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 (or even two business cards), you should be able get approved.

Restriction Recap

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

 

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Sam
Sam

Anyway around the 2/3/4 rule? I just applied for 2 Personal cards a week a part with one hard pull and didn’t know if there were any new datapoints on going for a 3 personal card.

Thank you

Chris
Chris

I have active B of A premium rewards cards opened on the dates below. I applied for a Premium Rewards card in February, less than 2 months since the previous. It was denied and the language of the denial sounds like a 2/3/4 violation.

If I apply for the same Premium card again, does the application denied in February count for the 2/3/4 rule? Do I have to wait until March to break the “2 cards in rolling 2 months” cycle?

05/15/20 Premium (closed after 1 year)
08/10/20 Customized Cash
05/05/21 Susan G Komen
01/12/22 Unlimited Cash

Thanks for your time and experience.

Steve B
Steve B

Does this apply to biz cards?

007
007

If one applied & was approved for 2 cards 8/3, when would it be ok to apply for 3rd per this rule?

Troy
Troy

Extra DP – I applied 2x biz same day, both instant approvals. Waited 29 days and instant approval on a personal card. 1 hard pull for all 3 approvals. Pays to have an open business checking with some decent cash parked there I believe.

YetAnotherDan
YetAnotherDan

Same. Biz Cash and AS Biz. 2 of 2 approved.

DJ
DJ

Not sure where to share, but I just confirmed with a BofA rep. Graduate students are limited to 2 open BofA credit accounts. My application for a third card was instantly denied.

Aloha808
Aloha808

Just got 2 BoA biz cards in January (cash, travel). No other cards or accounts with BoA. I was thinking of applying for the Alaska biz card. How long do you think I should wait before applying for it?

Kuso29
Kuso29

Just got denied for the Alaska Biz card due to too many new accounts in last year, no BoA cards at all… are they moving towards a Chase-forward rule?

Damien
Damien

Crap, that would really suck! I was going to apply for another Alaska biz on my next round of apps. What’s the n/24 for you?

LC
LC

any other relationship with BoA prior to application?

Aaron
Aaron

Anyone know if the various College and Alumni Association cards that are issued by Bank of America, but aren’t listed on Bank of America’s own credit card pages count against the 2/3/4 limits. Thanks

William Charles

Yes they do

Hank
Hank

Suspect the 2/3/4 rule also applies to denied applications. I’m 0/24 for approved BOA cards but have 5 denied personal apps from that time frame – still can’t get an approval. No other logical reason (795 FICO, 4/12 and 7/24 from other banks, no approval problems at other banks)