Barclays has an interesting set of credit card application rules. They do not have any hard and fast rules but a series of different rules that may or may not apply in certain scenarios. Below, I will go into detail about all of these application rules.
By the way, if you want to automate the calculations for all of these credit card application rules be sure to check out the new app WalletFlo, which will break down all of the known credit card approval rules and show you whether or not you are eligible for certain cards.
Barclays has something known as the “6/24 rule.”
This rule works the same as the Chase 5/24 rule in that it takes into account all of the cards that you have opened in the past 24 months across all credit card issuers.
Presumably, cards that do not report to your personal credit report also do not count for 6/24 although I am awaiting data points to verify that.
The big difference between the two rules is that the 6/24 rule is not a hard rule. In the past, some have speculated that the 6/24 rule only applies to specific cards such as the Arrival Plus card (that is no longer available to new applicants).
It’s not clear to me what specific cards the 6/24 rule applies to or when it is applied but it is clear that it is not always applied.
There are plenty of data points of people out there getting approved for Barclays cards when they have opened up many (10+) cards in the past 24 months so just because you are over 6/24, that does not mean that you will be denied.
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Barclays 6 Month Close Rule
It is recommended that you wait six months until after closing a Barclays card before applying for that card again. Once again, this may not be a hard and fast rule but it is a guideline that I would follow in order to increase my approval odds.
You also do not want to apply for a Barclays card while you are still a current cardmember of that card.
So if you were interested in the Aviator card but you were currently a card holder, you should not apply for another Aviator card. Instead, you should close your Aviator card and then wait at least six months until you reapply for that same card.
It’s worth noting that some have reported a minimum wait time of 24 months. Again, Barclays is a very “your mileage may vary” bank when it comes to its application rules so you just have to use your own judgment in a lot of cases.
Barclays 6 Month Application Rule
The Barclays six month application rule states that you should wait six months since opening any Barclays card to open a new Barclays card.
This is definitely not a hard and fast rule as some people have been able to get approved for multiple Barclays cards at one time.
However, again a lot of these rules or guidelines are here to help you increase your approval odds. So just because some people got approved for multiple cards at once, that does not mean that is the optimal way to pursue Barclays credit cards.
So personally, I would recommend waiting six months until after you have been approved for a Barclays card before applying for another one.
Also, you want to make sure that you have put spend on your other Barclays cards as Barclays really dislikes when you have dormant cards with no spend put on them. (Ideally, you would put spend on the card after meeting the welcome bonus requirements.)
If you have your notifications set up for spend reminders in WalletFlo, this will not be a problem for you, as it can remind you to put spend on your cards every six months.
Current or Previous Cardholder Rule
Some Barclays cards will come with the following language in their terms and conditions:
“You may not be eligible for this offer if you currently have or previously had this card.”
This rule can be broken down into two parts.
The first has to deal with you being a current cardholder. As already mentioned, it is not a good idea to be a current card member when applying for a Barclays card. And in those cases you should cancel your card before applying because you will likely be denied.
Then there is the rule about if you have previously had the card. This essentially mirrors the American Express oncer per lifetime credit card application rule, which states that once you open a card you will not be eligible for that bonus ever again subject to certain exceptions.
The tricky thing here is that this rule is not always enforced. But the fact that the rule is in writing means that if they wanted to enforce it they could easily deny you a bonus so you should always proceed with that in the back of your mind.
New Cardmember Rule
Some Barclays cards will also come with the following language in their terms and conditions:
“This offer is available to new cardmembers only. This rule may not be enforced.”
Once again, this language is very similar to the rule above which prevents you from being eligible for the offer if you are not a new cardmember. But as you might expect by now, this rule is also not always enforced. So again, you should just proceed with this rule in mind if it attaches to any of your cards.
Something else to keep in mind is that Barclays loves to pull from the credit bureau TransUnion. This is great because it means that you can give your other credit reports like Experian and Equifax a break. If you have a lot of recent hard inquiries on those latter reports then this could help you recover your credit score as you await for the negative impact of those hard inquiries to drop off. Read more about credit pulls here.
Many of the Barclays rules are soft rules which will not always be enforced. This makes things more of a guessing game when applying for their cards but because the rules are frequently not enforced, generally you can expect them to not prevent you from being eligible. However, when it comes to the waiting period of six months I would always try to abide by those to maximize your approval odds.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.