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The credit card rewards arena can be confusing and intimidating when you first enter. There are an infinite amount of credit cards to choose from, and so many factors to consider when applying for a credit card. While credit score, income and employment are important criteria in getting approved for a card, another key factor to keep in mind is the Chase 5/24 rule.
The Chase 5/24 rule is an unwritten rule from Chase that prevents you from opening a new card with Chase (and earning the sign-up bonus on that card) if you've opened too many credit cards in the recent past.
We will break down the infamous Chase 5/24 rule to help you pick the best Chase credit card for your situation.
What is the Chase 5/24 rule?
The Chase 5/24 rule is a restriction on who can apply for Chase credit cards. 5/24 is an mnemonic code for “five credit card inquiries in the past 24 months”. If you have more than five inquiries, you will likely be denied a Chase credit card.
This rule is not “official” — in other words, it's not published in any of Chase's terms and conditions. However, the rule has been documented by the credit card community, with users sharing their own reports on applying for Chase cards.
While it is frustrating to have a strict rule placed on these cards, it is for good reason. The sign-up bonuses for the cards covered by the rule are extremely lucrative. Cardholders often game the system by applying for cards, earning the cards' bonuses and then closing the accounts so they can pursue sign-up bonuses on other cards. This behavior can be very costly for issuers.
To show you how the Chase 5/24 rule works, here is a chart:
|Number of credit card inquiries in last 24 months||Do you qualify for a Chase credit card?|
Reports online suggest that you may qualify for a Chase card if you are at five credit card applications in the last 24 months. Anything over that will likely end up in a denial.
How to calculate your Chase 5/24 status
To calculate your Chase 5/24 status, you should obtain a copy of your credit report and count your number of new accounts in the past 24 months. There are several sites that allow you to do so for free, including My LendingTree.
You can create a My LendingTree account and then follow the steps below.
- Log in to your account.
- Click on the credit card tab. From there, you will see a drop-down menu. Select “credit card accounts.”
- The list of your accounts should appear on the next screen, like in the screenshot below.
In each account listing, you will see an "opened on" date (we've grayed it out in this example). Count the number of accounts with a date equal to or less than 24 months from the current date. If the number is five or less, you may be eligible to apply for a Chase credit card. If it is six or more, your application will very likely be denied.
Cards affected by the Chase 5/24 rule
In the past, only select Chase credit cards were affected by the 5/24 rule. Now, nearly every consumer credit card offered by Chase is affected. Most Chase business credit cards do not impact your 5/24 status, so you may want to apply for a Chase business credit card first (if you qualify) when starting to track your Chase 5/24 status.
Here's a list of cards that currently fall under the rule:
|Chase credit card||Sign-up bonus||Annual fee|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.||$95|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.||$550|
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||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|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||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|
|Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card||Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.||$0|
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card||New Offer! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.||$95|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||Get a $70 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval||No Annual Fee|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card||Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.||$99|
|United Club℠ Infinite Card||$0 intro annual fee, then $525||$0 intro annual fee, then $525|
|The World Of Hyatt Credit Card||Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points - 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.||$95|
What other accounts add to your 5/24 status?
In general, by opening a personal credit card, you will fill one of your five slots. There are also other types of accounts that Chase considers to determine your 5/24 status:
- Personal credit cards that have been closed.
- Personal charge cards (like the American Express® Gold Card).
- Cards that include you as an authorized user. (Some users online suggest that if you apply for a Chase credit card and are denied because of these accounts, you can ask to be reconsidered.)
- Store cards (like the Target RedCard Credit Card.)
What to do if you are over 5/24
Don’t worry. There will be opportunities to apply for a Chase credit card down the road. And don’t forget, there are still excellent cards from other issues like Capital One and American Express to apply for.
If you want to apply for a Chase card in the future, consider holding off on applying for credit cards until you're outside of the 5/24 window. Chase credit cards, both personal and business, are very lucrative, and it may be worth it to wait.
On the other hand, waiting until you are compliant with the 5/24 rule may cause you to lose out on promotional sign-up bonuses, or other cards that can be beneficial for you.
Here are a few alternative cards to keep in mind if you are over 5/24:
|Card||Sign-up bonus||Annual fee|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.||$550|
|American Express® Gold Card||Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.||$250|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months||$95|
|Discover it® Miles||UNLIMITED BONUS: Discover will match ALL the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. That's $700 towards travel! The more you earn, the more you get.||See terms|
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of American Express® Gold Card, please click here.
What to do if you are under 5/24
You should strongly consider applying for one of the Chase credit cards listed above. The cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points are extremely valuable as the points can be transferred to a list of airline and hotel programs. Also, if you are a small business owner, Chase offers several excellent business credit cards.
But before you apply, be sure to select a card that best fits your personal and/or business needs. The rewards you earn, such as points, miles or cash back, can make a significant difference on your budget.
Furthermore, for a small increase in annual fee, you may find a product with a larger sign-up bonus. Also, cards raise and lower their sign-up bonuses frequently. It may be advantageous to do a bit of research of the bonuses prior to applying to see if waiting for a promotion could net you additional points.
Should you wait to apply for a Chase card?
While some consumers may wait for their 5/24 status to become favorable, others don’t wait as there are plenty of other credit card offers to grab.
No strategy is necessarily better than the other — it's a matter of what's best for you. Regardless of which method you choose, be sure to practice sound personal finance skills by using credit cards responsibly, and you will be earning heaps of rewards quickly.
The information related to the Chase Freedom®, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, United Club℠ Infinite Card, and Discover it® Miles has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.
Chase 5/24 FAQs
No, Chase business credit cards will not count towards 5/24. However, you must be under 5/24 in order to be considered.
Yes, they do.
All Chase cards are subject to 5/24, including Chase business credit cards.
Yes, you can — this is one method of circumventing 5/24 the rule. Unfortunately, by doing a product change in place of opening a new account, you won't be eligible to earn the sign-up bonus on that card.
There have been ways published online to circumvent the rule, but many of these loopholes are closed off quickly. So while one-off instances may pop up occasionally, there are no tried and true methods of bypassing the 5/24 rule (aside from doing a product change).