Credit applications are free, but why apply if you do not even stand a chance to get approved (you’re just wasting a credit inquiry). Most credit card issuers have set rules on credit card approvals. If you do not meet these rules, then you will automatically get declined even if you have perfect credit. The most famous rule is the Chase 5/24 rule, but do you know the approval rules for other credit card issuers as well? Here, in this post, we will discuss the approval rules for all the major credit card issuers.


 Chase

  • Chase will decline an applicant that has opened 5 or more credit cards in the past 24 months. (Read more about the Chase 5/24 rule here.)
  • You can only get approved for up to two Chase Credit Cards in 30 days. (Business Card and Personal cards are counted separately.)
  • If you currently have any Sapphire card open (Reserve or Preferred), Chase will not approve you for a new one.
  • If you currently have any Chase Freedom card open (Freedom or Unlimited), Chase will not approve you for a new one.

American Express

  • You may only get approved for one Amex credit card within 5 days, and two Amex cards within 90 days.
  • Amex also has a rule that one customer can’t have more than 5 Amex credit cards (excluding charge cards.) Therefore, if you already have 5 open Amex credit cards, you may be declined (this is not always enforced).

Citi

  • Citi will only approve you for one personal card within 8 days, and only two Citi personal cards within 65 days.
  • Citi will only approve you for one business card within 95 days

Barclays

  • Barclays may not approve you for a credit card you already had in the past.
  • Barclays bank will (usually) only approve you for up to two credit cards within 12 months.
  • If you do not use your existing Barclays card often, then Barclays will hesitate to approve you for a new one.

Bank of America

  • Bank of America will only approve you for a maximum of two cards within 2 months, three cards within 12 months, and four cards within 24 months.

Capital One

  • Capital One only lets you have a total of two personal Capital One branded credit cards (excluding co-branded credit cards, for example, the Sony Rewards card).

Discover

  • Discover will only approve you for one card within 12 months.
  • Discover only lets you have a total of two open Discover credit cards.  

Wells Fargo

  • You may need a Wells Fargo bank account in order to get approved for one of their credit cards.

US Bank

  • No known rules

Before you apply for a credit card, make sure to always refer back to these rules, so that you don’t just waste a credit inquiry for nothing.

You can always find these rules listed on each of our credit card pages listed under “Approval Terms”.

Thanks!