Known for its top-tier rewards credit cards, Chase is definitely an issuer worth considering for your next card. But if you’re planning to apply for a Chase credit card now -- or in the near future -- then you need to know about the card issuer’s 5/24 rule, which can add a complication to the application process.
The 5/24 rule prohibits people who have opened too many recent credit accounts from getting a new credit card with Chase. So, you could have a perfect 850 credit score and plenty of income, and Chase would still reject your application for being over that limit.
Basically, If you’ve opened five or more credit cards within the last 24 months, Chase will automatically deny your application.
In other words, when you apply for a Chase credit card, the issuer will count how many credit accounts you’ve opened within the last two years. If that number is five or more, your application will likely be rejected right away. And no, calling for reconsideration won't help you with a 5/24 rejection in most cases.
All the consumer credit cards that are issued solely by 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 reportedly follow the 5/24 rule:
These Chase business cards are also subject to the 5/24 rule when you apply for them:
Note that applying for a Chase business card counts toward the 5/24 rule. But if you already have one, it won't count when submitting a new application because Chase doesn't report these business cards to the credit bureaus as part of your personal credit history (which is how it calculates your card total).
As you can see, the list above pretty much covers the entire Chase credit card collection.
While you may hear the occasional story of someone applying for a co-branded card above the 5/24 limit and getting approved, don't count on being the exception to the rule. There's only one confirmed way to bypass 5/24, but it requires a targeted invitation. (See the "exceptions and workarounds" section below).
In a nutshell, any revolving lines of credit 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:
While it's clear that open-loop store credit cards -- those that work anywhere -- definitely count toward the 5/24 limit, some of your closed-loop cards (ones that only work at one store) may also count. If you're planning to open a Chase card soon, it's best to avoid opening any type of store credit card that may push you over the 5/24 limit.
If you’re an authorized user on another person’s account, that will also qualify under the 5/24 rule, because it’s listed on your credit report. Fortunately, this is one of the few times you may see some traction through reconsideration. (See “How to handle authorized user accounts” below for more.)
Although your personal (consumer) credit history is checked when you apply for a business credit card, only a handful of issuers regularly report your business card activity to the consumer credit bureaus. This means most business credit cards won’t count against your 5/24 limit because the new account won't show up on your personal credit history.
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 toward your 5/24 status:
So, already having Chase’s own business cards won’t count against the 5/24 limit for a personal credit card because they aren't reported to the consumer credit bureaus. However, as noted above, when you apply for a Chase business card, it will be subject to the 5/24 rule.
Not specifically, 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.
That said, Chase is currently the only bank that has a hard limit on new accounts from any issuer. Other banks generally only limit how many of their own cards you can apply for within a set time period (or at all).
The simplest way to determine your 5/24 status is to add up all your credit accounts from the last 24 months. If you've opened four or fewer new accounts in the last two years, you won't be subject to the 5/24 rule. If you're at five new accounts or more, you'll need to wait until your older accounts age past the 24-month mark.
You can get access to your credit history through a number of sources, including many free apps, as well as through some of your existing credit card accounts. You're also entitled to a free annual credit report from each bureau (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) through AnnualCreditReport.com.
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.
Imagine you’re at 5/24 and you opened the first of those five accounts on Jan. 10, 2019. On Feb. 1, 2021, that first account will fall off and you’ll officially be at 4/24 in Chase’s eyes (if you haven't applied for any additional cards in that time).
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.
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, 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 ask to be removed from the 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.
The only confirmed method for bypassing the Chase 5/24 rule requires already being a Chase customer. Some customers may receive a targeted "Just for You" credit card offer through their online account. To see if you have any targeted offers, select "Explore products" from the account menu, then go to the "Just for You" offers section.
Besides the "Just for You" offers, 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. In some reports, this has worked -- in others, one application gets automatically rejected.
Either way, it's probably best not to make the attempt. 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.
For the typical cardholder, the 5/24 rule won't make too much difference. The average person only has a few cards anyway. However, if you plan to apply for multiple cards as part of a strategy to maximize rewards, you'll want to consider the rule in your planning.
The first thing to do is to browse Chase's credit card offerings to see what jumps out. If you're interested in collecting Ultimate Rewards points, you'll likely want to start with a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. These can be paired with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® for a powerful rewards trio.
Additionally, if you're looking for a Chase co-branded travel rewards card, such as its hotel and airline cards, be sure to include them in your 5/24 planning. Once you’re at 5/24 or higher, you can either apply for cards with other banks -- or play the waiting game.
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 grab 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.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. The Motley Fool has a Disclosure Policy. The Author and/or The Motley Fool may have an interest in companies mentioned.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2021 The Ascent. All rights reserved.