Credit card churning: Which signup bonuses can you earn multiple times?

If you love earning airline miles, hotel points, and cashback with credit cards, you already know how lucrative these bonuses can be.
Written by Holly Johnson, Contributor
Reviewed by Marc Wojno

If you love earning airline miles, hotel points, and cashback with credit cards, you probably already know how lucrative signup bonuses can be. If not, you should start paying more attention to the cards you sign up for and their unique introductory promotions. While the top cashback and rewards cards typically offer one to five points for each dollar you spend on a daily basis, a signup bonus can boost your point haul at a much faster pace. 

You can earn some credit card signup bonuses more than once

Now, here's something you may not know: It's possible to earn the signup bonus on some rewards credit cards more than once. Each card issuer offers its own rules to govern the process, but you can rack up many of the same bonuses over and over again if you give it enough time.

Keep in mind that we don't suggest "churning cards" (signing up for new offers just to earn the signup bonus). But if you've had a card once in the past and think you might be willing to try its benefits again, some cards will give you another shot. 

Who knows? You may decide to keep your new card for the long run the second time around.

Chase signup bonus rules

If you read the fine print on most Chase credit card applications, you'll see the bank makes its rules on signup bonuses fairly clear.

There is a 24-month rule that applies to all Chase credit cards, including those co-branded with a frequent flyer program or hotel chain. You can earn a signup bonus on the same card more than once as long as you no longer have the card, and it's been 24 months since your last bonus was posted to your account.

Also: Chase Ink Business Cash vs. Preferred vs. Unlimited 

However, it's important to keep in mind that Chase does limit the number of new Chase credit cards you can sign up for within each 24-month period. The Chase "5/24 rule" is an unspoken guideline that says you can only sign up for certain Chase credit cards if you haven't had more than five new credit cards from any issuer over the last 24 months.

If you have a ton of new credit, you may want to steer clear of new applications until enough time has passed.

Barclays signup bonus rules

While rules coming from Barclays bank are fairly vague, you can earn the signup bonus on at least some of their cards more than once.

Barclays doesn't explicitly limit the number of cards you can have open with them at any one time. Instead, it will review your credit profile before approval. As stated in the fine print: "If at the time of your application you do not meet the credit or income criteria previously established for this offer, or the income you report is insufficient based on your current obligations, we will not be able to open an account for you."

Capital One signup bonus rules

Capital One lets consumers earn the signup bonus on their rewards credit cards for both individuals and businesses. However, they don't hand out easy approvals like some of the other issuers.

Also: Capital One Platinum card review: Build positive credit 

Their wording is slightly vague on their credit card applications. For example, the application for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card states: "Existing or previous Accountholders may not be eligible for this one-time bonus."

Citi signup bonus rules

Citi offers a wide range of rewards credit cards that fall within the American Airlines AAdvantage and Costco Anywhere rewards programs. Further, the card issuer does let you earn the signup bonus on their card offerings more than once -- provided you follow certain rules.

With Citi cards, you can earn the signup bonus on a card provided you haven't opened or closed a card within the same rewards program within the last 48 months. So, if you have one co-branded American Airlines credit card with Citi, you would need to close it and wait 48 months before you could earn the signup bonus on the same card or a different card within the same program. 

American Express signup bonus rules

Unfortunately, you can't earn the welcome bonus on your favorite American Express credit cards more than once. Why? Because American Express cards come with a "once per lifetime" rule that says you can earn each welcome bonus once during your life.

This is a shame for sure -- especially since you may find some of the cards more useful several years after trying them the first time. The good news is American Express offers a ton of cashback and travel cards you can try out.

[This article was first published on The Simple Dollar in 2020. It was updated in March 2022.]

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