Chase has some of the best credit cards on the market. Having the right combination of Chase cards in your wallet is a great way to earn valuable points quickly. In fact, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one I most frequently recommend to people looking to earn travel rewards. Up until recently, as long as you had good credit, it was easy to get approved for their cards.
In 2015 Chase quietly rolled out new restrictions that can make it more difficult to qualify for most of their cards. These restrictions are now commonly known as the Chase 5/24 rule. What makes things more difficult is that Chase, to my knowledge, has never released any details publicly about the specifics of the 5/24 rule. After a lot of research of have compiled this guide to help you understand these new rules so you can better plan your points strategy.
This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about these new rules. I’m sure there are some one-off instances of where these rules didn’t apply but if you stick to these guidelines, you will be just fine.
What Is The 5/24 Rule
If you have opened five or more personal credit cards within the past 24 months, Chase will decline your application. It doesn’t matter if you have perfect credit, you will get declined. This applies to ALL credit card accounts you have opened and NOT just new Chase cards. If you have opened 3 cards with Citibank and 2 with American Express and submit an application for a Chase card, you’ll be declined.
Which Cards Count Towards The 5/24 Rule
While there may be exceptions to the rule, I personally just assume any time I want to apply for a new Chase card, I need to be under the 5/24 rule. Remember, Chase doesn’t have an official list but each of these cards appears to be subject to the 5/24 rule.
- AARP Card
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa
- British Airways Visa Signature
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Sapphire Preferred (Full Card Review)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve (Full Card Review)
- Chase Slate
- Disney Premier Visa
- Disney Visa
- Iberia Visa Signature
- IHG Rewards Club Premier
- IHG Rewards Club Traveler
- Ink Business Preferred
- Ink Business Preferred
- Ink Business Cash
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business
- Starbucks Rewards Visa
- United Club
- United Club Business
- United Explorer
- United Explorer Business
- World Of Hyatt
How Do I Know My Score
It’s tough to remember exactly when I opened different credit card accounts, so I always look at my credit report. Each year everyone is entitled to receive one free credit report from each of the credit bureaus. I use the site Annual Credit Report because this is the site authorized by federal law to provide these for free.
You only need one report, so just pick one of the three and download it. First, you’ll need to look at the “open date” of the credit card accounts you have. Then count the ones that you opened in the past 24 months and see how many you have. Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if the card is currently open or if you have subsequently been closed. If you opened an account and closed it the following month, that counts.
Accounts That Affect My 5/24 Score
Personal Credit Cards – All personal credit card accounts with ANY bank will count towards this calculation.
Store Charge Cards – Any store card that is part of a payment network (i.e. Visa/MC) that will count too. I’ve read in instances where a store charge card isn’t part of a payment network will also count towards the 5/24 rule.
Some Business Cards – Any small business card you apply for with Discover, TD Bank or Capital One will count towards your score.
Authorized User – If someone else has opened a new credit card account and added you as an authorized user, this will also add to your score.
Only Applies To Chase Cards – These rules only apply when you’re opening a new Chase credit card. If you’re over the 5/24 limit and want to apply for a card with a different issuer, your score won’t affect your application.
Card Conversions – Generally, if you upgrade or downgrade your card, this shouldn’t affect your score. Sometimes a bank may pull your credit as part of the conversion which will impact your score. Simply ask them if they do this before you authorize the conversion so you can make an informed decision.
Other Loans – Auto, mortgage and student loans don’t count either.
The Chase 5/24 rule is pretty straight forward once you understand it. While it may be a little inconvenient, I can understand why they have implemented these changes. With a little planning, you can still fill your wallet with the best Chase cards for you. I did come across some theories on ways to get around this rule but I wouldn’t recommend trying them.
Chase is a great partner when it comes to the points hobby and I always want to be able to carry their cards. It doesn’t make sense to do anything that might raise a red flag and jeopardize your accounts. If you plan to open more than 1 new Chase account, I would wait a fair amount of time in between applications. I typically wait around 3 months before applying for another Chase card just to be safe.
Chase cards definitely deserve a place in your wallet. Your strategy for adding them will depend based on how many cards you’ve applied for recently. Remember, this isn’t a sprint. Take your time to understand and follow these guidelines and you’ll be just fine.