Bank Of America Adds 24 Month Restriction to Card Applications

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Bank Of America has quietly implemented a new restriction on credit-card applications. The terms and conditions for popular cards like the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card have been updated with new language stating that the card will not be available to you if you currently have or have had the card in the preceding 24-month period.

bank-of-america-logo

Overview of the Current Rules

Although the new rule is simple to understand—you can't get a card if you had the same card in the last two years—prospective Bank of America applicants will also need to keep in mind the existing 2/3/4 rule which limits you to:

  • Two new cards per rolling 2-month period
  • Three new cards per rolling 12-month period
  • Four new cards per rolling 24-month period

Fortunately, unlike Chase's 5/24 policy, the 2/3/4 rule applies only to Bank of America issued cards. In other words, getting three Amex or Citi cards won't mean you have to wait 12 months to apply for a Bank of America card.

Our Take

This new rule comes as no surprise; almost every card issuer is adding more restrictions these days. On the positive side, a 24-month waiting period still leaves room for folks that had a card in the past to open a new account eventually. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why someone might abandon a card and later decide it's a good value. Card benefits change frequently, and with co-brand cards like the Alaska Visa Card, your home airport can make all the difference in whether you can take full advantage of a card.

It's worth noting that the 24-month language may not be present on all application pages (although at the time of writing, we weren't able to find any examples without the new restriction).

Source: One Mile At A Time

Bank Of America Adds 24 Month Restriction to Card Applications
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Comments

  • Thanks for the update!

  • These restrictions are in place because of the abuse of the system by few folks. Not surprising change.

    • “Abuse”? That word is doing a lot of heavy lifting when referring to CC companies and banks….

      • The few folks abusing the system are the banks, right? Just joking, but not really.

      • Constantly opening and closing cards isn’t abuse? It’s not illegal or against the rules but is certainly against the spirit and intent hence now the rules are quickly changing to fix this.

    • Well, it’s definitely not *only* new folks that are the heaviest hitters (churners). Although I do agree, the change is not surprising, it’s becoming industry standard.

    • Not abuse! Just fair play by the rules. Companies have absolutely no qualms about operating right up to the edge of the rules as stated so why should we?

      • Agreed; churning does not automatically mean ‘abusing the system’, or “breaking the rules”! Still, if enough people pound a card with frequent apps and quick cancellations, eventually there will be a ripple in the water that will get noticed.

    • That is fair.

  • I’m not surprised that BoA has done this since Citi just did. I do agree there are lots of reasons why someone wouldn’t want a card and then see that it benefits them at another time.

    With these changes, I do wonder what the next restriction would be once they see more people using this new rule.

  • All the churners are have a tougher time because of these restrictions…..

  • Looks like more banks imposing similar restricting from you churn cards.

  • People need to stop churning cards like there’s no tomorrow.
    Otherwise, more and more restrictions will be implemented and the whole game will die.

  • If it improves their customer service that’s a win

  • I’m sorry to hear this, but I’m also not surprised!

  • There should be a way to track whether you’re eligible for this or not without digging into your credit report.

  • So it looks BofA finally copied the language from Citi, just when Citi is moving to the new 48-month language.

  • I knew this was coming one day.

  • As these restrictions become more common, the focus for points earning has to shift from churning to maximum earning from regular spending. I’m more comfortable with the latter anyway.

  • Think that this is the way of the future from the company’s perspective as the bonuses are to serve to pull in good clients that are going to stay. They are not supposed to be giveaways. I am disappointed by the changes. However, my expectations are that they will all tighten up their qualifications and restrictions to better serve their purposes.

  • It is very important to be aware of the rules. Changes to application frequency have become common.

  • The Arts Traveler says:

    I think this only matters if you are interested in getting a BOA card and really I can’t see why anyone would want one. They really aren’t offering what I want, but I have done other banking with them since 1987.

  • Patrick B says:

    Thanks for keeping us informed. I don’t have any B of A travel cards (just one regular B of A card I got long ago to utilize the free balance transfer option). I may get some in the future though so it nice to know I should choose carefully.

  • Thanks for the update! More cards are following Chase!

  • Remember the time a certain blogger applied for 5 AS cards in the same day? Truthfully, I’m surprised we’ve haven’t seen such restrictions much sooner.

  • Yea definitely no surprise. May be a matter of time before this restriction becomes 48 months.

  • Certainly a blow to Alaska churners, but at least they didn’t got to once a lifetime like Amex.

  • yes this was coming. BOA cards are ok…

  • No surprise here. Wonder if they will be more reluctant to close inactive accounts?

  • Not too surprising, given the level of churning some people were doing. 2/3/4 was already a pretty decent deterrent – but maybe not as much as BOA’s lack of decent cards.

  • As long as the economy is doing well the banks can impose these sorts of restrictions. When the economy cycles back in the other direction (and it will) the banks will again need to incentivize new accounts.

  • RIP in churning the alaska card. damn

  • Happy that it is exclusive for BofA
    I wonder who is next

  • This isn’t surprising at all. The surprise is that it didn’t happen sooner.

  • Michaelj1 says:

    The new rules still leave room to rotate between banks.

  • Time to change banks.

  • Bill from Maine says:

    I will be eligible to apply again in 6 months. I’ll try for the Alaska Air cards again at that time. BOA is small potatoes in the miles and points world. Unless you are new to credit cards, I still believe that Chase becomes the biggest loser over time with their insane 5/24 rule restrictions.

  • Thanks. I wasn’t aware of the 2/3/4 either.

  • They should just ban the people that apply and dump their cards…..that ought to level the field for everyone…

  • So many restrictions!!!

  • Sad… Planning to get another one…

  • I’m surprised it took this long. I don’t see how they make much money from churners (unless you use the card well beyond the minimum spend). I could be wrong though.

  • Thanks for letting me know.

    I haven’t realized this information so far.

    It was going to be kind of dangerous to me.

  • I’m surprised this wasn’t a rule already.

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