Get Sign-Up Bonuses for Credit Cards You Already Have

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By Jason Steele

Wow, what an incredible credit card sign-up bonus you've discovered. Except you already have that card. Don't worry. There are several ways you can get a sign-up bonus on a card you already have.

1. Bump the Bonus

Sometimes you apply for an attractive credit card offer, only to see an even better offer shortly afterward for the same card. In that case, 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 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 differ from the personal card of the same card. Cards that come in a standard and a premium version are also considered two different cards by the bank offering them. For example, Chase (JPM) and Southwest Airlines (LUV) 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 (V) and a MasterCard (MA) 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 have an open account for the same product. For example, Brian Kelly of 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 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 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. %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%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 and Try Again

1">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 reapply for the card some in the future and earn another sign up-bonus. This is known as churning. 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 percent 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.

At publishing time, the Southwest Airlines Premier Rapid Rewards card was offered through product pages, and may be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
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