There Are 4 Credit Card Strategies If You’re Over 5/24. What’s Yours?

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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 pay 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. This is a $0 annual fee the first year (then $95) card that earns double points on travel and dining.

But if you’re over 5/24 there are several approaches to consider.

  • Visit a Chase branch. When I lived in DC there wasn’t one within 100 miles of me so this wasn’t an option unless I built it into my travels. You may be pre-approved for an offer in-branch, or now even online if you have the ‘new’ Chase account interface (I do not) and those generally won’t impose 5/24 restrictions. Chase branches also sometimes have better offers than are available online, for instance the Sapphire Reserve Card still has a 100,000 point offer in branch.

  • Get a card that 5/24 doesn’t apply to. Chase doesn’t seem to impose this restriction on its IHG, Hyatt, British Airways, Fairmont, Ritz-Carlton, or Amazon cards. Getting one of these cards adds to your total of new accounts, but your total of new accounts in the last 24 months doesn’t seem to stand in the way of approval for most.

  • Hold off applying for cards. You can wait it out until you’ve had fewer new card accounts in the past 24 months. Note that you need to wait until the start of the month following when you’ve hit 24 months to apply.

  • Focus on other issuers. Chase is the only one imposing this restriction. American Express will give you the bonus once for each of their products. Citibank will give you a bonus for each family of products and then you need to wait 24 months from closing the account before being eligible for a bonus from that family again. Bank of America remains much more generous.

If you’re over restricted by 5/24, what’s your approach to new credit cards?

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

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, 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.


  1. I would love to get the Fairmont card again, but since I’m trying for 60 nights at Hyatt (whew), I can’t afford more non-Hyatt nights.

    When do they stop with the Fairmont credit card?

  2. I am focusing on other issuers – I can’t afford 5/24 since I’m making $3-4k / year on other issuers per year on bonus offers. I am hoping that never drops to only $1,000 – $1,500 per year, which is basically 5/24. If it does, then Chase is back in the game. I will apply for British Airways later than year, which is excluded.

  3. Bravo, Gary! I’ve criticized you for not paying attention to credit card issuers’ bonus restrictions in some of your posts, so really want to praise you for highlighting strategies for dealing with this.

    But that being said, aren’t some Chase business cards you didn’t mention also apparently immune to 5/24? In response to another one of your posts the other day, someone said that the Marriott business card is not affected by 5/24, for instance.

    @beachfan, I believe the Fairmont card is grinding to a halt right now. (Perhaps Gary recently wrote about this…sorry, I don’t recall for sure.) There are a couple of online links posted that still seem to allow applications and that stipulate two free nights are included. This post at Dr. of Credit provides links to them:
    My wife applied at the first link just a couple of days ago and was instantly approved. Now, whether Chase/Fairmont will actually honor the two free nights is another matter, but you can save screen the application offer to at least bolster your case.

  4. I have decided to stop giving Chase any business till my 5/24 drops off. It’s their loss. I have over 800 FICO and last year I charged close to 200K on chase cards alone. I know I will miss the Ultimate Rewards points for now but Citi and Amex have been great. I don’t even carry the Chase cards in my wallet anymore. Oh well.

  5. I was at 6/24 when the Reserve came out last summer, got denied online AND in branch.
    I dropped at 5/24 on January 6th, applied online on January 9th: denied. Went to a branch on January 10th: shocked to hear that I was pre approved for the Reserve. Applied, it went pending but was approved a week later (yesterday). Not sure if dropping AT 5/24 did the trick or what… I do have a decent credit score in the 730s and a good income, in the very low 6 figures.

  6. Anyone who qualifies for BOTH the CSR and the CSP and opts for the CSP or GETS BOTH needs to have his/her head examined.

  7. I opened a Chase savings account at a local branch last week for the $200 bonus. After completing that process, the bank agent asked if I was interested in a credit card for which I was pre-approved–Chase Sapphire Preferred. Now, I am WAY over 5/24, so I said yes, and I was approved before I left the office.

  8. I am probably waiting till I fall under 524 with the passage of time, or possibly applying for other issuers cards, or a combination of both in the next two years. Going to a branch is not an option — they are too far away.
    I have had most of the lesser chase cards , and do not feel a need to get them again.

    I was shot down twice for the reserve, the only card that I really wanted in a long time.

    I might just get a no annual fee Bank of America no foreign transaction fee card and get out of the game. That is what I should do, but I need a twelve step group or a higher iq or something .

  9. Chase turned down my husband for Chase Reserve when he had only 4 card applications. They turned me down for the Ink business so apparently the 5/24 rule applied and the site would not let me even apply for the Marriott card. American Express is a pleasure to work with but Chase is just plain frustrating. I am not sure where else to go from here. I have lots of expenses coming up and want to put them on a card with big bonus…any suggestions?

  10. I got in under the wire for as many Chase cards as I could, and at this point I’m not looking to get any more. There are too many good offerings from other banks to wait it out and get back under 5/24.

  11. Is there any harm in applying for the CSR and/or IBP and getting denied due to 5/24? I’m well over 5/24 but when I check Chase’s “Credit View” (TransUnion) it shows only 4 accounts opened in the last 2 years. I know that Equifax (and probably Experian) show a bunch more though. I would rather just apply and find out what happens but not if it is going to make future approval less likely.

  12. Question.

    My time in the 5/24 penalty box ends 3/9, however I know it wont be off the record until 4/1. I also know that the 100,000 in branch offer ends 3/12, so if I apply in branch between 3/9-3/12 (and I assume will be denied because I’ll still be under 5/24) and then call recon on 4/1, should I still get the 100,000 offer or will it be dropped to 50,000?

  13. I would drive much further than 100 miles for an extra 50K UR if I thought I had realistic change of getting approved.

  14. @Kyle — Your thinking is short-term: get the sign up bonus, man! Then what do you? Downgrade the CSP (can’t do it right away), after getting a hard pull on your credit record, likely going over 5/24 and missing out on a better deal than the CSR if it happened, etc, etc.

    The CSR made the CSP (and whole bunch of other cards) obsolete for serious mile/point game players who think strategically and long-term. Bloggers know this but they will keep pushing the CSP for as long as Chase keeps them out the CSR promo/commission loop.

  15. Hard pull doesn’t mean much to me, over 800 score with house financed 15yr/2.75%. (maybe I’m ignorant on that, but don’t care much if score goes down a little)

  16. Currently sitting at 4/24. Will try to get the CSR in branch before 100K in branch bonus is reduced. From there will probably get the CSP for the sign up bonus and then downgrade to FU. I have a few cards coming off that 24 month cycle that opens me up for more Chase products. I want to stockpile UR this year.

  17. @Kyle — Like I said, your thinking is not strategic. It is very short-term. It makes little sense to get both the CSR and CSP, when you figure in the minimum spend and annual fee for both cards, and then end up using only one of the two cards long-term. Do the math: one has to be brain-dead to get both cards…

  18. @DCS I’m curious what math you think you are doing, because it seems to me that you are the brain dead one here. Why would anyone in their right mind turn down 50k points with no AF the first year, even though they already have the CSR?

  19. going into the branch did nothing for me. Even being a new chase savings account holder with a balance of about 20K.
    I went back in with the denial letter. They had me on the phone with the CC division who said no, no, no and no way.

  20. @ DCS

    Do you have nothing better to do than insult and criticize? We’re talking about credit cards. Do you really care who gets what and when? Get a life

  21. @WR — It seems to the you simply abstracted the significant minimum spend required in making the silly comment. The points are not free even with the AF waived the first year. 50K UR points are worth about $500, which you would have to spend $4,000 on the CSP to get. In addition to that you would need to spend $4K to get another 50K (or 100k) UR on the CSR+the AF. Unless one was planning on spending at least $8K on some purchase, it makes little sense to get the two cards [it would be cheaper to just use cash!!!]. At least the CSR would, in the long term pay for itself if one decides to keep it. Getting the CSP at the same likely ensures that one ends with a significant deficit… (there is no manufactured spending involved here The minimum spend is real).

  22. whatever. i live for today and i’ll take my 155k points + travel/dining purchase points (8k/6 months w/ 2 people, not that hard). will keep CSR long term. downgrade CSP after 1 year (no af this year). i’m not going to NOT sign up because i think Chase will introduce something later this year. seize the day, yo. why hold out for something that you don’t even know exists. i guess you have your thinking and i have mine; i appreciate your input.

  23. If you are planning on spending $4K anyway, then getting CSP and putting that spend on it to get the 50K would be fine. Otherwise, you would spend $4K to get just enough points to afford a ticket/redemption that would be worth $500-$750 and may be a lot cheaper to just pay cash for. Another question would be if you would not do better with another card or offer. To get the CSP and do nothing with it because the CSR covers it all much better is, well, not what I would do.

    The math does not work in your favor but YMMV…it is your money.

  24. @Gary — I am over the 5/24 limit, and I think I’m done with Chase. I was denied the CSR due to the 5/24 rule (despite excellent credit). Now, the bonus has been reduced by 50%, so in effect, I’m being punished by Chase for having good credit. I’m quite content with my CSP card, and with the 4th night free, $250 travel credit, Priority Pass Select membership, and other benefits I receive with the Citi Prestige card. I’m no longer sure I need another über-expensive annual fee card.

    I have a couple of “duplicates,” in terms of both a Starwood Amex and a Marriott Rewards Visa, and both Virgin America and Alaska Visas — one of these will go away, I’m sure, once the merger is fully complete. I intend to hang onto both the Starwood and Marriott cards well into the future, as I continue to find usefulness in both.

    As far as my other cards, my strategy is to sit pat in terms of credit cards at the moment. I’m not much for “churning,” though I do have a few of lesser/limited usefulness. I suspect that I might close a couple of accounts. If I drop below the 5/24 threshold, a) it will be by accident; and b) I’ll have to decide if I want the CSR at that time, and — all DCS has said, aside — I’m not convinced I do.

  25. @Brandt — The CSR made obsolete many of my cards (e.g., Chase Hyatt, Chase UA MP Explorer; legacy Chase UA MP visa). I never had much use for the SPG AMEX cards. My only cards that the CSR is not likely to make obsolete are the co-brand HHonors AMEX Surpass and Citi visa, and the Chase Marriott visa because they earn the most points on revenue stays. The CSR had also made my AMEX Biz Plat obsolete but then today, a targeted offer for 5x AMEX MR points/$ on airline tickets paid for with the AMEX Biz Platinum (@Gary — you ought to do a post on this AMEX offer) has suddenly made this card relevant again [will allow me to earn AMEX MR points that I intend to transfer to my SQ Krisflyer account 1:1], until the end of March when the AMEX promo ends and I will start to pay for all airline tickets with the CSR (3x/$) again.

    There is simply no reason to have the CSP (2x on dining and travel) if one can get the CSR (3x on dining and travel). I paired the CSR with my Chase UA Club card, which earns 1.5x miles/$ on everything else. Between CSR and UA Club card I no longer have unbonused spend to speak of.

  26. Gary, can you clarify the Citibank bonus has to be 24 months from closed account or 24 months from the previous bonus? Also, is there any up-to-date list of when you can reapply for certain cards? Would be helpful to know.

  27. I just mentioned above a new AMEX offer to earn 5x on airline tickets paid for with the AMEX Biz Platinum (the personal card already enjoys this benefit). Here is the email I received from AMEX after I registered for the offer, which is TARGETED, and sort of provides the terms:

    ” We are pleased to confirm your enrollment in the American Express Business Platinum Card offer.
    Use your Card now through 3/29/2017 to take advantage of this special offer and receive 5X points (that’s 4 additional points per dollar) for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. There’s no limit to the additional points you can earn with this offer.”

    To find out if you are targeted for this offer go to the following link:

  28. @DCS:

    (Not sure why you’re addressing me by my middle name, but what the heck — can I just call you “C”?)

    Clearly this is a case of “YMMV.” As you may know, one the “Great Lies of the Western World” is “one size fits all.” It isn’t true. And card utilization/benefits vary with the specific user, his or her spending patterns, goals, etc., etc., etc. You may have “never had much use for the SPG AMEX cards,” but I have — and clearly so have many — others. (No doubt there are also many others who would agree with you; again, it all depends and “YMMV.”) But Starwood has long been my preferred chain, and staying with them has long served me well.

    Now, since the merger, I’ve also acquired the Marriott Rewards Visa — one of the reasons I’m over 5/24 — and taken advantage of the 80,000 point signup bonus. I have GOLD status with SPG and, thus, with Marriott as well. Having the Chase card gets me 5x Marriott Rewards points on spend at Marriott/Ritz/Starwood properties, plus either the 10x Marriott points for staying at Marriott or Ritz hotels (+25% bonus), or 3x (as a Gold member) the Starwood points if I stay there.

    Now, please feel free to check my math, but:

    — By putting everything on the SPG Amex, I would net 5x SPG points for staying at Starwood (equal to 15 Marriott points) per $1.
    — By putting everything on the Marriott Rewards Visa, I would net 17.5 Marriott points (5x for the spend; 12.5x for the stay) for staying at a Marriott or Ritz (5.8333 SPG points) per $1.
    — Putting everything on the SPG Amex but staying at a Marriott/Ritz would net me 2x SPG points for the spend, and 12.5 Marriott points on the stay (total: 18.5 Marriott points, or 6.1667 SPG points per $1 overall).
    — Putting everything on the Marriott Visa but staying at a Starwood would next me 5x Marriott points on spend, and 3x SPG points on the stay (total: 4.667 SPG points, or 14 Marriott points per $1 overall).

    So, if my math is correct, I make out better by staying at a Marriott property and using the Marriott Rewards card, but I make out best if I stay at a Marriott and pay with my SPG Amex . . . HOWEVER, since the two programs are still being run separately, and it’s much easier to re-quality as Gold through Starwood (10 stays or 25 nights) than through Marriott (50 nights), I shall — for 2017, at least — continue to stay at Starwood properties. Being semi-retired, there is no way I’m going to qualify by staying 50 nights somewhere. (Again, YMMV.)

    I agree with you re: the HHonors AMEX Surpass, which automatically comes with Hilton Gold status, regards of nights, stays, or spend, and I’m planning on keeping mine. As for Starwood, Marriott, and which card goes away, that all depends upon what Marriott does with the programs . . .

  29. @Jason Brandt Lewis — Why use just your middle name? Just lazy.

    I take no issue with your math because it is in a different arena: spend on actual revenue stays. All co-brand cards, including the SPG AMEX, are much more valuable in conjunction with loyalty revenue spend — they earn the most points per buck. It’s why, with hardly any Starwood stays over the years, I have not had much use for my SPG AMEX, which earns no bonus points otherwise.

    For general spend, the CSR currently reigns supremo and makes many other similar cards (e.g., the CSP) obsolete. Period.

  30. Another option, if you have a spouse is for one of you to hold off on applying for any cards until you are under 5/24 while the other one can continue applying for cards.

    Our plan is for me to wait until I am under 5/24 for me to apply for the CSR, which will happen this summer. My focus is to concentrate on earning UR Points. (Also, this week am traveling to a city where I will go to a Chase branch and ask if I am pre approved for any cards. Here’s hoping!)

    My husband will continue to apply for cards from other banks. Since he has the AmEx Platinum Business, his focus is to concentrate on earning MR Points due to the 50% rebate bonus on airfare purchased with MR Points.

  31. I have also been denied for the United Club Card because of the the 5/24 rule. It is interesting because United Airlines said I was pre-approved for the United Club card, but when I applied I was not accepted. I went to the branch and the officer there tried to get me the card since I have a totally clean record and other chase accounts. The reconsideration line said there is no appeal, they only look at the number of cards in last two years, not your credit score. No flexibility. While they are not flexible, I am and will not use any chase product till they welcome me back. Of course my Amex Platinum gives me access to Delta clubs so I guess I will fly Delta–just the opposite of what United wanted when they co-branded with Chase. I also suggest anyone having this issue with a co branded cards from Chase, write the CEO of the partner companies (United in this case, Marriott etc.) to let them know that the money they pay Chase is costing them business rather than bringing people in. In many cases the best customers are the ones being locked out by the arbitrary Chase rules. Perhaps if the Uniteds and Marriotts of the world put pressure on Chase, things will change.

  32. Update on cards NOT affected by the Chase 5/24 rule.
    My application for the Chase Reserve card was denied today, due to falling under this rule.
    My 5th card was the Marriot Business Card, and the reconsideration line confirmed today that “All” cards count – including the MBC. 🙁

  33. IMO Chase offer the best sign up bonuses period. Amex can be OK, but for me, the value isn’t quite as high. (That didn’t stop me from doing the AmeX Plat 100k bonus late last year).

    Its funny to read about the upset churners that will now ‘boycott’ Chase. (I’m a churner myself)

    As if card churners were a money maker for Chase anyhow! (Hint: they don’t want YOUR business! Its not profitable!!!)

    Yes, I’m bummed that the game continues to be harder to win, but its silly to be delusional in thinking you are ‘hurting’ a business by NOT using their card. You just saved them a bunch of money by being excluded from the bonus!!

    Rage on!

  34. slee boycotting is not just about trying to bring down a company. But if you do not feel welcomed by chase why should you give them any business

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