While credit card applications can seem straightforward, it’s important to know what limitations you may have as a credit card consumer.

Capital One has strict application rules that limit the number of times you can apply and the number of cards you can hold at once. If you like to take advantage of welcome bonuses and rewards points, you may have to pick your Capital One cards wisely.

Application Rules

Capital One has a few strict rules for potential cardholders. You may want to choose wisely before applying for a Capital One credit card, especially if you’re looking to take advantage of travel rewards and welcome bonuses.

According to Capital One’s terms, applicants who have applied for more than two other Capital One cards in the last 30 days won’t be approved.

Keep in mind the most lucrative cards, like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, typically require excellent credit to qualify. You likely won’t be approved for a Capital One card if you’re not in good standing with your other credit accounts.

Reports from Capital One cardholders suggest that the reconsideration line isn’t very responsive—if you get declined, you may not be able to argue your way to an approval.

Card Limit

Capital One places a maximum number of two cards that one person can hold at once. This rule applies to personal credit cards issued by Capital One, like the QuicksilverOne Rewards card (co-branded and business cards are excluded).

Capital One also limits approvals to once every six months. If Capital One is on your radar, make sure to research all their card offers first before applying.

Apply for Pre-Approval

Capital One’s rewards cards rival those from American Express and Chase, but when faced with strict application rules, it’s best to be smart about which cards you apply for.

Capital One offers an online pre-approval tool that allows you to see which cards you’re eligible for. Pre-approval applications don’t involve a hard credit check, which can temporarily damage credit scores. After filling out the pre-approval form, you can see the card options, including rates and fees from Capital One.

You can submit a formal application after receiving an offer. Remember that pre-approval offers aren’t guaranteed, but they will help you understand your chances.

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Bonus Rules

Surprisingly Capital One’s bonus rules aren’t as strict as their application rules. Cardholders have reported that they’ve received a welcome bonus twice for the same card—something that some issuers like American Express blatantly forbid.

The terms say that bonuses “may not be available for existing or previous account holders,” which means there’s a chance you can get a welcome bonus twice if you cancel a Capital One card and then apply for the same one later, but also a chance that you don’t. Not only that, but it’s also possible to hold more than one of the same card and earn the bonus twice.

Although there is some wiggle room if you read between the lines, don’t take it as a guarantee.

Bottom Line

While Capital One has some strict application rules, cardholders have the potential to earn welcome bonuses more than once for the same card. However, bonuses shouldn’t be the deciding factor.

Similar to other contenders like Chase and American Express, Capital One offers enticing travel rewards and cash back potential. With continued responsible use, you can earn decent rewards and save money along the way.