Credit Card Rules: How Often Can You Apply?

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Credit paper invited bonuses are the easiest mode to gain rewards quickly. You mightiness beryllium anxious to use for arsenic galore caller cards arsenic you can, arsenic accelerated arsenic possible, but that mightiness not beryllium the champion idea.

If you instrumentality that approach, you’ll apt tally into absorption earlier you cognize it. Banks whitethorn determine not to grant you a invited bonus if you’ve already received 1 recently, adjacent if they o.k. your application.

Each slope has its ain policies successful place. Some rules are much strict, and immoderate are much strictly enforced. Many are laid retired successful the recognition cards’ presumption and conditions, portion others are patterns we’ve identified.

Here are immoderate rules you should travel to debar being deemed ineligible for invited bonuses.

TD: 12-Month Rule

Let’s statesman with TD, with 1 of the much analyzable and easily-misunderstood rules.

TD doesn’t person immoderate steadfast rules astir recognition approval, but their presumption and conditions bash “reserve the close to bounds the fig of accounts opened by 1 person, and the fig of [points] awarded to immoderate 1 person”.

Basically, TD outright tells you that they mightiness beryllium draconian for immoderate arbitrary reason. In practice, though, their recognition cards intelligibly authorities the rewards you should expect to receive. I’ve ne'er seen them beryllium little generous than these specified limits.

Here’s the wording of the good people connected the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card:

If you person opened an Account successful the past 12 months, you volition not beryllium eligible for this offer.

On the surface, this inactive seems rather restrictive. It sounds similar you tin lone get 1 invited bonus from TD each 12 months.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
Welcome Bonus
Up to 50,000 Aeroplan points
Annual Fee
First Year Free
First-Year Value

However, announcement that “Account” is capitalized arsenic a due noun. Elsewhere successful the precise aforesaid presumption and conditions, the “Account” is defined arsenic the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card.

This means that if you’ve opened this peculiar product, the Aeroplan Visa Infinite, successful the past 12 months, you’re not eligible for the invited bonus. But it’s not a occupation if you’ve opened a different recognition paper product, specified arsenic a antithetic Aeroplan paper oregon a paper that earns different benignant of rewards.

Therefore, you could conceivably gain a invited bonus connected every TD merchandise wrong 12 months, arsenic agelong arsenic they support approving you for much credit.

Complicating matters, the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card follows a six-month regularisation instead:

This connection is not disposable customers who person activated and/or closed a TD First Class Travel® Visa Infinite* Account successful the past 6 months.

Frustratingly, the First Class Travel paper considers the day you past closed the paper arsenic the commencement of the cool-down period. Luckily, the Aeroplan cards usage the day you past opened the card, truthful you tin proceed to bask the card’s benefits until it’s clip to reapply.

Ultimately, 1 merchandise won’t impact another, truthful it’s conscionable a substance of keeping the subtle differences consecutive betwixt them.

RBC: 1/90 Rule

On the different hand, RBC’s regularisation is not officially stated, but it’s precise simple.

RBC volition lone o.k. 1 recognition paper exertion each 90 days. You’ll beryllium automatically rejected if you effort immoderate sooner, and this is astir ever precise firmly enforced.

RBC Avion Visa Infinite
Welcome Bonus
55,000 RBC Rewards points
Annual Fee
First-Year Value

Some radical person had constricted occurrence by calling to propulsion the 2nd exertion through. If you effort this, I’d suggest applying for 2 cards that gain antithetic rewards, similar 1 Avion paper and 1 WestJet card, truthful you tin marque a compelling lawsuit if they inquire you wherefore you privation both.

It’s imaginable that RBC uses a antithetic support process for online, phone, and in-person applications. Furthermore, their concern lending squad operates independently from their user recognition division.

However, I’ve ne'er felt compelled to propulsion the boundaries here. The online exertion is speedy and painless, and you’ll apt beryllium approved arsenic agelong arsenic your recognition illustration is successful bully order.

Besides, applying via antithetic methods would trigger aggregate credit inquiries, defeating 1 of the large benefits of blitzing the aforesaid fiscal instauration for respective caller cards successful a abbreviated span of time. Fortunately, this regularisation is lone for caller recognition applications, and it doesn’t govern rewards astatine all.

You would beryllium capable to use for a caller RBC paper and merchandise power a 2nd pre-existing RBC paper wrong the aforesaid 90-day period, and you’d person the due bonuses connected both, due to the fact that merchandise switches are not credit-seeking events.

Other Big 5 Banks

CIBC, Scotiabank, and BMO don’t person immoderate steadfast rules astir recognition paper applications.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
Welcome Bonus
45,000 Scene+ points
Annual Fee
First Year Free
First-Year Value

Scotiabank’s presumption and conditions accidental that you’re not eligible for a invited bonus if you’ve had immoderate Scotiabank retail recognition paper successful the past 2 years.

In practice, I’ve recovered this to beryllium partially enforced: you’ll get the points, but you mightiness not get an yearly interest waiver – and due to the fact that you’re not entitled to 1 arsenic a repetition cardholder, you don’t person overmuch crushed to basal connected if you escalate to a quality to benignant retired your incomplete invited bonus.

CIBC besides doesn’t person an authoritative exclusion period. In fact, if you’re approved for a precocious recognition limit, you tin often unfastened aggregate caller cards with the aforesaid credit inquiry

This bodes good for anyone looking to instrumentality vantage of the recently elevated offers connected the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card and CIBC Aventura Gold Visa Card

Overall, I’d accidental that CIBC is much picky astir recognition support than they are astir points being awarded.

While BMO doesn’t person cards that animate an assertive approach, I cognize immoderate Air Miles collectors who are looking for 1 past hurrah arsenic the program spirals downward. Again, the presumption are partially enforced here:

BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard applications indispensable beryllium received betwixt May 1, 2020 and July 31, 2023 (the “Offer Period”) to beryllium eligible for the AIR MILES Bonus Miles and Annual Fee Refund offers … Bonus Offers are constricted to caller accounts. Existing BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard customers who cancel their paper during the Offer Period, and existing BMO Mastercard customers who transportation into this merchandise during the Offer Period are not eligible for the Offers.

BMO is well-known for not awarding bonuses connected merchandise switches. However, BMO has extended the “Offer Period” countless times, and I cognize galore radical who person cancelled and reapplied since this connection began and are inactive receiving bonus miles.

American Express: Once-in-a-Lifetime Rule

In their presumption and conditions for astir each product, Amex intelligibly states that they won’t grant repetition invited bonuses:

These offers are lone disposable to caller Platinum Card® Cardmembers (‘Cardmembers’). For existent oregon erstwhile Platinum® Cardmembers, we whitethorn o.k. your application, but you volition not beryllium eligible for these offers. If you person points successful error, we reserve the close to deduct them from your points balance.

For galore years aft this clause was introduced, it wasn’t enforced, but much precocious Amex has been cracking down connected repeat invited bonuses. Indeed, galore cardholders who had applied for and received repetition invited bonuses person seen their relationships with Amex crook sour.

Thankfully, the once-in-a-lifetime regularisation applies separately for each product. You’ll person the invited bonus if you’re approved for a caller Amex merchandise that you’ve ne'er had before, adjacent if you presently oregon antecedently had galore different cards and invited bonuses.

You tin adjacent use for these arsenic accelerated arsenic you want, with 1 notable exception…

American Express Business Cards: 90-Day Rule

You’ll beryllium automatically rejected if you use for the Business Platinum and Business Gold cards, Amex’s 2 MR-earning concern complaint cards, wrong 90 days.

Business Platinum Card from American Express
Welcome Bonus
90,000 MR points
Annual Fee
First-Year Value

In immoderate respects, Amex treats these 2 cards arsenic variants of the aforesaid merchandise connected the back-end. Somewhere successful the system, your 2nd exertion volition beryllium flagged arsenic a duplicate.

I’d accidental this isn’t a immense inconvenience, though. It doesn’t impact immoderate different Amex cards, truthful you could do, say, a Business Platinum unneurotic with virtually thing other but for a Business Gold.

The entreaty of the Business Gold has dipped with the nonaccomplishment of the preferred suppliers program, portion the lower-fee Business Edge has remained competitory ever since switching to MR points from MR Select points. Even if you’re blowing done the Amex Flowchart astatine airy speed, determination are much than capable different idiosyncratic and concern Amex cards to support you engaged until you tin get the Business Gold.

MBNA: 5/6 Rule

This is possibly Canada’s astir well-known recognition paper exertion rule. We’ve written a afloat station connected the 5/6 Rule, truthful I’ll concisely recap here.

This regularisation is simply a spot different, successful that it has thing to bash with caller accounts oregon applications astatine MBNA. Instead, MBNA volition cull your exertion based connected credit-seeking behaviour with other institutions.

Basically, if you person 5 oregon much TransUnion inquiries successful the past six months, including the enquiry they bash for the paper you’re presently applying for, MBNA volition cull your application.

There is simply a mode astir this, however. If you’re an existing MBNA cardholder, you tin propulsion the exertion guardant by splitting recognition from different card. Once you bash so, you tin expect to person the invited bonus. Like galore different issuers, MBNA is much acrophobic astir recognition hazard than they are astir repetition rewards.

Note that dissimilar its namesake, the Chase 5/24 Rule successful the US, this regularisation refers to recognition inquiries successful the past six months, alternatively than caller recognition cards opened successfully. Therefore, a failed exertion would beryllium a sound against you successful MBNA’s eyes – each the much crushed to travel these rules with different banks to guarantee the top accidental of success.

Of course, the discontinuation of the co-branded Alaska Airlines recognition cards means that MBNA is apt spot less applications than it did successful past years. 

HSBC: 12-Month Rule

HSBC is 1 of the much strict banks with respect to repetition bonuses, and they person a estimation for enforcing this argumentation to the missive of the law:

Offers lone use to approved HSBC World Elite Mastercard accounts for applications received betwixt November 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023. Only 1 caller relationship per lawsuit is eligible for these Offers. The pursuing applicants are not eligible for immoderate of the Offers: Applicants who person held an HSBC World Elite Mastercard, HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard oregon HSBC Jade World Elite Mastercard relationship successful the 12 months earlier submitting the application

This is the worst of some worlds compared to TD’s assorted limitations. There’s a agelong 12-month waiting period, but the timepiece doesn’t commencement ticking until you’ve closed the aged card.

HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
Welcome Bonus
Up to 80,000 HSBC Rewards points
Annual Fee
First Year Free
First-Year Value

With a flexible rewards currency and a 100,000-point invited bonus coming astir astir erstwhile a year, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard is 1 you mightiness privation to use for again and again.

However, the situation with HSBC is that the rhythm takes a agelong time. You person to hold astatine slightest six months aft getting the paper to person astir of the invited bonus points (even if you conscionable the spending thresholds sooner), truthful you can’t cancel oregon downgrade the paper quickly. Then, there’s the 12-month hold to reapply. Finally, see that the process of getting an HSBC recognition paper tin beryllium little than smooth, sometimes with aggregate subdivision visits, and you mightiness beryllium wondering if you should fuss reapplying astatine all.

Instead, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard presents a beardown lawsuit for being a semipermanent keeper. Against a nett $49 yearly interest aft utilizing the annual question enhancement credit, it’s uncommon to spot a paper with its unsocial blend of benefits: no overseas transaction fees, beardown rewards connected each purchases with industry-leading rates connected travel, and worldwide Mastercard acceptance with the convenience of being issued by a Canadian bank.

Besides, with the current invited bonus, immoderate of the points won’t adjacent beryllium delivered until the 2nd year. Now would beryllium a large clip to apply, particularly if you’re funny successful adding and keeping the paper for years to come.

Aeroplan Limits Welcome Bonuses

While Aeroplan isn’t a bank, the loyalty programme partners with banks to connection co-branded recognition cards. Aeroplan has recently updated its wide presumption and conditions, and portion of the update placed wide connection connected limiting repetition invited bonuses.

Aeroplan may, successful its sole discretion, take to bounds the fig of Welcome Bonuses oregon akin bonuses oregon incentives a Member whitethorn person successful immoderate period, and, successful summation to the different remedies acceptable distant successful these Terms and Conditions, reserves the close to suspend, revoke oregon terminate the Account of immoderate idiosyncratic who engages successful a behaviour of excessive usage of the Welcome Bonus offers.  Such behaviours see but are not constricted to: (i) applying for aggregate Aeroplan Credit Cards crossed 1 oregon much merchandise types oregon crossed 1 oregon much fiscal institutions that contented an Aeroplan Credit Card; (ii) a signifier of cancelling, oregon disengaging in, an Aeroplan Credit Card soon aft receiving a Welcome Bonus oregon akin bonus oregon incentive; and (iii) a signifier of purchasing and past cancelling oregon returning immoderate merchandise oregon work for which Aeroplan Points were issued.

While it’s usually up to banks to bounds the fig of times a cardholder tin person a invited bonus, Aeroplan has intelligibly stated that it tin and volition instrumentality sweeping measures against anyone who appears to beryllium abusing its ain presumption and conditions. 

This means that Aeroplan has identified that they don’t privation members to unfastened aggregate cards astatine the aforesaid tier from antithetic banks, oregon aggregate cards astatine antithetic tiers from the aforesaid bank, astatine slightest successful speedy succession. If this was portion of your crippled plan, it whitethorn beryllium champion to follow a longer-term strategy and find ways to maximize your gain with your cards to debar immoderate disciplinary enactment from Aeroplan.


Each slope uses a somewhat antithetic argumentation to bounds however often you tin gain invited bonuses connected caller recognition cards. This database is acold from comprehensive, but by observing what the banks archer america with their words and actions, we tin make our ain strategy arsenic consumers to debar making immoderate missteps arsenic we question to maximize our rewards.

Sometimes the presumption and conditions volition explicitly accidental if you’re entitled to different bonus. Alternatively, immoderate banks usage their algorithms for detecting risky credit-seeking behaviour to de facto throttle your rewards by simply rejecting you for caller recognition cards.

Either way, I promote you to spell arsenic accelerated arsenic you tin without overclocking your recognition motor connected your mode to supercharging your question rewards.

The station Credit Card Rules: How Often Can You Apply? appeared archetypal connected Prince of Travel by Josh Greenberg.

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