Ultimate Guide to Bank of America Application Rules

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Applying for a credit card can be an exciting and rewarding experience. – especially when it comes with no annual fee or a lucrative welcome bonus. However, understanding the application process is crucial whether you are a first-time applicant or looking to expand your card portfolio. Here’s everything you need to know about Bank of America credit card applications, including specific rules governing who can apply.

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At a Glance

  • Bank of America provides credit cards for all credit profiles
  • The bank offers a quick online pre-qualification with no credit impact
  • You will likely get rejected if you’ve opened more than seven new cards opened in the past 12 months or more than just three new cards in the past 12 months
  • Not all “rules” are firm and may be bypassed with strong credit or an existing Bank of America relationship

Benefits of Bank of America Credit Cards

Bank of America is a popular option for those seeking a quality credit card. Bank of America currently issues over twenty cards co-branded with leading names in the travel industry. These include impressive names like Norwegian Cruise Lines, Alaska Airlines, and Air France. Bank of America also teams with leading charities, such as Susan G. Komen.

Bank of America credit cards offer a range of benefits, including travel rewards, cash back, and a suite of services and experiences. Bank of America credit cards provide access to services and experiences. Cardholders can take advantage of benefits like extended purchase warranties, purchase protection against theft or damage, and travel insurance. Some cards also offer access to exclusive events, concerts, and sports!

 Important Information Before Applying for a Bank of America Card

When it comes to applying for a Bank of America credit card, there are certain requirements that applicants must meet to be considered for approval. While these criteria may vary based on the specific card and individual circumstances, there are general guidelines that applicants should be aware of:

What Credit Score Does Bank of America Require?

Bank of America credit cards are targeted towards different credit profiles. Most of the bank’s reward credit cards require good or excellent credit scores. Despite this, the bank also offers subprime options, including secured card versions of some popular cash back and travel rewards cards. The bank also offers student credit cards.

Does Bank of America Offer Pre-Qualification Before Applying?

Like most major issuers, Bank of America provides a credit card pre-qualification process on its website. Checking for a pre-qualified offer is easy, requiring the following information:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Last four (4) digits of your Social Security Number (SSN)

There is no impact on your credit score when checking for offers on the Bank of America website.

Related Article: How to Pre-Qualify for a Credit Card

Applying for a Bank of America Credit Card

Applying for a Bank of America credit card is straightforward. The bank doesn’t have any unique requirements for personal information, instead asking for the usual info:

Info Explained
① Full legal name and contact information You’ll need your full legal name, contact address, phone number, and e-mail address to apply for pretty much every credit card.
② Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Most credit card issuers require applicants to have a U.S. Social Security number to apply for a credit card. Since foreign citizens likely lack an SNN, they may receive an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead. An ITIN is an ID number the IRS issues to anyone who needs to file income tax returns in the United States but doesn’t qualify for an SSN. Be ready to provide either of these items when applying for a personal credit card.

The following banks accept foreign national applicants with an ITIN number, according to Experian:

  • American Express
  • Bank of America
  • Capital One
  • Chase
  • Citibank
  • OpenSky
  • Wells Fargo

Currently, only two major card issuers don’t allow applicants with an ITIN:

  • Barclays
  • Discover
③ Income You’ll need to provide income information when applying for a credit card. Banks like to see that you aren’t too stretched financially, and part of this process is by evaluating how much income you have from things like your job, investments, and other sources.
④ Expenses Your monthly expenses are the second part of the puzzle when it comes to gauging your risk as an applicant. Your monthly housing costs (rent, mortgage) current utilities, and other relevant info might be asked when you apply.
⑤ Credit Score The final piece of informational lender needs to judge a credit card application is your credit score. Much of the information in your credit report is supplied by creditors and lenders, and potential lenders will use these details as a point of reference when considering you for a loan or line of credit. Your credit report is prepared and sold to prospective lenders and creditors by three credit reporting agencies – or bureaus, as they’re also known. They are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Bank of America Application Rules

Like Chase or Citi, Bank of America has specific rules regarding credit card applications. These rules are known as the 7/12 and 3/12 rules.

Bank of America 7/12 Rule

The first “secret” rule of Bank of America credit card applications is the 7/12 rule. This rule stipulates that a Bank of America credit card applicant with seven (7) or more new credit cards opened in the past 12 months will automatically be rejected on their application. This rule is similar to Chase’s 5/24 rule.

Bank of America 3/12 Rule

The Bank of America 3/12 rule is another “secret” rule. This rule stipulates that Bank of America credit card applicants who do not have any Bank of America products now or in the past and have already opened two (2) new credit cards in the last 12 months will be rejected on their application. In practice, the 3/12 rule may affect more applicants than the 7/12 rule, as it’s likely that people who do not already have a Bank of America account or credit card will be more likely to apply for two or more cards in a year.

Related Article: Bank of America 7/12 and 3/12 Rules

Understanding the Bank of America Credit Card Application Process

The easiest way to apply for a Bank of America card is online.  The online application provides a convenient and efficient way to apply from the comfort of your home. When completing the application, ensure that all the information provided is accurate and up to date. Any discrepancies or inaccuracies could delay the approval process or lead to the rejection of your application.

After submitting your application, it’s essential to monitor the status of your application. Bank of America typically provides a way for applicants to check the status of their credit card application online or by contacting customer service. If additional information or documentation is required, promptly provide the requested items to expedite the review process. Finally, once your application is approved, you can expect to receive your new Bank of America credit card in the mail within 7 to 10 business days.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Credit Card Application

When applying for a Bank of America credit card, or any credit card, it’s critical to be mindful of common mistakes that can hinder the approval process. Filling out inaccurate or incomplete information on the application is one of the most common mistakes people make. Any discrepancies or missing details can raise red flags and potentially lead to the rejection of your application. To ensure accuracy, it’s crucial to meticulously review and verify all the information before submitting your application.

Another common mistake is applying for multiple credit cards within a short timeframe. Each credit card application typically results in a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can temporarily lower your credit score. By spacing out your credit card applications and applying strategically, you can minimize the impact on your credit score and demonstrate responsible credit-seeking behavior.

Finally, failing to review the terms and conditions of the credit card, including the annual fee, interest rates, and rewards structure, can lead to unexpected surprises down the line. Always ensure you take the time to fully understand the card’s terms and benefits before applying.


By understanding the application process, meeting the necessary requirements, and navigating the process with care and diligence, you can position yourself for a successful credit card application experience. Remember to avoid common mistakes, proactively address issues, and stay informed about the terms and conditions of your credit card.

Related Article: Slay Your Holiday Expenses: A Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting a Top Credit Card-Friendly Budget

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About: Cory Santos
Cory Santos

Cory is the senior credit card editor at BestCards, specializing in everything credit card-related. He’s worked extensively with credit cards and other personal finance topics, including nearly five years at BestCards. Cory’s extensive knowledge is an essential part of the BestCards experience, helping readers to live their best financial lives with up-to-date insights and comprehensive coverage of all facets of the credit card space, including market trends, rewards guides, credit advice, and comprehensive credit card reviews.

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