlier you close the card the sooner the 18 month clock can start ticking. Another thing to note is that you cannot apply more than two cards with Citi in a 65 day window, they will auto-deny you if you attempt. I would not try again on the 66th day, give it a week or so to be safe. It is best to wait 90 days between applications if you are going to do an app-o-rama, which is signing up for multiple cards at the same time.
As always, read the text before you apply. If you are still unsure, send a message to the bank and ask them if you are eligible. A verbal confirmation over the phone is not super-safe, I would make sure it is documented.