Wow, what an incredible credit card sign-up bonus you’ve discovered! Except you already happen to have that credit card, so what can you do? Actually, there are several techniques that credit card users can do to receive another sign-up bonus on a card they already have.
1. Bump the Bonus
Sometimes it happens that you apply for an attractive credit card offer, only to realize that an even better offer appeared shortly afterward for the same card. In that case, you can contact your credit card issuer and simply ask to receive the better offer. Typically, these requests are granted only before you have earned the sign-up bonus that you originally applied for. When you call to ask for more points, miles or cash back, mention that you would like the more generous “offer code” applied to your account, and the representative you speak with should understand exactly what you want.
2. Apply for a Different Version of the Same Card
Most credit card issuers will only allow you to have one of each credit card, but that rule doesn’t mean what you might think. For example, card issuers consider the business version of a credit card to be completely different than the personal card of the same card. There are also other cards that come in a standard and a premium version that are also considered two different cards by the bank offering them.
For example, Chase and Southwest Airlines offer both a “Plus” and “Premier” version of its Rapid Rewards credit card for individuals and business users. Customers can have any of these four cards, as they are all considered to be different products. In other instances, cardholders have been separately approved for both a Visa and a MasterCard version of the same card.
3. Apply for the Same Card Multiple Times
Some card issuers seem to let customers apply for the same credit card, and receive the sign-up bonus, even when they already have an open account for the exact same product. For example, Brian Kelly of ThePointsGuy.com recently reported receiving a third credit card of the same kind with the 100,000 mile sign-up bonus. However, there is never any guarantee that you will be approved multiple times for the exact same card. (By the way, it’s a good idea to know what condition your credit is in before you apply for credit. You can check your credit scores for free through Credit.com. Keep in mind, too, that each application for a credit card can ding your credit score a few points, so be judicious with your applications.)
4. Receive a Retention Bonus
While it is not as good as receiving multiple sign-up bonuses, there is a way to wring more rewards out of the credit card account you already have. Whenever your annual fee is due, contact your card issuer and express dissatisfaction with the fee. In some cases, the fee will be waived. Other times, cardholders can request to have their account closed in order to have their call transferred the “retentions” department. Once you are speaking with a retentions specialist, you are likely to be offered additional reward points, miles or cash back to entice you to keep your account open. You can think of it as a bonus for signing up for another year of card membership.
5. Wait a While and Try Again
If the card issuer is not willing to offer you a retention bonus, perhaps it might be time to close your account. In that way, you can re-apply for the card some time in the future, and earn another sign up-bonus. This is known as “Credit Card Churning.” Before you do that, however, be aware that closing your credit card accounts can hurt your credit score by reducing your available credit limit — particularly if you’re carrying a sizable balance, because then it will increase your debt-utilization ratio. This ratio is factored into your overall debt usage, which accounts for 30% of your credit score. Also, by closing that account, it will fall off of your credit report in 10 years, and you won’t benefit from the positive history of that account then. When it comes to deciding whether to “churn,” you have to weigh the potential costs and benefits.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
More on Credit Cards:
- How to Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rates
- 6 Smart Credit Card Strategies
- Tips for Paying Off Credit Card Debt