The major banks have all kinds of rules when it comes to approving people for credit cards. Probably the most well known of these rules — and also the most complicated to understand — is the Chase 5/24 rule.
In this post I wanted to take a closer look at how exactly this rule works, how you can check your 5/24 “status,” and the best strategy to take when applying for Chase cards in light of this.
What is the Chase 5/24 rule?
The Chase 5/24 rule limits your ability to be approved for Chase credit cards, based on how many other cards you’ve applied for in the past two years. With the 5/24 rule, you typically won’t be approved for a Chase credit card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months.
Why does Chase have the 5/24 rule? Well, all credit card issuers have rules in place to attract new cardmembers. Given how generous sign-up bonuses are on many cards, they create certain rules and restrictions intended to encourage profitable consumer behavior.
While Chase has never publicly explained this, my assumption is that customers are more likely to be profitable if they fall under the 5/24 limit. Of course, there’s no perfect system, but it seems that Chase’s metrics suggest this is working, because the rule has been expanded significantly since it was first introduced several years ago.
Which cards are subjected to the Chase 5/24 rule?
Nowadays virtually all Chase cards are subjected to the 5/24 rule. When the Chase 5/24 rule was first introduced only certain cards were subjected to it, but in 2018 the rule was expanded to all Chase cards.
Some of Chase’s most popular personal credit cards (which are subjected to this rule) include the following:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® (review)
- Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review)
- Chase Freedom FlexSM (review)
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card (review)
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card (review)
- Iberia Visa Signature® Card (review)
- United℠ Explorer Card (review)
- The World of Hyatt Credit Card (review)
- IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (review)
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card (review)
Some of Chase’s most popular business credit cards (which are subjected to this rule) include the following:
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review)
- Ink Business Cash® Credit Card (review)
- Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card (review)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card (review)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card (review)
- UnitedSM Business Card (review)
Are business cards subjected to the Chase 5/24 rule?
This is a point that confuses people. As you understand by now, Chase’s 5/24 rule means that you won’t be approved for a Chase card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months.
There’s an exception, though — most business card applications (from Amex, Bank of America, Barclays, Chase, and Citi) don’t count towards the 5/24 limit. Why? Because business accounts opened with these issuers typically don’t show on your personal credit report.
However, if you want to be approved for a Chase business card, you’ll still need to be below the 5/24 limit, based on what’s counted.
- Chase business cards are subjected to the 5/24 rule, meaning that you can’t be approved for them if five or more new card accounts show on your personal credit report in the past 24 months
- When you do apply for a Chase business card, it won’t count as an additional card towards that limit (because it won’t show on your personal credit report)
In case that’s still confusing, let me give an example:
- If you’re at 4/24 (based on four cards showing on your personal credit report) and you apply for a Chase business card, you’ll still be at 4/24
- You could then apply for another Chase business card, and even if you’re approved for that, you’ll still be at 4/24
- If you then apply for a Chase personal card, you’ll be at 5/24 (since the personal card shows on your personal credit report)
How do you check your Chase 5/24 status?
For some people it can be tough to determine if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months. Furthermore, it’s not like Chase can tell you if you’re at the limit or not, given that the limit is based on your applications with all card issuers.
What’s the best way you can determine if you’ve surpassed the Chase 5/24 limit or not? My preferred way of looking it up is through Credit Karma. You can register for Credit Karma for free, which is an easy process.
You’ll just need to enter some personal information and then verify some security questions, all of which should take just a couple of minutes.
Once you’ve registered and are logged into your Credit Karma account, follow this link. This is a page that’s part of Credit Karma’s older interface that isn’t otherwise accessible off the main site anymore, and it’s also the only part of the site that will show you the accurate info you need.
This page will show your entire card history. On this page, click the “Open Date” button, which will sort all of these accounts based on when they were opened (if you push it twice you’ll see the most recent inquiries at the top, rather than at the bottom).
That will show you all the cards you’ve opened. For example, in my case, here are my most recent card openings:
- I opened my most recent card on December 13, 2019
- I opened my second most recent card on October 29, 2019
- I opened my third most recent card on October 6, 2019
- I opened my fourth most recent card on October 1, 2019
- I opened my fifth most recent card on July 4, 2019
In other words, if I didn’t apply for any other cards, I would once again be under the 5/24 limit 24 months after July 4, 2019 (which puts me to July 2021).
It is worth noting that it can sometimes take a while for recent applications to show on your credit report, so if you’ve applied for a card in the past few weeks, it may not be on there yet.
Chase 5/24 rule FAQs
There are some further nuances when it comes to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so I think those are probably best addressed in the form of some frequently asked questions.
Are there exceptions to Chase’s 5/24 rule?
Nowadays there aren’t any major exceptions to Chase’s 5/24 rule. In the past being a Chase Private Client or getting a targeted offer was potentially a workaround, but that’s not the case anymore.
Do mortgages, loans, etc., count towards the 5/24 limit?
Chase’s 5/24 rule is based on having opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months. Other credit inquiries, including car loans, mortgages, etc., don’t count towards the 5/24 limit.
How long after falling under the 5/24 limit should you apply for a card?
I recommend waiting until the beginning of the following month after you fall under the 5/24 limit before applying for a card.
In other words, if your fifth most recent card application was on July 4, 2019 (as is the case for me), then 24 months from then would be July 4, 2021. However, I’d wait until August 1, 2021, to apply for a card, since often falling underneath the limit isn’t instant.
Does Amex have a 5/24 rule?
The 5/24 rule is specifically a Chase credit card approval guideline. Every card issuer has different restrictions on approving members for cards, though the 5/24 rule is only a factor when applying for Chase cards.
Does product changing a card affect the 5/24 limit?
There can be a lot of value to product changing or downgrading a credit card, since this allows you to preserve your credit history (which can be good for your credit score). If you do product change a credit card — whether a Chase card or not — does this count as a further card towards your 5/24 limit?
The answer is that it depends — if there’s a hard pull and/or your card number is changed, then it will typically appear on your credit report as a new account, and would count towards that limit. Meanwhile if there’s no hard pull and the card number stays the same, then generally it wouldn’t count as a card towards that limit.
Does being an authorized user on a card count towards the 5/24 limit?
If you’re the authorized user on someone else’s credit card, does that count towards the 5/24 limit? Unfortunately it usually does, at least in situations where you need to provide your social security number to be an authorized user. This can be a reason to minimize the number of cards on which you’re an authorized user.
Do charge cards count towards the 5/24 limit?
Yes, charge cards count towards the 5/24 limit, unless they’re business cards. For those of you not familiar with charge cards, some Amex cards are designated as such, and the distinction is that you have no set credit limit, and you have to pay your balance in full every month.
Since these cards still show on your personal credit report, they would count towards the Chase 5/24 limit.
Can you be added as a Chase authorized user if you’re over the 5/24 limit?
If you’re over the 5/24 limit you can still be added as an authorized user on someone else’s Chase cards. You just can’t outright be approved for your own Chase card.
What is the Chase 2/30 rule?
With Chase’s 2/30 rule, you will typically be approved for at most two personal Chase cards in a 30 day period (and you can typically be approved for at most one business card in that period). This is an additional restriction for Chase approvals, beyond the 5/24 rule.
Do credit card rejections count towards the 5/24 rule?
No, if you’re rejected for a credit card then that wouldn’t count as a further card towards the limit. While a credit card rejection will typically show as an inquiry on your credit report, it doesn’t show as a new account having been opened, which is what this limit is based on.
Do store credit cards count towards the 5/24 limit?
Many retailers have credit cards that they may try to have you sign up for in-store. Do those count towards the limit? The answer is yes, assuming that they’re actually credit cards, rather than debit cards or store loyalty cards.
Best Chase 5/24 credit card application strategy
With most questions about the Chase 5/24 rule (hopefully) answered, I wanted to provide some advice for the best approach to take towards credit card applications in light of this restriction.
Apply for Chase cards before other cards
While all major card issuers have application restrictions, Chase’s restrictions are the strictest when it comes to considering the cards you’ve applied for with other card issuers. As a result I’d recommend applying for Chase credit cards early on in your credit journey.
In other words, if you’re interested in cards from Amex, Chase, and Citi, pick up the Chase cards first.
Apply for Chase business cards before personal cards
If you’re interested in applying for both personal and business Chase cards, make sure you apply for business cards first. As explained above, while both personal and business Chase cards are subjected to the 5/24 rule, applying for a Chase business card doesn’t count as a further card towards that limit. That’s because a Chase business card won’t fully display on your personal credit report.
Apply for “hub” Chase cards first
There are so many great Chase cards, so it can be tough to choose which card to apply for first. You’ll want to be sure you get the “key” cards first, which can help you maximize the value of other cards, especially within the Ultimate Rewards ecosystem.
If you’re looking for a personal credit card strategy:
- I’d recommend starting with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- I’d then recommend supplementing that with the Chase Freedom FlexSM and/or Chase Freedom Unlimited®
If you’re looking for a business credit card strategy:
- I’d recommend starting with the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
- I’d then recommend supplementing that with the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and/or Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
Chase 5/24 rule bottom line
Chase has a lot of great travel rewards credit cards that are worth acquiring for anyone looking to maximize their credit card strategy. When it comes to being approved, the 5/24 rule is the most important restriction to understand. With this, you typically won’t be approved for Chase cards if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months.
Hopefully the above answers any of the questions you may have about this rule, so that you can get the best Chase cards possible.
What has your experience been with the Chase 5/24 rule? Do you have any questions about the rule that I haven’t answered?