What Is the Chase 5/24 Rule?


Chase credit cards are some of the most sought-after cards available. With multiple travel credit cards offering lucrative sign-up bonuses and rewards, it’s no wonder why so many people apply.

Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card

Chase Ultimate Rewards is considered among the best, most flexible credit card rewards programs. However, a few years ago, Chase introduced the 5/24 rule as part of the application process. Since the rule has been imposed, it has been difficult for people to qualify if they frequently apply for credit cards.

To have the best chance of approval and avoid too many inquiries for unsuccessful applications on your credit report, we’ve pulled together everything you need to know.

You’ll learn exactly what the Chase 5/24 rule is, how to find out if it affects you, and which Chase credit cards are impacted by this rule. So be sure to keep reading before you apply for your next Chase credit card.

What is the Chase 5/24 rule?

In a nutshell, the Chase 5/24 rule is this: Anyone who has opened five or more personal credit cards in the past 24 months will not be allowed to open a Chase credit card. So if you have any more than five relatively new personal credit cards, your application will be automatically denied.

Chase has become increasingly strict with this rule, and it’s becoming harder and harder to contend (although it’s certainly not impossible, as you’ll see).

Refusal of your application usually happens very fast. Only a few users have reported success. All customer service agents are quick to state that the decision is final and that there is nothing to be done. Managers and supervisors have been just as quick to say that the decision is final.

Most information on the Chase 5/24 rule is purely anecdotal. If you’re looking for printed material by Chase on the rule, you won’t find much. Of course, there are exceptions, just as there are to any rule.

However, Chase’s overall consensus is rejecting all applications where users have opened five or more credit card accounts in the past two years. Find out why, and the few ways you may be able to get around it.

Why does Chase have the 5/24 rule?

Since credit card reward programs began, there’s been a lot of people who have found clever ways to outsmart credit card issuers. They’ve gloated online and taught others how to game the system as they do.

These people, known as “credit card churners”, sign up for multiple cards to take advantage of various sign-up bonuses. They benefit from large amounts of cashback and free travel. Then, they never use the card again. Chase’s 5/24 rule attempts to stop such people from abusing the system and getting Chase credit cards for the rewards alone.

What credit cards add to my 5/24 status?

All credit cards opened in the past 24 months that are listed on your personal credit report add to your 5/24 status. This includes:

  • All bank cards count towards the rule. So, if Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover is printed anywhere on any of your credit cards, they count.
  • Credit cards for which you are the primary cardholder.
  • Credit cards for which you are an authorized user.
  • Business cards that are listed on your personal credit report.
  • Retail or store cards issued by Visa, Mastercard, or American Express that can be used anywhere.

When Chase runs a credit check, whether they look at Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, each credit card you have in your name will show up on your personal credit report.

It doesn’t matter whether the credit card accounts are from Chase or another credit card issuer. For example, you could have four Visa cards from various credit card issuers plus a Discover card, and Chase would still deny your application.

Even if you close an account and it’s no longer active, the card still counts towards the 5/24 rule if it was opened in the past 24-months. However, Chase doesn’t include some credit cards in your tally of cards.

Which credit cards don’t add to my 5/24 status?

Retail cards, for example, usually don’t count. So if you recently opened up a department store credit card or a Lowe’s card (or both), you don’t have to worry about them impacting your Chase application.

The only caveat is if the credit card can be used anywhere, even outside the store — those would count. However, business credit cards not listed on your personal credit report, even Chase business credit cards, are exempt.

How can you tell if you’ll be affected by Chase’s 5/24 rule?

The easiest way to check whether you’ll be affected by this rule or not is to request a copy of your credit report. You can order your reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion for free every 12 months.

If you’ve already received your free reports in the past 12 months, you can purchase them directly from the three major consumer credit bureaus. It’s good to get all three because not all credit card companies report to all three credit bureaus. Checking each one ensures you’re seeing every bit of your personal credit history, including all of your credit cards.

Check the Account Opening Date

Once you have your personal credit report in hand, go down to the Revolving Accounts section. Your credit cards and other lines of credit are divided into two categories: open and closed accounts. Under each one, you’ll see the exact date you opened the account.

Go through each account, both open and closed, and count how many have been opened in the last 24 months. If there are five or more, you won’t be able to qualify for a new Chase credit card, which means you won’t be able to collect valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

To find out when you can qualify, find the oldest account within the last 24 months. Then, find the date of when you will have opened it for more than 24 months.

If you intend to get a new Chase card, you can mark your calendar so you remember exactly when you can apply for a new account. If you specifically want a Chase credit card, make sure you don’t open any new cards in the meantime. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for yet another card to age out of the 5/24 rule.

Is it possible to avoid the Chase 5/24 rule?

There are a couple of ways you can potentially get around this rule from Chase.

Visit a Chase Branch

The first is to request a pre-approval from Chase in an actual bank branch. Of course, this won’t work if you don’t live in an area served by Chase, but you may have some luck if you do.

By giving the teller or financial adviser your ID and social security number, you can see if you’re pre-approved. Then, ask for confirmation by getting a printout of the terms.

If you have a set interest rate, then you’ve got a full pre-approval. However, if Chase only provides you with a range of interest rates, you’ve only received a lesser level of pre-qualification. With the pre-approval terms, you should be able to apply for a Chase credit card successfully. You can also try submitting a paper application to increase your chances of bypassing the 5/24 rule.

Check for Personalized Credit Card Offers Online

Another method for getting around it is by going to the Chase website and checking for offers personalized for you.

Just enter a few lines of personal information and the last four digits of your social security number so you know you won’t have a hard credit check. Similarly, use any Chase invitations from the mail to avoid the limit.

It’s also important to note that the 5/24 rule does not apply if you are a Chase Private Client.

What if your application is denied because of the Chase 5/24 rule?

If your application is denied, try calling the Chase reconsideration line in case some of your retail cards showed up as traditional credit cards.

You can explain the situation to clarify that some of your credit cards are only retail or business cards. When you do this, you might receive a different response on your Chase application.

Call Chase Customer Service

You can also ask Chase to reconsider if you’re only an authorized user on one of your current credit cards.

As an authorized user, someone else’s entire payment history shows up on your credit report, but it may not count since you wouldn’t be the one receiving any rewards program benefits. You may not have 100% success in these scenarios, but it’s worth a quick call.

Another reason to call the reconsideration line is if you’re on the cusp of 24 months. Chase uses calendar months, so if you’re just a few weeks away from your oldest card dropping you down to just four cards, you could call once you pass the threshold.

Most of these scenarios are still up to the discretion of the customer service rep you speak to. Hopefully, they’ll be sympathetic and use their authority to get you approved.

What Chase credit cards are affected by the Chase 5/24 rule?

The following Chase credit cards are affected by the 5/24 rule:

  • Chase Freedom
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • Chase Ink Business Cash
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Chase Slate
  • Marriott Rewards Premier Plus
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority
  • Starbucks Rewards Visa Card
  • United MileagePlus Club Card
  • United MileagePlus Club Business Card
  • United Explorer Card
  • United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card

The following co-branded cards were previously not affected by the 5/24 rule but reportedly are now:

  • AARP Credit Card From Chase
  • Aer Lingus Visa Signature
  • Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
  • British Airways Visa Signature Card
  • Disney Premier Visa Card
  • Disney Visa Card
  • Iberia Visa Signature
  • IHG Rewards Club Premier
  • IHG Rewards Club Traveler
  • Marriott Rewards Premier Business
  • The World of Hyatt Credit Card

Other Credit Card Issuer Rules

Other credit card companies also have rules similar to the Chase 5/24 rule. They are as follows:

American Express: The American Express 2/90 rule only allows you to be approved for two American Express products in a 90-day period.

Bank of America: Bank of America has a rule similar to the Chase 5/24 rule. However, instead of 5 new cards in a 24-month period, it’s only 4. You will also not be approved for a Bank of America credit card if you’ve had 3 new cards in a 12-month period or 2 new cards in a 30-day period.

Capital One:  You can only have up to two Capital One cards at any given time and only be approved for one card every six months. This includes personal and business credit cards.

Citi: You can only apply for one Citi card (personal or business) every eight days and no more than two Citi cards in a 65-day period. For small business owners, you can apply for one business credit card every 95 days.

Bottom Line

Chase is making it increasingly challenging to churn through credit cards just to get the sign-up bonus. If you partake in credit card churning, you may have to start shifting your strategy.

You’ll either need to eliminate Chase cards from your list or become more selective about the rewards cards you do apply for. Since Chase often offers some of the best rewards programs, the latter option may be the best.

Start to create your strategy by analyzing your current credit situation. Once you know how many of your cards contribute to the 5/24 rule, you can put together a game plan for when and how you can get approved for your next Chase card. It just might be worth it to stay in the good graces of Chase.

Lauren Ward
Meet the author

Lauren is a Crediful writer whose aim is to give readers the financial tools they need to reach their own goals in life. She has written on personal finance issues for over six years and holds a Bachelor's degree in Japanese from Georgetown University.