Combining Inquiries Rules by Issuer (Chase, Amex, etc.)

By Gavin | April 29, 2019

We are going to talk about combining hard inquiries in the different rules for different issuers, so we did a frequently asked questions posts a few posts ago, so I'd recommend watching that one and there's also another one talking about how to actually do it. If you are a bit confused about it but today we are going to talk about the issuer-specific rules. One of the reasons why I decided to split this is just because these rules can change moving forwards, so if there is a change it's probably going to be pinned down below in a new post.

The first group of issuers is going to be the ones, where you either cannot combine hard inquiries are based on other rules, it just doesn't work out that way. Here we have Barclays Citi as well as Discover, so for most of them it's either that they don't combine hard inquiries any more, maybe they used to in the past. Barclays is based off how the application rules work, it's just impossible.


Other bank's rule process

Citi as well as Discover they both have rules that kind of limit your ability to double dip both, Discover you can only get approved for a new card once every year, and in reality I think it's about 13 months or 14 months, so you can't really double dip, because if you apply for the second card it's automatically going to get rejected. Citi they have a one in a draw, meaning that again you can only apply for one card every eight days, the second one's automatically going to get rejected.

Moving on to the issuer's where you can double tap two cards, here we have Bank of America, Chase, as well as US bank. Bank of America they have a two three four rule, meaning that you can get approved for two of their cards every two months, three cards every 12 months, and four cards every 24 months, depending on how many Bank of America cards you've applied for recently.

This means that you can typically apply for two cards, you can't apply for three because of again two cards in two months. If you are going down the Bank of America route I think there are kind of two plays you can do, so people looking to redeem for first-class and business-class. Going for to Alaska cards on the flipside, if for someone after cash back and playing the long game, there is a two card endgame system that we've talked about in another post.

Chase bank's rule process

Moving on to Chase, we have the two and dirty roles. You can get two cards in a 30 day period, I would not recommend doing this if you are very early on, so again if you don't have at least one year of history on your oldest card trying to double-dip is probably a bad idea, and you're probably going to get rejected.

You'd probably want at least one chase card with maybe a few months of history before trying to double-dip, your mileage may vary by talking to a lot of people doing a lot of consultations on our website. You typically need about one year of history before getting that Chase Freedom Card or Chase Freedom unlimited, and then a few months of history with that card before you can get the next card door before you double-dip on the flipside.


If you are someone who has a lot of chase cards, especially if you have very high limits with them I would recommend also not double dipping as well, because they are kind of worried about bust out, meaning that they have shut down people for being too aggressive of stuff like credit limits as well as behavior that looks risky, this kind of means that the opportune time to do any double dipping in terms of combining hard inquiries is going to be.

If you have to say maybe five or six chase cards, if US Bank again kind of the same idea, you can do two cards. One thing to be aware of though of US Bank is that they are very new accounts and incredibly sensitive, so among a lot of the other issuers that we've talked about their kind of more risk-averse than everyone else, this means that even though you could do a combined hard inquiry it might not make sense because it might be risky.

I guess it depends on whether you have any other US bank cards, if you have nothing, then I guess there's nothing to lose thereby double dipping, but if you already have an account with them or maybe you already have two, then I think it might be a bit too aggressive. I'd probably only go for one in that case.

Moving on to issue where we can combine multiple cards, we have American Express Capital One as well as Wells Fargo, both American Express. I think this is going to be the more interesting one, just because there are some other specific rules, and again because of American Express and a lot of the other point programs you can get more outside value, meaning that you can redeem it for significantly more points than just a few hundred dollars.

American Express rule process

If American Express even that you can combine multiple cards, you typically can only get one credit card on one day, so when people combine multiple cards they're getting one credit card and maybe one charge card or two or three charge cards, this is not a hard rule dough. So they're having some people who've been approved for two credit cards on the same day, but I think it's not really as likely.


One other benefit of American express is that if you already have a council of thumb and you do another application, even if it's rejected they typically do not do another hard inquiry because they don't really need to. So this is pretty good because you're not going to get an inquiry unless you already have an account unless you get approved, and even if you do get approved through, have them some data points where people still don't get the hard inquiry.

You might be thinking to yourself why would someone want to apply for that many American Express cards, I think the main reason is again maybe you're grabbing something like the Hilton ascends card or the Hilton card or the Delta card. There's a lot of different options there and then you are trying to hit a lot of minimum spends because you have a big expense coming up.

Again the main point of double dipping, for the most part, is you have a really big expense and you want to hit the minimum spends, and you don't want a second inquiry in a week. This typically means you're getting one of the credit cards, again there's a lot of different options, and then probably getting the Platinum card as well as the PRG card.

To me, this is more of a mid-game or endgame strategy, depending on how you want to play it, so again if you're under five twenty-four, I feel like there are other better options, don't really worry about this for now. Given all of these rules and given kind of the metagame that we have going on here, I think the only issuers that make sense double dipping are going to be Bank of America Chase as well as American Express. At the end of the day your mileage is going to vary though, depending on what you're optimizing towards, so do what makes sense for you.

I hope that was helpful.

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