Capital One Adds 48-Month Credit Card Bonus Rule Capital One Adds 48-Month Credit Card Bonus Rule

Capital One Adds 48-Month Credit Card Bonus Rule

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Capital One has added new 48-month terms to the application terms for many of its credit cards. And while this might feel restrictive, the silver lining is that this provides clarity over the vague terms on previous applications.

While some credit card application rules are provided by banks, others are not. The latter type of rule is collected from user experiences over time. That's not the case here, though. Capital One's new rule is written clearly on nearly every card application at this point. Here's what you should know.

New Capital One 48-Month Rule

Previously, Capital One welcome offers said that “the bonus may not be available for existing or previous account holders.” Now, that has been clarified to this rule:

“Card offers with a cash or miles rewards bonus are available by clicking the “Apply Now” button on this page, and may not be available if you navigate away from or close this page. Existing or previous cardmembers are not eligible for this product if they have received a new cardmember bonus for this product in the past 48 months.”

These new terms apply to “this product,” meaning you wouldn't be eligible for earning a sign-up bonus on a card where you earned that bonus in the past 48 months. However, it shouldn't carry over from one card to another if you earned a bonus from a different credit card recently.

We see these new terms on the application page for all personal Capital One credit cards at this point. Capital One's small-business cards don't contain the new 48-month language at this point, but that may happen in the near future. And even if the application pages for Spark small-business cards don't get updated with the 48-month limit, it may apply to your application anyway.

Other Capital One Credit Card Application Rules

Putting this into context, you should know about the following rules when applying for a Capital One credit card:

  • You can't hold more than two personal credit cards from Capital One at any given time.
  • You won't be approved for more than one card every six months.
  • The number of recent inquiries on your credit report plays a significant role in your approval odds.
  • You should receive the sign-up bonus if you're approved for the card (meaning Capital One doesn't tend to approve applications and then withhold bonuses later on).
  • The new rule for 48-month eligibility on the same credit card's bonus.

Related: Understanding Rewards Credit Card Application Rules and Restrictions

Bottom Line

Capital One has a new rule where you must wait 48 months between earning the welcome bonus on the same credit card if you've earned that card's bonus in the past. This can appear strict at first, but it's an improvement over the ambiguous application terms on these cards in the past.

This new verbiage isn't listed on business cards at this point, but it's safe to assume the rule probably applies. The rule doesn't seem like it applies across credit cards, affecting just the particular card where you previously earned a sign-up bonus.

What do you make of this new terminology? Let us know if you have a different understanding of the meaning in the comments below.

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  • bambi harris says:

    I was approved for a cap one venture card a year ago and got the sign on bonus. A couple of weeks ago my husband applied for the same card (he had been an authorized user on mine) I just took him off as a user (not sure if that helps haha) But you said if he was approved then he is probably eligible for the sign on bonus? I just wanted to confirm. He received his card today. It would be depleting to spend the $4000 and then not getting the bonus. We go on vacation next week so i thought it would be good to use it for that. Thank you in advance!