Published in: Credit Cards | Dec. 12, 2018

Guide to Chase’s 5/24 Rule

By:  Lyle Daly

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Avoid a denial on your next credit card application by learning about Chase’s 5/24 rule.

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If you’re planning to apply for a Chase credit card now or in the future, then you need to know about the card issuer’s 5/24 rule, which can add a complication to the application process.

The rule prohibits people who have opened too many recent credit accounts from getting a new credit card with Chase. You could have a perfect 850 credit score and plenty of income, and Chase would still reject your application for being over that limit.

Since Chase has the outstanding Ultimate Rewards program and some of the best credit cards you’ll find, I’d recommend for everyone to get familiar with how the 5/24 rule works. I have my share of Chase cards, and I’m going to cover exactly what the 5/24 rule is and what it means for your future credit card applications.

What is Chase’s 5/24 rule work?

If you’ve opened five or more cards within the last 24 months, then Chase will automatically deny your application. When you apply for a credit card with Chase, it’ll look up how many credit accounts you’ve opened within the last 24 months -- this is often referred to as your 5/24 status.

Chase cards affected by the 5/24 rule

This rule applies to most, but not all, of Chase’s credit cards. Based on the information that’s available from consumer application reports, I’ve listed the cards that are and are not affected by the 5/24 rule in the sections below.

All the credit cards that are exclusively issued through Chase are subject to the 5/24 rule. These include:

The rule also affects many of Chase’s co-branded credit cards. For these cards, it depends on each specific partner’s agreement with Chase. These are the current co-branded Chase cards that are confirmed to follow the 5/24 rule:

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
  • United® Explorer Card, United® TravelBank Card, United MileagePlus® Club Card, and United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card
  • Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus credit card
  • Starbucks Rewards Visa® Card

Chase cards unaffected by the 5/24 rule

There are several co-branded cards that aren’t subject to the 5/24 rule, at least according to reports from consumers who have applied. These are:

Which types of accounts contribute to your 5/24 status?

In a nutshell, any revolving lines of credit that are on your credit report will count. It doesn’t matter whether the account is open or closed at the time you apply with Chase; what matters is that the account was opened within the previous 24 months.

These revolving lines of credit include:

Most business credit cards won’t count because they don’t get reported on your personal credit. There are, however, a few exceptions. The following banks will report business credit card activity on your personal credit, which means their business cards count towards your 5/24 status:

Keep in mind that even though Chase’s own business cards won’t count, Chase does still subject business credit cards to its 5/24 rule.

If you’re an authorized user on another person’s account, that will also qualify, because it’s listed on your credit report. Fortunately, this is one of the few times you may get around the 5/24 rule (see “How to handle authorized user accounts” below for more).

Do other banks have 5/24 rules?

Not exactly, but many are adopting similar policies. Banks are getting wiser to consumers who apply for cards solely to earn sign-up bonuses. Too many recent hard credit inquiries or too many new credit accounts could both be reasons a bank rejects your credit card application.

Chase is still the only bank with a rule of this nature, though. Others generally only limit the number of their own cards you can apply for within a set time period.

How to check your 5/24 status

There are multiple sites where you can view the number of credit accounts you’ve opened free of charge, including Experian and Experian requires you to register to access your credit report information.

Whichever one you choose, add up all your credit accounts from the last 24 months, and you’ll have your current status. If it’s 4/24 or under, you’re good to go on a Chase application. If it’s 5/24 or higher, you should wait until the oldest account “drops off” by going past the 24-month mark.

When credit accounts officially drop off

If you’ve opened five credit accounts within 24 months, you’ll be at 5/24 until the beginning of the 25th month. Here’s an example to better explain it:

  • You’re at 5/24 and you opened the first of those five accounts on Jan. 10, 2017.
  • On Feb. 1, 2019, that first account will fall off and you’ll officially be at 4/24 in Chase’s eyes.

In the scenario above, it would be wise to wait until Feb. 1 to apply for a credit card with Chase. If you applied earlier and received a denial, you could wait until Feb. 1, and then contact Chase’s reconsideration line.

How to handle authorized user accounts

There are two options if you’re over Chase’s limit because you’re an authorized user on somebody else’s account.

If you want to remain an authorized user or you’ve already been denied on a Chase application, then you can call the Chase reconsideration line. Representatives will frequently push through applications if the only reason for the automatic 5/24 denial was an authorized user account. You must call within 30 days of your application for this to work.

If you haven’t applied for a Chase card yet and you don’t want to remain an authorized user, you can close your authorized user account. You or the primary account holder will need to do this with the card issuer, and you may also need to follow up with the credit bureaus to get the account taken off your credit report.

Are there exceptions or workarounds?

First things first -- I highly recommend that you don’t try to game the system here.

Some cardholders have gotten all their cards canceled and have been blacklisted by Chase because they attracted too much attention with excessive credit card applications. It just isn’t worth it.

There are reports of applicants with four accounts opened in the previous 24 months successfully “doubling up” by submitting two separate Chase card applications on the same day. Even though you’re not doing anything wrong here, I wouldn’t risk it.

The only safe method I’ve heard of to bypass the 5/24 rule is applying for the credit card at a Chase branch, where a representative may be able to get around the rule for you. This is hit or miss, but it’s worth a shot if you want a Chase card without waiting.

Planning your credit card applications

Chase’s 5/24 rule requires you to be somewhat strategic about your credit card applications, at least if you want to get a few different cards to stretch your points further.

The good news is that you don’t need to concoct any complex plans. Simply apply for the following types of cards first:

  • Chase credit cards -- Probably self-explanatory at this point. Get your Chase cards when you have the least accounts opened in the last 24 months, as Chase is the only card issuer to have this kind of rule.
  • Business credit cards (if you’re interested in them) -- Since most business cards won’t count towards your opened accounts, you should prioritize them over personal credit cards.

Other than that, you’ll just need to keep track of how many accounts you’ve opened. If you’re at 5/24 or higher, you can either apply for cards with other banks or play the waiting game.

Getting the Chase cards you want

Given how many great travel rewards and cash-back cards Chase has, the 5/24 rule isn’t something to take lightly. You don’t want to end up unable to get Chase cards for a year or more because you were careless with your credit card applications.

If you’re just starting out, it’s the perfect time to apply for any Chase cards that got your attention. And although the 5/24 rule can be frustrating when you’re over the limit, at least once you know about it, you can avoid wasting time and a hard credit inquiry on a doomed application.

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