Chase Sapphire Reserve

If you’re new to earning miles and points with credit cards, it’s imperative that you understand the Chase 5/24 rule before moving forward. That’s not meant to scare you, it’s just vital to understand it so that you can make the best decisions when applying for a new card, or the order in which to do so.

While Chase won’t come out and say it directly, after mountains and mountains of data points in the last several years, it’s safe to say that this rule exists — and has evolved as new information is gained.

If you’re a beginner, pay attention. We’re going to show you everything you need to know to get started.

The Chase 5/24 Rule

a passport and a credit card

If we were to provide a dictionary-like definition of the Chase 5/24 rule, it would go something like this:

“You will not be approved for a Chase card if you have been approved for 5 or more personal cards from any bank (and some business cards) in the last 24 months.”

Simple enough, but we can’t understate the importance of knowing this. In fact, it will dictate how you should decide which cards to get as you build out your wallet.

Now, to be clear, this rule only applies to cards issued by Chase. Other banks have their own sets of rules but this is the big one with Chase. In other words, Amex may not care if you got lots of Chase cards, but Chase cares if you got lots of Amex cards.

Cards That Add To Your 5/24 Count

If a card shows on your personal credit report, it’s going to be included in your 5/24 count as Chase will see it when you apply for a new card. Do not forget this.

It’s almost easier to just list what doesn’t add to your count of 5/24 but let’s take a look at the what will so it’s very clear.

All Personal Credit Cards And Charge Cards

If you open a personal credit card or a charge card — think Platinum, Gold, and Green with American Express, you can be confident that it will show on your personal report. So, every single personal card you get will count whether it’s from Amex, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, TD Bank, Wells Fargo, a credit union and so on.

a room with chairs and a table and windowsAuthorized User Cards

This one can be a bit frustrating. If a significant other or a friend adds you as an authorized user on their credit card, this account will show on your credit report. If you have opened 3 cards of your own in the last 24 months and are an authorized user on 2 other cards, this could cause you some headaches.

Some have had success applying, getting denied initially, and then calling reconsideration to explain the situation. However, this does not always work.

Another option is to have the main account holder, call the bank and ask them to remove you has an authorized user. Once the bank has done so, you can reach out to all three credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to request that the accounts be removed from your credit reports.

This could take some time so it’s best to do this ahead of time so you don’t mess with your plans.

Some Business Cards

Whether a business card will add to your 5/24 count simply comes down to whether it shows on your personal credit report. Most banks don’t report your business card activity for your personal report, but we know three that do:

  • Capital One
  • Discover
  • TD Bank

It’s important to keep this in mind so you aren’t surprised when you want to open a new Chase card.

Store Cards

How many times have you shopped at a store and received a credit card pitch at checkout? Probably too many to count, right? Well, if you open one of these cards and they’re on American Express, MasterCard, or Visa network, you can bet they’ll show on your credit report.

Additionally, some stores issue cards that can only be used at that particular store. Unfortunately, there have been reports of these cards showing on credit reports even though these cards aren’t on a national payment network. This hasn’t been consistent, but it’s not really worth the risk.

How To Check Your Credit Reports For Free

Experian Credit Report

You might have noticed that we’re specifically interested in the cards you’ve opened, not inquiries. While all banks factor in your recent inquiries, this is different than the 5/24 rule. To see how many credit/charge card accounts you have on your report we suggest you use two free tools.

First, Experian has its own free tool that lets you check your credit report to see which accounts you’ve opened. To find this info, select the “Accounts” tab and sort by “Opened On” — hopefully, you can count back two years.

You can pay to see your credit score but you’re better off just using Credit Scorecard to see your Experian FICO score for free.

Second, Credit Karma is an easy way to see the accounts showing on both your Equifax and TransUnion credit reports. Keep in mind the credit scores Credit Karma shows you from these credit bureaus are a VantageScore, not a FICO score — the most commonly used in credit card applications.

What Cards Are Subject To The 5/24 Rule?

When the Chase 5/24 rule was first rolled out, only some cards were impacted by it. Unfortunately, in the fall of 2018, Chase expanded the rule to cover all of its cards except possibly the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Business 
Credit Card.

Here’s a complete list of the cards that you can now only get while under 5/24:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
Chase Freedom Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
Chase Freedom Unlimited Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Card
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card Iberia Visa Signature Credit Card
Ink Business Cash Credit Card United MileagePlus Club Card
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card United MileagePlus Club Business Card
The World of Hyatt Credit Card IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
United Explorer Card Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card AARP Credit Card From Chase
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card Chase Slate
British Airways Visa Signature Card Starbucks Rewards Visa Card
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Disney Premier Visa Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card Disney Visa Card

Pretty disappointing to see them all listed like that, but that’s the current state of play.

Are There Offers That Bypass This Rule?

Previously, you could bypass the 5/24 rule if you had Chase Private Client status but those days are long gone.

Recently, some were targeted on their Chase accounts with a “Selected For You” offer for one of the Chase Sapphire cards. This seems to have allowed some people to get one of the cards even though they were beyond 5/24 — other Sapphire rules still applied, as we’ll discuss below.

When you look at the bigger picture, though, you’re better off not hoping and praying for some random offer to show in your account. Instead, it’s better to have a strategy from the start.

A Strategy For Beginners

a blue and gold credit card

If you’ve ever wondered why we suggest beginners start with Chase before moving to other banks, the 5/24 rule is THE reason. Well, Chase also offers some cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points that can be very valuable so that’s a good reason too.

If you’re just getting started, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a stress-free way to go as the $95 annual fee is waived the first year and comes with a 50,000-point welcome bonus when you spend $4,000 in the first three months. It also earns 2X on all travel and dining purchases.

If you’re a more serious traveler (or fare deal fanatic), the Chase Sapphire Reserve might be more your style even with the $450 annual fee — offset with the $300 annual travel credit. This card also comes with a Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounge access and earns 3X on all travel and dining purchases.

If you are eligible for a small business card, you’ll want to take a look at the Chase Ink Preferred as it comes with an 80,000-point welcome bonus after meeting the $5,000 minimum spend in three months and a bunch of 3X bonus categories.

Once you’ve gotten started with these, you can decide what cards will be most beneficial for you: airline (United or Southwest), hotel (Hyatt, Marriott, IHG), or other cards that can help you earn Ultimate Rewards points.

Other Chase Application And Bonus Rules

In the last year or so, Chase has closed some people’s accounts out of the blue — the vast majority were reopened — because of several factors including the opening a lot of new accounts in a short timeframe. With this in mind, it’s important not to rush into things and try to get five cards today.

Beyond the Chase 5/24 rule, here are few other rules to keep in mind.

2 Applications Per 30 Days

Chase will limit you to opening 2 of its personal cards per 30 days. If you apply for a third, you’ll be rejected automatically. Keep in mind that it’s a rolling 30 days.

Bonus Restrictions

For most Chase cards, you can receive the welcome bonus once per 24 months. The 24-month clock starts the date you receive the welcome bonus — not when you applied or received the card.

Things work a little differently for the Sapphire cards, though. You will not be eligible for the welcome bonus that comes with either the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve if you currently hold either card or you received the welcome bonus for either card within the last 48 months.

Finally, there is also a separate restriction for the Southwest personal cards. While you still have to wait 24 months between welcome bonuses, you can’t have received the welcome bonus on any of the personal versions of these co-branded cards:

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card does not face the same restriction as the personal versions nor does it impact your eligibility for the bonus for the personal versions.

Business Card Rules

If you venture into business cards, just know that Chase is one of the tougher banks with which to get a business card. In fact, Chase will rarely let you get more than two business cards and will only allow you to get one within a 30-day timeframe.

Final Thoughts

The Chase 5/24 rule certainly complicates matters a bit but, with a little thought, you’ll be on your way before you know it. Just make earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points your priority if you’re just starting out and you’ll be fine.

If you’ve already hit 5/24, all I can say is enjoy the benefits of the Chase cards you have because the time for getting new ones has passed.

For those trying to figure out how to approach this, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. We’re happy to help!

Spencer Howard

Spencer Howard is a credit card rewards and award travel expert. He’s living proof that points and miles can unlock many of the greatest travel experiences and uses his skills to tick off new bucket...

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  1. Doesn’t sound like this is a normal data point, but I got approved for my first 2 Chase business card on the same day and about 60 days later got approved for my 3rd.

  2. My wife is currently, an authorized user on my Sapphire Preferred card and has been for 8 years. She would like to get her own Sapphire Preferred card and 50K bonus. Would she have to cancel her authorized user card and wait a month before applying? Or is that unnecessary?
    Also, I was hoping to refer her and get the 10k referral bonus but I’m no longer seeing the option to refer friends for any of my cards on the Chase site. I tried sending a referral link from Chase refer a friend, but when she tried to open it it said the connection to Chase wasn’t working properly. I tried having Chase send her an email referral. After 9 days she hasn’t received it.

    1. Hey Larry – If she applies before you remove her as an authorized user/have the account removed from her credit reports, I would expect some pushback from Chase. Some have been able to get approved with a reconsideration call but I know others who have not. It might all work out simply, but I wanted you to be aware of the potential hiccups.

      As to the referral issue, the option is often available but not always. I can’t generate a referral for the Sapphire Reserve so they might not be available for now. If you’re able to generate a referral but there’s a problem with the link, I’d send Chase a secure message about the link not working. If you can wait, perhaps the referral will be working again soon but I have no way of telling. If you’d like to get her the card ASAP, we’d certainly appreciate your support. Let us know what Chase says if you message them!

  3. I just now found the online referral link and was able to send it to her. We are tempted to use it and take a shot without waiting to cancel her authorized user card and remove her record of it from the credit bureau. It feels wrong that Chase can sometimes treat an authorized user as if they were the actual financially responsible primary cardholder. On the other hand my wife hates the cross examination of a reconsideration call.

    1. Progress! I think they just look at the credit report and go by what they see which is why it can take a conversation. If your wife calls, she could let the rep know that she’s going to have you speak on her behalf so she doesn’t have to deal with it.

  4. “Chase is one of the tougher banks with which to get a business card.” Wow so glad you mentioned this. So many bloggers neglect to mention that Chase is difficult to get a business card with and act like its a piece of cake to get in order to pump more cards!

    1. Oh man, it’s so important to know before applying. Surprises like that only serve to push people away and think that points aren’t worth it.

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