Posted by sirtheta on January 30, 2017
Credit Cards American Express Chase and Citi

Published on January 30th, 2017 | by sirtheta


In Brief: Time-Related Rules Imposed by American Express, Chase, and Citi

Most issuers have soft-ish guidelines limiting how many cards you can get from them in a period of time, or what on your credit report might disqualify you. This is why you might see an issuer referred to as “inquiry sensitive”. Three issuers, though—American Express, Chase, and Citi—have some pretty hard rules in place. This is a brief survey of time-related limits that they impose, across some broad categories that match up between issuers. It is intended as a supplementary, “quick-look” table to our “things everybody should know” series, which you can find for each issuer here:

Please direct questions or comments not about this specific table to each issuer’s “things everybody should know” page, so that information can be kept in one place.

Comparison Table

American ExpressChaseCiti
Credit Report Limitations…No restriction.Certain cards cannot be obtained if you have 5 or more new accounts in the past 24 months.Often denies people for 6+ inquiries (hard pulls) in the past 6 months.
…Notes?N/AReconsideration is not possible.Freezing a bureau before applying & having Citi pull a different credit bureau can work.
Signup Bonus LimitationsOnly eligible if you have never had the card.Only eligible if you do not currently have the card & have not received bonus from card in past 24 months.Only eligible if you have not opened or closed a card in the same product family in the past 24 months.
Shorter Timeframe Limitations…1 approved credit card in a rolling 5-day windowNo restriction; see “Longer Timeframe”1 approved card in a rolling 8-day window
…Notes?Second application is set to pending then re-evaluated once out of the 5 day window. (AmEx claims that Experian won’t let them pull twice within 5 days). Rare exceptions.See below.Second application is auto-denied with no hard pull. Reconsideration not possible, even outside of 8-day window.
Longer Timeframe Limitations…2 approved credit cards in a rolling 90-day window2 approved cards in a rolling 30-day window2 applications in a rolling 65-day window
…Notes?Further applications are auto-denied with no hard pull. Reconsideration is possible, once outside of the 90-day window. Rare exceptions exist.Rarely, people manage 3. Violating this on different days will result in a hard pull.1/8 and 2/65 denials do count. Further applications are auto-denied with no hard pull. Reconsideration not possible, even outside of 65-day window.
Number of Cards Limitations4 or 5 credit cards. 5 may require a review by a new account senior specialist. The current theory is that having a no annual fee card may get you 5 by auto-approval.No restriction, but once you have many Chase cards, you may be limited to 1 card in a rolling 30-day window, due to “too many requests for credit”. Reconsideration is possible. No restriction.

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The comparioson table is not readable from an iphone only the first half (amex) is readable 😔

turning it sideway helps a little bit. but some texts would be blocked

“No restriction, but once you have many Chase cards, you may be limited to 1 card in a rolling 30-day window, due to “too many requests for credit”.”

Ahh I was wondering why Chase didn’t approve me for IHG card. I think this is the reason.

Same issue with Android in Chrome.


Thanks for the write up man, this is helpful to have consolidated. Any idea where I could go to find info on the point you make in Citi’s credit report limitation notes? Specifically, I’m looking for DPs from people that were declined due to 6+ inquiries in 6 months and then froze that report and had the CSR pull a different bureau and were subsequently approved? Could be helpful for myself and others that were declined for the no-24 AA link.

Great post. Surprised this wasn’t written before; at no fault to you, but I feel like this post qualifies as a “required reading” for someone applying for multiple CC.

how does chase calculate the 24m bonus rule. Is it from account opening or from when the bonus posts to your account?

Counter DP for: “1 approved credit card in a rolling 5-day window.” for Amex
Got auto-approved for both SPG and everyday card on 12/13/16

I have a follow up question on the Chase rule “Only eligible if you do not currently have the card . . ..” What if one applied and was approved more than 24 months ago, and then downgraded to a related product when annual fee became due? For example, if I was approved for Chase Sapphire Preferred over 24 months ago, and then dowgraded to regular Chase Sapphire (i.e., no annual fee version) after the first year. Does this constitute “currently having the card” or am I now eligible to obtain a new Sapphire Preferred card since I no longer have the Preferrd version so I can again get the bonus? Thanks

No, downgrades don’t count. You’re eligible for a new CSP.


“Often denies people for 6+ inquiries (hard pulls) in the past 6 months.”

If they pull 2 bureaus, do you know whether they count them separately (no more than 6 inquiries per bureau), or they do the union of the inquiries?

Does Amex’s 2 cards per 90 days count with business cards as well or just personal – in other words can I get 2 personal cards and 1 business all the same month?

Thanks for listening to my feedback on r/churning! The table is very handy. You might want add the bit about Citi business cards and personal cards being in different families (thus still eligible for CitiBusiness Aadvantage card even if you got the personal one recently).

I was approved for two Amex cards on the same day last summer (within one hour, actually). Old Blue Cash and Blue Cash Preferred.

How many charge cards can I have?

For Chase 5/24, you wrote “more than 5” in the table above, but everywhere else you implied “5 or more” — says “4 or less to qualify”, therefore “5 or more” will disqualify.

“5 or more ” is not the same as “more than 5”.

Is the 2/90 rule for Amex really a hard rule?

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