Will the New Chase Rules Change My Application Strategy?

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Million Mile Secrets reader, Jill, writes:

You’ve reported about how Chase is denying applicants with more than 5 credit cards opened in the past 24 months.  I was turned down even though I have a 822 FICO score.

How many cards do you expect to apply for in a year?  Many months ago you wrote that you and Emily apply to between 12 to 15 cards a year.  Is that still your strategy (even after the changes with Chase)?

Chase is making it more difficult for folks with 5+ new cards (from any bank) in the last 24 months to be approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card, Chase Freedom, and Chase Slate cards.

Will The New Chase Rules Change My Application Strategy
If You Have 5+ New Cards (With Any Bank) in the Last 24 Months It’s Unlikely You’ll Get Approved for the Chase Freedom, Ink Cash, Ink Plus, Sapphire Preferred, and Slate Cards.  So Now What?

Find out more about the new criteria Chase is using and why it will NOT change my application strategy.

Chase Has New Rules!

Link:   New Rules for Chase Credit Card Approvals

The new criteria for getting approved for Chase cards isn’t in writing, so we don’t know the exact details.  But here’s what many folks have been told by customer service agents:

Folks who are new to miles and points or who don’t have 5+ new cards should sign-up for Chase Ultimate Rewards cards before they become ineligible.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are valuable because they’re flexible and never expire.  Besides using them for cash back, you can get Big Travel by transferring them to airline, hotel, or rail partners:

 Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners 
Aer LingusBritish AirwaysFlying Blue (Air France/KLM)
IberiaJetBlueSingapore Airlines
SouthwestUnited AirlinesVirgin Atlantic
 Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners 
HyattIHGMarriott
Ritz-Carlton

But you can only transfer to travel partners if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus cards.

The New Way To Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points To Airline And Hotel Partners For Big Travel
You’ll Have to Move the Chase Ultimate Rewards Points You Earn With a Card Like the Chase Freedom to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus Before You Can Transfer to Travel Partners

So it’s a good idea to sign-up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus first.  This will ensure you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to partners like Hyatt and United Airlines.

Then you can apply for other cards later.

There Are Some Exceptions!

Link:   Possible Exceptions to the Rules

As with most rules, it looks like there are some loopholes:

  • This new rule does NOT seem to apply to airline and hotel branded cards such as the Chase Hyatt or United MileagePlus® Explorer Card
  • If you’ve recently applied for several Chase cards and sign-up quickly for a new card, you may still be approved
  • If you applied for cards (even Chase cards) that use a different credit bureau, Chase may NOT be able to see these other cards and approve your application

Why These Changes Won’t Impact My Application Strategy

I typically apply for 3 to 4 new cards each quarter and I do NOT expect this to change.  That’s because in order to be approved for another Chase Ultimate Rewards card, I’d have to stop signing-up for new cards for a couple of years.

And there are just too many other great cards out there, to pass up!

Will The New Chase Rules Change My Application Strategy
I Still Plan on Earning Lots of Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses for Big Travel!

Check out my the list of my current favorite sign-up bonuses and the Hot Deals page to see there are plenty of great rewards cards that aren’t from Chase.

And I may still get approved for airline and hotel branded Chase cards including:

Bottom Line

Chase has changed the criteria they use to approve applications.  And folks who have 5 or more new cards within the last 24 months will LIKELY have their application denied for the following cards:

While this is disappointing news, there are exceptions and there are lots of other terrific cards out with excellent sign-up bonuses.  I plan on focusing my attention on those and I’ll continue signing-up for 3 to 4 new cards each quarter.

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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