Discover Card Now Only Allows One Card At A Time

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Here’s a quick note for those considering applying for a Discover credit card, which came up after a few folks got rejected from the Discover More Card offering 0% interest on balance transfers for 12 months with no balance transfer fee. The limited time offer is scheduled to last until February 28, 2011.

On the upper right hand of the application, there is some light grey print that you might overlook that says “Offer Valid For New Cardmembers only”. However, it wasn’t really clear what this meant. You can’t have a current Discover More card? any current Discover card? any Discover card ever?

It turns out that there is a new Discover policy that anyone can only have one open Discover Card of any type at a time. As long as you don’t have an open Discover card currently, you can apply for a new card.

Below is the text from my Live Chat sessions with Discover. Basically, if you want this no balance transfer fee promotion and you already have a Discover card, you must cancel that card first, and then come back and apply for this new card. You can’t switch cards and still get this promotion.

Patricia: I appreciate your interest in the Discover Card. What questions can I answer regarding your application today?

Jonathan: Hello, I am interested in applying for this Discover More card. I don’t have a Discover More card, but I do have an old Discover Miles card. I am able to be approved for this card?

Patricia: I am sorry but we do have a one account policy at this time so we cannot open an additional account. Would you like us to switch the card type you have with us?

Jonathan: That would be okay, as I don’t use my Discover Miles card anymore. Would I still be able to get the 0% for 12 months with no balance transfer fee?

Patricia: Thank you for your business! This chat is to assist with applying for a Discover Card and we do not have access to any Account information. I will transfer you to our Customer Service chat for assistance with your Account. They will access that account and see what is available on it for transfer for you.

[Result: No, the offers in my account were much worse with higher fees.]

Patricia: I appreciate your interest in the Discover Card. What questions can I answer regarding your application today?

Jonathan: hello… if I recently closed a Discover card but currently do not have one, can I still apply for this new More card iwth 0% for 12 months? Do I still count as a new cardmember?

Patricia: You can apply for this card if that other account is closed.

Jonathan: So basically a person is just allowed to have one open Discover card, of any type, at a time now?

Patricia: Correct

Jonathan: Great, thank you for your help. That’s all for me today.

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  1. I’ve had and currently have 2 Discover cards. Does this mean I will get into trouble?

  2. @Pete – I don’t know, I doubt it if you are still using both cards. If one is inactive, they might close it to inactivity. You won’t be able to get another one though, at least for now. I’ve had more than one Discover card in the past as well, so this is new.

  3. I’m planning on taking advantage of this offer so I can get a one year free loan. Here is my question? How long after I apply for this card can I wait before performing the balance transfer? I just brought a new house (sweet deal) and have no credit card debt, but would like to keep a larger cash cushion in our bank account in case of emergencies. We do plan to spend a lot of money over the next few weeks on a new kitchen and bathroom, but probably not until March. Do you think I can get the card at the end of February and then do the balance transfer in late March?

  4. I have a discover card used very actively for couple years. So does it deserve to cancel the current one to get a new card for some interest?

  5. Pete,

    I also have 2 Discover cards. I alternate using them so hopefully they won’t close one of them randomly as I have an open cashback balance on both.

  6. Looks like maybe only a policy going forward. I currently have two discover cards and one business card. Guess maybe if they do account reviews in the future, they might cancel one or the other.

    Slightly different subject. Last week got letters from Chase on each of my cards there reducing my credit limit on each card. Said it was just part of their overall review of accounts. Would be curious if other people experienced the same. FYI. Have 4 cards that are with them for last several years as a result of various mergers, etc. Letter was pretty much a form letter as it gave same reason on high activity and low activity cards. Ironically the same week I was approved for their One Pass card.

  7. Assumign it doesn’t have a big effect on your AAoA, I see no reason not to cancel and re-apply.

    For me, Discover is one of my oldest cards (outside a college when I didn’t know what i was doing….)

    They also haven’t raised my CL at all in 5 years, ugh.

  8. I doubt they will close cards that are active and in good standing. Ironically my second card was opened due to a Discover card representative making an unsolicited call and urging me to apply for a second account with a 0% balance transfer offer many years ago.

  9. Haha, this doesn’t surprise me at all, the credit card companies are catching on. No way they would close accounts that have multiple cards though. I have Chase Freedom now, so we’ll see if they follow suit.

  10. WOW, thanks for the update. I always just assume they’ll redistribute the credit limit among the multiple cards, but I didn’t know they’re restricting new applicants from applying if they already have an existing card from the same issuer. I guess it makes sense from a risk management viewpoint. I just hope the consumer understands it, since the consumer might view it as if Proctor & Gamble says you can’t buy SOAP BRAND B because you already have SOAP BRAND A in your shower.

  11. No surprise here, but I appreciate the clarification.

  12. Geri espinas says

    I want to apply for discover card, and i want to request for an extention card for my cousin is this possible?

  13. First of all “Offer” means “This offer” for that “Discover More Card”, which is perfectly clear to me.

    Second, it is possible for a person to have two personal cards as long as they’re under different accounts, because Discover Card apparently considers two people to be differentiated only by their username, and not their social security number or anything else even if the personal info is exactly the same on both accounts.

    I discovered this after applying for an offer on Mint for a Discover Card IT card and trying to log in to my existing account (which already had a $0.00 balance card on it with a too-high interest rate) and getting an error that my login didn’t work or that my username already existed.

    When I contacted Discover Card support, they said I had to have a unique “user ID” to have a different account (which I’ve never seen otherwise on any other website) so I’m just assuming they meant “you can’t have multiple cards on one account” (since they seem to be confusing “account” with “card” even though the activation process proved they can exist separately and unattached), so they’re saying:

    1. They don’t want a person to have multiple personal cards.
    2. They distinguish a person by their username, not any personal info at all.

    It’s a weird way for them to allow a person to have multiple personal cards, though I don’t know why they’d subvert their own policy to add this extra complication for their users and themselves.

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