All About “5/24” and Getting Approved for Chase Credit Cards

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For many Chase cards you can only get approved if you’ve had fewer than 5 new credit card accounts in the last 24 months.

I’ve talked about this guideline in the past. If you’re already an expert on this, stop here, but 5/24 is important enough in signing up for credit cards and there are enough new readers that it is worth going over.

Chase counts all of your recent card applications — not just applications for Chase cards. Cards you aren’t approved for don’t count — it’s new accounts, not applications, that they’re looking at. Authorized user cards that report on your credit do count as well, although some readers have told me they’ve been able to appeal this with a representative.

Why Chase Excludes Customers With 5 or More New Recent Card Signups From Some Cards

Chase is spending a lot to acquire customers. They only make money on customers who use their products over time. In some cases they’re said to need to hold onto a customer more than 6 years before they turn profitable. So they want to avoid people who switch cards, and one way to distinguish profitable from unprofitable customers is to exclude people signing up for several cards in a short period of time. They believe they’re losing only a small percentage of potential customers, while avoiding the bulk of costly customers who never become profitable for the bank.

Other issuers take different approaches, Citi won’t give bonuses to people who have opened or closed the same card within 24 months and now apply the ‘same card’ rule to mean ‘same family of cards’ (if you get the American AAdvantage standard personal card they aren’t going to give you a bonus on a premium $450 ‘Executive’ card, but they will give you the business card’s initial bonus.

American Express will only give you the signup bonus on any given card one time — although if they no longer ‘remember’ you’ve had a product they’ll repeat a bonus. Some people seem to find that a card drops off after around seven years, in either case you can ask American Express what cards they show you as having previously signed up for.

Cards That 5/24 Applies To

Chase’s own rewards cards all fall under 5/24 guidelines. So Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and Chase Sapphire Reserve Card are all subject to 5/24. So are the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards and Ink Cash, as well as Chase Slate. (Information about these products, as well as 5/24, is not provided or reviewed by their issuer.)

It’s a new product so I don’t have enough data points for certain but I assume 5/24 applies to the

  • Chase Ink Business Unlimited(SM) Credit Card, the no annual fee card that offers $500 after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months of cardmembership. (Have a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card? You can transfer the initial bonus from Business Unlimited to your Sapphire Preferred and from there to miles and points.)

    In addition 5/24 applies to several of their co-brand travel rewards cards. It applies to all of the United cards. It applies to the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card.

    You also need to be under 5/24 if you want to be approved for the Starbucks card (trust me you don’t want that one) or any of the Southwest cards like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card with its offer to earn 60,000 points after $3,000 spend in the first 3 months.

    Because of this rule you should get these cards first. In fact in my view if you’re just getting started in rewards cards you should get Chase cards first, and in particular these cards. Doing so becomes a license to get the others, without giving up the option to get these.

    Cards 5/24 Does Not Apply To

    I’m really not sure why this rule applies to some (most) products but not to all products. Perhaps it’s just the cards they want to acquire customers for, but are having a harder time doing so, that get excluded from 5/24. Or it may be a function of the contracts that Chase has with its co-brand partners (if the partner is picking up the bulk of the cardmember acquisition cost Chase may not worry as much).

    If you have had 5 or more new cards in the last 24 months you won’t be excluded on that basis from approval for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card which is offering a signup bonus of up to 100,000 Avios.

      Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios. Earn a further 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios.

    There are similar offers for the Aer Lingus and Iberia versions of this card and reports are 5/24 doesn’t apply there either.

    You should also still be eligible for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has an initial bonus offer is 80,000 points after $2000 spend within 3 months and 5,000 points after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase in the first three months. (Offer expired)

    The card comes with Platinum status, a free night after each account anniversary year, and a free reward night on points stays of 4 or more nights. (That’s better than the ‘5th night free’ from Starwood and from Hilton, and amounts to a 25% discount on four night award stays.)

    In addition reports suggest 5/24 doesn’t apply to the Hyatt, Amazon, AARP, or Disney cards.

    What Cards Don’t Count Towards Your 5/24 Total

    Most banks do not report small business cards on personal credit reports. Chase, American Express, Citibank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo do not. Neither does US Bank or Discover.

    That’s important because if you sign up for a new small business credit card, your 5/24 total does not go up.

    There have been mixed reports over time about Chase’s own small business cards. They do not report on your personal credit but many people have said getting a Chase small business card still counts towards your 5/24 total. I do not believe this is the case, which is great for getting the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card, though I’m interested in your experience.

    Apply for Some Cards Even If You’re Over 5/24

    Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is a fantastic card, but if 5/24 shuts you out then Doctor of Credit says that in-branch a Chase Business Relationship Manager-submitted paper application goes through a different process that isn’t subject to the new recent application limits.

    I’d be remiss as well if I failed to note that 5/24 isn’t a true inviolable rule, there are occasional reports of folks who have had 5 or more new cards in the last two years still getting approved for cards where we think these guidelines apply. It’s not clear why this is the case — whether a combination of income and credit score or other factors — but some people do appear to manage it.

    How to Check Your 5/24 Status

    I have this Credit Karma page bookmarked. If you don’t have a CreditKarma account, sign up for one, and navigate there to see a list of your open and closed accounts. Sort by ‘open date’ and you can count how many new cards you’ve had in the past 24 months. Remember that even closed accounts count.

    Here’s mine in reverse order:

    Once you’ve determined you’re under 5/24 wait until the first of the next month before applying for a card — it appears that 5/24 is calculated based on calendar months and not exact dates.

  • 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.

    Comments

    1. Not to be crass, but if Chase wants me to jump through that many hoops I’ll just avoid them altogether. Plenty of other banks out there. Great information in the post though, thanks Gary!

    2. Be cautious about applying for cards for additional users (e.g, your spouse) when you apply for a Chase card. That will put a credit “hit” on the second person, and will count against the 5/24 rule as well.

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