[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.
At this point, just about all card issuers have tight rules on card applications and approvals:
- Chase has their 5/24 rule, and they recently limited having multiple Sapphire cards.
- With Barclays it’s always been hard to get many cards, and they’ve now severely limited Arrival+ card approvals.
- Citi limits us to one bonus from within each card family per 24-months.
- Amex for quite some time has their rule about only giving the bonus on each card once.
- BofA in now restricting new cards, as discussed in this post.