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Chase offers many terrific travel rewards credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (our #1 card pick for beginners). But the bank also has strict application rules, which makes it difficult to get many of their cards if you open lots of new accounts.
Chase will NOT approve you for most of their cards if you’ve opened 5+ cards from any bank (NOT counting Chase business cards and other business cards) in the past 24 months.
I’m over the “5/24” card limit. I’m patiently waiting to get below the limit, so I can earn valuable welcome bonuses with Chase cards I don’t already have.
My wife and I have been very selective with which credit cards we apply for. Because we’re both on track to drop below the “5/24” level in May 2018, which means we’ll be eligible to get new Chase credit cards!
As a miles & points
addict enthusiast, I don’t think I could completely stop applying for new cards. That’s why my strategy has been to apply for cards that do NOT appear on my personal credit report.
When a card doesn’t show up on your credit report, Chase won’t see it either! This means it will NOT count toward your 5 card limit.
Why Chase’s 5/24 Rule Is a Big Deal
Earning welcome bonuses on Chase cards the past few years has allowed my wife and me to get Big Travel with Small Money, including an around-the-world honeymoon and a family trip to New Zealand and Australia.
We’ve taken advantage of great offers on these cards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (the version we opened is no longer available)
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
- The World Of Hyatt Credit Card
But opening these accounts (and cards from other banks) means we’ve been unable to get approved for other Chase cards, like the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card (no longer available). And we can’t re-apply for Chase cards we’ve previously had to earn the welcome bonus again.
Chase’s 5/24 rule applies to nearly all of their travel credit cards. Chase has said they plan to roll out the restriction to all their cards. However, I’ve not seen data points on the following cards:
- Disney® Premier Visa® Card
- Chase Amazon Prime Rewards Visa
- Starbucks Rewards Visa Card
- Chase AARP
So if you’re over “5/24,” you might be able to get one of the above cards. But your approval will also depend on your credit score and several other factors. And you will likely NOT be able to get the following Chase cards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (read our review here)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® (read our review here)
- Chase Freedom® (read our review here)
- Chase Freedom Unlimited® (read our review here)
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card (read our review here)
- Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card (read our review here)
- Chase Ink Business Cash (read our review here)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card (read our review here)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card (read our review here)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card (read our review here)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card (read our review here)
- United℠ Explorer Card (read our review here)
- United Explorer Business Card (read our review here)
- United MileagePlus® Club Card (read our review here)
- United MileagePlus® Club Business Card
- Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card (read our review here) (no longer available)
- Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card (read our review here)
- IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
- IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (read our review here)
- Iberia Visa Signature® Card (read our review here)
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card (read our review here)
The information for the Disney Premier Visa, Chase Amazon Prime Rewards Visa, Starbucks Rewards Visa Card, Chase AARP, Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card, United MileagePlus Club Card, United MileagePlus Club Business Card, Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card, Iberia Visa Signature Card, and Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Examine the list of above cards and decide which perks will best suit your travel style. Then choose the top 5 personal cards and all the small business cards you want. Start with the small business cards, because these will NOT appear on your personal credit report, and therefoer won’t affect your 5/24 status.
In other words, you could open the Ink Business Preferred and Chase Marriott Premier Business Card and still be eligible for 5 personal credit cards from Chase.
However, you will NOT be eligible for a Chase small business card if you’ve already opened 5 personal cards in the past 24 months.
Beware the One-Card-per-Brand Rule
On top of the 5/24 rule, Chase restricts folks from opening some cards that are the same “brand.” For example, you cannot hold both the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, because they are both “Sapphire.” Similarly, you cannot open the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, because they are both “Southwest“.
Note that this rule does NOT apply to small business cards. So you can open all 3 Chase small business cards:
My main motive for getting below 5/24 is to be eligible to earn 2 Chase Southwest credit card welcome bonuses next year. When you time it right, the bonus points from 1 personal and 1 small business Southwest card make it easy to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.
I’ve had the Companion Pass for 3 years. It’s saved my wife and me thousands of dollars on flights to amazing destinations like Cabo San Lucas, New York City, and many more! And Southwest will begin flying to Hawaii in early 2019, so it would be amazing to continue getting 2-for-1 flights!
Continue to Earn Intro Bonuses If You’re Above 5/24
To avoid opening new cards that count toward Chase’s 5/24 limit, my strategy has been to strictly apply for certain small business cards. I qualify for business credit cards by selling items for a profit on eBay. As long as you have a for-profit venture, like selling on Etsy, tutoring, coaching, etc., you’re eligible for valuable small business credit card welcome bonuses!
Business cards issued by American Express, Bank of America, Citi, Wells Fargo, and Chase (as I mentioned before) do NOT appear on your personal credit report.
Specifically, I’ve applied for the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card®. Alaska Airlines miles are extremely valuable because you can use them to book award flights on partner airlines like Cathay Pacific. I used Alaska Airlines miles to book $35,000+ in Cathay Pacific flights for just ~$184!
But depending on your travel goals, you could also consider these cards if you’re over 5/24 and still want to earn a new cardmember welcome bonus:
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- JetBlue Business Card from Barclaycard
The AMEX Business Platinum and Capital One Venture cards are an excellent choice for folks over 5/24. Both cards offer big welcome bonuses and earn flexible rewards. Plus, applying for the AMEX Business Platinum will NOT impact your 5/24 status because it’s an AMEX small business card.
How to Check Your Chase “5/24” Status
If you’re looking to check how many credit cards you’ve recently opened, you can sign-up for a myBankrate account. It’s free and only takes a few minutes.
I’m anxious to drop below Chase’s “5/24” card limit. I’m planning ahead to hopefully have an opportunity to apply for a personal and small business Southwest credit card in 2018 to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.
That said, I haven’t completely stopped applying for credit cards. I apply for small business cards, because business cards issued by most banks do NOT appear on your personal credit report. So they don’t count toward Chase’s “5/24” card limit.
If you’re over “5/24,” I’d love to hear your strategy. Are you waiting to drop below or just continue to apply for cards from other banks?
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