Chase 5-24 Rule - picture of credit card

What is the Chase 5/24 Rule and Does it Affect You?

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Ugh. The Chase 5/24 rule.

It’s the bane of travel rewards enthusiasts everywhere. And since some of the best travel credit cards are affected by the rule, travel rewards enthusiasts are having a freak fest because they can’t get approved.

But, just what is the Chase 5/24 rule? Why does it matter? And, most importantly, how will it affect your travel rewards plans?

Let’s dive in!

What is the Chase 5/24 Rule?

Needless to say, we are huge fans of points and miles programs. More than that, we love us some credit card signup bonuses. Behind our children and our house, they’re probably our favorite things in the world!

See Also: Our Favorite Travel Card – The Chase Sapphire Preferred Review

Most of our real-life friends think we’re a bit on the crazy side. We’re constantly finding ways to earn points, shift them around, and travel the world for free. Little do they know, our craziness barely registers on the travel rewards loon-o-meter. Some of y’all do some pretty wack shi…er…stuff. You’ll never catch us making mileage runs to Beijing just to earn a certain status. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Regardless, the Chase 5/24 rule has us pretty bummed – especially since Chase Ultimate Rewards are our favorite points to earn and burn.

Basically, the Chase 5/24 rule means this: Chase will not issue you a new Chase card if you have opened 5 or more credit cards over the past 24 months. (This is where the name 5/24 comes from.)

Unfortunately, the rule doesn’t stop there. The 5/24 rule doesn’t apply only to cards you’ve opened in your own name. It also includes any authorized user cards you have as well.

Boo.

The Chase 5/24 Rule: Separating Fact from Fiction

So, until recently, all of this 5/24 rule talk was just rumor. Points and miles enthusiasts based their assumptions on stories they had heard from other’s experiences. Additionally, the rule seemed to apply only to certain cards – mainly the premium “native” Chase cards (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred) and a few co-branded cards.

To see if the rumors were true, we decided to conduct our own little experiment. Since the new Chase Sapphire Reserve card recently opened for business, Holly went ahead and applied. Here’s how that went down:

Holly: Hello, I’d love to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card today.

Operator: Sure! I can help you with that. I’ll just need a little personal information first.

(3 minutes later)

Operator: I’m sorry, Mrs. Johnson. Your application has been denied.

Holly: Oh really!?! That’s too bad. Could you tell me why?

Operator: Well, it appears that you’ve had too many recent inquiries about new cards.

Holly: Yeah, I really love Chase cards! I thought, maybe, since this card was new you might accept me. We also do a lot of business with Chase. Does that have any effect?

Operator: I’m sorry. I can’t override the system on this. It appears you’ve had 8 new cards in the last 24 months. You need to have less than 5.

So, there it was. Our first actual confirmation that the Chase 5/24 rule really does exist!

Chase Confirms the Rumors

And now we have this! According to a story from Bloomberg, Chase has actually put the 5/24 rule in print. Bloomberg reports that Chase added the following verbiage to the application for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card: “”You will not be approved for this card if you have opened 5 or more bank cards in the last 24 months.”

So, I went to the application myself but could find no such warning. However, I poked around a few other sites and was able to confirm through screenshots that this language was previously on the application form. Since then, it appears that Chase has taken it down.

What It Means for You

So, what does all this mean for you?

Well, obviously Chase is tightening access to the best credit card rewards offers. It seems that all of Chase’s native cards (ie: Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Freedom Unlimited, etc.) now fall under the 5/24 rule. According to others, Chase has extended this rule to many of their co-branded cards as well.

That being said, you can still earn tons of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points by collecting their signup bonuses. You just need to be careful about how often you apply for the cards. Personally, we track all of our credit cards on a simple spreadsheet in a notebook. This helps us keep track of when we applied, how much the annual fee is (if any), and when we need to cancel. To help you out, we’ve created an electronic spreadsheet that does the same thing. Grab your FREE credit card tracking sheet here!

Unfortunately, the Chase 5/24 rule appears to be real…and – for now – it’s here to stay. That doesn’t mean it will be around on all Chase cards for forever, though. Credit card companies are notorious for tightening and relaxing their approval policies, so this rule could definitely change in the future. But for now, all we can do is deal with it.

Thanks so much for reading and happy travels!

 

What is your experience with the Chase 5/24 rule? Have you had any trouble applying for new cards? Let us know in the comments below!

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22 Comments

  1. Hey Greg, that really sucks for you guys. You must be one of the highest income earners to be declined, you’d think in certain circumstances they’d left you through.

    Obviously being from Australia we have no experience with this card.

    Where will you try next?

    Tristan

  2. What a coincidence! I just got the Chase Sapphire card and was considering going after the Chase Ink card next. So as we play the game further, the 5/24 rule will definitely start to affect us. Fortunately, there are still plenty of other non-Chase cards to take advantage of.

    BTW – We used those UR points to get our first set of flights! Next we’re looking into how we can use them to get a free hotel. They are like gold!

  3. I didn’t know the 5/24 included any authorized user cards you have too! Thanks for that information. We’ll be more careful of that in the future. We have slowed down a great deal on applying for cards because of this. We love our Southwest Companion pass and try to get a new one every two years. We also got a bunch (over 500,000) of American miles last summer with their 100,000 mile offers. Just focusing on shopping portals right now as we don’t have a lot of extra time to manage things. Just bought a $350 stove for one of our rentals and earned 2,450 points for it. Those UR points are building up!

    1. It does include authorized user cards, but they will consider your app without authorized users if you ask them to reconsider.

  4. This is good to know and we’ll have to be careful now. We just got our Chase Saphire cards the other day and I’ve been looking into what to get next. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Mark Jefferson says:

    That isnt what 5/24 is at all. It doesnt have to do with “recent inquiries”

    1. Hey Mark,
      Thanks for dropping by. I think you misread the quote from the operator.

      You’re right, of course. It’s not about recent inquiries, although that was the operator’s original line as to why we were denied. When we pushed a little further, we got the real truth.

      As we clearly stated, you can’t get more than 5 cards in 24 months. “Chase will not issue you a new Chase card if you have opened 5 or more credit cards over the past 24 months.”

      Have a great rest of the day!

  6. Do you guys ever get tired of jumping through hoops for travel rewards or do you find it fun like it’s a game?

    1. It doesn’t bother me to a certain extent. It gives me something to write about, especially at Frugal Travel Guy.

  7. kindthatjingles says:

    The credit card industry is catching up to this just like those that used to extreme coupon. There was something about this recently in either Money magazine or Forbes about companies closing the loop holes on this.

    1. Yeah, I don’t blame them honestly. Certain customers aren’t profitable for them. They’re smart to realize it.

  8. Good to know. I had no idea they had put this new “rule” in place. Right now, we are focusing on the Southwest Airlines card, but hoping to cash in on more Chase points in the future, so this is something to keep in mind, for sure.

    1. It’s definitely a pain, but just a few more hoops to jump through, which is fine by me 🙂

  9. Does the 5/24 only apply to chase cards or any cc you signed up for? What would be the best website to check when you signed up for your current cards to know if you fall in to the 5/24? Thanks in advance

    1. Hey Meyer,
      Great question. From my understanding, it’s believed that the Chase 5/24 rule applies to all credit card applications – not just Chase cards. Again, most of this isn’t made public by Chase. The info we have is from hearing others stories.

      To know when you signed up, you can either call each card individually or look up your accounts online. Just go back to your first statement to find out and that will give you a good idea of when you applied.

      We track all of ours in a spiral bound notebook. I linked to a spreadsheet we created in the piece for tracking cards. It is basically a nicer version of what we use ourselves, and you can download it for free.

      Hope that helps!

  10. Ugh. I just did a round of applying for cards a few months ago before going to Hawaii and got rejected for the last few I applied for – I was totally unaware that there were limits to how many cards you could open before you’d be rejected. I figured a good credit score was good enough. Super lame. I guess it does indicate the travel rewards may be making a noticeable impact on their rewards system.

    1. Yeah, I think there must be some effect, but they are still making tons of money with these programs. Plus, the buzz alone reaches a lot of customers they otherwise wouldn’t get.

  11. Really is a bummer. I should be out of the 5/24 zone in about 2 months so I will try to apply for the Reserve then. Let’s hope that other credit card companies don’t follow suit. I’m sure they are well aware that they make a lot more money off the average American consumer than from people who chases bonuses.

    1. Apparently they’ve done the math and 5 applications must be where they make the most money. I don’t think they’ll probably ever kill the deal all together. It provides too much buzz which gets out to the customers they want to reach.

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