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

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Chase frequently won’t approve new credit cards for most customers that have had 5 or more new accounts in the last 24 months. That’s informally known as the ‘5/24 rule’.

This doesn’t apply to all of their cards, but Chase’s President of Co-brands tells me that we can expect that eventually it will.

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 using the card. Since most business cards don’t report on your personal credit, they won’t usually count towards your 5/24 total.

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 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. Although it’s well known that 5/24 doesn’t seem to apply to the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, or The World Of Hyatt Credit Card.

5/24 is 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 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.

Pouring Krug in Singapore Suites

They don’t think they’ll 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. They 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 card’s initial bonus.

  • Maybe a United Global Services member or a Marriott 100 night customer with $20,000 a year in spend (enough to receive a designated Ambassador) wants their preferred travel brand’s card, they are a profitable customer but shut out of their brand’s card.

Marriott’s Al Wadi Desert Resort

So I wish that Chase would approve applications even without awarding the bonus to people who have reached 5/24. In other words, I wish they’d follow American Express’ lead. In any case, Chase could create applications with no promise of a bonus specifically for those at 5/24 or above.

Of course this would require investing in a new approval path without the bonus. They would pick up more card customers, and their acquisition costs for those customers would be much lower, but it would require an IT and compliance cost to make it happen.

Still, it would allow more customers to get and spend money on Chase cards, while meeting Chase’s objective not to acquire unprofitable customers.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit 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 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.


  1. Best solution is to ignore 5/24 and Chase until it becomes more optimal to meet 5/24. Right now it is too costly to forego applications with Amex, Barclays and Citi.

  2. So many people I know have ONE credit card. So if you’re 5/24+, yeah, you’re gaming the system. If you absolutely must have the Ink Preferred and are 5/24+, just product change another Ink card.

  3. Unless they would have an AMEX type warning before the credit pull that an applicant can’t get the bonus it would be a big negative. While we know about 5/24, lots of people don’t and others aren’t sure where they stand with it.

    I have a question how the 5/24 process works with the co-brand partners, whose interests don’t always coincide with those of Chase. Would an IHG or BA consider going with a different bank if their cards are forced into 5/24?

  4. Chase doesn’t reject applications from Private Bank, JPM and other profitable customers. You simply apply through a private banker at the branch and IME 5/24 is ignored.

    5/24 is a great rule for weeding out churners and expect other issuers to implement similar rules as we have already seen at Amex and BofA.

  5. But, but, but… the signup bonuses are the best part! (Captain Obvious)

    I’ve been flying United a fair amount recently and have seen the flight attendant pitches for the (Chase) United Visa card. Being over 5/24, applying for that card is obviously a non-starter for me, although the priority boarding would be nice to have.

  6. My experience is the opposite of Boraso’s comment and it just verified as much 2 days ago.
    I applied for a SWA card from Chase and was denied because of ” too many recent credit requests” so I called and asked for a supervisor in the loan dept and asked the super to confirm the 5/24 rule- he would not but he he did offer to take a second look. Chase showed I had 5 cards in the last 24 months but when we reviewed the credit file, one was as an additional card holder on my wife’s account (which their system does not indicate and they must investigate). One was a duplicate card issued by BofA that was never activated so I was actually at 3/24 so they immediately approved the application based on the now obvious additional card that was not under my SS number.
    I again pressed the supervisor for the rules and asked if a private client relationship or owning six figures of JPM debt influenced the credit card decision? The super said no as they do not see your banking relationship in the loan dept (credit card group). I then asked if there was any benefit of applying for a card through my private client banker- he said no.
    My conclusion is bank wherever gives you the best benefit as it seems to have no bearing on Chase credit card applications, owning Chase debt is of no consideration and that private client bankers add no value to any credit card decisions (at least mine does not). Lastly, check your credit details carefully as often Chase does not remove additional card holders from your files after you have been removed from an account and they can’t easily tell primary card holders from additional card holders at the credit analyst lever. The good news is supervisors can.

  7. There are so many reasons I have changed cards. Moving to a new city with different airline routes, travel patterns changing due to getting a different job or retiring, getting or losing airline status, starting a business, cards with better benefits being introduced, cards losing benefits which were the reason I signed up. So I don’t think 5/24 was actually a very good solution to the problem.

    But I appreciate the problem. While signup bonuses are great and we’ve all benefited from them, so many people open cards they have no intention of using except to get the sign-up bonus. If I were a bank I would come up with a better solution that would reward ongoing spend instead of rewarding churners. Take the Blue Business Plus. No signup bonus but many of us got it anyway because of the ongoing spend benefits.

  8. Paul, several times I have emailed Chase and asked for an AU to be removed from my account and for the card to be removed from their credit report. Each time that was handled easily and quickly. (Frankly it irritates me that those are posted on credit reports at all. The AU as no obligation to repay the debt so it shouldn’t even be there.)

  9. I understand Chase’s general reasoning, but it does backfire in certain instances. For example, if not for 5/24 I’d have and be using a Sapphire Reserve a lot due to some of the 3X spending benefits and other perks, as well as for the transfer partners for Chase UR points. So a fair amount of spending I’d otherwise put on Chase instead goes to Citi or Amex. I imagine I’m not alone in that regard.

    Having said that, I’m under the impression that if you have the Sapphire Preferred you can upgrade to the Reserve, though without the initial points bonus.

  10. I don’t miss Chase at all and simply don’t do much business with them to any great extent
    anymore because of the rule
    I do have a few Chase card products but give give the majority of my revenue to
    Citibank just to spite the rule.
    So 100k that could have easily gone to Chase goes to Citibank and some others Amex etc
    I do have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and they originally turned me down
    So I stuck 500k in a money market and became a Chase Private Client
    and they still turned me down.
    When I said ok just close the account and send me my funds back
    a number of managers from the bank called the risk management/higher ups
    at Chase and set up a phone interview with me
    Then without a yes eventually approved me in the days ahead.It was the most absurd thing
    I have ever done for a credit card in my life
    Wouldn’t guarantee anyone that it will work
    I lost 3% interest in an account keeping my money at Chase
    Gary said it nicely about what Chase should do but IMHO Chase lacks much common sense to make the proper decisions with much of what they should do when it comes down to acquisition and retention

  11. Correction: You don’t have to “buy” your cell phone to get protection with Ink Pref. You only have to pay your monthly cell phone bill with it. Once you pay your first wireless bill with the card the protection is in force for that month and all following months as long as you continue paying with the card.

  12. far as I’m concerned Chase can take their 5/24 rule folded into a nice neat little compact package and shove it you know where

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