Newly Expanded Chase 5-24 Rule Versus Warren Buffett 5-25 Rule: My Chase Credit Card Strategy

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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:

Scott using his Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card points to hike the beautiful mountains and lakes of Poland
Because of the Chase 5-24 Rule, You Want to Collect Certain Chase Credit Cards First.  Here’s How to Think It Through.  (That’s Me Rocking My Chase Sapphire Preferred in Europe.  Not Shown: Europeans Wondering Why Some American Guy Is Wearing a Seinfeld T-Shirt and Posing With a Credit Card)

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:

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

(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!

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

(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.)

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

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!

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card — IHG points are super easy to use around the world.  I have this card too.

United℠ Explorer Card

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

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card,

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 Flew in Business Class bed to Europe using Chase points from my Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card
I Used Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Fly Business Class to Europe This Past Summer.  Understanding the Chase 5-24 Rule Helped Me Make Smart Credit Card Application Decisions to Earn the Points I Needed!

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.


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 


Chase Sapphire Reserve®.   

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

The information for the Citi Premier and Wells Fargo Propel has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom Line

Which Chase credit cards do YOU have?  Or which do you want next?

I’ve got

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card (older version)
Chase Freedom

and I REALLY want the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card next!

Million Mile Secrets is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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1 year ago

You DO NOT want to start with the business cards as your post suggests.
You want to get Chase personal cards first.
If you start with biz cards, you are missing out on running time off of the 2 year clock on Chase personal cards.
Basic stuff. Agree blog has gone down in quality.

1 year ago

Currently I’ve got:

Chase Sapphire Preferred
Ink Business Cash
IHG Rewards Club Premier
IHG Rewards Select (old card)

Looking to add:
The World Of Hyatt
Chase Freedom Unlimited (or the business version)

Andrew W
Reply to  NJturtlePower
1 year ago

Wow! You’ve got a pretty nice collection of cards there 🙂

I’ve got 6 cards with Chase myself. I’ve got my eye on the World of Hyatt card!

1 year ago

My husband applied for and received the business preferred card. About a month later, he applied for the CSR and after a half hour interview, he was ultimately denied because in essence, they just opened a business card for him. How long should one wait between applying for a chase business card and a chase personal card ?

1 year ago

Does applying for a chase business checking account with a soft credit pull count towards the 5/24 rule? I received a $300 promo for opening a chase business checking account.

1 year ago

I’m confused slightly because my partner had both the reserve and the sapphire preferred cards. I dunno how he did it but I know he did.

Andrew W
Reply to  YoshG
1 year ago

Hi YoshG!

For a time, it was possible to have both the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cards. I believe in late 2017 is when Chase introduced a new restriction allowing new card members to only have a single Sapphire product.

Reply to  Andrew W
1 year ago

Ahh! Thank you very much for the clarification :).

Wayne Crannell
1 year ago


I currently have a Chase Sapphire and a Chase Sapphire Preferred… these cards are over ten years old. I’d really like to get the Reserve, but I also want the current 60,000 mile bonus (I already have Global Entry, so I don’t get that perk.) And that’s the problem. No bonus if you already have a Sapphire product.

One suggestion I saw here might be to cancel the regular Sapphire and downgrade the Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom Unlimited. Then I apply for a Sapphire Reserve. (Approval shouldn’t be an issue.)

Is this even possible? Does this get me the miles? Is the Reserve worth it even without the mile bonus?

1 year ago

Does Chase limit the number of their cards that you can have including the branded ones? My brother has referred me for a southwest card but the invitation never comes.

1 year ago

Article never says if IHG, Marriott and British are now subject to 5/24.

Andrew W
Reply to  tassojunior
1 year ago

Based on many reports online, the British Airways, IHG, and Marriott Premier Business card are now subject to the 5/24 rule.

George Thomas
1 year ago

Good research

1 year ago

I don’t recommend applying for CSR or CSP right after you get Ink Preferred, because any one of the three can transfer points. I would wait for at least a year, during which you can get one or two other cards, then apply for CSR or CSP, if approved, you can cancel Ink Preferred to avoid the annual fee without losing the ability to transfer points.

1 year ago

I have the Ink Preferred (travel 3%) and Priority Pass (Aspire). I will have to evaluate keeping the Chase Sapphire Reserve or downgrading the card.

1 year ago

Have CF CFU IHG (recently closed SW personal) CIC CIU. Was going to go for a Sapphire but sounds like you’re saying Ink Preferred?

Scott Lieberman
Reply to  Brett
1 year ago

Both Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Business Preferred are great because they enable you to transfer points for Big Travel. Chase Ink Business Preferred currently has the bigger bonus though.

1 year ago

If you travel even a small amount, the Sapphire Reserved is a no brainer. It only costs $55 more per year, yet you get 3 points per dollar rather than 2 points per dollar for all travel costs. If you have few travel costs and still want chase points, the freedom cards are a much better deal.

Reply to  marc
1 year ago

I totally agree Marc. Do you know why all these mileage sites are pushing the Preferred so hard? Is Chase giving them huge bonuses on that card? I don’t see any reason they should be pushing it to their audience. I mean $55 is nothing compared to the 50% bonus on points (not to mention the other perks). smh.

Reply to  Mike
1 year ago

apart from them getting bonuses the only reason I can think of is that it possible that Chase requires a higher credit rating for the Reserve but I have honestly have no idea. I could see it if you do not travel much, but then why are you on these sites. Stranger yet, they continue to mention that some of their team members have the Preferred card. rather than the Reserve. All it takes is a quick phone call to upgrade. It is not like if you wait you can have both (I was actually doing that until they changed the rules; I saw the rule change and immediately upgraded). Maybe they can share why some of them only have the Preferred. I like you cannot see any valid reason unless you have few travel charges in which case you might as well have a different card.

Reply to  marc
1 year ago

If you have a 2nd Player it gives you more flex and options. CSP 1st year no AF and did have a AU bonus, but you refer P#2 for 10k UR -then PC to either CSR or Freedom for Quarterly spending bonuses (but move UR to CIP or CIC or P#2 CSP before PC to Freedom card). Then P#2 either PC to Freedom and P#1 PC to CSR and add AU (as card will be now be a 0/24 for AU and you can double dip Priority pass $27 credit x 2-3 ppl x 2 memberships (AU) so only pay CSR AF after 24 months then 24 months later you will be 0/48 for Sapphire bonus for P#1 and 12 months later rinse and repeat.

CSR is a money maker (or saver rather) for us when we travel because of Priority pass.