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Chase 5/24 rule: What you need to know and how to develop a Chase credit card strategy

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Chase 5/24 rule: What you need to know and how to develop a Chase credit card strategy

Jason StaufferChase 5/24 rule: What you need to know and how to develop a Chase credit card strategyMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Chase offers many of the best credit cards for travel, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (our #1 first credit card for beginners). But the bank also has strict application rules, which makes it difficult to get their cards if you open lots of new accounts.

Chase will not approve you for most of their cards if you’ve opened five or more cards from any bank (not counting certain business credit cards) in the past 24 months. This restriction is known as the Chase 5/24 rule.

The Maldives is one of the many places Chase Ultimate Rewards points can take you, but you’ll have to be under the Chase 5/24 rule to apply for those cards. (Photo by Invisible Witness/Shutterstock)

Why the Chase 5/24 Rule is a big deal

Earning Chase credit card welcome bonuses is one of the best ways to travel in style for a fraction of the normal cost. Chase issues many of the best credit cards for travel, including the card’s that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points which transfer to 13 travel partners.

Some of the best Chase travel credit cards are:

The information for the United Club Card, United Club Business Card,  Iberia Visa Signature Card, British Airways 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.

With the right Chase 5/24 strategy you won’t have to miss out on cash back or credit card points. (Photo by Jeramey Lende/Shutterstock)

Chase’s 5/24 rule applies to all of its travel credit cards. If you’re under the Chase 5/24 rule, your approval will also depend on your credit score and several other factors. Examine the list of above cards and decide which perks will best suit your travel style. Then choose the top five 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 therefore won’t affect your 5/24 status.

In other words, you could open the Ink Business Preferred and still be eligible for five personal credit cards from Chase. However, you will not be eligible for a Chase small business card if you’ve already opened five or more personal cards in the past 24 months.

Other Chase application rules

On top of the 5/24 rule, Chase has a few other rules that apply to specific cards.

Only one Sapphire credit card

Once upon a time, it was possible to apply for and carry both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. However, that is no longer the case. New cardmembers may carry only one card in the Sapphire family of products. Also, you are not eligible for another Sapphire card if you’ve earned a welcome bonus from any Sapphire card in the past 48 months.

So choose wisely when it comes to a Sapphire credit card. Here’s a post comparing the Sapphire Preferred and the Sapphire Reserve.

24 months between welcome bonuses 

Although you can earn a welcome bonus on the same Chase credit card more than once, you are only eligible to do so on most cards if it has been at least 24 months since you last earned the bonus.

The Sapphire products are an exception to this rule, as they have a 48-month time frame.

Max two cards per 30 days

Many banks do not like to approve borrowers for multiple credit cards in a short time frame because they like to see how you handle the first card before granting you more credit. According to many reports online, it is not possible to be approved for more than two Chase credit cards in a 30-day time frame. Even then, many people said that the second application required them to call into Chase to explain the reasons why they wanted multiple cards in such a short time frame.

If you decide to go this route, it’s best to ensure you have a good credit score to improve your chances of landing approvals. Here are some Chase credit card approval tips.

Only one Southwest personal credit card 

Earning an intro bonus on a Chase Southwest credit card currently still counts toward the 110,000-point requirement to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass (starting Jan. 1st 2020 the requirement is increasing to 125,000 points). It’s one of the best deals in travel because it lets a friend or family member travel with you for free whenever you fly Southwest (not counting a small amount paid for taxes and fees).

One popular method for qualifying for the companion pass has been to earn the intro bonus on two Chase Southwest cards. However, Chase only allows you to carry one of the following personal Southwest cards at a time:

You could apply for a business Southwest card first (so that it doesn’t impact your 5/24 count), then follow-up with a personal Southwest application to earn the remainder of the points needed to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass. There are two Southwest business cards, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.

Chase credit card strategies

So now that you know what the rules are and have identified which cards you want, how should you strategize? Map out your planned order of applications, keeping in mind the application rules listed above to ensure each subsequent application has the best chance of approval.

Here are a few other strategies to consider.

Chase credit cards are great for earning points to redeem for luxury stays at Hyatt hotels, like the Park Hyatt St. Kitts. (Photo by EQRoy/Shutterstock)

Prioritize cards which maximize rewards based on your daily spending

Travel or eat out a lot? The Chase Sapphire Reserve® might be a good option because it earns 3x points on travel and dining at restaurants. What if you’re looking for a good all-around card? The Chase Freedom Unlimited® might be your best bet because you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

And don’t forget about the welcome bonuses. Most Chase cards also offer a valuable intro bonus to quickly boost your Chase points balance.

Apply for cards with high welcome bonuses

If you have a trip coming up soon, and you’d rather not pay cash for it, another strategy is to prioritize Chase credit cards which have a particularly strong welcome bonus. For instance, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has a welcome bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. That’s worth at least $1,000 redeemed through the Chase travel portal, and potentially more if transferred to Chase’s travel partners, which is one of the best ways to use Chase points.

Based on what most people share in online forums, Chase typically posts their welcome bonuses within 30 days of completing the spending requirements, so just be sure you allow enough time for the points to post if you have an upcoming trip you’re waiting to book.

Target cards with relevant travel perks

Chase has a number of cards that offer some pretty amazing benefits. The Chase Sapphire Reserve®, for instance, offers cardmembers airport lounge access. If you’re the type of person who absolutely hates waiting in the busy chaotic environment of an airport terminal, this could be the card for you. Or perhaps you hate waiting in long lines. TSA PreCheck or Global Entry can help, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one card that can reimburse you for these application fees (up to $100).

You could also open a hotel credit card to get perks at a specific hotel chain, for example the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card comes with 15 elite night credits every year and a free night at a hotel costing up to 35,000 points every year you renew the card.

Over 5/24? Apply for business cards first 

To avoid opening new cards that count toward Chase’s 5/24 limit, you can strictly apply for certain small business credit cards. As long as you have a for-profit venture, like selling items on eBay, tutoring, coaching, driving for Uber and even something like dog-sitting, you can qualify for small business credit card welcome bonuses.

Business cards issued by American Express, Bank of America, Citi, Wells Fargo, Chase and (sometimes) Barclays do not appear on your personal credit report. So there are still plenty of great opportunities for you to earn travel rewards while working to get under 5/24. For example, the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card earns extremely valuable Alaska Airlines miles that you can use to book award flights on partner airlines like Cathay Pacific.

But depending on your travel goals, you could also consider other cards if you’re over 5/24 and still want to earn a new card member welcome bonus. You could earn Amex Membership Rewards points with a card like The Business Platinum® Card from American Express.

A business card for each business you run

A little-known fact is that if you run different companies, you can apply for the same business credit card for each of them. So for instance, you could have multiple Chase Ink business cards if  you run three separate businesses. Alternatively, you could apply for multiple business cards for a single company you run.

Not only is this a great way to keep your business expenses separate, but it also lets you continue earning the valuable welcome bonuses available on Chase’s Ink business credit cards:

Bottom Line

If you’re over the Chase 5/24 limit, you don’t have to completely stop applying for credit cards. You can 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 continuing to apply for cards from other banks?

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Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

More Info

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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Ugh, I forgot to double check which banks’ business cards don’t count toward 5/24, and we have opened 2 US Bank Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard cards in the last year while waiting to get back under 5/24!
As far as you know, will they count?

I have two different businesses. Can I get the bonus if I apply the same business card, say Chase Business Preferred, for both businesses? Not at the same time. Any comments?

If you apply for a small business credit card but don’t have a tax identification number, you have to apply with your social…does that mean that it will ding your credit and count towards the 5/24 rule? I use eBay as a business but don’t use a tax identification number…what should I do?

Hi Cody,

They can pull your personal credit report, but it won’t count towards 5/24 (Chase business credit cards don’t count towards the 5/24 count). So you can absolutely still apply with your SSN.

What is the welcome bonus time limit on Chase business credit cards if you have already received the welcome bonus before and gotten rid of the card? I know for personal Sapphire and Southwest cards you can only get the welcome bonus every 48 months, used to be 24. Are the business cards 24 months? They do not state anymore in the fine print terms anymore.

Hi Shay,

I’m only aware of the Sapphire products having the more restrictive 48 month waiting time frame to earn another bonus. All of their other cards (as far as I’m aware) have a 24 month time frame.

Bill from Maine

“If you’re over the Chase 5/24 limit, you don’t have to completely stop applying for credit cards.” That’s correct. With United and Lufthansa changing the redemption rules, the Sapphire and United cards become less valuable. Marriott is awash with devaluation. So yes, it’s true. You don’t have to stop. Do what I’ve done.

I have gone over to Amex, Citi and Barclay’s and accumulated lot’s of points and miles in other programs while Chase has earned a spot in my sock drawer.

If Chase want’s to have a 5/24 rule with Chase cards, I can live with that. But there are other programs that I also like. With Chase they penalize you for thinking that way. No thanks.

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