While you can apply for a credit card twice, getting approval for a second card of the same type is a rarity. 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.
Credit card application restrictions
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, Chase and American Express have some of the more notable welcome offer restrictions. American Express consumers can only earn one welcome offer per card per lifetime. Chase, on the other hand, forces you to wait 24 months before you can earn another welcome offer on the same card.
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 Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® offer opportunities for unlimited cash back along with no annual fee. Plus, 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.
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.
Frequently asked questions
No. Most credit card issuers restrict balance transfers between credit cards they’ve issued, including identical cards.
No. A rejection won’t hurt your credit score, but the hard credit pull that happens when you apply puts a temporary dent in your score.
It depends. Having multiple cards can improve your credit utilization and bump your score. However, carrying a debt of more than 30% of your available credit can end up hurting your score.
Steven Dashiell is a writer at Finder specializing in all things credit cards. With more than 300 articles under his belt, he aims to help readers embrace credit cards and maximize their rewards. Steve is studying to become a Certified Educator in Personal Finance, and is a frequent face on Finder’s YouTube channel, offering the latest in credit card hacks and advice. His expertise has been featured on numerous outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, Time, CBS, Fox Business, Lifehacker, Martha Stewart Living and more.
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