Should I Stop Applying for Credit Cards Until I’m Below the Chase “5/24” Rule?

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Million Mile Secrets Reader, Karen, tweeted:

Should I forego all credit card applications until I have my numbers below the “5/24” requirement?  It would take me 8 months, meaning lots of missed opportunity.

Chase has some of the best travel credit cards available.  But they also have stricter application rules, that is, if you’ve applied for ~5+ cards from any bank (except these business cards) in the past 24 months, it’s unlikely you’ll be approved for most Chase cards.

But there’s a way to still apply for new cards without impacting the number of credit cards on your credit report.

Should I Stop Applying For Credit Cards Until I'm Below The Chase 5/24 Rule

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I’ll show you the best credit card application strategy while you’re waiting for your new credit card accounts to age.

How to Handle the Chase “5/24 Rule”

Last year, Chase began tightening their approval requirements.  If you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months, it will be difficult to be approved for most cards issued by Chase.

There are still 6 Chase cards that are not restricted by these new requirements.  But some of the best Chase cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve, ARE restricted by these rules!

Should I Stop Applying For Credit Cards Until I'm Below The Chase 5/24 Rule

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Lots of folks in this hobby are well beyond 5 credit cards opened in the past 24 months.  So what should folks do if they want valuable Chase cards, but don’t want to stop applying for other cards??

Apply for Certain Small Business Cards

Signing-up for small business cards is the best way to keep your credit applications under Chase’s “5/24 rule”.  That’s because when you apply for business cards from certain banks, the new account will not appear on your personal credit report!

The banks that do not currently report small business cards on your personal credit report are:

  • American Express
  • Bank of America
  • Chase
  • Citi
  • Wells Fargo

However, you do NOT want to apply for Chase small business credit cards.  That’s because they are restricted by Chase’s new application rules.  And they WILL hurt your chances of being approved for other Chase cards, because Chase can view all the cards they’ve issued you.

And remember, your face doesn’t need to be on the latest issue of Forbes to be eligible for a small business credit card.  A moderately profitable side project may qualify as a small business!

Pace Your Personal Credit Card Applications

If you’ve opened more than 5 credit cards in the past 2 years but don’t like the idea of applying for small business cards (or if you just want to apply for personal cards, too!), you can still apply for a personal credit card every so often.  Just monitor when you opened each credit card, so you can keep track of your “5/24” status.

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Folks in this hobby like to wait 3 or 4 months between credit card applications from the same bank anyway.  For example, if you wanted the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase United Explorer card, the unofficial rule is that you would have the best chance of approval if you spaced your applications out by at least 3 months.

Note:   You can also pop into a Chase branch to see if you’re pre-approved for the credit card you want.  Pre-approved cards don’t seem to be subject to the “5/24 rule.”

Bottom Line

Chase’s “5/24” application rule has made it more difficult to get certain miles & points.  But you don’t have to stop applying for credit cards to be approved for the Chase cards you want.

Certain small business cards will not show up on your personal credit report, so they won’t count against you when you apply for Chase credit cards.  And you might qualify for a small business credit card, even if your for-profit venture isn’t very substantial.

You can still apply for personal credit cards every once in a while, as long as you pace yourself.

What’s your application strategy for Chase’s strict application rules?

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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13 responses to “Should I Stop Applying for Credit Cards Until I’m Below the Chase “5/24” Rule?

  1. I feel really strongly that it IS worth waiting to apply if the Chase card(s) is/are what you need. For example, as a family of four who visits relatives in the U.S. a lot, there is nothing more valuable to us than the Southwest Companion Pass. We stopped applying so we can get these again in March.

  2. Over 5/24 and was just approved for marriot business card

  3. I don’t think pre-approvals work. Went into Chase branch, was told I was pre-approved for Reserve, so applied. No instant decision (780+ fico). Called after 3 days and was declined due to 5/24.

  4. Please help me understand the statement that it is okay to apply for new (personal) cards as long as you pace yourself. It was my thought that every time you applied for a personal card, you pushed your ability to get a Chase card that much farther away as it will be that much longer until you have less than 5 new cards in 24 months. I don’t understand when you say it is okay to apply for other cards as long as you pace yourself. For example, here are the dates when my current cards will be over 24 months old, but if I add another one now, that would add an October 2018 to the bottom of the list and effectively make me not be able to apply for a Chase card until December 2017 rather than the current October 2017. Am I missing something here?
    Nov 13 2016
    March 20 2017
    April 13 2017
    May 11 2017
    May 31 2017
    AUG 15 2017
    Aug 18 2017
    Sept 14 2017
    Should be able to apply by end of October as it runs a month late I have read.
    nov 10 2017
    Jan 22 2018
    Feb 16 2018
    Aug 2018

  5. Can verify now that Barclays business cards are considered together with Barclays personal cards. Got 4 Barclays personal cards this year and also applied for the Hawaiian Biz card, my first biz card with them. Was rejected for too many new cards opened recently. Barclays is getting stricter.

  6. I’m in the same boat… I have to wait 6 months to fall to 3/24 so do I wait for CSR?? by then I am expecting the 100k sign up bonus will be lowered… so I could be missing out on great cards in the next 6 months while I wait.. It’s a tough call. I am interested in what AmEx has in store that everyone is expecting them to counter the CSR with… then I’ll reconsider my position I have 1 card slot left over to be at 4/24 by next march.. so I am waiting patiently.

  7. Lisa – I think what is meant about “apply every once in a while” is for those who are NOT 5/24, or who have made it back to NOT 5/24.

    In your case, you are way beyond 5/24 and would have to wait. ONCE you get below 5/24, you can then apply for one card every 5 months and stay “in Chase’s good graces”.

    The article then points out exceptions to the “future” one card every 5 months rule – like the small business cards.

    I’m having to wait till July 2017 myself.

  8. I’m glad I got into travel hacking when I did (2012). I actually wish I had done it earlier, but glad I’m not starting now. I’m in a good place with healthy balances, travel booked 18 months out, and a good earning strategy outside of CC signup bonuses. As a result, I think I am going to cool off and try to limit applications to two per year eah for the wife an me. We won’t go on a regular cycle, more of a wait and only take advantage of monster bonuses. If it weren’t for a pre-approval I would have missed out on the CSR.

    Over the next two years I’ll take advantage of good business card bonuses, and *excellent* personal card. And then keep on a schedule that allows me to not get shut out of new product offerings.

  9. I really want to get the Chase Reserve card, but was recently declined due to 5/24. I reviewed my 16 cards and determined that if I go cold turkey on credit card applications until September 2017 I will be under the 5/24 rule. I am hoping that by then the 100k bonus will have returned. However, in going cold turkey I will most likely miss out on some other lucrative cards offers. So my question is, is it worth it? Any thoughts?

  10. I keep getting denied by Chase because of the 5/24 rule even though I’ve only opened 4 personal cards in the last 2 years. I have several more business cards and I’m an authorized user on all my spouse’s cards. They told me on the phone that both of those count towards the 5/24, but it doesn’t make sense based on all I read on MMS…

    • @Lisa – It depends on the card (not all Chase cards count toward the 5/24 rule). However I agree that if the card does count towards 5/24 it will extend the time when you can apply.

      @tassojunior – Thanks for the update!

      @Dan – Thanks for helping out in the comments.

      @josh mackles – Depends if there are better offers from other banks in the meantime! Also, if you have a small business, you could apply for a business card.

      @Phelps – Authorized users do count towards 5/24, but business cards not from Chase shouldn’t count!

  11. Do Barclay business cards get reported on your personal credit card report?