Posted by Chuck on January 4, 2019
Credit Cards

Published on January 4th, 2019 | by Chuck

75

Bank of America Adds 24-Month Churning Rule per card (Alaska, Cash Rewards, etc)

Bank of America now added a new 24-month restriction whereby, generally, you can not get any given BofA credit card if you got that card in the last 24 months.

Interestingly, the terms for Cash Rewards and Travel Rewards specifically suggest that you can get multiples of the same card, just you’ll have to wait 24 months between applications. Also, it seems that you can still churn the card in less than 24 months, just you’ll have to close it before applying again; the terms only limit you from another approval for 24 months if you currently hold the card. 

On the other hand, for the Alaska and Premium Rewards cards, you can only get approved if you don’t have the card and you haven’t had it in the prior 24 months. So if you cancel your Alaska or Premium Rewards card, you’ll have to wait 24 months before applying again. Perhaps they were more strict with these cards due to higher signup bonuses.

 This Cash Rewards card will not be available to you if you currently have a Cash Rewards card unless you have had that Cash Rewards card for at least 24 months.

 

 

(Alaska) This card will not be available to you if you currently have or have had the card in the preceding 24 month period.

 

This Premium Rewards card will not be available to you if you currently have or have had a Premium Rewards card in the preceding 24 month period.

 

 This Travel Rewards card will not be available to you if you currently have a Travel Rewards card unless you have had that Travel Rewards card for at least 24 months.

Some people like churning the Alaska or Cash Rewards cards. That will no longer be possible with the Alaska card – you are limited to one bonus per 24 months+ since you’ll have to get the bonus, cancel the card, then count 24 months from date of cancellation. For the Cash Rewards, it’s still possible to churn by getting bonus, closing, and getting again, but you won’t be able to hold more than one at a time unless you wait 24 months.

Overall, these restrictions aren’t terrible in comparison with what we’ve seen from other banks (e.g. Amex – lifetime, Chase – 48 months/family, Citi – 24 months/family open/close), but they are definitely a limiting factor for some people. Remember, Bank of America already has their 2/3/4 rule whereby you can only get 4 BofA cards total per 24 months, so the new limitations don’t really add a huge amount.

Hat tip to u/kdm31091 on r/churning

Updates:

  • Far as I can tell, the restrictions are only on getting approved. If you somehow get approved, I don’t see any reason to suspect you won’t get the bonus.
  • Reader Sam notes that the co-branded Cash Rewards cards don’t (currently) show the 24 months rule.
  • Reader Ben notes that the Alaska business card is not (currently) showing the 24 month rule.
  • Reader AMK notes that some preselected offers don’t contain the 24 month rule.



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Jonathan
Jonathan

Thanks for the info, Chuck. Possible typo: “Overall, these restrictions are terrible…”

Harman
Harman

Doesn’t really matter since they won’t approve anyone for a card in the first place

Harry Nguyen
Harry Nguyen

Their cards sucks anyways lol.

Lrdx
Lrdx

Getting 5.25% on a selectable category is anything but “sucks”.

Heather
Heather

What card is that?

ryan g
ryan g

Its the cash rewards card. You have to have 100,000 combined balances in checking and investment accounts to be a platinum honors rewards member which gives you another 75% rewards bonus on the 3% cash back rewards (this equals 5.25%).

Ben L.
Ben L.

I’m not seeing this language for the Alaska Business card, at least not yet

Adam d
Adam d

Don’t bother applying for Alaska Small biz card if you’re a sole proprietor or not a real business, they wanted documents and 2 yes of tax returns. Ive had 4 small biz cards with them previous never a problem.

MrDioji
MrDioji

That’s hit or miss. My wife got one in Dec as sole proprietor with no problem

DCJoe
DCJoe

Same- got card recently as sole proprietor no problem. I think it helps that I have had a BofA checking account for a few years now.

adam d
adam d

Only biz card from any institution that’s happened, over 10+ cards, applied 1 wk ago. Just my DP, Current travel biz and merill

Bill
Bill

Does BoA report business cards to personal credit reports when its a sole prop? I wouldn’t mind picking one up if its not going to ding me for 5/24.

sdsearch
sdsearch

No, they don’t report business cards to EQ/EX/TU. (Whether they report them to any more obscure personal credit reports, which Chase doesn’t generally pull, that I don’t know.)

Bikini Patrol
Bikini Patrol

They pulled my transunion today don’t know about the others. they did not request any additional docs for my bs sole prop doing biz under my own name.

beat2def
beat2def

I’ve tried and they denied me. Same way as yours with two years of tax returns + more documents. I had to jump through some major hoops if I wanted the card. ‘F’ BOA. They deny me all the time.

John
John

Going to cancel my Alaska card today to get the clock started.

Amen Roar
Amen Roar

I got approved for this card sometime in the last 24 months with a credit limit of less than $5K, so I closed it right away. I guess I have to wait for the 24 month period to count down?

sdsearch
sdsearch

Don’t close it if you get less than $5k in the future on an Alaska personal card, though. They recently changed things, and they NO LONGER give a different bonus depending on whether you get approved for Sig or Plat.

Damian
Damian

I cancelled my personal AS ~90 days ago. Had a reminder to apply for a new card on Monday. Saw this and immediately applied to see if I could still get a new card before the rules take effect. Was approved instantly for $21k line. I also currently hold a biz AS which was opened in October.

prunecity
prunecity

Thanks for posting this – I did the same and was approved instantly.

Anthony
Anthony

Chuck William Charles
I have a 5+ year old AS card personal card (Currently Open) and 10 month old Alaska Business Card.

I just applied and was approved for another AS personal card. (Dummy booking for 30k + $100 through Alaska).

The T&C had the new 24 month restrictions. We will see what happens!

-t
-t

I tried the same after closing my card over a year ago. Denied after going pending.

DCJoe
DCJoe

Same, sadly. Love my Alaska miles, gonna be tough to build up many more.

Andre
Andre

I was just about to get another Alaska card after canceling mine a few weeks ago. Wow, guess I have to wait a year or change my plans for these Alaska miles.

Stan
Stan

last year i got cash rewards & mlb cash rewards nearly simultaneously, $400 cash for 1000 spend combined.
tried soon thereafter for wildlife fund cash rewards but got denied.
also had business cash rewards after that and got bonus.
sounds like those sort of antics are over?

Sam
Sam

Presumably all the variations of “Cash Rewards” count as the same type of card, right?
ETA: The T&Cs of the others aren’t updated with this yet.

Darv
Darv

I actually think they’re loosening up a bit. I wasn’t able to get approved by them for anything after hammering them for 10 or so MLB cards in 2015/2016. But then I applied for the Preimum Rewards card in November of last year and although I was denied, the recon call went well and the lady said I should reapply in a few months after a few inquiries drop off. Then last month I was approved for a cash rewards biz card–$350 offer–and they actually called me about the app to talk about it. So maybe they went through a calibration period after the MLB fiasco, and now maybe they are approving again. Obviously this isn’t 2015 anymore but if I can pull 2-3 decent bonuses from them a year, or double that with player 2, that’s fine with me.

Paul
Paul

I see I’m not the only one chasing BOFA biz cards

john m
john m

The end of an era.

Blue
Blue

>Personally, I’ve had the Premium Rewards since launch in September 2017, maybe I’ll try for a second one when my 24 month hits.

Think you have to wait 24 months AFTER closing it.

Dylan
Dylan

I foresee a couple of things happening in the future related to churning:

1. Initial sign up bonuses will be reduced

2. More anti-churning rules will be added

However its not all bad:

I foresee more banks adding better ongoing spend categories like the recently revamped amex gold card. This allows the banks to make something on your swipe frees while still giving you a bonus. I also see banks offering more tieried sign up bonuses in the future tied to ongoing spend.

If you have the ability to MS, this doesnt affect you as you can now just MS in specific categories and get your bonus that way. If you cant MS, then this is gonna be bad news for you.

Will there still be such great credit card bonuses in the future? No. Will there still be bonuses at all? Yes, just maybe only a few per year per person.

Can we still “game the system” to get free flights”? Yes. The only difference now is it will become harder and tied more to your ongoing spending. Services like plastiq may start being used a lot more.

Ultimately this is good for casual users since they will recieve better ongoing spend categories, but bad for churners like us. But we knew these easy points couldn’t last forever now could they?

RG
RG

Excellent analysis

Ashton
Ashton

Churning AS comes to an end.

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