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If you’re a travel rewards card addict like myself, it’s likely at some point you’ve received the dreaded response when applying for a Chase card: declined, thanks to everyone’s least favorite rule, 5/24. It happens to the best of us — TPG team members and myself included.
If you aren’t familiar with Chase’s 5/24 rule, it refers to the bank’s policy of denying applications for many new Chase credit cards if the applicant has opened five or more accounts across all banks in the last 24 months. And of course, once you’re over the limit, it can take many months — or even years — of not getting any new personal credit cards before you’re back under the threshold and eligible for Chase cards again.
My New Ink Business Cash
This story begins when I recently signed up for the no-fee Ink Business Cash Credit Card. At first I was declined for being over 5/24, but when I called Chase, I discovered the bank had been incorrectly classifying two personal credit lines I had opened in the last 24 months as “credit cards.” It’s always possible for the information on your credit report to be unclear or even wrong, so just because Chase or another bank declines your application doesn’t mean you shouldn’t double check their work.
Once I convinced Chase that those accounts shouldn’t be included, I was asked to send in my business’ tax info. But even after I did, the agents kept requesting even more business info because apparently I was already at my overall limit for credit with Chase, and they wanted extra documentation to extend me additional credit. So rather than send in a lot of extra paperwork, I asked if I could just move credit from one of my other Chase business cards instead, which they were happy to do.
With all that squared away, I was able to get approved for the Ink Cash, which is a solid addition to my card collection and a no-brainer thanks to its sign-up bonus. New cardholders get $500 (after you spend $3,000 in the first three months), which can actually turn into 50,000 transferable Ultimate Rewards points if you combine the points with an Ultimate Rewards-earning card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Ink Business Preferred.
Turning your cash back into UR points can make the $500 sign-up bonus worth a lot more. For instance, if you combine your Ink Cash points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can redeem them directly for travel at the Chase travel portal for a fixed value of 1.5 cents each, which would make those 50,000 points worth $750 instead of $500.
However, if you transfer the points to one of Chase travel partners, you can really maximize them with huge premium cabin redemptions, which is why I value Ultimate Rewards points at 2.1 cents apiece. That makes the Ink Cash sign-up bonus worth $1,050, and that’s why I can never get enough UR points. I’m currently eyeing some Hyatt redemptions such as the Park Hyatt Mallorca, and I’ve used UR points in the past to book great first-class award flights on Korean Air and elsewhere
Getting Out From Under 5/24
But how does this tie into 5/24? Well, after opening the card and taking an inventory of my recently added cards, I had a credit card epiphany: I realized I’m still under 5/24. As I mentioned in my latest credit card inventory, I’ve been trimming down the plastic in my wallet, especially cutting down on co-branded airline credit cards and focusing on cards that offer me great value beyond the sign-up bonus through rewards on spending and other perks. So I haven’t been applying for a ton of new cards over the last few years… meaning I can currently open one more Chase card!
So my 4/24 status got me thinking: What card should I get next?
Here’s a list of the Chase cards I already have that fall under the 5/24 rule:
And here are the cards I could apply for that fall under the 5/24 rule, ranked by the value of their sign-up bonus minus the annual fee:
|Sign-Up Bonus and Minimum Spend||Value Based on TPG Valuations||Annual Fee||Total Bonus Value (minus fee if not waived)|
|Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card||$500/50,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months||$500 or $1,000 with an UR earning card||$0||$500 or $1,000 with an UR earning card|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card||Earn up to 60,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 20,000 points after you spend $12,000 on purchases in the first 12 months your account is open.||$900||$69||$831|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card||Earn up to 60,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 20,000 points after you spend $12,000 on purchases in the first 12 months your account is open.||$900||$99||$801|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card||60,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.||$900||$99||$801|
|United Explorer Card||40,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in the first three months and 20,000 more miles after you spend 8,000 in the first six months||$780||$95 (waived the first year)||$780|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card||75,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months||$600||$95||$505|
|United Explorer Business Card||Earn up to 100,000 bonus miles after qualifying purchases: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open and 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $25,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.||$1,300||$95||$1,205|
|United Club Card||50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months||$650 plus United Club membership valued at $450||$450||$650|
|United Club Business Card||50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months||$650 plus United Club membership valued at $450||$450||$650|
|Starbucks Rewards Visa Card||2,500 stars after you spend $500 in the first three months||~$80-$160 depending on how you redeem||$49||$31-$111 depending on how you redeem|
While I may already have some thoughts on what card I’d like to add to my collection, I’d love for you to weigh in too. So let me know: What card subject to the 5/24 rule do you think I should sign up for next?
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