Should I Stop Applying for Credit Cards Until I’m Below the Chase “5/24” Rule?

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Should I Stop Applying for Credit Cards Until I’m Below the Chase “5/24” Rule?

Million Mile SecretsShould I Stop Applying for Credit Cards Until I’m Below the Chase “5/24” Rule?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Million Mile Secrets Reader, Karen, tweeted:

Should I forego all credit card applications until I have my numbers below the “5/24” requirement?  It would take me 8 months, meaning lots of missed opportunity.

Chase has some of the best travel credit cards available.  But they also have stricter application rules, that is, if you’ve applied for ~5+ cards from any bank (except these business cards) in the past 24 months, it’s unlikely you’ll be approved for most Chase cards.

But there’s a way to still apply for new cards without impacting the number of credit cards on your credit report.

Should I Stop Applying For Credit Cards Until I'm Below The Chase 5/24 Rule
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I’ll show you the best credit card application strategy while you’re waiting for your new credit card accounts to age.

How to Handle the Chase “5/24 Rule”

Last year, Chase began tightening their approval requirements.  If you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months, it will be difficult to be approved for most cards issued by Chase.

There are still 6 Chase cards that are not restricted by these new requirements.  But some of the best Chase cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve, ARE restricted by these rules!

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Lots of folks in this hobby are well beyond 5 credit cards opened in the past 24 months.  So what should folks do if they want valuable Chase cards, but don’t want to stop applying for other cards??

Apply for Certain Small Business Cards

Signing-up for small business cards is the best way to keep your credit applications under Chase’s “5/24 rule”.  That’s because when you apply for business cards from certain banks, the new account will not appear on your personal credit report!

The banks that do not currently report small business cards on your personal credit report are:

  • American Express
  • Bank of America
  • Chase
  • Citi
  • Wells Fargo

However, you do NOT want to apply for Chase small business credit cards.  That’s because they are restricted by Chase’s new application rules.  And they WILL hurt your chances of being approved for other Chase cards, because Chase can view all the cards they’ve issued you.

And remember, your face doesn’t need to be on the latest issue of Forbes to be eligible for a small business credit card.  A moderately profitable side project may qualify as a small business!

Pace Your Personal Credit Card Applications

If you’ve opened more than 5 credit cards in the past 2 years but don’t like the idea of applying for small business cards (or if you just want to apply for personal cards, too!), you can still apply for a personal credit card every so often.  Just monitor when you opened each credit card, so you can keep track of your “5/24” status.

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Folks in this hobby like to wait 3 or 4 months between credit card applications from the same bank anyway.  For example, if you wanted the Chase Sapphire Preferred and United MileagePlus® Explorer Card, the unofficial rule is that you would have the best chance of approval if you spaced your applications out by at least 3 months.

Note:   You can also pop into a Chase branch to see if you’re pre-approved for the credit card you want.  Pre-approved cards don’t seem to be subject to the “5/24 rule.”

Bottom Line

Chase’s “5/24” application rule has made it more difficult to get certain miles & points.  But you don’t have to stop applying for credit cards to be approved for the Chase cards you want.

Certain small business cards will not show up on your personal credit report, so they won’t count against you when you apply for Chase credit cards.  And you might qualify for a small business credit card, even if your for-profit venture isn’t very substantial.

You can still apply for personal credit cards every once in a while, as long as you pace yourself.

What’s your application strategy for Chase’s strict application rules?

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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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Do Barclay business cards get reported on your personal credit card report?

Million Mile Secrets

@Pete – I believe they do.

I keep getting denied by Chase because of the 5/24 rule even though I’ve only opened 4 personal cards in the last 2 years. I have several more business cards and I’m an authorized user on all my spouse’s cards. They told me on the phone that both of those count towards the 5/24, but it doesn’t make sense based on all I read on MMS…

Million Mile Secrets

@Lisa – It depends on the card (not all Chase cards count toward the 5/24 rule). However I agree that if the card does count towards 5/24 it will extend the time when you can apply.

@tassojunior – Thanks for the update!

@Dan – Thanks for helping out in the comments.

@josh mackles – Depends if there are better offers from other banks in the meantime! Also, if you have a small business, you could apply for a business card.

@Phelps – Authorized users do count towards 5/24, but business cards not from Chase shouldn’t count!

I really want to get the Chase Reserve card, but was recently declined due to 5/24. I reviewed my 16 cards and determined that if I go cold turkey on credit card applications until September 2017 I will be under the 5/24 rule. I am hoping that by then the 100k bonus will have returned. However, in going cold turkey I will most likely miss out on some other lucrative cards offers. So my question is, is it worth it? Any thoughts?

I’m glad I got into travel hacking when I did (2012). I actually wish I had done it earlier, but glad I’m not starting now. I’m in a good place with healthy balances, travel booked 18 months out, and a good earning strategy outside of CC signup bonuses. As a result, I think I am going to cool off and try to limit applications to two per year eah for the wife an me. We won’t go on a regular cycle, more of a wait and only take advantage of monster bonuses. If it weren’t for a pre-approval I would have missed out on the CSR.

Over the next two years I’ll take advantage of good business card bonuses, and *excellent* personal card. And then keep on a schedule that allows me to not get shut out of new product offerings.

Lisa – I think what is meant about “apply every once in a while” is for those who are NOT 5/24, or who have made it back to NOT 5/24.

In your case, you are way beyond 5/24 and would have to wait. ONCE you get below 5/24, you can then apply for one card every 5 months and stay “in Chase’s good graces”.

The article then points out exceptions to the “future” one card every 5 months rule – like the small business cards.

I’m having to wait till July 2017 myself.

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