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Chase is a prominent brand in the credit card industry, with cards such as the Chase Freedom®, which offers 5% back in rotating categories each quarter you activate, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which offers excellent rewards on travel and dining. But if you’re considering applying for a Chase card, you need to know what the “5/24 rule” is to prevent being automatically rejected.
We’ll explain how the 5/24 rule works, how to check your 5/24 status, and more.
In this article:
- How does the Chase 5/24 rule work?
- How to check how many cards you’ve opened in the past two years
- Which cards may be subject to the Chase 5/24 rule?
- Why Chase uses the 5/24 rule
- Chase 5/24 FAQ
- Best Chase cards to apply for
- The bottom line
How does the Chase 5/24 rule work?
Boiled down, the Chase 5/24 rule means that if you’ve been approved for five credit cards from any issuer within the past two years, you won’t get approved for a Chase card.
“It’s important to understand that this isn’t a rule that you’ll find detailed on Chase’s website, but instead, it’s an unwritten rule that has come to light in recent years as credit card rewards gamers have tried to apply for some of these cards and been unsuccessful,” said Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst for CompareCards.com.
How to check how many cards you opened in the past two years
The only way to know if you’re over or under 5/24 is to tally up how many credit cards were opened within the past two years. You can use a free service such as My LendingTree — offered by CompareCards.com’s parent company — to view your credit cards and see the open date for each.
Another way to check your accounts is to get a copy of your free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com, which lists when you opened a new card account. Under federal law, you’re entitled to a free report from each of the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) each year.
And if you are already a Chase cardholder, you can visit Chase Credit Journey, which lists recent card opening dates, as well as your credit score. Other personal finance apps may also list card open dates.
Which cards may be subject to the Chase 5/24 rule?
It’s generally been clear that to get any of Chase’s personal credit cards, you need to be under 5/24. And if you’re approved, the card you applied for will add to your 5/24 count. Those may include:
- The Chase Slate®
- The Chase Freedom Flex℠
- The Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
It’s also been widely reported that to get Chase’s business cards, you should be under 5/24 — however, if approved, a Chase business card won’t add to your 5/24 count. Those may include:
- The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
- The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
- The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
When the 5/24 rule first rolled out, there used to be Chase-issued cards that you had a chance to get approved for even if you were over the 5/24 limit. However, that’s not the case anymore.
“Just assume that all their cards are under their 5/24 rule now,” said Lee Huffman, a personal finance expert who blogs at BaldThoughts.com.
Why Chase uses the 5/24 rule
Even though 5/24 is an unwritten rule, there’s a pretty clear reason why it’s in the bank’s best interest to limit card approvals. Some card applicants are looking to make a quick profit from generous sign-up bonuses, which can lead to revenue losses.
“There are a lot of people who will apply, meet the minimum spend, get the bonus, then cancel the card,” Huffman said. “Banks obviously don’t like spending that money and not having a customer around for a while to at least break even.”
“Everybody has their version of these type of restrictions to make sure you’re an actual customer and not just a transaction,” he said. For example, American Express restricts welcome offers per card to one per customer per lifetime.
Best Chase credit cards to apply for
Now that you know about the 5/24 rule, you can strategically plan which cards you want and make sure you’re under the 5/24 limit before applying with Chase. Here are some recommendations on the best Chase cards for cash back, travel and balance transfers.
Best for cash back
Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
- Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
- Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
- Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
- No annual fee.
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
- No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
See additional details for Chase Freedom Flex℠
If you’re willing to activate a different category each quarter, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ can pay off handsomely. It offers the chance to Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. The annual fee is $0.
Best for travel
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
$300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
- Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
See additional details for Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers excellent value for cardholders who spend a significant amount on travel. With this card, you can get 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases It does have a hefty annual fee of $550, but it also comes with a $300 annual travel credit that can help you recoup the cost of the annual fee if you travel regularly.
Perhaps most important, you can get 50% more value for your rewards points when you redeem them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.
Best for balance transfers
If you’re not worried about rewards and just want to focus on paying down credit card debt, the Chase Slate® can help you do that. It offers 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months.
Most important is an intro balance transfer fee — $0 for the first 60 days that your Account is open, after that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. There are plenty of credit cards that offer 0% intro APR — some for longer periods of time than the Chase Slate® — but many charge a balance transfer fee ranging from 3%-5% of the amount you transfer.
After the intro period ends, the APR for purchases is 16.49% - 25.24% variable, and APR for balance transfers is 16.49% - 25.24% variable. This card has an annual fee of $0.
Chase 5/24 FAQ
Can I bypass the Chase 5/24 rule? It’s very unlikely. While there used to be different ways people would try to get around the rule, Chase has cracked down over the years.
Does a product change count toward my 5/24 limit? If you upgrade or downgrade a Chase card, that should not count toward your 5/24 limit (as long as it doesn’t show up on your credit report as a new account). For instance, if you have a Chase Slate® and you’re able to upgrade it to a Chase Freedom Flex℠, that shouldn’t add to your 5/24 count.
Just be aware that if you upgrade or downgrade, you probably won’t qualify for whatever sign-up bonus is currently being offered to new cardmembers.
Do store cards count toward my 5/24 limit? Yes. All personal credit cards count.
Does being an authorized user count toward my 5/24 limit? Yes. If you’re an authorized user on someone else’s credit card, that takes up one of your 5/24 slots.
Do loans count toward my 5/24 limit? No. The 5/24 rule only counts your credit cards, not financial products such as personal loans, student loans, auto loans and mortgages.
Do Chase business cards count toward my 5/24 limit? They do not, but you must be under 5/24 in order to successfully be approved for a Chase business card.
Do other business credit cards count toward my 5/24 limit? Only if they show up on your personal credit report. Capital One and Discover business cards do report to your personal credit, for example.
My 5/24 count is dropping to 4/24 today. Can I apply for a Chase card tomorrow? A better choice is to wait until the following month before applying. You might be counting down 24 months to the exact day, but there’s no guarantee that Chase will do so.
The bottom line
If you’ve got your eye on a Chase credit card, you need to check your 5/24 standing. For those who have applied for multiple credit cards recently, the only thing to do is wait.
But if you’re thinking about applying for a new Chase credit card for the first time in a while, be strategic about picking the card that would best serve you.
Finally, once approved for a Chase card, practice good financial behavior and be a responsible cardholder. Look at this as a chance to get long-term value out of your card and build a working relationship with the bank.
The information related to the Chase Slate®, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, and the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card has been independently collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of these cards prior to publication.