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Chase 5-24 Rule: Chase won’t approve you for the most of the best travel credit cards if you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards from ANY bank within the past 24 months. Important exception: Business credit cards from American Express, Bank of America, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo do NOT count towards your 5 credit card total.
That locks you out from terrific Chase credit cards like:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — I’ve had this card for 5+ years and use it constantly. It’s also our #1 pick for folks new to using miles instead of money for travel
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card – Far and away our favorite business credit card
- Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card – I’ve had this no annual fee card for 5+ years also and use it all the time
Warren Buffett 5-25 Rule: Make a list of your top 25 career goals. Circle the 5 most important. Cross out the rest. Do not let them distract you. Focus is your friend. Distraction is your enemy.
In short, don’t spread yourself too thin! Master a handful of things, rather than be mediocre at many.
Here’s how I apply Buffett the Billionaire’s rule to my travel credit card collecting.
A Chase 5-24 Rule Strategy That’ll Get You Awesome Travel
Make a list of all the Chase credit cards you desire. It might look something like this:
(You can only have ONE of the two cards above. So cross one out. Both are great. Everyone on our team has one of the two above, so you can’t go wrong.)
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card — Biggest Chase Ultimate Rewards points bonus!
(You ARE allowed to have one of each of the Ink small business cards! I have the Ink Cash AND the Ink Unlimited. And when I’m under the Chase 5/24 rule, I’m eyeing the big bonus on the Chase Ink Business Preferred.)
You can only have ONE of the three Southwest personal cards above.
You can have the Southwest Business credit card and a personal Southwest card.
You should be circling these if you want the #1 deal in travel — the Southwest Companion Pass. When you earn it, your partner flies free with you for up to 2 years on Southwest Airlines. Our co-founder Emily saves $1,000s with this perk each year.
The World Of Hyatt Credit Card – I have the older version of this card. Love it. Previously this card wasn’t part of the Chase 5-24 rule but now it is!
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card — IHG points are super easy to use around the world. I have this card too.
You might even have MORE Chase options on your list! Circle the ones you MUST have. Cross out the others.
The Order in Which You Apply for Travel Credit Cards Matters
Now that you’ve selected your Top 5, start with the business credit cards, if you’re eligible. Yes, your for-profit side-hustle makes you eligible.
I’ve been approved for Chase credit cards using my social security number and applying as a sole proprietor for the businesses I’m growing. Meghan on our team rents out vacation homes as her business. Keith re-sells products on sites like eBay as his business. We use the Chase business credit cards to improve our businesses. The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has 3X categories that incentivize you with bonus points for your regular business expenses.
You’re starting with the business credit cards because they do NOT count towards the 5 credit cards you can open in the previous 24 months.
So knock yourself out with
and so on.
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is a great one to start with because with it you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points into awesome travel loyalty programs to get luxury hotels and First Class flights. Of course coach flights are good too. I’ve often moved my Chase Ultimate Rewards points into United Airlines miles to fly to Europe on United’s partners like TAP Portugal and LOT Polish.
As for comfort, for me, paying $8,000 to lay down to sleep 8 hours on a bed in Business Class with good food and complimentary cocktails to Europe wouldn’t have been possible without using Chase Ultimate Rewards points instead of money.
I simply moved my Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United and flew on Air Canada Business Class there and on Lufthansa Business Class back home. It was great!
After you get you Chase business credit cards (or you skip it because you don’t have a business) move on to circle your top personal credit card choices.
You can’t have both.
If you know for sure you’ll use all the perks on the Reserve go for that one. Otherwise, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is perfect for your situation. Again, EVERYONE on our team has one of these 2 cards. It’s the most important tool in your Big Travel with Small Money toolbox.
Then go down your list and focus on the cards that make the most sense for YOUR situation.
Not all of the Chase cards on that big list above will deny you because of opening “too many” credit cards recently. But the Hyatt card was recently added to the restricted list and it’s clear that Chase is moving to add most/all of their cards to this unfortunate policy.
After you’ve been approved for the Chase cards you want, go for travel credit cards from other issuers. And remember business credit cards from American Express, Bank of America, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo do NOT count towards the 5 you can open within 24 months to still be eligible for Chase cards.
3 Top Credit Cards to Look at Once You’re Locked Out by the Chase 5/24 Rule
- Best Cash Back Credit Card for Restaurants & Entertainment: Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Best Citi Travel Credit Card Bonus: Citi Premier℠ Card
- Best Travel Credit Card With No Annual Fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
Which Chase credit cards do YOU have? Or which do you want next?
and I REALLY want the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card next!