Chase issues some of the best rewards credit cards out there, though one of the major restrictions associated with being approved for many of their cards is the “5/24 rule.”
In this post I wanted to provide an update on a previous version of the post I wrote, given that Chase has both changed what cards are eligible for 5/24, and there’s now also a better way to look up your 5/24 status.
What is the 5/24 rule?
With Chase’s 5/24 policy, you typically won’t be approved for a card if you’ve opened five or more new accounts in the past 24 months.
This is more of a general guideline than a strict rule, though. Here’s what you should know about 5/24:
- A vast majority of new credit card accounts will count towards that limit, meaning that opening five or more cards in 24 months will make you ineligible for virtually all Chase cards (Chase has recently extended this rule to almost all of their cards)
- One exception is most business cards, like The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, The American Express® Business Gold Card, The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, etc., don’t count towards this limit; however, Capital One business cards do count towards that limit
- Previously the 5/24 rule didn’t apply to all Chase cards, meaning that there were some Chase cards you could still easily be approved for if you had opened five or more card accounts in the past 24 months; however, it appears that this restriction recently spread to The World of Hyatt Credit Card, IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, and British Airways Visa Signature® Card
- This is mostly anecdotal, since Chase doesn’t officially publish this restriction for most cards
If you want to be approved for popular cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, any Southwest Credit Card, or the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, you’ll want to be aware of this restriction.
How can you figure out your 5/24 “status?”
One question I’m often asked is how you can see your status as it relates to 5/24. Most people probably remember how many cards they’ve opened in the past 24 months, but for those who don’t, there’s an easy and quick way to look it up.
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’re logged into your account, you should see your credit scores displayed.
If you click on the “Credit” section you can see all kinds of interesting information, though this won’t accurately show your 5/24 status.
The easiest way to definitively check your 5/24 status is to click this link after you log into your Credit Karma account. This is a page that’s part of their 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 basically 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, including those that you’ve closed in the meantime. For example, in my case it shows my fifth most recent application having been on September 13, 2016, meaning that I fell “under” 5/24 as of September 13, 2018, give or take.
However, I always recommend waiting until the beginning of the following month before applying, so your credit report has time to reflect that. So while I technically fell under 5/24 on September 13, I waited until October 1 to submit my first application. So I:
- Applied for the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card in early October
- Applied for the Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card in early November (I recommend waiting one month between Chase business applications)
- Applied for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card in early November as well
The two Chase business applications were subject to 5/24, but the cards themselves don’t count as further cards towards that limit (that’s because most business cards don’t show up on your personal credit report). That means I was at 4/24 both before and after being approved for the Ink Preferred and Ink Unlimited.
The Hilton Aspire application would put me at 5/24, though it looks like my credit report hasn’t updated yet to reflect that fully. It looks like if I wanted to get back under 5/24 I’d have to wait until May 1, 2019, to apply for my next card.
In terms of other things to be aware of:
- Only credit cards count towards this limit, and not car loans, mortgages, etc.
- It can sometimes take a while for recent applications to show on your report, so if you’ve applied for a card in the past few weeks, it may not be on there yet
Which Chase card should you prioritize under 5/24?
If you’re applying for Chase cards while under 5/24, I’d generally recommend applying for business cards before personal cards. That’s because while both business and personal cards are subject to 5/24, business card applications don’t count as further applications towards the limit.
So I’d first consider one or all of the excellent Chase Ink cards:
- The $95 annual fee Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers 3x points on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, and phone services, and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines (on the first $150,000 in combined purchases per account anniversary year)
- The no annual fee Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card offers 5x points on office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services, and 2x points on gas stations and restaurants (on the first $25,000 in combined purchases per account anniversary year)
- The no annual fee Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 points after spending $3,000 within three months, plus 1.5x points on all purchases
For more info on deciding between these cards, see this post.
For personal cards, my priority would be to get either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®. These are very well rounded personal cards, and here’s a post with more info on how to choose between the two.
I would then consider supplementing either of those cards with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (for 1.5x points per dollar spent on all purchases) and/or the Chase Freedom® (for 5x points per dollar spent in rotating quarterly categories, on up to $1,500 of spend per quarter).
The process of checking your 5/24 status with Credit Karma is free and easy, and it’s what I used in order to recently pick up the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card.
There are other ways to figure out your 5/24 status, though I find this to be the fastest/free way.