Posted by Chuck on October 4, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on October 4th, 2017 | by Chuck


New Bank of America ‘2/3/4 Rule’ for Credit Card Approvals [Confirmed]

[Originally posted 9/27/17. Updated and reposted 10/4/17 due to confirmation and clarification of the new rules.]

There is a new rule from Bank of America whereby they’ll only approve you for at most two cards per rolling 2 months, three cards per rolling 12 months, and four cards per rolling 24 months. Let’s call this the ‘2/3/4 rule‘.

We’ve heard over a dozen data points indicating parts of this rule, and we’ve now been able to confirm the entire rule with a reliable source. The source also indicated that there’s a chance for a rep to override this based on relationship, but it’s not too likely to happen unless they get a feel that there’s a legitimate reason you need the card outside churning.

While the rule sounds similar to Chase’s 5/24 rule, in fact it’s much more manageable. Chase’s rule looks at new cards from all card issuers combined, essentially weeding out churners from ever getting a Chase card. BofA merely limits us as to how many new BofA cards we can get per 2/12/24 month timeframe.

On the surface, it doesn’t sounds like much to fret over. The big hit here is that a lot of people were churning the Alaska card with regularity, first on a monthly basis, and recently on a quarterly basis.

For quite some time, people were either getting denied, or more often getting initially approved and subsequently closed out due to an ‘approved in error’ problem. We posted about this a few times before, even as far back as January.

Previously BofA was struggling to figure out what to do with those who apply for many cards, sometimes resulting in the ‘approved in error’ response. Now, within the past couple of months, they instituted a new rule limiting the approvals to begin with, with no more than two cards per rolling 2-months, three cards per rolling 12-months, and four cards per rolling 24-months.

Interestingly, as recently as last week (DP1 and DP2), BofA still has been ‘approving in error’ and subsequently shutting down the account. I would have assumed that once they got their act together and created a 2/3/4 rule, they’d work it into the system not to approve such people initially. Apparently, they aren’t quite streamlined yet, and it’s possible you’ll get approved and then closed out a couple of days later.

We haven’t yet gotten confirmation whether business cards count in these numbers. The data points we’ve seen indicate that business cards do not count. For example, if you signup today for a personal card and a business card, you can get another personal card within two months (even the same day) since the business card doesn’t count toward your 2/2 limit. Similarly, if you already got two personal cards recently and now you apply for a business card, you should be able get approved.

Restriction Recap

At this point, just about all card issuers have tight rules on card applications and approvals:


173 Responses to New Bank of America ‘2/3/4 Rule’ for Credit Card Approvals [Confirmed]

  1. VRHunter says:

    I’ve gotten 2 new BofA cards in the past 12 months and was recently denied for a 3rd when applying for a Premium Rewards. I’ve gotten 4 new BofA cards in the past 24 months which makes me think there could also be a 24 month criteria like 4/24 perhaps.

  2. John Kimble says:

    3 new BoA cards this year:

    BankAmericard – 5/9 (pre-approved mailer)
    Cash Rewards – 5/22 (cold, used same HP as 1st card)
    Alaska Airlines VS – 8/9 (new HP)

    Tried for the Alaska Airlines Business card on the same day and was denied immediately due to having too many products with BoA. Also, the Alaska Airlines card was a $15k approval but did not take any funds from the previous 2 cards. Lastly, I just got a CLI on the Cash Rewards this month so I wasn’t at max exposure with BoA.

  3. Kelly says:

    I only had 1 BofA Alaska card in the last 12 months and was denied premium travel rewards card, but on same day of that pull, I applied for regular travel rewards card and immediately went pending but approved following day. Recon, I was told too many accounts – not just BofA.

    • Dan Humana says:

      me too bro

      • DaWoodMan1 says:

        @Kelly @Dan Humana

        Similar situation for me. I applied on 9/18 for Merrill+ (via phone), Premium Travel and just normal BankAmeriCard (just because I have all of my banking with BofA and figured, why not). Denied online for the Premium Travel and BankAmeriCard. Denied a couple of days later via snail mail for Merrill+.

        When I called into Recon which btw, the 1-800 # worked for me, and asked about my Merrill+ application I was told too many new accounts, FROM ALL INSTITUTIONS not just BofA, in a 12 month period. I tried to get the hard limit out of the Credit Analyst but he wouldn’t divulge that information. I also tried to see if the rules bent depending on Preferred Status/High Value client. He said emphatically NO.

        Now, I do have 3 BofA cards in the past 12 months:
        5-8-17: Alaska Personal
        5-8-17: Regular Travel Rewards
        5-8-17: Better Balance Rewards

        But I also have 11-14 OTHER cards in the past 12-ish months from this app date of 9/18/17
        8-26-16: CSR
        4-25-17: AmEx Plat. Personal
        12-28-16: AmEx BCP
        12-28-16: AmEx ED
        12-28-16: AmEx Green Personal
        12-28-16: AmEx Gold Personal
        6-24-17: AmEx Blue BUSINESS Plus (so maybe not on personal credit report)
        6-24-17: Citi AA Personal
        6-24-17: Citi BUSINESS Costco (so maybe not on personal credit report)
        12-20-16: Citi DC
        12-20-16: Citi BUSINESS AA (so maybe not on personal credit report)
        4-2-17: Citi Costco Personal
        10-27-16: Barclays Arrival+
        12-20-16: Barclays AAviator Red

        Since the Credit Analyst was so ADAMANT about ALL OF THE ACCOUNTS FROM ALL INSTITUTIONS, I’d venture that BofA’s 3/12 rule tracks more than just BofA accounts.

        • Heidi says:

          I agree that they are concerned with ALL recent accounts and not just BoA. I was denied Merrill+ for too many new accounts (7/24) and none of them were BoA.

      • DaWoodMan1 says:

        All 3 BofA cards from my 9-18-17 App-o-rama were denied for the same reason according to the credit analyst i.e. TOO MANY ACCOUNTS FROM ALL INSTITUTIONS OPENED IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS.

        • Chuck says:

          I agree with these posters, same thing happened to me. Here’s my idea:

          In terms of auto approvals or declines, the 2/3/4 rule is in effect.

          For recons, where there’s a live human, they have a separate set of rules which looks to new accounts (from all banks) and all inquiries (from all banks). I’m very heavy on biz cards right now (aiming for 5/24) so I don’t have *that* many new cards. I was told it was the number of inquiries which hurt me (~25) (which I think is about 7-8 too many, btw).

  4. Dave says:

    1 new BoA card this year (Merrill Signature in April). The only 1 in the past 24 months as well (have an older BoA card from 7 years ago).

    Denied for both the new premium card from BoA and the Amtrak card.

    780 credit score. 5/12 and 12/24

  5. Plucky says:

    I applied for 3 personal cards on 9/22. 2 approved same day- premium card and the Amtrak. Alaska personal was pending and got approved on 9/25. Also applied for Alaska biz on 9/25 which was approved too. All of these with Experian frozen. No BofA cards in trailing 12 months.

  6. John says:

    I got 4 MLB cards in Aug 2016. I canceled 3 of the cards in early Aug 2017 then 2 weeks later applied and was approved for the Merrill + and Alaska Buisness in Aug 2017. 3 weeks ago I canceled the last MLB card, waited 2 weeks and tried to apply for the Premium Rewards last week (Sep 2017) and was auto denied for too many cards with them.

    This leads me to believe its not a 24 month window. I think the closed cards hadent hit their system yet, hence my denial. I will re apply for the Premium rewards in a couple of months.

    • John says:

      I just checked and i was approved for the 4 MLB cards in Jul 2016, so the 3/12 rule can certainly be in effect as I’ve only been approved for 1 personal card in the past 12 months, but my data points goes against the 4/24 rule others are mentioning below as i was approved for 5 personal cards (plus 1 business) within 13 months

  7. JB says:

    First two BoA cards in May 2017 (Cash Rewards, Travel Rewards). “Approved in error” for MLB Card in June, declined again for MLB Card and Premium Rewards in September. In all cases BoA claimed I already had a sufficient number of cards with them.

    One rep I spoke with about the Premium Rewards said I might have more luck if I waited for 6 months after my last new cards to reapply.

  8. Jake says:

    I have been approved for a total of 4 BOA cards in the past 3 months (2 biz & 2 personal). Alaska personal in July and 3 cards on the day the Premium Rewards card came out.

    Alaska personal – July 2017

    Premium rewards
    Alaska biz
    Cash rewards biz – all 3 September 2017.

    I am also Preferred Rewards Platinum which may make a difference?

    • Dusty says:

      The rule is for personal cards only, per some Reddit DP’s; your DP here corroborates that.

    • Chuck says:

      Good DP, probably business cards don’t count.

      I’m guessing Preferred Rewards doesn’t help.

      • Hoang says:

        I think it does. I got approved for Alaska instantly (3rd BOA credit card) then few days later I applied for Merrill credit card and it was pending and I called them many times and still pending. I stopped by local bank and told the manager that I am Platinum Honor Preferred member and I need help with this matter. It took her about 10 minutes to call around then passed the phone to me, the lady on the other end ask me few questions then said congratulation you are approved. So now I have 4 BOA credit cards, the Travel was converted from Alaska first time applied. I think about apply for the new one but I think I should cancel one of them.

  9. PJ says:

    I received a Bofa card in August 2015, then two in November 2016, and one in August 2017. That would lead me to believe the rule is not 3/24

  10. AJ says:

    Was approved over the phone for Merrill Lynch card, even given my credit line by phone, but then received a denial letter about a week later. When I called, they didn’t give specific numbers, but said, too many accounts had been opened and closed within too short of a time period. And even with a good credit score and good bank history with BofA, nothing could be done. Sounds like a rule, if you ask me. Prior to the Merrill application, I had closed Amtrak World in June, reopened in early August. No other BofA history for the past year. High 700 credit.

  11. pawfee says:

    A since-deleted comment confirmed 2/2, 3/12, 4/24.

  12. Just a Note says:

    Have not applied for any of their cards in the last few months, but in March, I was denied for an Alaska card due to having too many card applications overall – at the time it was 15/12 across all institutions, not just BOA. Down to about 10/12 right now, will likely try again soon.

  13. Yan says:

    Have two BOA cards opened more than 1 year ago (but less than 2 years). Recently applied and approved (after pending for ~2 days) two new BOA cars. So far no “approval for error” message yet. So DP seems to fit the 3/12 theory.

  14. Dave says:

    Preferred Rewards Platinum, over 200k in Merrill IRA account. Got 3 MLB cards last summer. Was approved for Merrill+ card, received card but couldn’t activate it because they had already canceled it. When I called in, rep said they would only approve 2 cards within 24 months.

    800+ score, and only 1 TU Hard pull.

    I really hope this rep was just being overly conservative about 2/24.

  15. DSP says:

    I got 4 BoA cards in 6 months but 2 were biz. I have heard a couple of times that biz cards don’t count against this rule.

  16. Joe says:

    Got the Alaska card, Asiana Card and ML card in the past 12 months. Was denied for premium rewards card last week. I called reconsiderations and the csr said he saw 6 new total cc apps on my experian report. He didn’t specific the time frame. Actually, I have 24 new cc acts in the past 12 months. He did not mention anything about my 3 existing BofA acts which were opened in the past 12 months.

  17. Danny says:

    Got 2 cards Jan. (Merrill+ & AS)
    Applied the same 2 cards last weeks, AS instant approval, Merrill+ went pending then denied.
    Called reconsideration, was told 3/12 and 4/24 rule for BOA cards.

  18. chris a says:

    Got 2 Merrill+’s and Alaska card this year. Denied for premium rewards this week. Tried to escalate through recon but no luck several time.

  19. MM says:

    6 in 6 months, but 4 were biz cards. 3/12 could be a thing, but, at least in my case, it doesn’t seem to count biz cards.

  20. Joe S says:

    3 cards approved within last year, denied for a 4th, usually I call up but since my 3rd was the Merrill card, I didn’t want to take a chance of that getting canceled out just to get another Alaska card.

    Amtrak 30K Offer – 12/20/16 – Approved
    Merrill 50K Offer – 12/20/16 – Approved
    Merrill 50K Offer – 9/15/17 – Approved
    Alaska 30K Offer – 9/15/17 – Denied, did not call recon (yet)

  21. DCjoe says:

    This tracks with my recent experience, but I think they count business applications separately.

    Applied for and approved for 4 BofA personal cards in November and December 2016, when the word about multiple apps on one hard pull got out. One was a Merrill+ and one was an Alaska personal.

    Lowered credit limits in August and applied for the Merrill+ in early September. Approved a few days later, but then a few days after that, the dreaded “approved in error”. Decided to try and re-use the hard pull and applied for the Alaska Business (already had a personal card, didn’t want to mess with trying to add another). Approved with a >10K credit limit, but they did another hard pull! Got the card and no “approved in error”.

    So it seems like the 3/12 rule appears to be in effect for personal cards, hard to say exactly how business cards are involved. Do they add to your count? Do they even look at the count when applying for business cards?

  22. JASON says:

    You don’t list Wells Fargo’s cap on 5% card, DOC?

  23. Sam says:

    Approved for 3 boa cards in Q4/2016
    Canceled all three last week
    This week Instant decline for BOA premium card, pending for Alaska, by went to approved a few hours later (are approvals in error only on instant approvals?)

    • Jay says:

      No, “approved in error” can happen to any approval; instant approvals, no-intervention pending->approved approvals, and recon approvals.

      You’ll usually receive the letter about 1 week to 4 weeks after the initial approval. Earlier on, some people even received, activated and used their cards before they received the “approved in error” letter, so being able to use your card is no guarantee that it won’t be shutdown soon after.

    • Chuck says:

      I’m not sure, good question.

    • Bill says:

      I can also corroborate—I’ve had an application go pending online, show up as approved over the automated phone system a few days later, but then was retroactively denied. I actually received a bunch of the promotional materials about the card benefits, but never the mailing with the card.

  24. D says:

    DP. I think this is correct as well. I opened 3 BofA cards in the past 12 months. When I applied for the new Travel Rewards card I was immediately declined. Reason was “too many new accounts recently”.

    As an aside, I was able to get approved by calling reconsideration and moving some credit from one of my other cards

  25. Matt Katakis says:

    Tangentially related, how long do you have to wait to try to open a new Alaska personal and Biz card? I had one of each but it’s been past 12 months. I closed the biz card last month and then product changed the personal to a Cash Rewards card and decreased my credit line to $5K. I’ve opened no other BoA cards in the last 12 months. Safe to reopen the biz and personal cards you think?

  26. James33 says:

    Alaska Personal approved: 2/22/16, 3/2/16
    Alaska Business approved: 6/14/16, 10/24/16

    Merrill+ approved: 2/6/2017, 9/15/2017

    Tried to get BofA Premium, Alaska personal and business after the 2nd Merrill+ got activated okay and all got declined.

    DPs falls under 3/12 rule if it includes business cards.

  27. Dusty says:

    I got an Alaska Biz in 02/17, and my first M+ in 6/17, second M+ 9/17. Applied for the Premium on 9/19 and was denied. Letter stated too many recent accounts, though it didn’t explicitly state that it was too many accounts with BoA.

  28. Jeff L. says:

    Approved for 3 BoA personal and 1 BoA Biz within past year.
    -Bank Americard Cash Rewards (2/17)
    -BusinessAdvantage Cash Rewards (6/17) (appeared as preapproved offer on BoA website)
    -Merrill+ (9/17)
    -Amtrak (9/17)

    Did not need to call recon for any. Merrill was pending for several days, all others instant approved. Applied and was approved for Amtrak after already receiving and having made purchases with Merrill+

    • Chuck says:

      Seems business cards don’t count toward the 3/12 limit.

      • HokiE36 says:

        or biz cards might just count towards it. my data points are very recent in this case. quick summary:
        Jul 2017: BoA biz cash rewards
        Sep 2017: AS
        Sep 2017: AS biz
        Sep 2017: Merrill Lynch (denied, even after 3x recon)

        seems I’m stopped by 3/12 rule here. previously opened several AS cards in May 2015 and closed them June 2016. Kept the AS biz card till July 2017, when I was approved for BoA biz Cash Rewards card. (the AS biz card was closed on the same day and CL was transferred to biz Cash Rewards). Trying to score Merrill Lynch card in Sep but stupidly enough to apply AS and AS biz first – because they are online app not phone app… figured i’d go through lengthy phone app later with Merrill lynch. So, a deadly shotdown. recon once, recon twice, recon three times, “sorry you have opened too may account within last few years”. They didn’t say 2/3/4 rules, but always started a firm “no”. And a few days ago this rule surfaced… sigh.

  29. Bill says:

    1/2016 Alaska personal approved
    1/2016 Virgin personal approved
    10/2016 Alaska personal approved
    10/2016 Alaska biz approved
    5/2017 Alaska personal approved
    5/2017 Merrill+ denied (would have been 5th personal in 24)

  30. Nancy says:

    My card timeline below. I have been a BoA customer for years, already have an existing BoA Cash Rewards since 2014; minimal deposits in their checking accounts. My experience supports the 3/12 rule.

    Alaska Personal – 1/16/16 – Approved
    Alaska Business – 1/31/17 – Approved
    Better Balance Rewards – 1/31/17 – Approved
    Alaska Personal – 8/30/17 – Approved
    Alaska Business – 8/30/17 – Pending then denied, called recon, approved, then denied by mail AGAIN (for sufficient credit extended to me)

  31. Yevdokiya says:

    I applied and was approved for 3 BofA cards in the last 12 months, BofA Travel Rewards (10/16) and 2 Merrill+ (1/17 and 4/17). I went for another Merrill+ a couple weeks ago and was denied, told sufficient credit extended upon calling reconsideration.

  32. Bellevuemike says:

    2 pers alaska
    1 Merrill
    1 business Alaska

    Last 14 weeks

  33. prussiablue says:

    I called recon a few times and was cited both the 3/12 and 4/24 rules. I’m at exactly 3/12 and 4/24, and couldn’t get a new card open.

  34. why1818 says:


  35. Mazz says:

    Doc, this isn’t very new. I, along with many others, reported this back as early as June.

  36. Jason says:

    Approved for Alaska personal and Alaska Biz cards

    4/2017: Approved for Alaska personal; applied for Amtrak CC and was declined. Called recon; told “too many CCs in last 2 yrs”

    9/15/2017: Applied for Amtrak CC and was declined. Called recon; told adequate credit extended. Closed both Alaska Personal and Biz accts same day, so that “no credit extended.”

    9/25: called recon again. Told “too many B of A cards open last 12 mos.”
    9/26: called recon again. Told “You have 9 CCs on credit report with balances. That is too many; even though you pay them off every month. Pay down those balances and call again.”

    So, they are inconsistent, but the 3/12 rule seems to be in force.

  37. Jeff G says:

    10/16 Alaska personal (closed 4/17)
    1/17 Alaska business (closed 7/17)

    5/17 Alaska personal
    9/17 Alaska business

  38. Peter says:

    I applied for recon for a Merrill recently (second Merrill) and was told that I had 4 BofA accounts in the last 2 years so automatically wouldn’t be able to get another one (I’m 2/12). They also cited that “I didn’t have enough money with them” which leads me to think that they’re also taking into account the amount of money you have with them, which is further supported by the fact that the Premium Rewards card is targeted and is more useful to people who have more money with them.

  39. Maury says:

    I just applied for the new premium card and was turned down for having applied for too many cards across the board and not just B of A cards.

  40. Eddie Shih says:

    Got denied instantly on BOA New Premium card and applied 2nd AS personal (pending then denied) last week.
    Having 4 personal BOA cards (AS, Merrill, 2 BBR), AS and Merrill were approved earlier this year.
    Having 3 business BOA cards (AS, Cash, travel) were all approved earlier this year.

    BOA Preferred Rewards Gold

  41. Andrew says:

    Applied for and got the Merrill Nov 2017 and closed March 2017.

    Applied for Merrill again circa May 2017 and went through the approved in error

    Closed BOA checking account with $10K

    Applied for Merrill Sept 2017 and was denied. Recon. Approved. Saw account when I logged on. Then a few days later received the approved in error letter.

  42. gary says:

    Definitely not a 3/24 in my case, may be a 3/12 though as I got instant approval on my 4th card opened in 24 months, it was my 3rd in 12 months. my 4th card was opened 18 months ago, I closed that one. Also closed my Merrill that was less than 12 mo, old.

    I still have the Alaska card opened 4 months ago. Also have 3 other older BOA cards 2 cash rewards and 1 travel rewards so currently have 5 open cards when adding the new premium rewards card. (that card arrived on Monday)

  43. Richard says:

    I was instant denied for the new Preferred Rewards card recently. I am 3/12 with BoA and 4 cards overall. First card Cash Rewards several ears ago, and have a BoA account for longer. No preferred status. I opened Travel Rewards in November, and two Merrill cards this year. The Merrill cards were pending->approved without recon.

  44. Mark says:

    I have had 3 in last one year and I haven’t been able to get 4th card whether ML or rewards card. They are simply not budging no matter how much I try. I don’t regret.

  45. scott says:

    If there is a BoA limit, would it still be possible to get 3 Alaska Air cards in one year if you don’t have any other BoA cards?

  46. Jan A says:

    Denied from the Merrill Card. Opened 4 cards within the past year.

  47. JASON says:

    Applied for cash rewards, travel rewards, M+ in Dec. 2016, just applied for Premium Rewards the $95 AF travel card, declined instantly. In NY, had Experian frozen.

  48. Matt says:

    I was denied for a second M+ and the new Preferred Rewards Card this month. I opened 2 MLB cards last august, M+ last november, and an alaska in march. Depending on how precise the look back period is, I’m close to that rule. I’m also preferred rewards with them(the lowest tier). I called recon on both cards and was denied. I have been hammering 5/3 hard lately and they hit me with a hard inquiry 3 times in 3 months on the TRIO card.

    • AL says:

      How are u hammering 5/3 and/or trio? The quarters are capped, right?

      • matt says:

        I started getting targeted mailers a couple months ago. I saved them as they each had a unique code. They were all spend 3k get 35000pts($350). I got the first one in may, bonus hit mid June. The second one i opened at the end of June, and the bonus hit in mid October. At this point I closed the first card and a couple days later applied for a third trio card on 9/6. I hit the spend right away and am waiting to see if I’ll get the bonus a third time. I haven’t gotten anymore mailers so I’m thinking once I opened the first one it triggered something to stop it.

        I also opened a checking account for $300 after the first credit card. That bonus hit in a couple days after meeting the requirements.

  49. Sophia says:

    DP for 3/12. Approved for 3 personal cards over the past 9 months. Applied for another personal card last week and was denied.

    My sister was approved for 2 personal cards over the past 9 months. Applied for another personal card last week and was approved.

  50. TheMonkeyTech says:

    Alaska Personal 11/2016 – Approved
    Alaska Business 11/2016 – Approved
    Cancelled both cards in July 2017
    Alaska Personal 8/2017 – Approved
    Alaska Business 8/2017 – Approved

    This is for both my wife and I. DPs are for two people opening separate cards.

    We are also long time BofA customers (~20 years) with direct deposit in their checking account (joint), and we have an auto loan with them (joint).

  51. MichaelP says:

    Currently have (in the last 12 month)

    Alaska Business Visa
    Virgin Atlantic World Elite
    Merril+ Visa Signature

    Just got instantly approved for

    Premium Reward Visa

  52. marianne says:

    i should have read this first. just got denied for premium card.

    3/12 BOA personal cards

    bankamericard travel card approved 1/2017
    BOA pink ribbon 3/2017
    BOA wildlife 3/2017

    6/24 BOA cards (one biz, one personal from late 2016)

  53. Robert says:

    Have had Merill, AS bis and AS personal this year. Closed both AS last month and applied again for both yesterday. Auto declined for personal and pending for biz

  54. Harris says:

    I got the 3/12 as a reason last week.

    Here’s what happened:

    Applied for the new BofA Premium Rewards card online and got the “application needs further review” response.

    Called recon line later that day and was approved as soon as I spoke to someone. The new account appeared on my online account the next day.

    Got a phone call less than 48 hours after applying. BofA rep told me that my application was approved in error and that I was NOT approved for the card. When I asked for a reason, he said I had already opened 3 (personal) cards with BofA in the past 12 months, so they determined I had sufficient credit with them. I offered to close on in exchange for the new card, but they said that was not an option, so the credit limits are not the issue I guess. I spoke to 2 supervisors and they told me the same thing. I’ll submit a complaint to the CFPB and see what happens.

  55. jason says:

    Was declined on Merrill personal card about 10 days ago via letter. Cited “too many inquiries and amount of credit extended to you by affiliates is adequate.”

    That would have been 4 B of A cards in the last 12 months. I currently have the Better Balance card, Merrill Business, platinum visa for business, and cash rewards for business. So I have 3 business cards with them and 1 personal and turned down on this personal one.

  56. WayUpNorth49 says:

    Travel Rewards – Approved 3/17
    Merrill.+ – Approved 4/17; closed 7/17
    Merrill+ – Approved 6/17; closed 8/17
    Cash Rewards – Approved 7/1/17

    AS – Denied 7/28/17
    Premium – Denied 9/18/17

    Fits both 3/12 and 4/24 if the former rule imposed only late 7/17 (which I’ve heard to be the case somewhere or other). On recon for the Premium was encouraged to consider trying again after 3/18.

    I’m a Platinum Honors person (via Merrill), with both checking and savings accounts with BofA. AS held since 2003. 815 TU (froze experian for the AS and Premium applications).

  57. Chris says:

    I recently spoke with a Senior Credit account rep (I can provide you the name and number as she seemed very well informed and helpful). She explained my Merrill+ and Premium Travel Rewards applications were not approved due to 4 cards issued in the last 24 months (2x Alaska, Travel, Cash Rewards). However, I was told that If I waited another month to resubmit the applications I would have 2 cards issued within the last 24 months and new applications would be approved. Seems to be a hard rule as she was willing to divide up credit lines on my existing cards initially; however, a call back the following day explained the 4/24 criteria.

  58. Gus says:

    Do we know if the timing is to the exact day, or do you have to wait until the 1st of the next month?

  59. Ryan says:

    Any word on inquiries restrictions from BofA?

    The basis for all my recent denials from them was for too many inquiries.

    Does BofA have a rule for, say, 10/24 for inquiries?

  60. Justin says:

    Does this apply to their business cards?

    • Marshall says:

      Seems so in my case. I applied 3 personal and 1 biz in the last 12 months and approved 2 personal and 1 biz. The last personal was immediately rejected. Before these application i only have 1 personal cc which is still open.

  61. Mark says:

    So collectively as a bonus-seeking community, are we engaged in self-destructive behavior? As a tiny subset of the overall credit/banking consumers, are our behaviors helping to institute the most limiting and oppressive of bank policies ?

    Or if civilization as we know it collapsed tomorrow, this community is best fit for survival?

    talk amongst yourselves…

  62. David says:

    Does this imply I can’t open any accounts till April of 2018 considering 4/24 rule?
    Dates of Bofa Accounts opened are as follows :
    2/1/2017 – Still Open
    6/1/2016 – Closed
    4/1/2016 – Still Open
    4/1/2016 – Closed
    4/1/2016 – Closed

  63. Corridor says:

    My wife applied on Thursday for the new Premium card. She had all three agencies frozen when she applied. Today we received the letter telling us to call due to her credit being frozen. I unfroze Equifax for her and had her call. The pulled Equifax as we requested. My wife only had 3 inquires with Equifax in the last two years and one was for a car loan. Her last inquiry was in January for the Merrill Lynch card. She was denied for two many account opened with BOA. She specifically stated the card in January and they recommended to wait 12 months between applications. She currently has 3 open cards with them.

  64. TomT says:

    If such a rule exists, it does not seem to count BofA business cards. In the case of my wife, she definitely was approved for 4 BofA personal cards in the last 12 months, with 2 of them this month.

    Here are my most recent BofA approvals:

    Alaska Airlines Business 12/06/2016
    Amtrak Guest Rewards World 12/06/2016
    Travel Rewards for Business 09/01/2017
    Alaska Airlines 09/01/2017
    Amtrak Guest Rewards World 09/01/2017

    Here are my wife’s:
    Amtrak Guest Rewards World 11/15/2016
    Travel Rewards for Business 02/10/2017
    Cash Rewards for Business 02/10/2017
    Alaska Airlines Business 02/10/2017
    Travel Rewards for Business 09/11/2017
    Alaska Airlines 09/12/2017
    Amtrak Guest Rewards World 09/12/2017

  65. TomT says:

    Going back two years from my most recent BofA approval, I have two more personal cards that were approved, so that is 5 personal approvals and 2 business approvals in 24 months for me:

    Travel Rewards 09/11/2015
    Amtrak Guest Rewards World 09/19/2015
    Alaska Airlines Business 12/06/2016
    Amtrak Guest Rewards World 12/06/2016
    Travel Rewards for Business 09/01/2017
    Alaska Airlines 09/01/2017
    Amtrak Guest Rewards World 09/01/2017

    • Chuck says:

      Hmm, that’s odd. Maybe the last month is rounded up somehow. Otherwise, maybe when you do two cards on the same day the 4/24 isn’t applied for some reason.

  66. usernamechuck says:

    Denied M+ after a couple recons. Wanted to report an interesting datapoint. It felt like they were really trying to approve me, but the sticking point was the number of inquiries. I only have 3 new personal cards in the last 12 months, but I have about 10 accounts from previous 12 months, as well as a bunch of inquiries. They said it was the inquiries which prevented them from approving it. Interestingly, my wife got auto-approved two months ago with about as many inquiries and actually more new cards within the past 12 months.

    Here’s my thesis: there are some strict criteria which include new inquiries and new accounts, which apply whenever a human is actually looking at the file. There are different criteria for auto-approvals which are primarily focused on the number of Bofa cards.

    Oh, one more thing. The CSR (second line, after recon sent me up for further review) indicated that a different, more lenient standard would apply to non-premium cards. She indicated several times that M+ was a premium card. I hate wasting a hard pull, but my calculation is and remains was that M+ was worth it for the 1K in flights, while AS isn’t worth delaying the 5/24 clock.

  67. JASON says:

    Travel Rewards Card – Sept.2016
    Merrill Card – Nov. 2016
    Cash Rewards Card – Dec. 2016

  68. mk_atwood says:

    I have only one BoA card (M+) in the past 24 months, still got denied for premium travel rewards card when I applied on Sept 30 – calling reconsideration didn’t help either.

    At 10/24 = (total 10 cards on the past 24 months but just one of them is BoA).

    Clearly, there is more to the rule than what DoC reports on this page.

    • TG says:

      Yes… they still have normal underwriting standards in addition to the extra rule. It doesn’t mean you’ll be approved just because you’re under 4/24 with BoA.

  69. oldfox says:

    04/16 – MLB cash rewards
    11/16 – MLB cash rewards
    12/16 – MLB cash rewards
    08/17 – Merrill+
    08/17 – Biz Cash Rewards
    08/17 – Biz Travel Rewards

    biz might not count?

  70. HH says:

    Do the “approvals in error” count against Bank of America’s new 2/3/4 or Chase’s 5/24 rule?

    • JASON says:

      Approval in error account is that it’s reflected as closed when it comes to show on credit report. I believe that would still count. Think about this, someone opens up a cash/rewards card, got the bonus then close it and then re-apply for the sign up bonus. So it would make sense that it counts towards BofA’s 2/3/4 and Chase’s 5/24 as well.

      • TG says:

        Accounts approved in error do not show up on your credit report. I’m not sure about your comparison about getting a bonus on a card and closing it because it has nothing to do with approval in error.

        It is actually an interesting question because the cards show as approved in BoA’s application status page but will never show on your CR.

      • HH says:

        Hmm…approval in error is different then the example sited. BofA had approved some cards and then closed them. Most people didn’t even receive a card. Gotta check my report to see if it showed up.

        Thank you

  71. PedroNY says:

    From my experience, most recent business card application on 9/25 was approved with about 18 previous personal/business approvals (from BofA) over previous 2 years. Not sure how long that will last, but it appears to me business card applications are outside of this rule.



  72. What’s the latest on the no more than 4 accounts issue? I have 11 open BofA accounts, would like to restart some apps but not close or lose any of the current.

    • John says:

      The rule only limits the number of new accounts within a certain timeframe, not the total number of accounts you currently have. See the bold text at the top of the post for more details.

    • Chuck says:

      I wonder if that ‘4’ rumor was really the 4/24 thing, and there never was a rule to only have 4 cards. But unsure.

  73. Samwise says:

    So it looks like if you apply for a business card when you’re over, the rule doesn’t apply.
    If I have 2 biz and 2 personal in the last 24 months and I apply for a PERSONAL next, will this rule apply?

  74. Mark says:

    I’m glad me and spouse had 4 cards each in last one year. You got to suck this while it lasts because you never when it is going to end. Now all bankers have become smart. Imagine you didn’t take an advantage? It would all end one day anyway. This is like you use it lose it.

  75. Brian says:

    My wife applied for the Premium Rewards, Alaska personal, and Alaska Business on the same day two weeks ago and was approved for all 3. Haven’t gotten an “Approved in Error” message yet, perhaps showing that business cards don’t count. Will respond on here if that status changes.

  76. beachfan says:

    My wife just got BofAs new premium card. She’s had 5 biz and 3 personal Alaska Visas in the last 24 months (3 biz, 0 personal in the last 12)

  77. Klad says:

    07/24 – First M+
    09/13 – Second M+ (still surviving)

    No other BoA cards in last 24 months. Have Cash Rewards, Checking and Savings.

    Think I am good for Premium Rewards and they will use the same EX pull from 09/13?

    • Klad says:

      Applied for Premium Rewards last night and I was instantly approved for 20K.. they did not use existing EX pull, instead did a new TU pull

  78. xgerman says:

    How do they treat AUs? I am wondering if anybody got denied because being an AU on some card pushed him over the limit?

  79. Son says:

    I applied for Bofa Alaska and Premium card today. I already have 3 cards with Bofa (2 of them are from like 17yrs ago).

    Approved for Alaska. Denied for Premium because they cannot extend anymore credit to me. I said,”what If I move credit or close an account?” After like 20mins on hold with the rep talking to supervisor, came back, and still got denied. They said the “new rule” said you can only have 2 cards within 12months period. I got the Merrill+ in Jan. They said even if I close an account, the new app will automatically denied.

    • Klad says:

      That’s not true.. you might need to try a different rep.. my story
      07/24 – First M+
      09/13 – Second M+
      10/11 – Premium Rewards

      Premium Rewards was instantly approved.. no recon needed

  80. Platinum Honors means zilch over the phone says:

    Got denied for the Premium one as well. Seems they don’t even do a hard pull (which is sole positive). They’ll just deny it if you’re in breach of this (new) 2/3/4 rule. Platinum Honors status with BofA/Merrill and I offered to move some of my fairly large credit limit from my Travel Rewards to the Premium after the credit analyst told me that the denial was based on sufficient credit already extended to me, and then she changed the story saying that I’ve had too many cards issued by BofA. I only have 1 BofA credit card account (the Travel Rewards, previously had Merrill Edge but consolidated that line onto the Travel Rewards after redeeming the sign up bonus of the Merrill).

    Guess I’ll just give it a shot next year. As long as the bleepers don’t muck with my commission free trades, I’ll make do with the Travel Rewards and its 2.625 everywhere for now.

  81. Son says:

    New update on my 2 apps a few days ago. Applied for AS Signature and Premium card. Recon. Got them to approve AS card for 3k CL. Denied for the Premium because they cannot extend anymore credit to me ( I currently have 3 cards, 2 of them are like 15yrs old, and 1 is the Merrill from Jan, total CL is 15k for all 3 currently card). Chase, AMEX, Barclay etc always give me CL of 10k+ per card.

    After a day, I thought about it, and realized that I didn’t get the AS Signature with the bonus, but the cheaper version because the CL has to be 5k or more to get the Signature. I called in and cancel my AS app. The app was approved, but need to be final approved by the fraud department. The first rep said that they can’t cancel the card is issued. I called back, and got another rep, and was able to get the app canceled.

    After canceling, I had the transfer me to the recon. The lady did the recon, and denied me. Talking about the 3 card in 12 months. I told her, I only got 1 card in 12 months, would have been 2 if I didn’t cancel the AS app. She then said,”we cannot extend anymore credit to you, and your app already went through 2 recon”. I asked to talk to someone else. She was hesitant, and transfered me to the supervisor. He was kinda a jerk, but after reviewing it, he said he will put a recommendation for approval, but not guarantee. He also said that I might have to cancel my Merrill card to get it approved. I told him that is the last option (I still have the 50k bonus in the Merrill card). So we’ll see in a few days.

    Side question. Do I lose my 50k Merrill points if I cancel the card?

  82. Jeff says:

    Anyone who’s been denied by the 2/3/4 rule, what’s the reason listed on your denial letter? Trying to figure out if I was 2/3/4 denial (which I don’t think I should be) or some other reason. My letter lists “We could not approve your request because you have recently opened too many accounts”. I’m 12/6 and 19/12 but with BofA my 2 cards were applied for and approved 10/4/2017, then on 10/10/2017 I applied first for the AS Business then for the premium rewards. AS business auto-approved and premium auto-denied with the letter arriving yesterday with the rationale above. Do people think this is a 2/3/4 issue or just too many recent accounts with other banks?

    • Jenny says:

      Jeff, I don’t know if this is the same thing, but I was approved for three cash rewards cards, (150 bonus on 500). On the fourth, they denied it, saying it was a duplicate application

    • Son says:

      In the letter, It like the 3-4 times.

      too many inquiries within 12month
      length of time between new accounts
      time establish not long enough.

  83. TPM says:

    Not directly related to the new 2/3/4 rule, but her’s my Premium Rewards CC situation.

    I got the Merrill+ on 9/15 and was planning on applying for the Premium Rewards card within 30 days to combine the hard pull. So I applied on 10/13 and it was declined. Being it was a Friday night, I could not call recon right away. Called on Monday morning (10/16) and was told that in order to reconsider the app, they need to do a hard pull again “because the TU report they have on file is more than 30 days old”.

    I am now kicking myself for not applying a day earlier than Friday or even on Friday during the business hours 🙁

    Anyone has had luck with getting them to use an older (more than 30 days) credit report for recon?

  84. MrBig says:

    Merrill+ 3/30/17 approved
    Alaska Personal 5/20/17 approved
    Alaska Business 5/20/17 approved
    Premium Rewards 10/18/17 approved

    Looks like 2/3/4 rule excludes business card.

  85. JB says:

    Background: Got first two BoA cards May 2017 (Cash Rewards, Travel Rewards). “Approved in error” for MLB Card in June, declined again for MLB Card and Premium Rewards in September. In all cases BoA said I already had a sufficient number of cards with them; one rep suggested that I’d have a better chance if I waited for 6 months after my last new card to apply for another card.

    Question: In mid-November I’ll pass 6 months on my CR and TR cards. Am I better off calling reconsideration at that time to try and get the older PR app approved, or should I wait until mid-December and submit a fresh app for the PR?

  86. Nicky L. says:

    Was just declined for both Premier Rewards Travel Card and their Alaska Airlines card.. reason cited: too many recent inquiries, they cited 3 inquiries and 3 new accounts (none from BoA) in the past month.

    These were final 2 cards I were looking to add..

    How long should I wait before attempting to apply again?

  87. nuffs says:

    Was just rejected for the Premier Rewards Travel Card. Reason : too many recent accounts.
    800 credit score, 180k salary


    BoA 2/24 (Merrill+ both cards)
    BoA 2/12
    BoA 1/2

    I think this card has MUCH tighter restrictions than the prevailing general thought.

    • Tom says:

      nuffs, Did app go pending first or were you auto denied?

      • Jenny says:

        I applied last week for a cash rewards card in the spouse’s name. It went pending and was approved today. I immediately applied for a second identical card in his name and it was instantly approved. I will go In for a third soon as they gave me three of this same card which I like within a short timespan. They denied the 4th on me. I had 4 BA cards at the time, but cancelled the oldest today. I am going to see if I can get the 4th cash rewards very soon.

    • JB says:

      I agree. I have been trying since June to get a 3rd BoA card, during the summer it was a MLB Card and since September a Premier Rewards. Just yesterday BoA denied my yet again on a recon for Premier Rewards.

      In the meantime I have been able to get two Amex cards, a Capital One Savor, and a US Bank Cash+. I no longer have any clue why BoA has an issue with approving one card for me. (They won’t even discuss moving credit limits around to allow me to get the Premier Rewards.)

      • Jenny says:

        Did any of those non BA cards have a cash bonus?

        • JB says:

          Amex Everyday was 10K points (should be able to get $100 out of it), Cap One $100, US Bank $125. Was a bit surprised since I heard US Bank was tough, but they said Yes while BoA continues to say No No No.

  88. Son says:

    BofA is getting too strict. I used to have a 50k+ CL with them. Lowered it to 10k so that I can increase my chance of instant approval. I got denied for the Alaska and Premium card because they cannot extend anymore credit to me. I have a checking accounting with them, and a CC customer for like 15-20yrs. I applied for AMEX Delta Gold and Hawaiian Airline CC the same day. Got 21k CL and 17k CL.

  89. Francesco says:

    My DP: I was denied for the new Premium Rewards in 10/2017 because I had “a sufficient number of accounts with Bank of America”. At that time, I had a total of 6 CC (4 personal + 2 business). Five of those (3 personal and 2 business were opened in the past 12 months).
    However as of today 11/10 I only have 2 CC opened in the past 12 months (both personal). Therefore I decided to re-apply for the Premium Rewards – and was denied again. Perhaps the 12-month clock resets at the end of the month and not on the exact date?

    • Son says:

      I think you mean 10/2016? I think BofA just denies you, and make up reasons that doesn’t make sense.

      • Francesco says:

        I actually meant 10/2017 – I was denied for that CC last month.

        I opened 3 accounts in late 10/2016 and 2 in 3/2017. Last month I was at 5/12 total, but 3/12 if we count personal accounts only (which I believe is what matters for this rule).

        Today I’m at 2/12 and 3/24 (personal only) OR 2/12 and 5/24 (including business).

    • Jenny says:

      They gave me three cash rewards in 4 or 5 months. I applied last week for a fourth and haven’t heard anything yet

  90. Joe says:

    I opened a Merrill+ card on 9/17 (my only card with BOA)… would I be safe to go ahead and apply for a Premium Rewards and Alaska card at the same time to combine hard pulls? Also, my Merrill+ card has a CL of $18k, would it be advised to reduce that CL before applying for more cards? My credit score is in the low 800’s. Thanks!

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