Credit card welcome bonuses are the best option to earn rewards rapidly. You may be keen to use for as many new playing cards as you’ll be able to, as quick as potential, however that may not be the very best concept.
If you are taking that strategy, you’ll probably run into resistance earlier than you already know it. Banks could determine to not award you a welcome bonus should you’ve already obtained one not too long ago, even when they approve your software.
Each financial institution has its personal insurance policies in place. Some guidelines are extra strict, and a few are extra strictly enforced. Many are specified by the bank cards’ phrases and situations, whereas others are patterns we’ve recognized.
Here are some guidelines it is best to comply with to keep away from being deemed ineligible for welcome bonuses.
TD: 12-Month Rule
Let’s start with TD, with one of many extra complicated and easily-misunderstood guidelines.
TD doesn’t have any agency guidelines round credit score approval, however their phrases and situations do “reserve the right to limit the number of accounts opened by one person, and the number of [points] awarded to any one person”.
Basically, TD outright tells you that they may be draconian for any arbitrary purpose. In follow, although, their bank cards clearly state the rewards it is best to anticipate to obtain. I’ve by no means seen them be much less beneficiant than these specified limits.
Here’s the wording of the tremendous print on the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card:
If you could have opened an Account within the final 12 months, you’ll not be eligible for this supply.
On the floor, this nonetheless appears fairly restrictive. It appears like you’ll be able to solely get one welcome bonus from TD each 12 months.
Up to 50,000 Aeroplan factors
First Year Free
However, discover that “Account” is capitalized as a correct noun. Elsewhere in the exact same phrases and situations, the “Account” is outlined because the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card.
This signifies that should you’ve opened this specific product, the Aeroplan Visa Infinite, within the final 12 months, you’re not eligible for the welcome bonus. But it’s not an issue should you’ve opened a totally different bank card product, equivalent to a unique Aeroplan card or a card that earns one other kind of rewards.
Therefore, you might conceivably earn a welcome bonus on each TD product inside 12 months, so long as they preserve approving you for extra credit score.
Complicating issues, the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card follows a six-month rule as an alternative:
This supply shouldn’t be out there prospects who’ve activated and/or closed a TD First Class Travel® Visa Infinite* Account within the final 6 months.
Frustratingly, the First Class Travel card considers the date you final closed the cardboard as the beginning of the cool-down interval. Luckily, the Aeroplan playing cards use the date you final opened the cardboard, so you’ll be able to proceed to benefit from the card’s advantages till it’s time to reapply.
Ultimately, one product received’t have an effect on one other, so it’s only a matter of retaining the delicate variations straight between them.
RBC: 1/90 Rule
On the opposite hand, RBC’s rule shouldn’t be formally said, but it surely’s quite simple.
RBC will solely approve one bank card software each 90 days. You’ll be robotically rejected should you strive any sooner, and that is virtually at all times very firmly enforced.
55,000 RBC Rewards factors
Some individuals have had restricted success by calling to push the second software by way of. If you do this, I’d counsel making use of for 2 playing cards that earn totally different rewards, like one Avion card and one WestJet card, so you can also make a compelling case in the event that they ask you why you need each.
It’s potential that RBC makes use of a unique approval course of for on-line, cellphone, and in-person functions. Furthermore, their enterprise lending staff operates independently from their shopper credit score division.
However, I’ve by no means felt compelled to push the boundaries right here. The on-line software is fast and painless, and also you’ll probably be permitted so long as your credit score profile is in good order.
Besides, making use of by way of totally different strategies would set off a number of credit score inquiries, defeating one of many main advantages of blitzing the identical monetary establishment for a number of new playing cards in a brief span of time. Fortunately, this rule is just for new credit score functions, and it doesn’t govern rewards in any respect.
You would have the ability to apply for a brand new RBC card and product change a second pre-existing RBC card inside the identical 90-day interval, and also you’d obtain the suitable bonuses on each, as a result of product switches are usually not credit-seeking occasions.
Other Big 5 Banks
CIBC, Scotiabank, and BMO don’t have any agency guidelines round bank card functions.
45,000 Scene+ factors
First Year Free
Scotiabank’s phrases and situations say that you just’re not eligible for a welcome bonus should you’ve had any Scotiabank retail bank card up to now two years.
In follow, I’ve discovered this to be partially enforced: you’ll get the factors, however you may not get an annual charge waiver – and since you’re not entitled to at least one as a repeat cardholder, you don’t have a lot floor to face on should you escalate to a human to type out your incomplete welcome bonus.
CIBC additionally doesn’t have an official exclusion interval. In truth, should you’re permitted for a excessive credit score restrict, you’ll be able to usually open a number of new playing cards with the identical credit score inquiry.
This bodes effectively for anybody trying to benefit from the not too long ago elevated presents on the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card and CIBC Aventura Gold Visa Card.
Overall, I’d say that CIBC is extra choosy about credit score approval than they’re about factors being awarded.
While BMO doesn’t have playing cards that encourage an aggressive strategy, I do know some Air Miles collectors who’re in search of one final hurrah as this system spirals downward. Again, the phrases are partially enforced right here:
BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard functions should be obtained between May 1, 2020 and July 31, 2023 (the “Offer Period”) to be eligible for the AIR MILES Bonus Miles and Annual Fee Refund presents … Bonus Offers are restricted to new accounts. Existing BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard prospects who cancel their card in the course of the Offer Period, and current BMO Mastercard prospects who switch into this product in the course of the Offer Period are usually not eligible for the Offers.
BMO is well-known for not awarding bonuses on product switches. However, BMO has prolonged the “Offer Period” numerous instances, and I do know many individuals who’ve cancelled and reapplied since this supply started and are nonetheless receiving bonus miles.
American Express: Once-in-a-Lifetime Rule
In their phrases and situations for nearly each product, Amex clearly states that they received’t award repeat welcome bonuses:
These presents are solely out there to new Platinum Card® Cardmembers (‘Cardmembers’). For present or former Platinum® Cardmembers, we could approve your software, however you’ll not be eligible for these presents. If you obtain factors in error, we reserve the fitting to deduct them out of your factors steadiness.
For a few years after this clause was launched, it wasn’t enforced, however extra not too long ago Amex has been cracking down on repeat welcome bonuses. Indeed, many cardholders who had utilized for and obtained repeat welcome bonuses have seen their relationships with Amex flip bitter.
Thankfully, the once-in-a-lifetime rule applies individually for every product. You’ll obtain the welcome bonus should you’re permitted for a brand new Amex product that you just’ve by no means had earlier than, even should you presently or beforehand had many different playing cards and welcome bonuses.
You may even apply for these as quick as you need, with one notable exception…
American Express Business Cards: 90-Day Rule
You’ll be robotically rejected should you apply for the Business Platinum and Business Gold playing cards, Amex’s two MR-earning enterprise cost playing cards, inside 90 days.
90,000 MR factors
In some respects, Amex treats these two playing cards as variants of the identical product on the back-end. Somewhere within the system, your second software can be flagged as a reproduction.
I’d say this isn’t an enormous inconvenience, although. It doesn’t have an effect on every other Amex playing cards, so you might do, say, a Business Platinum along with actually anything aside from a Business Gold.
The enchantment of the Business Gold has dipped with the lack of the popular suppliers program, whereas the lower-fee Business Edge has remained aggressive ever since switching to MR factors from MR Select factors. Even should you’re blowing by way of the Amex Flowchart at mild pace, there are greater than sufficient different private and enterprise Amex playing cards to maintain you busy till you will get the Business Gold.
MBNA: 5/6 Rule
This is maybe Canada’s most well-known bank card software rule. We’ve written a full put up on the 5/6 Rule, so I’ll briefly recap right here.
This rule is a bit totally different, in that it has nothing to do with new accounts or functions at MBNA. Instead, MBNA will reject your software based mostly on credit-seeking behaviour with different establishments.
Basically, if in case you have 5 or extra TransUnion inquiries up to now six months, together with the inquiry they do for the cardboard you’re presently making use of for, MBNA will reject your software.
There is a means round this, nevertheless. If you’re an current MBNA cardholder, you’ll be able to push the applying ahead by splitting credit score from one other card. Once you achieve this, you’ll be able to anticipate to obtain the welcome bonus. Like many different issuers, MBNA is extra involved about credit score threat than they’re about repeat rewards.
Note that in contrast to its namesake, the Chase 5/24 Rule within the US, this rule refers to credit score inquiries up to now six months, fairly than new bank cards opened efficiently. Therefore, a failed software could be a knock in opposition to you in MBNA’s eyes – all of the extra purpose to comply with these guidelines with different banks to make sure the best probability of success.
Of course, the discontinuation of the co-branded Alaska Airlines bank cards signifies that MBNA is probably going see fewer functions than it did in previous years.
HSBC: 12-Month Rule
HSBC is without doubt one of the extra strict banks with respect to repeat bonuses, they usually have a fame for imposing this coverage to the letter of the regulation:
Offers solely apply to permitted HSBC World Elite Mastercard accounts for functions obtained between November 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023. Only one new account per buyer is eligible for these Offers. The following candidates are usually not eligible for any of the Offers: Applicants who’ve held an HSBC World Elite Mastercard, HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard or HSBC Jade World Elite Mastercard account within the 12 months earlier than submitting the applying
This is the worst of each worlds in comparison with TD’s numerous limitations. There’s a protracted 12-month ready interval, however the clock doesn’t begin ticking till you’ve closed the outdated card.
Up to 80,000 HSBC Rewards factors
First Year Free
With a versatile rewards foreign money and a 100,000-point welcome bonus coming round about yearly, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard is one you may need to apply for repeatedly.
However, the problem with HSBC is that the cycle takes a very long time. You have to attend at the very least six months after getting the cardboard to obtain many of the welcome bonus factors (even should you meet the spending thresholds sooner), so you’ll be able to’t cancel or downgrade the cardboard rapidly. Then, there’s the 12-month wait to reapply. Finally, think about that the method of getting an HSBC bank card will be lower than easy, typically with a number of department visits, and also you may be questioning should you ought to trouble reapplying in any respect.
Instead, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard presents a robust case for being a long-term keeper. Against a web $49 annual charge after utilizing the annual journey enhancement credit score, it’s uncommon to see a card with its distinctive mix of advantages: no international transaction charges, robust rewards on all purchases with industry-leading charges on journey, and worldwide Mastercard acceptance with the comfort of being issued by a Canadian financial institution.
Besides, with the present welcome bonus, among the factors received’t even be delivered till the second 12 months. Now could be a good time to use, particularly should you’re eager about including and retaining the cardboard for years to return.
Aeroplan Limits Welcome Bonuses
While Aeroplan isn’t a financial institution, the loyalty program companions with banks to supply co-branded bank cards. Aeroplan has not too long ago up to date its normal phrases and situations, and a part of the replace positioned clear language on limiting repeat welcome bonuses.
Aeroplan could, in its sole discretion, select to restrict the variety of Welcome Bonuses or related bonuses or incentives a Member could obtain in any interval, and, along with the opposite treatments set forth in these Terms and Conditions, reserves the fitting to droop, revoke or terminate the Account of any one that engages in a behaviour of extreme use of the Welcome Bonus presents. Such behaviours embody however are usually not restricted to: (i) making use of for a number of Aeroplan Credit Cards throughout a number of product varieties or throughout a number of monetary establishments that subject an Aeroplan Credit Card; (ii) a sample of cancelling, or disengaging in, an Aeroplan Credit Card shortly after receiving a Welcome Bonus or related bonus or incentive; and (iii) a sample of buying after which cancelling or returning any services or products for which Aeroplan Points have been issued.
While it’s often as much as banks to restrict the variety of instances a cardholder can obtain a welcome bonus, Aeroplan has clearly said that it may well and can take sweeping measures in opposition to anybody who seems to be abusing its personal phrases and situations.
This signifies that Aeroplan has recognized that they don’t need members to open a number of playing cards on the identical tier from totally different banks, or a number of playing cards at totally different tiers from the identical financial institution, at the very least in fast succession. If this was a part of your recreation plan, it might be greatest to undertake a longer-term technique and discover methods to maximise your earn together with your playing cards to keep away from any disciplinary motion from Aeroplan.
Each financial institution makes use of a barely totally different coverage to restrict how continuously you’ll be able to earn welcome bonuses on new bank cards. This listing is much from complete, however by observing what the banks inform us with their phrases and actions, we are able to develop our personal technique as customers to keep away from making any missteps as we search to maximise our rewards.
Sometimes the phrases and situations will explicitly say should you’re entitled to a different bonus. Alternatively, some banks use their algorithms for detecting dangerous credit-seeking behaviour to de facto throttle your rewards by merely rejecting you for brand new bank cards.
Either means, I encourage you to go as quick as you’ll be able to with out overclocking your credit score engine in your option to supercharging your journey rewards.