My Chase Credit Card Strategy (2022)

My Chase Credit Card Strategy (2022)

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There are lots of aspects to maximizing your credit card rewards, including taking advantage of the best welcome bonuses, spending categories, and card perks.

Sometimes I think it’s interesting to break down credit card strategies by card issuer, so in this post I wanted to share my Chase card strategy for 2022. Chase has some of the best points earning credit cards out there, though Chase cards can also be among the toughest to be approved for.

Here’s a rundown of what you need to know to be approved for a Chase card, a summary of my strategy, and then which Chase cards I’m most interested in applying for. In separate posts I wrote about my Amex card strategyCapital One card strategy, and Citi card strategy.

How many Chase cards can you have?

There’s no set limit to how many Chase cards you can have. For example, I have 11 Chase cards, though I know people who have more than that. With Chase the limiting factor is typically the total amount of credit the bank is willing to extend you. This means that if you apply for a new card and are maxed out in terms of the credit Chase is willing to issue you, you may be asked to transfer credit lines around.

The other big restrictions involve the application process, as I’ll explain below.

Restrictions on applying for Chase cards?

There are a few major restrictions to be aware of when applying for Chase cards…

The Chase 5/24 rule

Chase has what’s known as the “5/24 rule,” whereby you typically won’t be approved for a new Chase card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months. For this reason it often makes sense to apply for as many Chase cards as possible early in your credit card journey, since these are cards you may not be able to pick up in the future.

Note that as a general rule of thumb, business credit cards won’t count toward that limit, whether issued by Chase or another card issuer. When you are applying for Chase cards, you’ll want to prioritize business applications ahead of personal applications.

See this post for details on how to check if you’re under or over 5/24.

Waiting between Chase applications

You typically won’t be approved for more than two Chase cards in a 30 day period. Some report only being able to get approved for one Chase card in that period. Personally to be on the safe side I wouldn’t apply for more than one personal and one business card in a 30 day period.

Chase 24/48 month rule

The exact terms will vary by card, so you’ll always want to carefully check the terms of your credit card application. Usually Chase will only approve you for a card if you don’t currently have it, and if you haven’t received a new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months.

However, for some cards (like the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve) that waiting period is even longer, up to 48 months.

“Family” card rules

For some cards, Chase has a “family card” rule. Essentially Chase won’t approve you for a card if you currently have a card in the family, or have received a new cardmember bonus on a card in the family in the past 24-48 months.

This is the case with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, for example. If you have one of those cards then you can’t be approved for the other card, and vice versa.

Similar restrictions apply to some Marriott and Southwest cards.

Which Chase cards do I have?

At the moment I have the following 11 Chase cards (as you can see, there’s a heavy focus on cards earning Ultimate Rewards points), and that’s also the most cards I have with any issuer. Here are the Chase credit cards that I have:

For years the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) was my “go to” credit card, though since then I’ve switched to the Sapphire Reserve instead.

How do I use my Chase cards?

There are different reasons that I have Chase credit cards:

  • Some I have for the ongoing perks that they offer
  • Some I have for the return on spending that they offer
  • Some I have for a combination of the two factors

Below I’ll break down the reasons I have each of the Chase cards in my wallet.

Chase cards I have for the perks

I have both the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card and IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card specifically for the anniversary free night certificates that the cards offer, each valid at a property costing up to 40,000 points per night (and you can even use points to top off these certificates and redeem at more expensive hotels).

That alone more than justifies the annual fees on both cards, and is also a reason to pick up an IHG Card.

That’s not even factoring in the other perks of the IHG Premier, including IHG One Rewards Club Platinum status, a fourth night free on award redemptions, and more.

I get big value out of the IHG anniversary free night certificate

Then there’s the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, which offers all kinds of great perks, like up to $600 in reward flight statement credits per year, 10% off British Airways flights, and more. While the card hasn’t gotten me all that much value in the past couple of years, when I do get value from the card, it saves me hundreds of dollars. That’s why I plan to hold onto the card.

Chase cards I have for the perks & spending bonuses

The World of Hyatt Credit Card pays for itself with the perks alone. It has a $95 annual fee, and I keep it because it offers an annual free night certificate valid at a Category 1-4 property, plus five elite nights toward status annually. That more than justifies the annual fee, in my opinion.

But I also end up putting $15,000 of spending on the card per year, as spending that amount gets me:

  • A second Category 1-4 free night certificate
  • An additional six elite nights toward status annually (two for every $5,000 spent)
I get two Hyatt free night certificates with the card annually

I also picked up the World of Hyatt Business Card in late 2021, and frankly I’m still figuring out how exactly this fits into my overall strategy. The card has a $199 annual fee, and offers up to $100 in Hyatt credits annually, so that means it really costs me under $100 per year to hold onto.

The card earns elite qualifying nights at a faster rate than the personal version of the card, though there are no free night certificates. I don’t need extra elite nights this year, but maybe this will come in handy more next year.

Chase cards I have for the spending bonuses

I have the other six Chase credit cards for the return on spending that they offer, though I’m not actively using all of them. These cards make up what I like to call the “Chase holy grail.”

More specifically:

I don’t think there’s a more ideal combination of cards to be had with any issuer, as Chase cards get everything from much of my bonused spending, to much of my everyday, non-bonused spending.

Some of my favorite cards earning Ultimate Rewards points

One significant way that my credit card spending has shifted in the past couple of years is that my everyday, non-bonused spending no longer goes on Chase credit cards:

When it comes to transferable points currencies, I’d rather earn 2x points than 1.5x points. So, why keep cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Ink Business Unlimited open? Well, there’s value in holding onto cards long term, as having cards for a long time helps your credit score. You can’t beat doing that with no annual fee cards.

Which Chase cards do I most want?

At this point I’m happy with my portfolio of Chase credit cards, and I have most of the cards I really want. The way I view it, there are a few Chase cards that would be nice to have:

The Aer Lingus Visa has a great sign-up bonus

Bottom line

I’d say Chase has the all-around most compelling portfolio of rewards cards at the moment. Between the excellent co-branded cards and the cards earning Ultimate Rewards points, there are so many great opportunities to maximize points.

The main thing to keep in mind is that Chase cards are also among the toughest to get approved for, so consider the timing of applying for Chase cards.

I’m really happy with my 11 current Chase credit cards. Some cards I find valuable for the perks they offer just for being a cardmember, while other cards I find valuable for the return on spending they offer. There are a few more Chase cards I’d love to pick up, but even without them, I’m still very happy with my setup.

What does your Chase card strategy look like nowadays?

Conversations (17)
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  1. iamhere Guest

    I agree with you with regards to the IHG card, especially if you have the cheap one where you could easily stay in a hotel valued more than that on the certificate. This said, I find using the IHG certificate more cumbersome than Marriott. I like the personal Marriott card because of the 15 nights and because of the airline credits. The priority pass and other benefits are useful because it is issued by Chase...

    I agree with you with regards to the IHG card, especially if you have the cheap one where you could easily stay in a hotel valued more than that on the certificate. This said, I find using the IHG certificate more cumbersome than Marriott. I like the personal Marriott card because of the 15 nights and because of the airline credits. The priority pass and other benefits are useful because it is issued by Chase so you can bring a guest, but as these benefits are given from other Chase cards such is not useful. I find the Reserve card a good value for F&B and travel (not for direct airline purchase) especially with the 50% bonus on the pay yourself back feature. It is interesting that you do not consider the Bank of America card for everyday purchase because of the decent return that it gives.

  2. Rafa Guest

    Ben,
    How do you collect Marriott points? I noticed you don’t have Marriott Chase CC but you maintain Titanium w Bonvoy. Seems best way to collect Marriott points is to charge Marriott stays on Marriott CC

    1. Rudy T Guest

      He probably has the Bonvoy Brilliant card from AMEX, not Chase.

  3. Pam Guest

    My own lineup is almost identical. I guess from applying every time you do over the years, Ben…lol!

    I never did much with IHG, however, until I went Ambassador. Now I sure wish I had applied for their Select card for the 10% points back (more so than its non-toppable FNC).

    Our family had 3 Venture X & Premier SUBs this year so we have had a lot of NB spend on those...

    My own lineup is almost identical. I guess from applying every time you do over the years, Ben…lol!

    I never did much with IHG, however, until I went Ambassador. Now I sure wish I had applied for their Select card for the 10% points back (more so than its non-toppable FNC).

    Our family had 3 Venture X & Premier SUBs this year so we have had a lot of NB spend on those cards. I still prefer the CFU or CIU, though, for transfer to Hyatt & the travel portal/PYB bonus with my CSR. I plan to go back to them once the C1/Citi SUBs are in the bank. You do a lot more airfare spend than I do, though, & know how to hack more obscure airlines with Citi & C1.

    The BA card has been great in the last few years for generous spend bonus/retention offers. I hope they keep it up. Thanks for the links to their $600/10% flt credits, good reminders I forgot about!

  4. Brian C Guest

    Ben, you mentioned holding on to the Ink business unlimited cars for increasing your age of accounts, but that card doesn't show up on your credit report... So that doesn't really make any sense?

  5. Marco Guest

    Hello. I heard that chase is becoming more strict with the sign up bonuses. I had been approved for a airline credit card and did the spending to receive the bonus molies than about on the year mark I did not renew it and got the lower tier card. Now about two years later I want to apply for the original airline credit card that has a annual fee and a sign up bonus if...

    Hello. I heard that chase is becoming more strict with the sign up bonuses. I had been approved for a airline credit card and did the spending to receive the bonus molies than about on the year mark I did not renew it and got the lower tier card. Now about two years later I want to apply for the original airline credit card that has a annual fee and a sign up bonus if I spend about 5,000 in 3 months. I am not sure if I would be eligible for the sign up bonus since I previously had that card two years ago. Thanks for any information or updates about receiving chase credit card bonuses.

  6. John Leverton Guest

    My 5/24 isn't up until Aug 29. Applied CIP on Aug 18 with instant approval. got my card in the mail today. I guess there are some wiggle room as long as you have good relationships with chase

  7. Jan Guest

    I find myself using the Chase trifecta less now since I got the Venture X/SavorOne, but there’s still plenty of value because of the 3x travel, dining, drugstores and 5x on rotating categories.

  8. James Guest

    "...IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card and IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card specifically for the anniversary free night certificates that the cards offer, each valid at a property costing up to 40,000 points per night (and you can even use points to top off these certificates and redeem at more expensive hotels)."

    The Select card does NOT allow topping off with points.

    1. Points MN Guest

      But you are good if you have both.

  9. ECR12 Guest

    Minor point, but in the beginning of the post you say you have 11 Chase cards and at the end you say you're happy with your 10 chase cards. Presumably just a typo unless ... you are really angry at that Hyatt business card?

  10. Anthony Diamond

    I just have five - Chase Sapphire Preferred (downgraded from Sapphire Reserve), Freedom Flex, Freedom, Freedom Unlimited. I have considered reupgrading to CSR recently, but decided against it. It remains an option, but I place no value on stuff like Priority Pass, travel credit and such, so it really just hinges on the extra .25 cents in portal redemptions and an extra point on travel spend. One thing I like about this lineup is the...

    I just have five - Chase Sapphire Preferred (downgraded from Sapphire Reserve), Freedom Flex, Freedom, Freedom Unlimited. I have considered reupgrading to CSR recently, but decided against it. It remains an option, but I place no value on stuff like Priority Pass, travel credit and such, so it really just hinges on the extra .25 cents in portal redemptions and an extra point on travel spend. One thing I like about this lineup is the low fees - two $95 fee cards.

    Like you, most of my nonbonus spend goes on other cards - first Amex Delta Reserve (to help qualify for Platinum/Diamond status) then to a Capital One Venture or Citi Double Cash. As a result, my Freedom Unlimited is basically unused. I use Freedom Flex a decent amount for dining, drugstore, and 5% categories.

    I think I get to 0/24 by late 2023. At that point, I will likely seek out another Sapphire bonus and get a few cobranded cards (thinking Marriott, British Airways, United).

  11. DenB Diamond

    Ben, did you recently test your Credit Karma method for "checking 5/24"? I relied on this trick (thanks!) but it stopped working a few months ago. Your "follow this link" for CK doesn't lead to the old interface, at least for me. Does it still work for you? Anyone else?

    1. Anonymous Guest

      I also noticed that I could no longer access that old credit karma interface. So I’ve switched to using credit sesame, which has a page that I think is fairly easy to use to determine your 5/24 status.

      Steps (on a mobile device, not sure how different it is on desktop):
      1) Log into credit sesame and click on your score to get to the score factors page.
      2) Scroll down that page...

      I also noticed that I could no longer access that old credit karma interface. So I’ve switched to using credit sesame, which has a page that I think is fairly easy to use to determine your 5/24 status.

      Steps (on a mobile device, not sure how different it is on desktop):
      1) Log into credit sesame and click on your score to get to the score factors page.
      2) Scroll down that page and click on “Credit Age”.
      3) Scroll down and click on “See all accounts in Account Mix”.

      You should now see your open credit cards and when they were opened (month and year) listed in descending order. I can see that I have 5 credit cards opened within the past 24 months (August 2020 - present).

      I just realized, there’s a caveat in that the list only shows open credit cards. So if you closed a credit card that you opened in the past 24 months, it may not appear on this list.

      I suppose it’s not a perfect alternative solution but it’s something to try for yourself. I do miss the credit karma interface, I wonder what happened to it.

    2. DenB Diamond

      I'm very grateful for this tip!

    3. Rakesh Patel Guest

      Check "credit age" from Transunion and Equifax reports.
      Link to transunion credit age:

      https://www.creditkarma.com/credit-health/factors/transunion/aoh

      Link for Equifax:

      https://www.creditkarma.com/credit-health/factors/equifax/aoh

      I just select transunion or equifax from main page, then "Credit Age" under their report sections.

    4. DenB Diamond

      How does this identify the number of account openings in the last 24 months?

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

James Guest

"...IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card and IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card specifically for the anniversary free night certificates that the cards offer, each valid at a property costing up to 40,000 points per night (and you can even use points to top off these certificates and redeem at more expensive hotels)." The Select card does NOT allow topping off with points.

1
Rudy T Guest

He probably has the Bonvoy Brilliant card from AMEX, not Chase.

0
iamhere Guest

I agree with you with regards to the IHG card, especially if you have the cheap one where you could easily stay in a hotel valued more than that on the certificate. This said, I find using the IHG certificate more cumbersome than Marriott. I like the personal Marriott card because of the 15 nights and because of the airline credits. The priority pass and other benefits are useful because it is issued by Chase so you can bring a guest, but as these benefits are given from other Chase cards such is not useful. I find the Reserve card a good value for F&B and travel (not for direct airline purchase) especially with the 50% bonus on the pay yourself back feature. It is interesting that you do not consider the Bank of America card for everyday purchase because of the decent return that it gives.

0
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