Every bank has rules and restrictions to limit who can and cannot get approved for credit cards. But no rule is quite as restrictive as Chase Bank's rule.
It’s called the Chase 5/24 Rule, and it means you will get denied for new Chase credit cards if you have opened five or more cards – from any bank, not just Chase – in a rolling 24-month period. Learn more by watching our YouTube video below:
Even if you never plan to open five or more credit cards, this rule should help shape your strategy for what credit cards to get first. You should generally prioritize getting Chase credit cards before looking to other banks. That's because all Chase cards are impacted by this rule. Once you hit that 5/24 threshold, many cards will no longer be an option until you fall below it again.
So we're laying out some of the best Chase cards to get while you still can, from Chase's popular Sapphire travel cards to co-branded airline and hotel cards. Just remember: No matter which cards you're considering, credit cards are serious business. You should never open and use a credit card unless you can pay off every dime on time and in full.
If you are just getting started with points and miles, these should be the first cards you look at adding.
The Best Credit Cards to Get if You Are Under 5/24
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card
- The Chase Freedom Flex Card℠
- The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
- The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card & Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
- The Chase World of Hyatt Card
- The Chase Southwest Credit Cards
- The Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
- The United℠ Explorer Card
The Best Credit Cards to Get if You Are Under 5/24
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
We’ve named the *chase sapphire preferred* the best card for travelers for years.
It has a relatively low annual fee of just $95, and the Ultimate Rewards points it earns can be insanely valuable. Not only can you use these points to book cheap cash flights, but you can also transfer them to a dozen different hotel and airlines that are Chase transfer partners to squeeze even more value out of them.
Right now, you can earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership.
That's enough to redeem for at least $750 towards travel – or perhaps much more.
Critically, this card is impacted by Chase 5/24 so it should almost always be your first choice if you haven't passed that limit yet.
Learn more about the *csp*.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Think of the *chase sapphire reserve* as the bigger sibling of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
It earns the same Chase Ultimate Rewards points, but you can pile them up even faster thanks to some earning bonuses – then redeem them for even more value than if you had the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It offers up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, an annual $300 travel reimbursement credit, Priority Pass lounge access, and numerous other premium benefits. These benefits push the card's annual fee to $550 each year.
But there's an extra restriction beyond the 5/24 rule: You can only have either the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve – not both, at least within a four-year period. That means you must choose wisely when it comes time to pick your Sapphire card. And one of these two cards should definitely take one of your 5/24 slots.
Right now, the sign-up bonus on the Sapphire Reserve is 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. And because of the value of these points, that's worth at least $900 towards travel.
Learn more about the *chase sapphire reserve*.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card
The *freedom unlimited* earns at least 1.5% cash back on all spending with no annual limit – plus a new added bonus.
If you hold a Sapphire card, you can combine the cash back earned from the Freedom Flex card into Chase Ultimate Rewards, where each cent gets you 1 point.
Considering you earn at least 1.5% cash back (or 1.5 points per dollar) on the Freedom Unlimited Card, it could make more sense to swipe this card rather than your Sapphire card for some everyday spending. But the earning on the Freedom Unlimited Card goes even further.
- Earn 6.5% cashback on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
- Earn 6.5% cashback on Lyft rides through March 2025.
- Earn 4.5% cashback on dining, including takeout and delivery services
- Earn 4.5% cashback at drugstores
- Earn unlimited 3% cashback on all other purchases
- Subject to the Chase 5/24 rule, so you won't get approved for the Chase Freedom Unlimited if you've opened five or more credit cards (from any bank, not just Chase) in the last 24 months.
- No Annual Fee
That makes this card an excellent option if you're under the 5/24 rule. Best of all, there's no annual fee.
Learn more about the *freedom unlimited*.
The Chase Freedom Flex Card℠
The Chase Freedom Flex Card℠ is another great option if you are under the 5/24 rule, and another fantastic card to combine with either the *chase sapphire preferred* or the *chase sapphire reserve* credit cards.
The card earns a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months of card membership (this $200 equals 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points). But more importantly, you'll also earn 5% cashback on up to $1,500 in spending in rotating quarterly bonus categories, along with a number of other benefits.
If you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the card becomes even more valuable because you can transfer that cashback into points. And just like the other Freedom card, there's no annual fee here, either.
Learn more about the Chase Freedom Flex Card (for full disclosure, this is our personal referral link).
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
There aren't too many hotel credit cards on this list, but the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card is worth an exception.
You can now earn five Marriott free night certificates eligible for properties that cost up to 50,000 points per night after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of card membership. Doctor of Credit first flagged report this new offer.
These free night certificates are yours to use for a full 12 months after you earn them – but you'll want to be sure to use them in that span, otherwise they'll be forfeited. You could use this bonus to lock in five nights at the Le Meridien Maldives later this year or early next thanks to some wide-open availability. You can even kick in up to 15,000 extra Bonvoy points to cover pricier properties.
This is easily one of the best offers we've seen on this Marriott card – or any Marriott card, period. And there's nothing in it for us if you apply: This is a publicly available offer you can get directly through Marriott and Chase. But like every card on this list, you'll need to be under that 5/24 count in order to get approved.
Learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card (for full disclosure, this is not an affiliate link).
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card & Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
Small business owners (and believe me, you may be eligible for a business credit card and not realize it) who already have a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points like the *chase ink preferred*, the *chase sapphire preferred*, or even the *chase sapphire reserve* should give these two Ink Business cards a long, hard look.
With one of those cards in your wallet, the cashback from these two Ink cards can be turned into Ultimate Rewards points, making the rewards much more valuable – especially if your ultimate goal is travel.
For a limited-time, both cards are offering $900 back (90,000 points) after spending $6,000 in the first three months of card membership.
Learn more about the *chase ink cash*.
Learn more about the *chase ink unlimited*.
The Chase World of Hyatt Card
A lesser-known card in the Chase travel credit card portfolio is the Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card. And since it is impacted by the Chase 5/24 rule, it is a great one to grab while you are still under the 5/24 threshold.
To start with, the card earns 30,000 World of Hyatt points after you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership. You can then earn another 30,000 points by earning 2x points on all purchases on up to $15,000 of spend in the first six months – for 60,000 points total.
Each year of card membership on your account anniversary, you will be given a free night certificate that is valid at any Hyatt category 1-4 property. And if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year, you'll receive an additional free night.
There are a number of great category 4 properties where the certificate can be used. See our post on the best uses of the free Hyatt anniversary night.
Here is a full listing of Hyatt properties by category. Many of these hotels cost north of $250 a night, making the card's $95 annual fee well worth it.
Learn more about the World of Hyatt Credit Card (for full disclosure this is not an affiliate link).
The Chase Southwest Credit Cards
When you are under the Chase 5/24 rule, one of the biggest considerations is whether or not you want to go after the Southwest Companion Pass.
The Companion Pass from Southwest Airlines lets you choose one person to fly free with you every time you purchase a flight or redeem Southwest Rapid Rewards points for a flight on Southwest. There are no blackout dates and no questions asked. If the flight is bookable, you can add your companion.
Check out the full listing of all Southwest personal credit cards.
Learn more about the *sw priority*.
Learn more about the *sw premier*.
Learn more about the *sw plus*.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
If you are a small business owner, the *chase ink preferred* is one credit card worth a spot in your wallet if you are under the Chase 5/24 rule.
With any Chase business cards, you need to be under the 5/24 rule to get approved, however, small business cards will not add to your 5/24 total.
First and foremost, with the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you'll earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $8,000 in the first three months of card membership. Chase recently slashed the spending requirement from $15,000 down to $8,000 to earn the same 100,000-point bonus. It's simply the best offer we've seen on this card.
You'll also earn 3x points on all travel, shipping costs, Plastiq bill payments, internet, phone, and cable service, and advertising purchases through social media or search engines on your first $150,000 of spending each year. And each point is worth 1.25 cents when booking travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal
Learn more about the *chase ink preferred*
The United℠ Explorer Card
The *united explorer* is another card worth looking at if you are under the Chase 5/24 rule. The card offers a number of benefits for United flyers that make it worth it, and it is a great card to combine with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
That's because Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred into your United MileagePlus account.
The card also offers a credit for either Global Entry or TSA Precheck of up to $100 every four years and offers free checked luggage and priority boarding when you fly United. With a $95 annual fee that's waived for the first year, this is one of the cheapest ways you can get PreCheck or Global Entry.
Learn more about the *united explorer*
There are a lot of credit card options to consider if you are under the Chase 5/24 rule. And there is no right or wrong way to go about filling your slots: It's just important to consider Chase cards first before moving onto other banks.
Live in a city without much Southwest Airlines service? The companion pass probably won't do much for you, and neither will their credit cards. Loyal to Marriott or Hilton? Maybe the Hyatt Chase card doesn't make much sense.
You should grab the cards that will provide the most value to you. But so long as you're still under 5/24, focusing on Chase first is a sound strategy.