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How TPG staffers with the most credit cards handle Chase's 5/24 rule

Aug. 04, 2022
10 min read
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How important is 5/24? We get this question a lot.

If you're just starting out in the points and miles world, it's pretty important. What about later on, though? Once you've passed the 5/24 rule with Chase, should you try to get back under 5/24? Or should you just move on with life?

We polled our TPG staffers who have more than 20 credit cards to see how they factor 5/24 into their credit card portfolios and whether it's an important part of their long-term credit card strategies. If you're an avid points and miles collector, you might find some useful tips in this guide.

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Quick recap on the Chase 5/24 rule

One of the most-discussed aspects of this topic is the Chase 5/24 rule. We have an entire guide to this rule, which is a good place to start.

Here's the gist: In the past 24 months, if you have opened five or more credit cards that show up on your credit report, it's likely that you will be denied when applying for a Chase credit card. Five cards, 24 months — 5/24.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Related: Here’s how to calculate your 5/24 standing

While many business credit cards will not add to your 5/24 number, you still must be under 5/24 to apply for Chase's business credit cards — even if they don't increase your number of cards considered for the 5/24 rule.

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We recommend that people who are under 5/24 with Chase focus on Chase credit cards. This is because you can't apply for these cards later on after passing 5/24. Should you try to get back under 5/24 to apply for more of these cards? Let's look at perspectives from TPG staff members with a lot of credit cards in their wallets — specifically, 20 or more.

TPG staffers weigh in: What's your 5/24 strategy?

Andrew Kunesh, Points and Miles Editor

  • Number of credit cards: 34.
  • Number of Chase credit cards: Five.

I’m over 5/24 and have been for some time now. I have 34 credit cards — five of them from Chase — but am getting relatively close to being under 5/24. For a while, I saw not applying for cards as an opportunity cost.

However, I am now letting my credit “cool off” in anticipation of buying a home in the next couple of years. I also want to be under 5/24 to get a World of Hyatt Credit Card. I am hoping to switch my loyalty from Marriott to Hyatt, and having the card would make this easier.

Related: Credit card strategies for mortgage and home loan applicants

Katie Genter, Senior Points and Miles Writer

  • Number of credit cards: 20.
  • Number of Chase credit cards: Eight.

I currently have 20 cards on which I'm the primary cardholder, including 16 personal cards and 4 small-business cards. Of my 20 cards, eight are from Chase (and just one is a business card).

I'm currently right at 5/24, as I opened the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card, World of Hyatt Credit Card, AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card within the last two years.

The information for the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard and Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

(Photo by rudi_suardi/Getty Images)

I was last under 5/24 in March 2022 just before I opened the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. My husband and I track our 5/24 statuses in a spreadsheet, but I tend to stay close to, if not under, 5/24 for two reasons that aren't related to the 5/24 policy:

  1. I'm taking a relatively conservative approach to my credit card strategy as I expect banks will eventually begin using (or begin using more extensively) algorithms to avoid awarding large bonuses to applicants they expect are simply looking to earn a bonus.
  2. My digital nomad lifestyle makes it difficult to juggle a lot of new cards and minimum spending requirements. So, my husband and I usually focus on just one new card every three to six months.

Of course, everyone has different stances on how many cards are too many and on how much you can chase sign-up bonuses without hurting your approval rate. Since I write about points, miles, credit cards and loyalty for a living (and don't want any of the banks to shut down my accounts for alleged gaming), a conservative approach seems to be the best path for me. Plus, I want to be eligible to sign up for a new Chase card when there's a new offering or compelling bonus.

Related: Don’t let Chase’s shutdown pattern bite you

Matt Moffitt, Senior Credit Cards Editor

  • Number of credit cards: 24.
  • Number of Chase credit cards: 12.

I'm way over 5/24! I've opened four new cards in the last five months alone.

The last times I was under 5/24 were around 2018 and then again briefly in mid-2021 after I put new credit card applications on hold during the first year of the pandemic.

I no longer monitor my 5/24 status. It's also become much more difficult to track now that Credit Karma has removed the ability to easily see the opening date on your accounts. I'm at the stage where I already have most of the Ultimate Rewards points-earning personal and business cards that I want from Chase. Now, my focus is on getting cards from other issuers like American Express, Citi and Barclays.

In an ideal world, going back under 5/24 could be worthwhile because Chase has so many attractive cards, and I wish I could earn the welcome bonuses on more of them. If I could, I'd apply for the Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card and World of Hyatt Business Credit Card. In the brief window that I was under 5/24 last year, I downgraded my Chase Sapphire Reserve (opened in 2017) to a no-annual-fee Chase Slate and then applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred to earn a 100,000-point welcome bonus.

The information for the Chase Slate 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: Don’t cancel: How to downgrade a Chase credit card

Nick Ewen, Director of Content

  • Number of credit cards: 22.
  • Number of Chase credit cards: Eight.

I am currently at five new accounts in the previous 24 months — though I just hit that threshold in June to grab the limited-edition 747 card design on the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. However, I won’t get back under 5/24 until spring 2023.

Right now, I have 22 open, active card accounts on which I am the primary cardholder, and eight of them are with Chase. I haven’t paid attention to 5/24 in a few years (ever since I became eligible and applied for the Sapphire Reserve). There haven’t been any Chase cards that I’ve specifically wanted, so I’ve been content adding cards from other issuers to my wallet — while maximizing bonus categories on my existing Chase products.

Related: When should you ignore Chase’s 5/24 rule?

Ryan Smith, Credit Cards Writer

  • Number of credit cards: 26.
  • Number of Chase credit cards: Seven.

I'm over 5/24 and have been for four years now. I never intended to be back under 5/24.

However, a string of denials for "too many new accounts" and "too many recent credit inquiries" coincided with several targeted offers for business cards from American Express; these didn't require hard inquiries or new accounts showing up on my credit report. Thus, I'm at 6/24 and could work to get under 5/24.

Having said that, I would need to not apply for cards with high welcome bonuses right now in the hopes that Chase would approve me for new credit cards. That's obviously not guaranteed.

(Photo by Oscar Wong/Getty Images)

I don't actively monitor my 5/24 status, since I never thought I would be close to going under again — that was until I needed a cooling-off period for my credit report. I'm torn between whether I should wait to fall under 5/24 or not. I'm leaning toward the latter, though.

Related: How to use the CardMatch tool to get better credit card welcome offers

Senitra Horbrook, Credit Cards Editor

  • Number of credit cards: 31.
  • Number of Chase credit cards: Eight.

I just applied for my most recent personal credit card in June, which put me at exactly 5/24. I currently have 31 credit cards, eight of which are from Chase. I do track and monitor my 5/24 status.

For many years, I was over 5/24, and I was fine with that, as I was still able to apply for plenty of cards from other issuers. I took a break on new card applications in 2020 in preparation for refinancing my mortgage, which helped me drop back below 5/24. I also try to mix in some new business credit cards from time to time, which do not add to my 5/24 count.

Going back under 5/24 was very worthwhile for me, as it has allowed me to receive some of the best welcome bonuses Chase has offered; this includes the 100,000-point Sapphire Preferred bonus in 2021 (like Matt) and, most recently, five free night certificates on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card.

Related: Applying for a new credit card after closing on your mortgage

Bottom line

As you can see, everyone has a different situation. The ways our staff members view 5/24 within their credit card goals and strategies can vary.

While the Chase 5/24 rule is super important to those starting out in this hobby, its importance fades over time as you get more credit cards and build a bigger portfolio. Whether you make an effort to get back under 5/24 is a personal choice affected by multiple factors.

Hopefully, seeing a range of views on this issue can help you gain perspective on your strategy moving forward.

Featured image by (Photo by The Points Guy Staff)
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.

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