Posted by Chuck on January 6, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on January 6th, 2017 | by Chuck


Can you get a Signup Bonus if you Previously had the Card without a Bonus?

A question comes up periodically with someone who had a credit card but didn’t get the signup bonus. Can they now sign up again and get the bonus? Or will they need to wait the standard reset time before being able to get the bonus on a second application?

Read: List of Churnable Credit Cards

Sample scenarios:

  • You got the card but missed meeting the minimum spend requirement
  • You got the card when it didn’t have a bonus and now it does have one
  • You downgraded to a card which isn’t eligible for a bonus and now you want to apply for it directly with a bonus


Amex’s churning rule is that you can only have a bonus once in a lifetime.

Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.

Multiple data points indicate that if you got a card without getting the bonus, the system will not give the bonus the second time you get the card (1, 2). The language of the terms suggests the same. I can also confirm (10/7/18) attempting an application for the Amex Gold card and getting the Amex ineligibility popup which clearly stated that I’m not eligible for the bonus due to have the card in the past, despite never having gotten a bonus on the card.

Some people have had success getting the bonus upon request (1) while others have not (1); it might depend on the particulars of the situation (see the linked data points).

In the past, I had heard that Amex does give the bonus the second time as a matter of policy – even giving a partial bonus if the new bonus is higher than the one you got last time – but apparently that’s no longer the case.

Others say you do get the bonus the second time, provided the first card is no longer open. I’m not sure if that is outdated information or if it’s a YMMV thing.


Chase’s churning rule is that you can get a second bonus if you don’t currently have the card and you haven’t gotten a bonus within 24-months.

This product is available to you if you don’t have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.

The language is pretty clear that so long as you did not get the bonus within 24-months you are eligible to get it. However, there is one data point to the contrary.


Citi’s churning rule is that you can get a second bonus on a card provided that you haven’t opened or closed the card within 24-months. (It’s actually a bit more complex – please see this post for details.)

Bonus points are not available if you have had these cards opened or closed in the past 24 months.

We haven’t found any real data points on this, but the language suggests that you will not get the bonus within 24-months, irrespective of whether you got it the first time.

So for example, if you signup for an American Airlines card and miss the bonus spend requirement, then you signup for another AA card a few months later and meet the spend requirement, you will not get the bonus. To get the bonus, you’ll have to wait 24 months without opening or closing any AA cards before applying again.

Note (2/9/19): Citi recently made a small change in the terms of the ThankYou card (only) whereby ‘card opening’ was changed with ‘new cardmember bonus’. Accordingly, you should be able to get a bonus on a ThankYou card even within 24 months of when you opened a previous card if you did not get a bonus the first time.

BoA, Barclay, Cap1, USBank

Barclay, Capital One, and U.S. Bank do not have a rule against getting a bonus twice. Even if you did receive the bonus once, you’ll be eligible again when getting the card a second time.

Final Thoughts

From what we can tell, Amex and Citi will not let you get the bonus on the second card (without waiting the required time, in the case of Citi), while Chase will give the bonus on the second card since you didn’t get it on round one.

Please let us know if you have any data points on this.

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Two DP regarding Chase:
1) I opened the Hyatt card Sept. 2014 and earned the bonus Oct. 2015. I reapplied Oct. 2017 and earned the bonus shortly thereafter.
2) I opened the BA card (50/75/100 tiered bonus) and earned the LAST portion (100K/20K spend) in Sept. 2014. I reappled Oct. 2017 and earned the bonus shortly thereafter.

In both cases I confirmed with Chase the bonus earning date. For the Hyatt card, I didn’t go by Hyatt’s date; I went by Chase’s. For BA, you can go back and see when you earned bonus points with your Executive Club account.

Hope that helps!


So safe to assume for UR earning cards, it’s 24 months from when the UR bonus posts? And not from card application/approval date? Maybe some clarification for the post.


I had this a lot with amex.
Years ago it was different.
I’m talking about these days.
Amex will NOT give you the bonus, after requesting for it, I got F/R’d. So I would not recommend asking too much.
With my wife, I asked and they said just “no” with out a FR


Amex DP:
– Converted OBC to BCP when BCP first came out (2012?). Did not receive a bonus.
– Converted BCP to BCE in mid-2016.
– Received email offer November 2016 for $150 statement credit to upgrade BCE to BCP + $1,000 spend.
– Upgraded to BCP in December, met spend and received $150 statement credit.


Hmm, how about BoA?


DP – approved for Arrival+ 3.5 weeks after cancelling previous Arrival+ account. I have one other Barclay account (Aaviator Red).


Me too. Closed it on 12/7 and reopened 1/5. Auto denied b/c of having the card recently but called recon to get it approved.


Clearly Citi doesn’t want to keep the card open. Not even one day after getting the bonus 😜


Regarding BofA CC, any datapoint on 2nd merrill lynch CC?

William Charles

Not yet, be the DP you want to see.


I’m an AMEX personal card holder since 1987. In 2004 I opened my own business and obtained AMEX BRG or whatever their business gold card was called at the time. Around three years ago or so, as the annual fee on that card was going up and my ability to benefit from the card’s bonus categories was decreasing, I decided to close the BRG card and obtain the original AMEX Simply Cash business card.

Last year thanks to sites such as this one I decided to get back into the points game, opening the no-fee Blue for Business card, the offering a 20,000 point bonus — 10,000 at first use and another 10,000 after completing specified spend in first six months.

Eventually, on AMEX chat, I confirmed that my original BRG in 2004 had no welcome bonus attached to it. Earlier this year, while the BRG had a 50,000 point welcome offer, I called BRG new card line to request that card. Agent said I qualified for 25,000 point reacquisition offer and that I could request the additional 25,000 point match after I obtained the card (with no annual fee first year).

AMEX honored the 25,000 point reacquisition offer without any problem after I completed the required spend, but AMEX refused to match the 50,000 point offer available to new card holders because I had the card previously. Bonus offer terms do explicitly say that “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.” However, AMEX agent said that if I receive any mail offers for the BRG, which usually do not contain any prior card holder exclusions, I could receive whatever bonus points those offered even if I still had my current BRG. Haven’t received any such offers yet, though.


Can confirm that AMEX WILL NOT give a sign up bonus even if you cancel a card same day you’re approved, then reapply. If you cancel a card without receiving the sign-up bonus you have essentially forfeited the bonus. This was confirmed over 2 separate calls to customer service.

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