Bank of America’s New “3/12” Rule

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Doctor of Credit thinks that Bank of America has a new ‘3/12 rule’. That’s a maximum of 3 new Bank of America cards every rolling 12 month period.

Chase has the ‘5/24 rule’ which says that you cannot get a new card if you’ve opened 5 or more new card accounts in the past 24 months from any bank. This doesn’t apply to all of their products, though. Being at 5/24 doesn’t prevent you from getting all of their cards.

I think the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is the best card to get when you’re first getting started (great signup bonus, valuable points that it earns quickly and a $0 annual fee the first year then $95), in part because the 5/24 rule could prevent you from getting it later.

The Chase rule is a challenge because it counts accounts from all issuers that report to your credit. You can still get American Express business cards, for instance, like the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN to take advantage of its offer to earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points without running up your total that Chase considers (Offer expired). But getting a Citibank or American Express personal card will count against your ability to get many Chase products.

The Bank of America approach appears to be different. BofA has been the most liberal bank for a long while in letting customers get the same cards over and over, even more than one of the same card at the same time. They’re finally cracking down on the folks who would pick up 8 Alaska Airlines credit cards in a year.

They appear to be saying that you cannot get more than 3 Bank of America cards in a year. And really there aren’t more Bank of America cards than that you’re going to want. It really should just hamper those trying to get the same card multiple times a year.

If fully confirmed this will become one more of the things to know about signing up for rewards credit cards.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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