Posted by Chuck on September 24, 2019
Credit Cards

Published on September 24th, 2019 | by Chuck

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Report: Bank of America ‘7/12 Rule’ & ‘3/12 Rule’ for New Cards

A new report indicates that Bank of America will only approve new credit card applicants who have less than 7 new cards opened in the past 12 months, or less than just 3 new cards open in the past 12 months for someone who does not have a deposit account with the bank.

For the past year+, we’ve been hearing numerous reports of Bank of America declining credit card applications for lack of a banking relationship. The indication has been that it’s easier to get credit card approvals if you have a deposit account with them, such as a checking, savings, or CD account, or if you have an investment account with Merrill Edge.

It’s never been clear what the exact criteria are. Only thing we know for certain is the 2/3/4 rule. That rule references the limits of how many Bank of America cards you can get  over a given timeframe: 2 cards in any 2-month span, 3 cards in a 12-month span, and 4 cards in a 24-month span. No clear guidance has been known on the number of overall cards – from all banks – were tolerated by Bank of America.

According to someone in the know, it looks like the tolerated number is as follows:

  • Those who have a deposit account with Bank of America: 6 new cards in the last twelve months is tolerated. If you have 7 new cards in the past 12 months, your application will be denied.
  • For everyone else: 2 new cards in the last twelve months is tolerated. If you have 3 new cards in the past 12 months, your application will be denied.
  • If you have $250k+ with Bank of America, you may be able to bypass the 7/12 rule. (source)

This rule is similar to Chase’s 5/24 rule which tracks your number of overall new cards across all banks. Obviously, for those with a Bank of America deposit account, the limit of 7/12 is much easier to deal with than the 5/24 limit that Chase imposes on everyone.

The 7/12 and 3/12 rule might not be a strict rule as with Chase. It’s possible that certain factors can override it or that it can be manually overridden. (Here’s a report of someone who got approved at 9/12 with no relationship. Apparently, it’s not a hard rule.)

Two other points:

  • From what I’m reading, it sounds like the same 7/12 and 3/12 rule applies for business cards as well, though you’ll need a business deposit account to get the 7/12 leeway; your consumer account won’t help you for a business card application and vice versa. Counter data points (1, 2, 3) suggests that business cards do not fall under this rule at all, meaning that you can be approved for a business BofA card even if you have more than 7 new accounts showing on your credit report.
  • Any amount of money with the bank gets you bumped up to the 7/12 level, no minimum required. (source)

In any case, I don’t recall ever seeing a hard number for Bank of America, so I thought it was interesting to see clear numbers like this put out there. If these numbers are accurate, it’s important to calculate both your overall new accounts total and your Bank of America new accounts total before applying for a new Bank of America card. Before applying, make sure you are not in violation of the 7/12 or 3/12 rule for overall new cards, as well as the 2/3/4 rule for new Bank of America cards. Also remember, Bank of America generally limits you to getting the bonus on a single card once every 24 months – full details here.

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Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Typo in the first paragraph. You said the opposite should be less than 7 cards not more than.

SideShowBob233
SideShowBob233

If only it were more than 7….

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Haha, I agree

HP
HP

Lemme go get 6 more, so I don’t run into any issues when I apply for new BofA CCs 🙂

SideShowBob233
SideShowBob233

On the serious side, I’m at 13/12 and was planning to try again for an Alaska personal next week — guess I won’t be doing that. Curious if it’s fixed or more variable like 6/24 is for Barclay’s.

Celia
Celia

Chuck A new report indicates that Bank of America will only approve new credit card applicants who have more than 7 new cards opened in the past 12 months…

Do you mean not approve?

Bobby Smith
Bobby Smith

P2 and p3 are at 4/12. $100k+ in bofa joint personal checking account. They both got approved for Alaska biz with a pretty high CL. Based on this, it looks like having a personal checking/savings can help with business apps? You may not necessarily need a business checking account with bofa to be able to skirt 3/12.

MoreSun
MoreSun

AS Biz is known to be an easier card to get

Max B
Max B

First sentence. Will approve?

Jonathan S
Jonathan S

“A new report indicates that Bank of America will only approve new credit card applicants who have more than 7 new cards opened in the past 12 months, or just 3 new cards open in the past 12 months for someone who does not have a deposit account with the bank.”

I’m not 100% sure exactly what these thresholds mean, but I think the “only” in this sentence should be corrected to “not.”

Kent
Kent

And more than 7 in that sentence should be either “7 or more” or “more than 6.” Same for 3 in the same sentence

K-Man

I applied for BOA Cash and it was showing up in pre-approval. Applied and denied. Called recon said to wait for letter. I only have one card I opened with them the last 8-9 months

Jessica
Jessica

its having 7+ of any card in last 12 months. btw the pre approval is sent by marketing team that doesnt communicate with underwriting team. its ridiculous and i already filed CFPB on this. Id recommend you do the same

K-Man

Stupid ass marketing team, why tease and do a hard pull. Chase do not show me any recommendation and I don’t apply. Simple

MoreSun
MoreSun

But how many credit cards that show on your personal report have been opened across all issuers?

Mike
Mike

Looks like Citi and their AA cards will keep me away from BoA for the foreseeable future.

bill 8
bill 8

So what’s the minimum balance needed to avoid fees in either a BofA checking or savings account?

Gadget 🕵️

Savings is min bal of $300. Not sure on checking.

J2
J2

1500

YAR
YAR

Or DD of min 250. ACH works for DD. This is for checking

SideShowBob233
SideShowBob233

You can also use the debit card from the BoA account to load serve/BB and then transfer back to BoA to meet the direct deposit amounts which will keep it fee free.

Steve

Another way to avoid fees in BofA checking/savings accounts is to be in Preferred Rewards, which you can qualify for with a certain balance in Merrill Edge brokerage, regardless of your balance in the checking/savings accounts.

Sam
Sam

I am well well above 7/12. have both personal and business checking accounts. have had no problem being approved for business (cash rewards business and alaska; the cash rewards was approved before i had the business checking and the alaska was approved after). but all personal apps have been denied. from my experience business is definitely not under this rule

abraham f
abraham f

It would be good news if they are separated. I will test personal around the end of next month. My last successful personal was May 4, 2017…

Ferris
Ferris

The days of lol/24 are slowly coming to an end. For most, it still may be beneficial, but by 2021 going lol/24 will be less beneficial than strategically making CC apps.

DCJoe
DCJoe

Not until the (e)mailer train runs out. Then yeah, back to the salt mines of spreading out apps to not trigger X/24 or X/12 rules.

Too Nashty
Too Nashty

Couldn’t disagree more. BoA was never a honeypot (banking 25k Alaska miles even if multiple apps / day wasn’t that big of a bang for your buck for all the new acct’s you had to show on your credit report) and as long as you have 1 UR card with Chase and the Hyatt card they can be dead to me too. United miles can be replicated much more easily w/ ANA or Aeroplan. There are still two very big players literally throwing miles at you still.

Ben
Ben

Who’re the players throwing the miles?

t

would love to understand better what you mean by the ANA/ Aeroplan play

Too Nashty
Too Nashty

United charges an astronomical amount of miles for the same awards you can get on ANA (50% of the price) or Aeroplan (75% of the price). So why does everyone chase Chase points? UR’s suck IMO.

Electroman

Not to get United miles.

Too Nashty
Too Nashty

What other use are UR’s that you can’t get with any other currency? Hyatt ? Give me a break only jokers would swap URs for hotel stays.

John S
John S

Wrong. Hyatt is one of the best uses of UR and I would suggest you look into United.

The Value Traveler
The Value Traveler

You can xfer UR to partners and who knows, ANA might be added or something..

Avi
Avi

Literally?

The Value Traveler
The Value Traveler

sad..but true.

Jessica
Jessica

id say quickly coming to end actually. BoA, barclays, Chase, even harder to get approved for Wells Fargo now.. Only ones i am seeing still easy mode is Citi & Amex.

Crazy Dog Lady
Crazy Dog Lady

Agreed, I am already in strategic planning mode at 1/12 and will be 6/24 by the end of 2019. Will wait a few months and see what Barclays is offering, not even trying for Chase again.

Mike
Mike

Just my counter DP, I’m currently 9/12, 17/24, and I applied BoA Platinum Rewards 2 weeks ago. It was pending at first, but it got approved after 5 days of review.

Mike
Mike

And I don’t have any banking relationship with BoA (no checking/saving). I just have travel rewards CC (2 yr) with them.

Jessica
Jessica

you got extremely lucky. grats!

Amex Fangirl
Amex Fangirl

Are all 9 accounts in the past 12 months personal card?

Mike
Mike

Yes.

SideShowBob233
SideShowBob233

How many of the 9 were in the last 6 months?

Mike
Mike

Citi Premier in Apr, Cap1 Venture in July, Apple card lol (idk whether it counts since I haven’t seen it in credit report yet), and Amex Hilton & BCP in Aug (haven’t updated to credit report yet). So maybe 2.

Steve

That same person gave more info a month ago:
https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/cj984d/question_thread_july_29_2019/evd33i0/

I think it should be called 6/12, not 7/12. And he said having $250K+ assets at BofA may let them override that rule.

Newbie
Newbie

I opened Premier card last year and have been using a lot for 3.5% and 2.65% returns. But just discovered the power of BOA cash card( which was opened just for overdraft protection for the 10 + years with zero purchase), am using it now for online for 5%, grocery and costco for 3.5%. Theses returns possible with 100k ML account.
I got approved for Alaska but the earn rate is horrible. Rest of their credit cards are not great.

Which BOA card is worth applying apart from Premier, cash and Alaska?

Electroman

Merrill+ maybe. I got one and got the value I expected for it, but that was a few years ago.

Gerald
Gerald

I don’t think they issue Merrill+ any more.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

Biz Cash Rewards card. 3% on easily attainable purchases. $50k annual limit per card. Having multiples doesn’t seem to be a problem.

churnchurnchurning
churnchurnchurning

Damn it! I was going to apply for a BoA Biz card tomorrow…

Zachek
Zachek

I guess it’s time to add a couple new “clocks” to my spreadsheet.

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