What I’d Love to See Chase Do With 5/24

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Chase seems not to approve new credit cards for most customers that have had 5 or more new accounts in the last 24 months. There are exceptions, there are readers do report getting approved and they usually report especially high incomes and credit scores. But this seems to apply to far more people than it doesn’t.

Non-Chase business credit cards apparently do not count towards your 5 (with most issuers they do not show on your personal credit report).

If you’re under 5/24, getting a Chase business card is a no brainer. Get the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card which offers 80,000 points after $5000 spend within 3 months and earns triple points on the first $150,000 spend on travel, telecommunications, shipping and advertising on social-media and search engines. It even comes with protection for your cell phone if you buy it using the card.

Then if you’re under 5/24, getting another great Chase personal card makes sense. The best online card offer is for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: 50,000 points after $4000 spend within 3 months and 5000 more points for adding a no annual fee authorized user and making a purchase on the card within 3 months. This is a $0 annual fee the first year (then $95) card that earns double points on travel and dining.

But if you’re at 5/24, you may be stuck. These are great products and it’s not that you simply aren’t eligible for a signup bonus, many applicants will be declined for the product.

That’s why it’s important to get Chase products first, getting a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card now lets you get other cards from different banks without standing in the way of being approved for a Sapphire Preferred.

I get it what Chase is trying to do here. I really do. Chase figures if you’ve had 5 or more new card accounts in the last 24 months you’re likely switching cards too quickly to become profitable and earn back their marketing costs (e.g. signup bonus). Limiting approvals to those with fewer than 5 new cards in 24 months only cuts off a small percentage of the population, perhaps 5%, and likely much of those cut off would be unprofitable.

But that doesn’t mean everyone is unprofitable. And it’s bad customer service for existing bank and investment clients, or major credit card spenders, to be rejected. Perhaps someone with 4 new cards in the past 2 years starts a business and wants a Chase Visa to keep their business spend separate.

I know that I want the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card for triple points on social media and search advertising, and for the cell phone protection it offers — even apart from the bonus.

So I wish that Chase would approve applications even they won’t award the bonus to people who have reached 5/24. Perhaps they’re worried about not delivering a bonus that’s advertised, but American Express does it — they advertise bonuses but say that an individual is eligible for only one bonus per card product in a lifetime, and they deny bonuses to people who have had a card before. In any case, Chase could create applications with no promise of a bonus specifically for those at 5/24 or above.

That way someone who wants to spend money towards elite status with Marriott (which matches to Starwood) using the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card can do it.


Al Wadi Desert Resort, credit: Marriott

Create an application that offers no bonus, and flag the application so that when some customers invariably message asking agents to match them to the current bonus offer the request is denied.

That way it’s possible for consumers to get and spend money on Chase cards, while meeting Chase’s objective not to acquire unprofitable customers.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

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  1. Sure you would – because you get paid for approved applications through your affiliate links, regardless of any bonus payout!

  2. Interesting suggestion for Chase.. If I had not been preapproved in branch for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and been approved, I would’ve likely considered to product change my Sapphire Preferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve despite not receiving the bonus.

  3. Eric has this right. For most people, without a signup bonus, there’s really not a reason to get a card. The hard pulls are better spent elsewhere.

  4. @Eric – i doubt that special applications with no bonus offer would provide referral credit of any kind, that would sort of defeat the purpose of the no bonus offer path…

  5. @Tim I disagree for MOST people hard pulls aren’t spent on bonuses, people don’t max out hard pulls, they’re looking to get the best cards with benefits and rewards that match their spend

  6. I’d like it if affiliates not get bonus payouts if a credit card company detects a churner has stopped using the card after bonus payout.

  7. @ Gary — I wish they would just get rid of it. I don’t even pay attention to their card offerings anymore. I refuse to wok my 15/24 down to 5/24. Forget Chase…

  8. Gary, I agree. But those most people aren’t over 5/24. If you’re over 5/24, you’re pretty much by definition using a fair number–at least according to chase–of hard pulls, and probably chasing bonuses.

  9. If the card’s points-earning structure benefits me more than the cards I’m carrying, it’s worth a hard pull. Two hard pulls, even. I’ll pull so hard to get that card, just pulling and pulling, and I mean HARD.

  10. If the already have Chase cards, they can just do a product change. Your average Chase customer’s spending habits don’t necessitate more than 5 Chase personal credit card products.

  11. @Gary.

    Yeah, right now I can’t get the United card. If I started flying UA regularly, I’d want to be able to get the card for the checked bag fee waiver and all of that.

    Also, some of the banks are throwing around the term “relationship management.” Well, I have four cards with Chase that I’ve had for at least 3+ years, three of which carry an annual fee *that I pay*. You’d think that that’s a relationship that they’d want to continue. Part of doing that is throwing me a bone once in awhile.

    TBH, if I’m a regular user of the CSP (and I am) I do not understand why they won’t approve me for the CSR. I actually did want to get the card with the 100k points offer. Sure, I would have closed out my CSP, but as the annual fee is a net $55 more than the CSP (again, which I pay), it’s actually worth it for me to have the card and pay the fee. Do they want me paying a $450 annual fee, or a $95 annual fee?

    So yeah, Chase is a bit short sighted here. I wish I could say I’d boycot them over that, but I actually like UR points, definitely more than MR or TYP.

  12. Maybe one of their affiliates bloggers figured out they could get a big one-time payment from Chase by cluing them in to the churner lifestyle and pointing out an easy way to improve economics by cutting out the churners ?? Gotta believe no one outside the world of miles/points enthusiasts cares much about getting more than 5 credit cards every two years. Separately, wonder if they reject applicants >5/24 if they carry balances and pay on time ??

  13. I love this idea and have thought about calling Chase to ask if they would do it. I would love a Freedom Unlimited for everyday spend. I converted my Sapphire Preferred to a Reserve without a sign-up bonus. I have a regular Freedom for the quarterly bonuses.

    Chase is losing business with me by not giving me an Unlimited. For spend that doesn’t have a bonus category, I use my SPG Amex.

  14. @Dan — Like Dee (and Lucky/OMAT) have stated, you should be able to get Chase to convert your CSP to a CSR. I was at 4/24 when I applied for the CSR earlier this month, one day before the bonus reduction.

    @Gary — Interesting proposal (for Chase to approve applications over 5/24 but without the signup bonus), sounds like a reasonable compromise.

  15. Uh, oh – if Chase is denying credit cards to potentially profitable, honest customers with good credit, this old auditor wonders what the bank plan is to produce profit. Gaming LIBOR rates or laundering money again?

  16. If Chase were smart, they would make the 5/24 rule apply to credit cards opened AND closed in the last two years. Churners are almost always too cheap to pay for a second year annual fees.

    I pay close to $2000 in annual fees and would gladly pay an extra $450 per year to have a Sapphire Reserve. But because I’m at 7/24 until later this year that makes me “unprofitable” to them.

  17. I think your proposal has some merit, but the people who are in this game are by definition bad customers for the banks. The banks never make their money back on us. Even if they give us a United card with no bonus because we want checked bags, we still won’t use the card for everyday spend and they will still break even or lose money, even without the bonus and with the annual fee.

    On a related note, I would love love love to see statistics on some of these cards and how they do financially. I’d want to know:
    1) How the club carlson cards did after the big devaluation in 2015? How much did Radisson redemptions plummet as well.
    2) How many Citi Executive cards were renewed when they had a 100k bonus a few years ago and no churn limits.
    3) How many cards with annual fees are cancelled after the first year.

  18. I opened a few cards over the last few years and then pulled the trigger on CSR. After that I felt like I wanted to open the chase card with 1.5x points on all purchases. Was afraid this would put me over 5/24. Went with Amex everyday preffered instead. Chase lost that account. I spend more on Amex EP card than any other card bc of all the unbonused spend plus gas and groceries.

  19. “Non-Chase business credit cards apparently do not count towards your 5 (with most issuers they do not show on your personal credit report).” – What about chase business cards? I hear different things about this. I am 5/24 if you count my ink plus card. Otherwise I am 4/24.

  20. What the banks are after are customers who will be enticed by the benefits, but end up using the card for un-bonused spend. Even without a signup bonus, if all you use your Ink for is 3x on social media; if all you use your Prestige card for is 4th night free hotel stays; if all you use your Discover for are the quarterly 5% cashback categories, then they are still losing money on you.

    (Assuming you don’t carry a balance, of course, but no one here does that).

  21. I’ve been on the sideline patiently waiting to get under 5/24. I’m sitting at 4/24 and will be 3/24 next month. As things continue to evolve I wanted to make sure I am not locked out from getting Chase product. I will get the CSR in branch before the 100K bonus is gone. From there I’ll probably hang tight to see what is announced with the SPG program rolling into Marriott and then make a move.

  22. I was 5/24, when I applied for Chase Ink Business Card. They initially rejected my application, so I called and after 10+ questions they said they would re-consider my application. Week later, my card arrived in the mail. So, sometimes it works to give them a call.

  23. @Dan I agree with you. My husband and pay our annual fees, and we spend on all of our Chase cards… several thousand a month. We are both over 5/24 because we are authorized users on each others accounts. I do not want to close those accounts and do the steps to have them removed from our reports. We pay in full each month, we use the cards daily, we do not do any manufactured spend to speak of. Looks like they would want more of our business, not less. Sometimes we probably put more on our Chase cards in 2 months than most people would in a year.

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