Bank of America recently announced a 24-month churning policy for a few of its most popular cards.
Restrictions vary based on each card, but generally, cardholders will now be restricted to one card approval for a given card every 24 months. (The same does not apply for cards not affected by the new restrictions.) For example, if you close your Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card, you’ll have to wait 24 months before applying for that card once more.
Bank of America’s new restrictions have evolved from their previous rules – which are still in effect – that limit cardholders to two Bank of America applications every two months, three every 12 months and four every 24 months.
For these new restrictions, the cards affected (so far) include Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card, Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card, BankAmericard® Credit Card, Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card and the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card.
This new rule is Bank of America’s latest effort to reduce credit card churning, the practice in which consumers sign up for cards with enticing introductory rewards or sign-up bonuses, meet the minimum spending requirement to receive the rewards and then cancel the card. Ten percent of your credit score is comprised of new credit inquiries and 15 percent is comprised of the length of credit history, meaning churning could potentially pose a threat to your score.
The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature and Premium Rewards card, which offer higher sign-up bonuses than other Bank of America cards, have tighter restrictions. Approval for these cards require that you
- Don’t already have these cards
- Haven’t had these cards in the past 24 months
The Travel Rewards and Cash Rewards cards offer slightly less restrictive rules. If you’ve opened one of these two cards 24 months ago or more, you can open a second one. The difference is that with this rule you can have two of the same card at once, so long as you wait 24 months after being approved for the first to apply for the second.
These new restrictions aren’t much more constraining than the 2017 rules, but they are important to be aware of for anyone who owns or is looking to own these cards.