If you want to be successful at booking award travel, it is important to plan your credit card application strategy wisely. Before applying for any credit card, you will want to familiarize yourself with the Chase 5/24 rule.
If you’re a beginner, this post also has lots of information for beginners about why Chase cards should probably be your top priority.
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.
Which 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.
The short answer is that ALL Chase cards are now subject to the 5/24 policy
For years, these Chase cards have been subject to the 5/24 policy
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
- Marriott Rewards Premier Plus 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 Priority Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
- United MileagePlus Club card
- United MileagePlus Explorer Card
- United MileagePlus Explorer Business card.
As of early 2019, it seems that the policy has expanded to include these cards
- AARP Credit Card from Chase
- Aer Lingus Credit Card
- Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
- British Airways Visa Signature Card
- Disney Rewards Visa Card
- Iberia Plus Credit Card
- IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
- IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
- Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
- The World of Hyatt Credit Card
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
Which cards count for the 5/24 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 against my 5/24 number?
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:
- 6/1/17- opened Amex SPG credit card
- 9/15/17- opened Amex Platinum charge card
- 9/15/17-opened Bank of America Alaska Airlines credit card
- 3/10/18-opened Citi AAdvantage credit card
- 9/12/18-opened Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card
It is now June 3, 2019. It has been over 24 months since the 6/1/19 card was opened, but according to some reports, I will not be cleared of the limit until July 1. Other reports suggest that I would have been eligible for a new card on June 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 tried to apply for another card on June 1.
I would suggest playing it safe and waiting until July 1. Give it 25 months.
You can check your 5/24 status for free on CreditKarma.com
- At the top of the page after you log in, Click “My Overview”
- Click “Score Details”
- Scroll until you see a box that says “Credit Age” and click
- Under “Open Accounts” your credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, and any other lines of credit are listed.
- Under the “Credit Cards” section, they are listed from the oldest to most recent. To the right is the age of the account.
- Count how many accounts are less than 24 months old.
- This is your 5/24 status
For example, if you have 5 credit cards open, but 4 were opened in 2012 and 1 was opened last month, your status would be 1/24.
Possible ways to bypass the 5/24 policy
None of the ways that previously worked seem to work at this time. The only exception is if one of your accounts is an authorized user account.
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.
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 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.
Do business cards count against my 5/24 number?
No. If you have an Amex business card, Chase will not see that card.
BUT, if you are over 5/24, you will not be approved for any Chase business credit cards.
The good news is that if you’re new to this, you likely have not opened many cards in the past 24 months.
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. I highly recommend opening 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.