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INSIDER SECRET: Business credit cards from most banks don’t count against Chase’s 5/24 rule. So in most cases, you can apply for a business credit card without negatively affecting your eligibility with Chase.
If you’re new to the miles and points hobby, you should strongly consider making your first batch of credit card applications with Chase. That’s because they have a number of cards that offer great value and travel perks. For instance:
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers airport lounge access, primary rental car coverage and a $300 annual travel credit. Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
- You can earn valuable intro bonuses with cards like the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, which can be worth thousands of dollars in value.
- With some of the Southwest credit cards offering increased welcome bonuses (Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card), you can earn the intro bonuses and have those points count toward the 110,000-point requirement to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, which is one of the best deals in travel because it lets a friend or family member fly with you for pretty much just the cost of taxes and fees.
But there’s another big reason you should apply for Chase cards first: Chase has some pretty strict application rules, and the timing and order in which you apply for your credit cards could determine whether you get approved or declined. Applying for cards in the wrong order could mean that you’d have to wait as much as 24 or more months before being eligible for your dream Chase credit card.
We’ll go over some Chase credit card strategies to ensure you have the best chances of getting your hands on these cards.
Chase credit card strategy: Application rules
Chase has some pretty hard and fast application rules. We’ve compiled this list based on their official terms and conditions, as well as what many people have shared in online forums:
Ah, the infamous Chase 5/24 rule. Simply put, 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. If you apply for cards at another bank before coming to Chase, you could inadvertently make yourself ineligible because of this rule.
Here’s how to count how many open credit cards you have in the past 24 months.
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 may not be 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 2 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. 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. With the following Southwest cards offering increased welcome bonuses, now is as good a time as any to submit an application.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
However, Chase only allows you to carry one personal Southwest card 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.
Strategies you can use
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:
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 3% cash back on all purchases for the first year up to $20,000 spent, then 1.5% cash back.
And don’t forget about the welcome bonuses. Most Chase cards also offer a valuable intro bonus to quickly boost your 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 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.
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 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).
Over 5/24? Apply for business cards first
Chase business cards, as well as most (but not all) business cards from other banks, do not count against 5/24, so you can safely apply for a business card without having it add to your 5/24 count. Based on many reports online, Capital One is one of the exceptions to this rule, as it seems to be one of the few banks that does report business credit cards to your personal credit report.
Many people who are over 5/24 hold off on all credit card applications completely until they become eligible for new Chase cards. If you’re in this situation, you can safely apply for a business credit card without affecting your 5/24 eligibility with Chase.
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 three Ink Business Preferred Credit 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:
Chase has a number of credit cards that offer valuable welcome bonuses and travel perks. They also have some strict application rules which, if you’re not aware of them, could mean the difference between being approved for your dream credit card tomorrow and having to wait up to 24 or more months.
Chase’s application rules are pretty much a hard and fast rule, so don’t expect any exceptions to be made. If you want to improve your odds of getting your hands on the best Chase credit cards as quickly as possible, you should map out the cards you want and the order in which you intend to apply for them, while also keeping in mind the application rules listed below:
- Only one Sapphire card
- 24-month wait to earn a welcome bonus a second time around for the same credit card product (48 months for Sapphire cards)
- Maximum two credit card approvals per 30 days
- Only one Southwest personal credit card
By revisiting the application rules, you can improve your chances of an approval on each subsequent credit card application.
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