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Sunday Reader Question: How Many Chase Cards One Person Can Have

by on July 29, 2012 · 20 comments

in Chase, Credit Cards, Sunday Reader Questions

TPG reader Frank asks:

“I have five Chase cards: Amazon, Priority Club, Hyatt, Sapphire Preferred and Freedom. I wanted to see if you know if there is a limit to how many Chase cards one person can have? I do not use the Amazon card but I have not canceled it since it does not have a yearly fee. I am looking to apply for the Southwest card and/or the Fairmont card but do not want a credit pull if there is a limit on the number of Chase cards that I can have. I use the Freedom and Sapphire Preferred religiously and keep the Priority Club and Hyatt for the free yearly night. Please help.”

One of the great things about Chase and the variety of points-earning cards it fields is that basically there’s no known limit to the number of Chase credit cards you have. It really boils down to the amount of credit that Chase will extend you. They set a total credit exposure for each customer, so they may calculate that based on your income, credit history and relationship with the bank that they’ll extend you $40,000 in credit. You can then divide that credit up into numerous smaller lines to keep opening cards. At what point will Chase say no more cards? There’s no solid answer, but it helps to be a profitable customer, so I’d recommend building a solid relationship with Chase and think about using their other financial products like checking accounts and car loans (if they make sense for you financially).

In the case of a decline for your next card, Chase tends to be very good about either letting you split your line of credit from an existing card in order to open a new one, or letting you close one credit card account to open another. So, say you have the Hyatt card that you’re not using much and want the Fairmont one as you mention. If you get declined for the new card, you can call the reconsideration line and ask if it would make a difference to transfer your credit line to the new Fairmont card, or split your credit on your old card into two lines of credit and get the new card. You can even try explaining that your future travel plans involve stays at Fairmont so you wanted to try their program out and test out the new Chase Fairmont Rewards points. Just remain calm, concise and reasonable, and it should work out.

All that being said, always take your credit score into consideration. FICO says “opening several credit accounts in a short period of time represents greater credit risk.” That’s because you’re applying for multiple lines of new credit rather than submitting several inquiries for a single new line, such as a mortgage. Generally new credit inquiries only cause your score to dip 2-5 points in the short term (this FICO page shows how your credit score is calculated). In general, the impact on your score from multiple inquiries is small—and remember that new credit counts only 10% toward determining your overall FICO score. So as long as you are strong in the other areas like payment history and amounts owed, you should be fine to apply for new cards and keep reaping those lucrative travel rewards.

I personally have four current personal cards (Sapphire Preferred, Freedom, Hyatt and British Airways) and two Ink Bold business cards (the old one that is no longer offered that had Chase Exclusives program and the new one). I have been initially declined for several of these cards, but was always able to get approved by calling the reconsideration line and moving around lines of credit. I’ve also been able to get approved for a personal and business card on the same day, which is great because it only counts as one credit inquiry.

How Many Chase Cards (Personal and Business) Do You Currently Have Open?

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  • http://www.titanlimousine.com/airport.html Titan Limousine

    Do you know if it is possible to get the new Chase Ink Plus Business card if you already have the Chase Ink Bold (new version)? How long should I wait between Chase business card apps?

  • Meiano

    One thing people have to understand is that for each card there is a minimum credit amount. For example, Visa signature has $7,000 minimum credit. So if Chase is willing to give you a total of $40,000 credit, and you already have 5 Visa Signature cards, they can’t really assign you another Visa Signature card unless you close one.

  • thepointsguy

    Yes it is possible. Waiting between apps doesn’t matter with Chase- if you get declined, just call the business lending division at 1-800-453-9719 to make your case

  • Joe

    $5000 limit

  • Amanda

    I just received my first approval from Chase that did not require a call to the reconsideration line. I’m only 21, and only have a 4-year credit history, so that was unexpected. I got the United MileagePlus card in September 2011 with a $1000 credit limit, but when I applied for the Sapphire Preferred in December 2011, they agreed to approve my app with the minimum $5000 Visa Signature limit on the condition that I close my United card (no big loss, in my mind). In March, I applied for the Freedom card and was eventually approved with a $1500 limit. Earlier this week, I applied for the Southwest card in response to a targeted offer, and was approved the next day with a $4600 limit.

    So, I currently have 3 open Chase cards, which I think is probably toeing the line for now. I doubt I’ll make another application with Chase until 2013 (and only then if something terrific crops up, which likely will). I realize that I’m extraordinarily lucky to be able to start accruing this cards at my age, so I don’t want to push it! Anyway, thank you for all the info — and congrats on the Penn alum magazine write-up! I saw it when flipping through, and thought “surely there can’t be more than one Points Guy” — and was right!

  • David

    So I currently have the Chase Sapphire and United Club card with Chase. I recently cancelled my Marriott card due to the fact the annual fee was due. However, they transferred my credit line over to my Sapphire card. Anyhow, I applied for the Freedom card and was declined due to too many outstanding Chase cards (note: I pay my cards in full every month). I called the hotline above and they recommended transferring credit from another card. They were unable to approve me on the spot, but the CSR said everything seemed good. I guess I will see in the next few days.

  • Inskin

    I have had amazon and united cards for a while and just got BA and Sapphire with nice bonuses. When I applied for Hyatt, they turned me down, feeling me I had gotten too many bonuses in a short period of time.

  • Joe

    When I recently applied for the Chase United Club Card, I was informed by the reconsideration rep that it would not help to move around credit because they had already given me the maximum amount of credit cards that they were willing to.
    2 different reps told me the same thing…

    Any thoughts?

  • PJ

    can we know how many cards do you have ?

  • PJ

    Didn’t you volunteer to turn in Amazon card? I stocked up Amazon gift cards with 5% rebate in the 1st quarter. Wonder what I miss without the Amazon card.

  • PJ

    Lucky you , they still give you new card after you cancel the Marriott card.. To me Marriott and Hyatt cards are no brainers when annual due is in play since we get a free night which is worth more than annual fees in my travel experience.

  • Joe

    I don’t have a very long credit history so only 3. I volunteered to close my Freedom card (as I am out of the country for a while and can’t take advantage of it’s benefits at this time) and in its place I got the BA card (for the 100k miles) approved, however they would not approve the Club card for the reason I mentioned before.

  • Paul

    I’m new to this mileage game. I have had an Amazon card that I haven’t used for years. In March I applied for the United Mileage Plus card and the Sapphire Preferred card on the same day and was turned down for the Sapphire due to “too many accounts open with Chase” or something like that. Seriously? Two cards is all I can have? I have a plus score of 790, credit utilization of 1%, and my wife and I have joint checking and savings accounts with Chase. She has a United Mileage Plus and has since gotten the Sapphire Preferred. Maybe it was because I applied for both cards the same day with the same browser. So, should reapply for the Sapphire Preferred or call the reconsideration line even though its been 4 months since I was denied?

  • Michael

    Hi TPG (and knowledgable commenters)… I’m a long time reader and greatly appreciate all of your advice that has saved me so much money over the past few years. I’ve a related question to this post. I received the Chase Sapphire Preferred in June 2011 and canceled it in June 2012. I received the Chase United Mileage Plus Explorer card on Jun 6 2012 ( < 2 months ago) which I chose instead of the Ink Bold because I was concerned about meeting the spend requirement. However, I have a very large charge-able expense coming up and would love to use the Ink Bold / Ink Plus so that the min spends become feasible for me. Do you think that I should apply for one of those, even though it is so close to my previous Chase app? And, if you think I should apply, should I ALSO apply for the Chase Freedom at the same time? (As a Chase checking customer, I've been wanting that for awhile, but have been nervous about too many apps). Thanks!

  • Lantean

    but what do you say the reason is if you already have bold? they are almost identical..

  • Ross

    Hey congrats on the 3 credit cards. I got lucky today and managed to get my 3rd. I’m also 21, but I only have a 3 year credit history. I got the chase freedom back in april when they had the 30,000 points with a 500 minimum spending over 3 months it has a $2500 limit. A few weeks ago I got the BA 50,000 + 50,000 point on the 1st year anniversery card with a $7,000 limit (I really didn’t expect to get this card). And then just today I got approved for the southwest airlines card. I had to call the reconsideration line and was put on hold several times and then she moved $2000 from my BA card to the southwest.

    Only 1 of my friends has gotten into the credit card/miles addiction and he’s a few years older than me, so its cool to see some other people my age doing the same thing.

    Are you going to apply for a non-chase card next?

  • http://twitter.com/ScottiMac707 Scott McMillan

    Well your letter of denial most likely states that you have 30 days to contest. So since a call doesn’t effect your credit, try that first, but I wouldn’t count on that. I would wait another 2 months so it will be about 6 months total and reapply. You will probably have a much better chance anyways since it won’t be as recent as the time you applied before. If you do get denied again, this time do call the reconsideration line, they are normally very agreeable, especially if you offer to keep the same overall limit and just take some away from one and give it to the new card.

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  • Jj

    I have 5 chase cards. Just tried opening two more today and was declined. Called chase and was told that they will not allow more than 5 cards. Not sure if this is new or what. I have near 800 point credit scores, although I did open 3 chase cards within the past 2 months.

  • CHASE

    stop being a little bitch, they are NOT identical. you need to pay off the bold in full every month

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