Chase credit cards are so popular that Chase has set limits on how many each consumer can have. While the card issuer itself has been tight-lipped about their approval process, rewards enthusiasts commonly refer to this limit as the “Chase 5/24 rule.”
This rule is in place to prevent people from signing up for valuable Chase credit card offers, earning the bonuses then canceling their cards and moving on. While the Chase 5/24 rule might mean some extra planning when it comes to applications, you can still get plenty of value out of Chase credit cards if you are able to stay under this threshold or learn to maximize the credit cards you have.
What is the Chase 5/24 rule?
The Chase card 5/24 rule is that if you have opened five credit cards in the past 24 months, you will likely not be eligible to open a new Chase credit card. Interestingly, this card applies to any new credit cards you have on your credit report, even if they’re from another issuer like Citi or American Express.
Chase sets this limit for the same reason American Express has its once-per-lifetime limit on their card welcome bonuses, and why Citi only lets you earn the bonus on Citi products within certain families of cards every 24 or 48 months.
The idea behind the Chase card 5/24 rule is simple: by only giving new cards to consumers who have had less than 5 new credit cards during the last two-year period, Chase can cut down on the number of credit card “churners” who only sign up for cards in order to earn their initial sign-up bonuses.
Chase cards that follow the 5/24 rule
Generally speaking, all credit cards from Chase fall under the 5/24 rule. This includes co-branded hotel and airline credit cards offered through Chase. Popular Chase credit cards this rule applies to include the following:
- Chase Freedom Flex℠
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
- United credit cards like the United℠ Explorer Card
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
- British Airways Visa Signature Card
- Disney credit cards like the Disney Premier Visa Card
- World Of Hyatt Credit Card
- IHG credit cards like the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
- Marriott credit cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Do Chase business cards count toward the rule?
Chase does treat their business credit cards slightly differently when it comes to the Chase 5/24 rule. While you need to fall under the 5/24 rule to qualify for a new business credit card from Chase, your new business card does not count toward your future 5/24 status.
How to check your 5/24 status
If you don’t know how many new credit cards you have had in the last few years off the top of your head, you can find out for sure by checking your credit reports with all three credit bureaus. The website AnnualCreditReport.com lets you do this for free once a year.
Once you have time to look over your Experian, Equifax and TransUnion credit reports, you can count how many new card accounts you have had in the last 24 months. Keep in mind, however, that new accounts may not all be reported to the same credit bureaus, so your 5/24 status could be different with each reporting agency.
Can you avoid the Chase 5/24 rule?
There aren’t any Chase 5/24 rule exceptions per se, but you can space out your credit card applications to keep a spot open for a new Chase card if you want to apply. By applying for a new rewards credit card for personal or business use every six months or so, you can spread out applications enough to stay below this threshold.
While you wait to get under 5/24 so you can get approved for a new credit card, take steps to increase your chances for approval. Moves you can make now include paying down debt to decrease your utilization and keeping tabs on your credit score to check for any progress, good or bad.
What about product changes and upgrades?
One potential workaround for the Chase 5/24 rule involves switching credit card products with this issuer, either by upgrading or by moving laterally to a similar card. Many consumers have done this recently since the old Chase Freedom card was replaced with the new Chase Freedom Flex.
Consumers often switch between the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred as well, exchanging the luxury travel perks of the Sapphire Reserve for the lower annual fee of the Sapphire Preferred when they’re no longer traveling enough to justify the higher fee.
Just keep in mind that, when you upgrade or product change among Chase credit card products, you won’t be eligible for the bonus on your new card. This makes switching cards slightly less valuable, but there are still plenty of situations where a product change or upgrade can make a lot of sense.
Tips to keep in mind when applying for Chase cards
Before applying for a Chase credit card, there are some steps you can take to increase your chances for approval. Here are the key moves you should consider right away:
Don’t assume you know your 5/24 status
If you’re not entirely sure how many new cards you have had in the last 24 months, refrain from making a wild guess and take the time to check so you know for sure. Remember that a credit card application will put a hard inquiry on your credit report, so there’s no sense in adding a hard inquiry if you won’t qualify under the Chase 5/24 rule.
Look over your credit reports
Since you’re taking the time to check your credit reports for new cards in the last 24 months already, go ahead and check your reports for errors as well. If you find any incorrect information on your credit reports that could be hurting your score, you should take the time to dispute this information right away.
Check your credit score
Since Chase credit cards usually only go to consumers with good or excellent credit, you should also check your credit score to see where you stand before you apply.
See if you can get preapproved
Chase does let you check whether you can get preapproved for some of their credit cards online. While preapproval doesn’t guarantee you’ll qualify, it can give you a better idea either way.
The Chase 5/24 rule might limit the number of new Chase credit cards you can qualify for, but it shouldn’t mess up your rewards goals too much. After all, you may not need more than one or two new credit cards in any given year, and sometimes it’s nice to keep things simple and focus on maximizing rewards with the cards you already have.
Also, don’t despair if you have way too many credit cards to qualify. If you cannot seem to get under the 5/24 threshold no matter what you do, there are plenty of rewards credit cards from other issuers that don’t have the same requirement.
The information about the United℠ Explorer Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.