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How TPG staff and readers stay under the Chase 5/24 rule

May 24, 2021
10 min read
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Those knowledgeable about the credit card points and miles game are very familiar with Chase’s infamous (but never confirmed) 5/24 rule. That rule says In order to be approved for any Chase card subject to 5/24, you cannot have opened five or more personal credit cards across all banks in the last 24 months.

This rule only applies to getting approved for cards issued by Chase -- however, that 5/24 count includes credit cards from all banks. So we polled TPG staff and readers on their tactics to stay within Chase’s 5/24 rule.

Related: Chase’s 5/24 rule: Everything you need to know

Juan Ruiz, TPG credit cards editor

(Photo by The Points Guy)

On my quest to fall under 5/24 again in order to be eligible for the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, I've shied away from applying for cards with tempting sign-up bonuses and welcome offers. The one exception? The Platinum Card® from American Express. I was targeted for the 100,000-point welcome offer, along with 10x at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations and it was just too lucrative for me to pass up. Otherwise, I'm holding out on new applications for now until I can achieve under 5/24 status. The Platinum Amex current public offer is 75,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new card at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during the first six months of card membership.

Related: The Platinum Card from American Express review

Katie Genter, TPG senior writer

Thankfully, I focused on adding Chase cards to my wallet first when I started earning points and miles through credit cards. Once I had the Chase cards I wanted, I applied for cards with other issuers. Doing so put me over Chase's 5/24 rule for years. However, now I apply for cards more selectively. After all, many issuers have rules regarding how often you can earn a bonus and Amex has its once-in-a-lifetime welcome offer rule.

I added the World of Hyatt Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card the last two times I fell below 5/24. But now I have all the Chase cards that are most appealing. So although the sign-up bonuses aren't particularly compelling, I may add the Chase Freedom Flex or Chase Freedom Unlimited to my wallet later this month.

Related: Why I switched from the Chase Freedom to the Chase Freedom Flex

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Ryan Patterson, TPG points-and-miles intern

As a college student, signing up for credit cards is hard enough, with a lack of credit history and lower income periods. I am fortunate to be employed year-round and that my parents started me early as an authorized user on their Chase Sapphire Reserve to begin my credit history.

Despite this, I have struggled to stay under 5/24, at one point being 7/24. My current strategy for staying under 5/24 is considering new business credit cards. While business credit cards do not have the same protections as their consumer card counterparts, they often have excellent bonuses and ways to redeem points. Right now, I am 4/24, which I will sit at through most of the summer.

Related: These business cards can help you stay under Chase’s 5/24 rule

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

I plan on applying for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card later in the summer, so I cannot open any more new personal cards for the time being if I want that particular Chase card. Still, hunting bonuses and ways to redeem my points better, I recently was approved for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express -- with a whopping 150,000-point welcome offer after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card in the first three months of card membership -- as a way to generate more points, as well as to take advantage of the card's 35% rebate on points for first and business class airfare (up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year).

I'm also chasing Marriott elite status, so the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card was my second business card in the last three months. This accompanies my two-year-old The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, which I love because I can earn 2x back on all purchases on the first $50,000 spent each calendar year (then 1x).

Related: Best business credit cards of May 2021

TPG readers

John Mullarkey

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is my primary card for earning points for travel and its various protections. I keep the Chase Freedom (which is no longer open for new applications) for the 5% quarterly rotating bonus and have the Ink Business Cash Credit Card for its business categories. I also have the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® for when I don't have elite status with American Airlines but want perks such as priority boarding and a free checked bag. The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Recently, I was approved for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and earned the 100,000-points welcome offer (after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from your account opening) and free anniversary night. Although I'm currently a cardholder of The Platinum Card® from American Express, I may drop it due to Amex's recent policy announcement that guests will no longer be able to access Centurion lounges for free beginning on Feb. 1, 2023.

Related: Dear Amex, please don’t charge little kids $50 for lounge access

With 5/24 slots opening up for me, I'm considering applying for the United Quest Card since the closest airport to me is Chicago O'Hare (ORD), that way, I can take advantage of flights with United Airlines. And I'm currently on the fence on whether or not to apply for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, with its sign-up bonus of 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. But, I think I will hold off on applying if I decide to stock up on more United miles and want to use a 5/24 slot on the United Club Infinite Card.

The Chase 5/24 rule is an essential aspect of my credit card game plan I consider. Since I don’t want to miss an opportunity to hit a United sign-up bonus or add more valuable Ultimate Rewards points to my stash, I'll try my best to limit applications until I'm ready to add a card such as the Chase Freedom Flex or Ink Business Preferred, to accompany my Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Related: The best Chase credit cards of May 2021

Madeline Pepple

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

I recently started my credit card points journey. I currently carry the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card, which I've had since college, as Alaska Airlines is a major carrier at my hub and the companion pass is well worth the card's $75 annual fee. I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card since Ultimate Rewards points are easy to use and the sign-up bonus was good.

I also carry the Platinum Card from American Express for lounge access and travel benefits. My most recent card is the IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card which I got for the sign-up bonus and a fourth night reward. I'm currently at 4/24, but will be dropping to 3/24 pretty soon. I'm strongly considering the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or a hotel card or airline card for my next card. I'm waiting to see how travel picks back up before deciding.

Related: Vaccinated Americans are raring to travel, survey shows, and are booking up summer vacations

Derik Denison

(Photo by The Points Guy)

I just closed out my last 5/24 spot this past weekend by adding the Platinum Card from American Express because I couldn’t resist the targeted 100,000-point bonus -- and 10x for U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations for six months -- any longer. I also have the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express for the 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1%) but will be downgrading that as I now have other supermarket card options.

My go-to cards are my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited for the Ultimate Rewards points based on category spend. I have a Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card that I keep for the 3% online shopping cash back (on up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases; then 1%) for the times I can’t find a better option through a Chase offer. Lastly, my Discover it Cash Back is used for the rotating categories, depending on how it fares against other cards for bonus spend in each quarter. The information for the Discover it Cash Back has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Why there’s no such thing as the ‘best’ credit card

Bottom line

Thanks to its impressive selection of cobranded cards along with lucrative Chase Ultimate Rewards points-earning cards, those looking to diversify their cards portfolio should consider Chase cards first to tackle the 5/24 rule. TPG staff and readers have given potential cardholders plenty of card options to deliver a balanced portfolio. In turn, hopefully, you'll have a strategy in place to earn valuable points and miles and also stay under Chase's 5/24 rule.

Related: 5 devaluation-proof rewards I’m stocking up on in 2021

Additional reporting by Juan Ruiz

Featured image by Shutterstock
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.