Applying for credit cards to travel more comes with all kinds of considerations, from protecting your credit score to navigating different banks and mastering all the different points and miles out there. Chase is one of the titans of the world of points and miles, and it has one of the most important restrictions to keep in mind: the Chase 5/24 Rule.
From Amex to Capital One to Chase and every bank in between, this rule is one of the strictest you'll find when it comes to getting approved – or denied – for new credit cards. Open too many cards in the last two years, and it means Chase may shut you down.
We'll run you through the basics of this rule, how it works, and why it means you should prioritize getting Chase credit cards before looking to other banks if you're getting started in this world of travel rewards.
Related Reading: Master Guide to Credit Card Applications: All the Rules You Need to Know, Bank by Bank
- What is the Chase 5/24 Rule?
- What Chase Credit Cards are Affected by the 5/24 Rule?
- Chase 5/24 Rule Frequently Asked Questions
- Chase 5/24 Rule: Bottom Line
What is the Chase 5/24 Rule?
The Chase 5/24 rule is a hard-and-fast restriction rolled out years ago in order to limit card applicants from opening credit cards for the sole purpose of earning bonus rewards. If you've heard of the phrase “churning,” that's exactly what this rule is designed to crack down on.
Here's what it boils down to:
- If you have opened five or more credit cards in the past 24 months from any bank credit card issuers (not just Chase cards), you will not be approved for Chase credit cards, regardless of your credit score or history with Chase bank.
- The rule does not count credit inquiries, but rather new cards you have applied for and been approved.
So if you have opened five or more new credit cards in the past 24 months, you will likely not be approved for Chase credit cards that are subject to the 5/24 rule. As you'll see, all of Chase's personal credit cards fall under this rule.
Chase isn't just looking at your history with Chase cards to make this determination: Personal credit cards from any bank will add to your 5/24 count.
The rule is not officially published through any of Chase's platforms. Case in point: If you ask about it in a Chase branch, many employees have likely not heard of it.
What Chase Credit Cards are Affected by the 5/24 Rule?
For years, all Chase credit cards have been impacted by the Chase 5/24 rule. Once you're over that threshold, you will not be approved for any of these cards.
Below is the current list of credit cards that are impacted by the 5/24 rule. If you have been approved for five or more cards in the last 24 months, you likely won't be approved for any of these cards.
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card
- Aeroplan® Credit Card
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card
- Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
- Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
- Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Chase Freedom Flex℠
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Chase Slate Edge
- Iberia Visa Signature® Card
- IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
- IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Card
- The Instacart Mastercard®
- The Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card
- The World of Hyatt Credit Card
- The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card
- United Gateway℠ Card
- United℠ Business Card
- United℠ Explorer Card
- United Quest℠ Card
- Chase Disney Card
- Chase AARP Card
- Chase Amazon Card
Are Business Credit Cards Impacted by Chase 5/24?
Business credit cards work a bit differently with the Chase 5/24 rule.
When it comes to Chase business credit cards specifically, you'll need to be underneath the 5/24 rule to get approved … but that approval will not add to your 5/24 count.
For example, let's say you want to apply for the Chase Ink Preferred® Business Card. If you've opened five or more credit cards in the last 24 months, you'd almost certainly get denied. But let's say you've opened four credit cards over the last two years. You could get approved … and if you do, you'd remain at 4/24 under this rule.
In general, most business card approvals do not count towards your 5/24 total. That includes business cards from American Express, Chase, Citi, Bank of America, and more.
The reason? Business credit card accounts typically don't show on your personal credit report.
Chase 5/24 Rule Frequently Asked Questions
Do Authorized User Accounts Count Toward the Chase 5/24 Rule?
Authorized user accounts will typically appear on your personal credit report. That means they will be counted towards your 5/24 status.
But that's not the end of the story. There are many data points out suggesting that calling the Chase reconsideration phone line may result in some representatives removing authorized user accounts from your 5/24 status.
This ultimately allows you to be approved for Chase cards, assuming your authorized user accounts put you over the 5/24 rule. Chase's reconsideration phone lines are as follows:
- Reconsideration (Personal): 888-270-2127
- Reconsideration (Business): 800-453-9719
Read More: Everything You Need to Know About Credit Card Authorized Users
Do Retail Store Credit Cards Count Towards the Chase 5/24 Rule?
If you have specific retail store credit cards, these will only count towards your 5/24 status if the card can be used outside of the specific store.
This means if the card has a payment network listed on it such as Visa, American Express, Discover, or Mastercard, it will be counted. If not, the card will not count against your 5/24 status.
Do Mortgages, Auto Loans, or Student Loans Count Towards the Chase 5/24 Rule?
Other lines of credit like mortgages, auto loans, student loans, home equity lines of credit, etc. should not count towards your 5/24 status as they are not a bank credit card.
The Chase 5/24 rule will not apply to these lines of credit. It only applies to personal credit cards that you are approved for (with the exception of retail store credit cards that are not part of a larger payment network).
How Are the 24 Months Calculated?
The Chase 5/24 rule is calculated on a card membership basis, not a calendar year. For example, if you are above 5/24 and fall below it on May 15th, you would need to wait until June first before you applied for a card that was subjected to the Chase 5/24 Rule.
How Can I Track My Chase 5/24 Status?
The best time to get started tracking your 5/24 status is right away, even if opening five or more credit cards in a 24-month period sounds crazy to you.
Over the years, the best tool I have found to do this is a service called Travel Freely. It allows you to track the credit cards you have opened and closed and comes up with an automated 5/24 number. It also alerts you to annual fee due dates, and much more.
Best of all, the service is completely free to use and doesn't track any sensitive financial information.
Read more: Travel Freely: The Best Way to Keep Credit Cards Organized
Of course, this data is only as good as you make it. It does require staying on top of the dates you've opened and closed credit cards, but the service makes that very easy to do.
Another great option is to use a service like Credit Karma, or even Experian. These should show you a list of all your open credit accounts and when they were opened. From here, you should be able to calculate which ones will count toward your 5/24 status. Travel Freely will do that math automatically.
Chase 5/24 Rule: Bottom Line
If you understand the restrictions of the Chase 5/24 rule, you should be able to navigate it without much issue. This is among the most restrictive credit card application rules out there.
And that's the reason we always recommend that you should start with Chase credit cards before any other bank. Before long, it may be too late.
Any security concerns over personal information with Travel Freely? Just got signed up, but havent put in details yet. Thanks for the tip about this site!
None. You aren’t entering in any sensitive information, just the credit card you have and the dates you opened and closed it (not actual card numbers). It’s a great service.
Do personal lines of credit count towards 5/24?
Hey David. Cards only. Personal lines of credit won’t add to your total.
Lots of articles try to instill fear in people trying to generate bonus miles from credit cards. For many years, my wife and I have constantly opened new cards as soon as our trailing-24 applications fall below 5. I use a spreadsheet to keep track, so I know exactly when one of us qualifies for a new card. We don’t even travel much, but we use our miles to help friends who cannot pay to travel on their own nickel. We also help a few charities with their travel needs. (BTW, I would never use miles for domestic travel, as your yield is only 1-1.5 cents per mile. For international travel, I routinely score yields of 3-5 cents per mile.) At a penny a point, I will just pay cash for domestic tickets.
As soon as my daughters turned 18, I started getting cards in their names too. Of course, I had to satisfy the initial spend requirements for them, but that has never been a problem. Each time we get a new card, I panic about spending $5,000 in the first three months, but with a little focus, I usually meet that hurdle in less than 6 weeks. One trick that I discovered is that gift cards to grocery stores are coded as groceries. Normally, you do not get points for gift cards, but apparently there is a loophole for grocery stores. One time, I was a little short on the initial spend requirement, so I just bought $1,000 in gift cards from Kroger. That was simply paying my groceries in advance for the next month, and it pushed us over the limit on the spend requirement.
When the annual fee comes due, I call to cancel that card. In most cases, they will offer to waive the fee, sometimes contingent on me charging a modest amount in the next month. When this happens, I will keep the card for another year; otherwise I cancel it. One time, when calling to cancel the Chase United Explorer card, they begged me to keep the card. I told them outright that I planned to re-apply for the same card next month to get the sign-up bonus. They offered to waive the annual fee and simply give me the 60K bonus, without even making the usual spend requirement. (That is not standard policy, and it has only happened once, but I certainly took advantage of their generous offer.)
Despite applying for as many cards as are allowed, and cancelling after a year or two, our credit scores have not been impacted at all. My wife and I are both at 810+, and my 20-something daughters are both 750+, even though neither has even had a real job yet. I don’t know what it takes to attract negative attention from the banks, but I have been playing the mileage game for years, and my family of four probably averages 700K per year in sign-up bonuses alone.
Banks may say publicly that they don’t want customers to apply for multiple cards, but they are simply lying. As soon as you get one card from Chase, Citi, Capital One, etc., you will be bombarded with offers from that same bank to get other cards. In many cases, those offers have better sign-up bonuses than you can find on their website.
For anybody who wants to enjoy free travel, I would encourage them to jump into the credit card mileage game. Due to the devaluation of points by every airline, it is not as lucrative as it was just a few years ago, but free travel is still free travel. The most important caveat is that you must be prepared to pay off all your credit card balances every month. If you end up carrying balances and incurring interest charges, then none of this makes sense.