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

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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.

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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?

Million Mile Secrets features a team of points and miles experts who have traveled to over 80 countries and have used 60+ credit cards responsibly to accumulate loyalty points and travel the world on the cheap! The Million Mile Secrets team has been featured on The Points Guy, TIME, Yahoo Finance and many other leading points & miles media outlets.

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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