The Chase 5/24 Rule Explained

Chase ultimate rewards, chase 5/24 policy

What is the Chase 5/24 Rule?

Back in 2015, reports began emerging that people were getting denied on applications to open new Chase cards.  It was eventually determined that Chase was denying applications from anyone who has opened more than 5 credit card accounts in the past 24 months.  This policy looks at all of one’s recently opened accounts, not just accounts opened with Chase.

How strict is the 5/24 rule?

Pretty strict.  Those with credit scores above 800 and a long-standing relationship with Chase get denied.  Even Chase Private Client customers cannot seem to get around this rule.

What Chase cards are affected by the 5/24 limit?

Chase does not publish an official list.  In fact they do not even officially publish this policy, but there have been enough data points on the world wide web to come to a general consensus.

At first, this only applied to Chase’s bank cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  It eventually expanded to many airline and hotel co-branded cards as well.

As of May 2017 these are the cards that seem to be affected by the 5/24 policy

Any Chase bank branded card, Southwest co-branded card, United co-branded card, and the personal version of the Marriott card are subject to the 5/24 limit.

  • Chase Freedom
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • Ink Business Cash Credit Card
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Chase Slate credit card
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
  • United MileagePlus Club card
  • United MileagePlus Explorer Card
  • United MileagePlus Explorer Business card

As of May 2017 these are the cards that do not seem to be affected by the 5/24 policy*

  • AARP Credit Card from Chase
  • Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
  • British Airways Visa Signature Card
  • Disney Rewards Visa Card
  • IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card
  • Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
  • The Hyatt Credit Card
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card

*Keep in mind that although these cards are not affected by the rule, they still count towards your open cards.

Each of these lists can change at any time.  I will try to keep this list current.

Which cards count for the limit?

Charge cards and credit cards that are issued from ANY bank.

If I close one of my accounts am I still over the 5/24 limit?

Yes. Chase looks at any accounts that were opened in the last 24 months.  Closing an account will not lower your number.

What if an application was denied in the past 24 months?

If an application was denied, this does not count against the limit.  Chase only looks at accounts that were opened.

Does being an authorized user count towards 5/24?

Unfortunately, yes.  But people have actually had success getting around this factor by calling the reconsideration line. There are many reports of people getting approved if being an authorized user is what put them over the limit.

Exactly how does Chase count 24 months for the 5/24 rule?

There is a bit of a discrepancy on this, but the general consensus is that it goes by calendar months.  The discrepancy is whether or not you have to wait until the 1st of the next month to apply.

Here is a hypothetical example:

  • 5/20/15- opened Amex SPG credit card
  • 9/15/15- opened Amex Platinum charge card
  • 9/15/15-opened Bank of America Alaska Airlines credit card
  • 3/10/16-opened Citi AAdvantage credit card
  • 9/12/16-opened Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card

It is now May 23, 2017.  It has been over 24 months, but according to some reports I will not be cleared of the limit until June 1.  Other reports suggest that I would have been eligible for a new card on May 1.  Some suggest that the discrepancy exists due to the way credit bureaus report.  In other words, depending on which credit bureau Chase pulls, I may or may not be cleared of my 24 months if I try to apply for another card on May 1.

My opinion: I would suggest playing it safe and waiting until June 1.

Possible ways to bypass the 5/24 policy

None of these are guaranteed to work, but they may be worth trying.

Is one of your accounts an authorized user account?

As stated above, if being an authorized user on someone else’s account is what is putting you over the limit, you may still have success by calling the reconsideration line.

Check the ‘Your Offers’ tab if you already have a Chase account

chase 5/24 rules, your offers
There are several reports of approvals even if one is over 5/24 when applying for a ‘selected for you’ offer through your Chase account.  If you already have a Chase account, login to your account to see if you have any offers.  If you see any offers for a credit card you want, Chase may approve your application regardless of your 5/24 status.

In-branch pre-approval offers

There are also reports of people getting approved when over 5/24 by applying in person at a Chase branch.  According to most reports of success, people were told by a banker that they were pre-approved without asking.  There are other reports of approvals even if the applicant prompted the banker to check for pre-approved offers.  Keep in mind that this is not guaranteed.

Targeted mail offers

If you receive an invite offer in the mail that has an invitation code, you may have success even if you’re over 5/24.

If you are new to miles and points, here is my advice regarding the 5/24 rule

  • Decide which cards you want for the foreseeable future
  • If you want one or more of the Chase cards affected by the 5/24 policy, apply for those cards first.
  • Once you have successfully applied for the Chase card or cards you want, then you can start applying for cards with other issuers such as American Express.

If you are already over 5/24

This is pretty obvious but if you want one of the cards on the list, you’re most likely going to have to wait it out.  This is easier said than done for those of us who frequently apply for cards.  This means that you cannot apply for any card while you’re waiting for that 5th date to fall off.  Once you get to 4/24, you should be able to apply for a card affected by the policy.  Do this before you resume applying for cards with other banks.

Conclusion

In case you haven’t noticed by now, Chase is the issuer of quite a few cards that I value the most.  This policy makes it a little tougher to get valuable signup bonuses for certain Chase cards on a frequent basis, but it has not stopped me from getting value out of the Ultimate Rewards program from my everyday spending.  Usually for beginners, one of the cards I recommend most is a Chase Sapphire, so it may be a good idea to get one of these first.

This policy does throw a wrench in getting the Southwest Companion Pass for those of us already in the miles and points game.  The good news is that if you’re new to this, you likely have not opened many cards in the past 24 months.  This means that  you might be able to earn the Southwest Companion Pass easier than you think.  I am working on a full post about the Companion Pass so look for it soon!

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