Advertiser Disclosure

Can I Apply for Credit Cards I’ve Had Before?

Credit Card Basics, Credit Cards
Can I Apply for Credit Cards I've Had Before?
At NerdWallet, we adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Some consumers are tempted by offers for brand new credit cards, but you may find yourself wanting to apply for a tried-and-true credit card you’ve had previously. Maybe you had an unbeatable interest rate or a travel rewards program you’d like to enjoy again. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to applying for credit cards you’ve had in the past.

Yes, you can apply for that card again

Say you had a travel rewards credit card in your 20s because you were traveling abroad often, but you canceled it because you went to grad school and preferred a cash back credit card while you were homebound. But now you’ve scored a job that requires frequent travel. You may want to reapply for that same travel credit card that treated you so well during your younger globetrotting years. Lucky for you, some credit card issuers will approve you once again when you apply for the same card — especially if you used it responsibly.

» MORE: How to apply for a credit card so you’ll get approved

Policies vary by issuer

Policies vary by issuer, especially for cards with a sign-up bonus, so you may run into some barriers when applying for a credit card again. For example, some issuers require a certain amount of time to pass before you can apply for the same card again. So although you could be approved, it’s also possible you’ll be told no. If you are denied, be sure to investigate and read the fine print carefully to understand why.

Note that these types of issuer policies change often, and sometimes it’s judged on a case-by-case basis. For example, customers with great credit and a solid previous history with the card may be more likely to qualify again than those who paid their bill late or otherwise made some mistakes with the card.

Be careful with multiple credit card applications

It’s important to know that applying for multiple credit cards in a short period of time can hurt your credit, as can closing credit card accounts soon after opening them. Aim to space out your credit card applications and not apply for many at the same time. Try not to make a habit of quickly opening or closing credit card accounts, as you may inadvertently damage your credit and make it more difficult to get approved for the cards of your choice in the long run.

Image via iStock.