Chase’s 5/24 rule: Everything you need to know
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In 2015, some applicants with excellent credit who applied for Chase credit cards suddenly found themselves being declined. The reason agents gave was that an applicant had “opened too many new accounts in the last 24 months.” There were enough data points to determine that the threshold for a Chase denial was having opened five or more credit card accounts across all banks in the last 24 months.
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This policy — dubbed the 5/24 rule — remains in place today. However, without any published policy from Chase, dissecting the 5/24 rule still relies heavily on crowdsourced data. There are outlier data points that can turn out to be false, as well as exceptions to what we generally believe to be true.
Regardless of what you may read or may have personally experienced, it’s generally not a good idea to try to “game” Chase. If Chase decides it doesn’t want you as a customer, it can shut down your accounts. If this happens, you’ll lose the ability to earn and redeem valuable Ultimate Rewards points, so be strategic in planning out your applications — both with Chase and other credit card issuers.
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Here’s everything you need to know about Chase’s 5/24 restrictions.
What is the 5/24 rule?
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 (more on business cards in a moment). This means you actually need to be under 5/24 to be approved. The 5/24 rule only applies to getting approved for cards issued by Chase, but your 5/24 count includes credit cards from all banks.
Related: The best ways to use your 5/24 slots
Are all Chase cards subject to 5/24?
Most travel cards issued by Chase are subject to 5/24 for approval, including cobranded cards. The following are cards reported to be subject to the 5/24 rule:
- Chase Freedom Flex.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited.
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card.
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.
- Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card.
- Starbucks Rewards Visa Card.*
- United Club Infinite Card.
- United Business Card.
- United Quest Card.
- United Explorer Card.
- United Gateway Card.
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card.
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card.*
- British Airways Visa Signature Card.
- Disney Premier Visa Card.*
- Disney Visa Card.*
- World of Hyatt Credit Card.
- World of Hyatt Business Credit Card.
- Iberia Visa Signature Card.
- IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card.
- IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card.
- IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card.
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card.
*The information for these cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Just because the card isn’t on this list doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t subject to 5/24.
Reader reports also indicate that applying for too many Chase cards too quickly can lead to account scrutiny and shutdowns, regardless of your 5/24 status. Some online reports have noted that Chase will not accept you for more than two new accounts within 30 days.
Because of that, a general recommendation if you’re below 5/24 is to avoid applying for a new account more frequently than every three or four months.
Remember that 5/24 is not the only factor determining whether your Chase credit card application is approved — your credit score, income, debt levels and many other variables get considered. For business cards, Chase also sometimes requests documentation such as financial statements or articles of organization to show that you have a legitimate business or sole proprietorship.
How do I check my 5/24 status?
I’ve found the easiest way to check your 5/24 status is to sign up for the free credit report service at Experian (make sure you don’t accidentally sign up for a paid service). Using the Experian app, you can view all of your accounts and sort them by the date they were opened. From here, count anything opened within the last 24 months. Chase only looks at whether an account was opened — it doesn’t matter if you’ve since closed it.
According to most recent data points, you will not technically be below 5/24 until the first day of the 25th month after your fifth account was opened. For example, if your fifth most recent account was opened on July 17, 2021, do not apply for a new card until at least Aug. 1, 2023.
Related: How to calculate your 5/24 standing
What accounts add to your 5/24 status?
The following accounts count toward your 5/24 standing:
- All personal credit cards opened with any bank in the immediate past 24 months (even if they’re now closed).
- Business cards opened with Discover and TD Bank in the past 24 months.
- Authorized user cards from another person’s personal card opened in the past 24 months, as they’re reported on your credit report. However, you can call the Chase reconsideration line and ask for these accounts to not be considered.
- Specific store cards opened in the last 24 months that are part of a national payment system and can be used elsewhere. Some data points suggest that even store cards that can only be used at a single establishment also now count. Assume that if it shows up on your credit report then Chase will count it.
The following accounts will not count toward your 5/24 standing:
- Cards for which you applied but were ultimately denied (credit inquiries aren’t counted).
- Small business cards from the majority of card issuers, with the known exceptions listed above (plus Capital One small business cards opened prior to October 2020).
- Auto loans, student loans and mortgages.
What about card conversions and upgrades?
Depending on how a bank processes a card conversion or upgrade — also known as a product change — it might not be reported as a new account. Before completing an upgrade or product change, ask the bank if a hard credit pull will be completed. In addition, ask if you’ll receive a new account number after the switch.
If the answer to one (or both) if these questions is yes, that could be a sign the account will be considered new and add to your 5/24 standing.
Are the methods to bypass 5/24 all dead?
There used to be a handful of common ways to overcome 5/24 and get a card with the sign-up bonus you desire. But those avenues are no longer working. The following methods that used to circumvent 5/24 are no longer feasible:
- Holding Chase Private Client status.
- Applying for Chase pre-qualified offers from the online tool.
- Applying for “Selected for you” offers visible once logged in to Chase.com.
- Applying through Chase banner offers.
- Applying for your fifth and sixth credit cards online at the same time, so the sixth card application wouldn’t be rejected.
However, there have been some instances recently where cardholders were able to bypass the 5/24 rule through targeted “Just for you” offers. To see if you’re targeted, navigate to “Just for you” under “Explore products” in the left-hand menu bar when you’re logged in to your Chase personal account.
If you desperately want a card now and are over 5/24, you can attempt a product change within the Chase Ultimate Rewards card family (assuming you’ve held the card you want to convert for at least a year). However, unless you’ve been specifically targeted for a bonus to upgrade a card, you will not receive a sign-up bonus for any product change.
Can I apply for two Chase cards on the same day when I’m 4/24 and get approved for both?
Historically, some data points suggested you can apply for two Chase cards on the same day when you’re at 4/24. However, one of the applications may be automatically declined in this case. If you then call the reconsideration line, the agent may see your new (approved) account, and this may make you ineligible for the second one (though you’d still have the second hard inquiry on your account).
In either case, remember that Chase may scrutinize customers applying for credit too quickly. Our recommendation is to only apply for one Chase card at a time.
I applied for a card on the exact day I went below 5/24 and was denied. What can I do?
Wait until the first day of the next month and call the Chase reconsideration line, or reapply after the first day of the next month.
I am at or over 5/24. Can I get a card from another bank?
Yes. Approvals for credit cards issued by banks other than Chase are not affected by your 5/24 score. Of course, each bank does have its own approval criteria.
Do Chase business cards count toward my 5/24 score?
No. If you are approved for a Chase business card, it shouldn’t add to your 5/24 standing. However, you must be below 5/24 to get approved for most Chase business cards.
What if I’m under 5/24 but have authorized user accounts on my credit report that make me appear at (or over) 5/24?
Your application may be outright denied or marked for further review. In either case, you’ll want to call the Chase reconsideration line and note which accounts are authorized user accounts. The agent will likely ask whether you are responsible for these accounts and may approve you if someone else is the primary cardholder. However, this is a manual process, and it may not work.
Instead, consider planning ahead and removing yourself as an authorized user at least a month before submitting your application.
5/24 is now a firmly entrenched rule with no signs of disappearing any time soon. This means you need to be extremely strategic about your application and rewards strategy so you can maximize your five allowed Chase slots.
If you’re starting in the realm of credit card rewards and aren’t close to 5/24, you’ll want to prioritize getting Chase cards first. But remember not to try to fill your five slots with Chase cards quickly. Applying for that much credit so fast is a surefire way to invite unwanted attention from Chase and risk your long-term relationship with the bank. Take it nice and slow and be smart about which cards you apply for and when you do it.
For additional reading, check out our picks for the best credit cards.
Application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Application link: Chase Sapphire Reserve: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Additional reporting by Stella Shon, Katie Genter and Madison Blancaflor.
Featured photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images.
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