Credit Card Churning – Which Bonuses Can I Earn Multiple Times?

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If you love earning airline miles, hotel points, and cash-back with rewards and travel 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 cash-back and rewards cards typically offer 1-5 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 their 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.

double bonus repeate credit card signup bonuses

Photo: Thomas Hawk 

Keep in mind that we do not suggest “churning cards” or signing up for new offers just to earn the signup bonus. But if, on the other hand, you’ve had a card once in the past and you think you might be willing to try its benefits again, there are cards that will give you another shot. And, who knows? You may decide to keep your new card for the long run the second time around.

Chase Cards Sign Up Bonus Rules

If you read the fine print on most Chase credit card applications, you’ll see the bank makes their 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 posted to your account.

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. If you’re fairly new to the rewards game or have opened fewer than five new cards over the last 24 months.

Barclays Cards Sign Up 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.

On the application for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® (currently unavailable through this site), for example, the fine print says, “you may not be eligible for this offer if you currently have or previously had an account with us in this Program.” However, it appears you can get approved for this card and earn the signup bonus more than once provided the bank doesn’t decide you’ve had too many new credit cards within the last 24 months.

If you’re in the market for a new signup bonus and it’s been a while since you had this card, consider trying it for a second time.

Capital One Sign Up 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.

Their wording is slightly vague on their credit card applications. For example, the application for the Capital One Venture card states: “The bonus may not be available for existing or previous account holders.”

Citi Sign Up Bonus Rules

Citi offers a wide range of rewards credit cards that fall within the American Airline AAdvantage and Citi ThankYou rewards program. 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 24 months. So, if you have one co-branded American Airlines credit card with Citi, you would need to close it and wait 24 months before you could earn the signup bonus on the same card or a different card within the same program. And the same is true for cards that fall within the Citi ThankYou rewards program, including the Citi Prestige.

American Express Sign Up 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 cash-back and travel cards you can try out and earn the welcome bonus on over time.

The Bottom Line

If you’re someone who loves racking up tons of points and miles without much effort, it’s smart to pursue welcome bonuses as part of a broader credit card rewards strategy. To make this work, however, you have to make sure you’re able to spend enough money on your card within the first few months. You also need to have the ability to pay your balance in full and avoid debt — no credit card reward or welcome bonus is worth getting into high-interest debt.

If you follow the rules and use credit wisely, it’s possible to use credit cards and their generous welcome bonuses to your advantage over and over again.

Holly Johnson is an award-winning personal finance writer and the author of Zero Down Your Debt. Johnson shares her obsession with frugality, budgeting, and travel at ClubThrifty.com. 

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