Credit card bonuses are an extremely effective way to build points, and can sometimes earn you more than $1000 in free travel. But a question that often comes up is, “can I earn a credit card opening bonus again if I cancel and reapply for the card?”

The answer to this question is, “it depends.” In this video/post, we’re going to review the policies of the major credit card issuers. Keep in mind that this information is current as of August 2017, but may change in the future as the issuers update their policies.

For simplicity sake, we are going to look at the top three flexible point program issuers:

  • Chase
  • American Express
  • Citi

Chase

Chase has some of the most valuable and sought-after credit card bonuses. This is especially true with their past promotions on the Sapphire Reserve and their current opening bonus on the Ink Business Preferred. Chase’s general rule on bonuses is that you can earn a bonus on the same card every 24 months. The clock starts after you receive your bonus and not when you opened your account.

While this sounds great, keep in mind that Chase has strict approval guidelines such as “5/24” and “2/30”. Basically, they deny applicants who have applied for more than five new credit card accounts with any bank within 24 months. Also, Chase will not approve more than two Chase cards every 30 days. There are some exceptions, but these are the unofficial rules that will likely govern your decisionmaking.

American Express

American Express is also a popular issuer of credit cards. Their Platinum Card and Starwood Preferred Guest card is a staple in many point collectors’ wallets. American Express is generally strict with their sign-up bonuses and only allows you to earn them once per lifetime. From what I’ve read, you can still get a bonus if you receive a targeted offer. Also, if you canceled an account more than seven years ago, it’s no longer recorded in their system. If you do apply via a targeted offer, I would check the terms and conditions. You’ll want to see if the following language was removed:

“Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.”

As long as it’s no there, you should receive your bonus.

Citi

Citi’s rule is a bit complex. You are only eligible to earn a sign-up bonus if you haven’t opened or closed a card of the same type within the last 24 months. This means that if you have an American Airlines credit card with Citi, and you end up closing the account, you won’t be able to earn the opening bonus again on any Citi American Airlines card for 24 months from the closing date of your card.

Other bonus options

One thing to keep in mind is that you can often get great sign-up bonuses through the business versions of these cards. Many people underestimate their ability to get business cards, so make sure to check out our video/post on the topic.

What are your experiences with the getting a sign-up bonus again? Please share your experiences below in the comment section.

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