Bank of America Application Rules and Tips

Good Things about Bank of America

Free Admission to Museums– One nice perk with Bank of America credit or debit cards is that you get free admission to over 150 museums on the first full weekend of every month. Here is a Full List of Museums.

Bad Things about Bank of America

Inquiry Sensitive- If you have applied to several cards in the past few months, Bank of America will likely deny you for having too many new accounts, unless you have a very good banking relationship with them.  

Important Application Rules

2/3/4 Rule

Bank of America limits the number of cards you can sign up for. Bank of America will only approve you for:

  • 2 Bank of America personal cards within 2 months
  • 3 Bank of America personal cards within 12 months
  • 4 Bank of America personal cards within 24 months.
  • Note: This rule was put in place in response to several people signing up for 20+ cards in a single day when they offered MLB credit cards for a $200 cash bonus.

24-Month Application Rule

Bank of America has a 24-month application rule for several of their cards. Some cards require that you wait at least 24-months from closing the card to reapply (e.g., if you closed an Alaska Airlines card in May 2017, you would have to wait until June 2019 to reapply for the Alaska Airlines credit card). Other cards require that you wait at least 24-months from a sign-up bonus and you are not a current cardholder (e.g., if you got a Cash Rewards card in May 2017, you could reapply and get the sign-up bonus in June 2019 so long as don’t currently have that card)

  • 24-Months from Card Closure– Alaska Airlines (personal) and Premium Rewards
  • 24-Months from Bonus– Cash Rewards and Travel Rewards

Preferred Rewards

BOA offers an extra rewards bonus based on the amount of money you have in Bank of America and/or Merrill Lynch investing and trading accounts. The bonus is 25% for $20,000-49,999 with BOA/ML; 50% for $50,000-99,999; and 75% bonus for $100,000 with BOA/ML. If you have $100,000 invested with BOA/ML, consider the Premium Rewards or Travel Rewards card since you would earn the equivalent of 3.5% cash-back on dining and travel and 2.625% on all other spending.

Maximum Number of Cards

  • Bank of America may decide to close your cards if they believe you have an “excessive number” of credit cards with them. I would stay under four cards.

Lower Credit Limit Before Closure

  • Before you close a Bank of America credit card, it is best to lower your credit limit. Bank of America has a maximum credit limit for each individual and when a card is closed, the limit does not become available again (despite the closure) for approximately one year.
  • By reducing the credit limit before you cancel, you are able to increase your chances of approval on your next Bank of America credit card. 

Application Status Check: Online Status Checker

Multiple Sign-Up Bonuses

  •  You can get multiple bonuses from the same BOA card, however, it can be harder to be approved for the second card.

Multiple Credit Applications

  • BOA will combine hard pulls into a single hard credit pull if you apply on the same day. However, remember the 2/3/4 rule, so you will only be able to apply for two cards at the same time. 
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