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Can you apply for the same credit card twice?

When a card is so nice you want to try for it again, don’t get your hopes up.

While you can apply for a credit card you already have, getting approval for a second card of the same type is rare. It’s easy to see why – most people interested in opening a second, identical card want to maximize their rewards or earn another welcome offer, something banks aren’t keen on allowing. With that said, it’s not impossible to qualify for a card identical to the one you own.

Can I apply for the same credit card twice?

Generally, yes. However, the exact policies of whether you can apply for the same credit card twice depend on the issuer.

What to watch out for

Unfortunately, most issuers don’t make their policies explicitly clear when it comes to applying for a second card of the same type. Card applications are judged on a “case-by-case basis,” but you can expect most card issuers to frown upon your attempts at applying for an additional card you already own.

Some of the restrictions you might encounter depending on your issuer include:

  • Total restriction.
    Some issuers might completely prevent you from applying for the same card twice.
  • Waiting period.
    While you might find your issuer amenable to letting you apply for the same card, you might need to wait a year or more from when you opened the identical card to apply for another one.
  • Welcome offer restrictions.
    Rather than prevent you from applying for the same card again, some issuers will simply remove your ability to receive another welcome offer after signup. For example, American Express has a more notable welcome offer restriction – AMEX cardholders can only earn one welcome offer per card per lifetime.

Same card exceptions

If you’re dead set on picking up another copy of a card you already own, check to see if your issuer offers a business version. Business versions of a card often aren’t counted as “identical” to a personal version of the card and could be much easier to obtain.

Finally, you might find that another issuer’s credit cards are similar enough to fill the same role. For example, both the TD Cash Back Visa Card and SimplyCash Card from American Express offer opportunities for unlimited cash back along with no annual fee. Plus, there’s no minimum income requirement to apply, and you won’t find yourself locked out of the welcome offer.

Applying for multiple credit cards at once

Remember that applying for multiple credit cards at once can negatively affect your credit score thanks to the hard credit pulls issuers will perform during the application process. While this isn’t a huge issue, it’s something to be mindful of if you’re only interested in opening a duplicate of your existing credit card.

Bottom line

If you really love your current credit card and want to open an additional, identical credit card account, there’s little harm in applying aside from the hard credit pull. But given the card restrictions and overall rarity of receiving approval for the same card, you’ll want to compare credit cards to find one that can work as a suitable substitute.

Learn more in our guide to getting a second credit card from the same bank.

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