Chase’s 5/24 rule: Everything you need to know
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In the middle of 2015, some applicants with excellent credit who applied for Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards suddenly found themselves being declined. The reason agents gave was an applicant had “opened too many new accounts in the last 24 months.” Within a short period of time, 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.
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 personally experience, 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 smart in planning out your applications, both with Chase and other credit card issuers.
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 in order to be approved. The 5/24 rule only applies to getting approved for cards issued by Chase, but your 5/24 count includes your 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. The following cards have always been reported to be 5/24 cards:
- Chase Freedom (see our card review)
- Chase Freedom Unlimited (see our card review)
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card (see our card review)
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card (see our card review)
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (see our card review)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve (see our card review)
- Chase Slate* (see our card review)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card (see our card review)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card (see our card review)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card (see our card review)
- Starbucks Rewards Visa Card*
- United Club Card* (see our card review)
- United Club Business Card*
- United Explorer Card (see our card review)
- United Explorer Business Card (see our card review)
Chase seemingly expanded the 5/24 rule in November 2018 to include all cobranded cards. So, the following are also reportedly subject to 5/24:
- AARP Credit Card From Chase*
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card*
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card*
- British Airways Visa Signature Card (see our card review)
- Disney Premier Visa Card*
- Disney Visa Card*
- The World Of Hyatt Credit Card (see our card review)
- Iberia Visa Signature Credit Card*
- IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card* (see our card review)
- IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card (see our card review)
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card (see our card review)
*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.
Most travel cards issued by Chase also are subject to 5/24. Don’t assume that a Chase card isn’t subject to 5/24 just because it isn’t listed above.
Reader reports indicate that applying for too many Chase cards too quickly can lead to account scrutiny and complete Chase shutdowns, regardless of your 5/24 status. Some online reports have noted that Chase has 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.
Keep in mind that 5/24 is not the only factor as to 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 and/or articles of organization to show that you have a legitimate business or sole proprietorship.
How do I calculate my 5/24 score?
I’ve found the easiest way to find your 5/24 score is to sign up for the free credit report service at Credit Karma, log in and then use this link to see all your accounts in a list (thanks to Frequent Miler for the tip). Click on “Open Date” to sort accounts by date and count the accounts you have opened in 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 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 Jan. 17, 2018, do not apply for a new card until Feb. 1, 2020.
Related: How to calculate your 5/24 standing
What accounts add to your 5/24 score?
The following accounts count toward your 5/24 standing:
- All personal credit cards opened with any bank (even if they’re now closed)
- All personal charge cards (like The Platinum Card® from American Express)
- Business cards opened with Capital One, Discover and TD Bank
- Authorized user cards from another person’s personal credit or charge card, 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 which are part of a national payment system and can be used elsewhere. Some data points suggest that even store cards which can only be used at a single establishment also now count.
The following accounts will not count toward your 5/24 standing:
- Cards you apply for but are denied for (credit inquiries aren’t counted)
- Small business cards from the majority of card issuers, with the known exceptions listed above
- Auto loans, student loans and mortgages
What about card conversions and upgrades?
Depending on how a bank completes 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. If it says yes, that could be a sign the account will be considered as new and add to your 5/24 standing.
Are the methods to bypass 5/24 all dead?
There used to be surefire 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 now dead:
- Chase Private Client status
- Chase Prequalified Offers from the online tool
- “Selected for you” offers visible once logged into Chase.com
- Applying through Chase banner offers
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.
Otherwise, you could wait until you’re below 5/24. Or, if you desperately want a 5/24 card now and are over 5/24, you can attempt a product change within the Chase Ultimate Rewards earning card family (assuming you’ve held the card you want to convert for at least a year). Note that 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, data points suggested yes. But a few recent data points have shown that one of the applications may be automatically declined in this case. In either case, remember that Chase may scrutinize customers applying for credit too quickly. Our recommendation is not to push and 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 will not add to your 5/24 standing. However, you must be below 5/24 in order 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 over 5/24?
Your application may be outright denied or may be 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 you’re able to convince them you aren’t responsible for these accounts.
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 just starting out in the realm of credit card rewards and are 0/24 or 1/24, you’ll want to prioritize getting Chase cards first. But remember not to try to quickly fill your five slots with Chase cards. 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 more on Chase’s 5/24 rule, see these related articles:
- How to calculate your 5/24 standing
- The best ways to use your 5/24 slots
- Business credit cards that aren’t under 5/24
- What to do after you reach 5/24
- When to ignore the 5/24 rule
Additional reporting by Katie Genter.
Featured photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy.