Published on September 24th, 2019 | by Chuck105
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.
- New Bank of America ‘2/3/4 Rule’ for Credit Card Approvals
- Bank of America Adds 24-Month Churning Rule per card (Alaska, Cash Rewards, etc)
- 25 Things Everybody Should Know About Bank of America Credit Cards