The Chase 5/24 Rule: 9 Things You Need to Know

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Updated: Feb 1, 2024

My 5/24 Backstory

When I first started to learn how to travel using miles and points earned with credit cards, I admit, I was careless and simply had no guidance. I let my mind dictate the cards I should get. I was blinded by big numbers. I had no strategy. I applied for WHATEVER cards that looked great or sounded appealing.

Those who are starting to learn ways to begin traveling using miles and points might have come across these numbers – 5/24. It’s also been used interchangeably as the Chase 5/24 Rule. Whenever someone would bring up a credit card they want to get, and it happens to be a non-Chase card, I’d say:

What’s your 5/24 status? If you really want to do this correctly and start earning the right way, the best way to start is to get credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

However, I get it. Not everyone understands what 5/24 means in the credit card world. Heck, I didn’t know about it when I first started. But, I’ve learned since then. Those of us who follow the proper strategies have learned over time that Chase credit cards and the value of the points you earn from these cards are one of the most, if not, the most flexible set of travel points out there today.

Girona, Spain – Oct 2018

My goal is to not only share with you the basics about 5/24, but I’ve also laid out my personal, real-life situations in this entry. We will cover the 9 Things You Need To Know with Chase 5/24 Rule:

  • 5/24 Basics – what is it about?
  • Is there a relation between your credit score and income vs your 5/24 status
  • Which activities count towards 5/24
  • Which activities do not count toward 5/24
  • Business credit cards and 5/24
  • How can you check your 5/24 status
  • Available Chase cards to get when you are under 5/24
  • How to decide which ones to get first
  • How do you decide which non-Chase branded cards to get

As a side bonus, you will see where these points have taken me and my family all over the world. Who do I have to thank? Kudos to all the lessons-learned along the way on how to strategically apply for credit cards that would work to my advantage.

Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur Sept 2017

1. What is the Chase 5/24 Rule

5/24 (read it as five twenty four), it’s not a date (not May 24th), nor is it a fraction (five over twenty four). Simply put, it refers to the number of personal credit cards that you’ve opened in the last two years (or 24 months). The Chase 5/24 Rule is for those who apply for new Chase credit cards accounts. When it comes time for Chase to review your application,  if you’ve opened five or more new personal credit cards (with Chase and other institutions), your application will be denied by Chase. This applies to both business and personal credit card accounts.

To be honest, we’re told that this so-called 5/24 is an unwritten rule. Chase never spoke publicly about this so-called rule. However, based on many real-life situations (including mine), folks who applied for a Chase credit card and were 5/24 or over 5/24 were simply denied when they applied for a Chase credit card.

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore – rooftop infinity pool – Sept 2017

2. Does 5/24 status matter if my credit score and income are high

In 2014 and 2015, when I had no guidance and was just starting out with this award travel hobby, I fell victim to this rule. My income and credit score were also high around the time of those applications, but I was flat out denied because over the past 24 months, I had opened 5 or more credit card accounts (not only with Chase, but also with outside banking institutions). I tried to get them to reconsider, but to no avail. I never got the coveted Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It was pegged as the perfect starter card, but by the time I paid attention to it, I had already gone over 5/24. I couldn’t get the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

Machu Picchu, Peru – April 2018

3. Which activities count toward your 5/24

  • Credit cards, personal credit cards that were opened (Chase and ANY bank). Remember, the opening date is what matters. It will count if it was opened in the last 24 months, even if you’ve closed the account.
  • Business cards opened with Discover, Capital One or TD Bank
  • Being an Authorized User count against your 5/24 status (see below)
  • Store cards are known to also count against your 5/24
Sydney Opera House, Australia – November 2016

My lesson-learned being an Authorized User

Even if the original credit card was not under your name, and someone added you as an authorized user, you take a hit. Add that as part of your 5/24 count. Many have stated that you can explain to Chase that you were only named as an Authorized User, and that Chase had approved applications with that explanation. In my case, I just chose to remove myself as an Authorized User on my wife’s accounts. That was my personal choice so there were no additional red flags. All it took was a phone call to the bank or credit card company and I simply asked them to be removed. I removed myself as an Authorized User on quite a few credit card accounts back in 2017 when I was trying to obtain the brand-new Chase Sapphire Reserve®. I pulled all the stops and eventually got the card after 4 months of clearing up the obstacles.

Raohe Street Night Market – Taiwan 2018

4. The following activities DO NOT count toward your 5/24 status

  • Loans
  • Mortgage
  • Refinance
  • Credit inquiries
Roughing it with a floating pool breakfast at Kalapa Resort in Bali, Indonesia – November 2019

5. Do business credit cards count toward your 5/24 status?

First of all, if you are OVER 5/24, Chase will NOT approve you for Chase Business cards. You have to be under 5/24 to be approved by Chase on business cards. But what’s the deal with Chase business cards anyway? When I was over 5/24, all I could think of was getting the lucrative sign up bonus offer with the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. But I needed to be UNDER 5/24 to apply for that. I waited to go under 5/24 and in 2018, I succeeded and got the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

Business credit cards are generally NOT counted against 5/24. Why is that? Most of the business credit cards are not reported on your personal credit report.  According to 10xTravel, the banks that DO NOT report these to personal or consumer credit reports are: Chase, Bank of America, American Express, Citi, Barclays, US Bank, and Wells Fargo.

The Blue Lagoon, Iceland – February 2017

6. How can I check my 5/24 status using Experian app

Download the Experian app. The app tends to change. This is the latest step-by-step as of Sept 18, 2023.

  • a. Go to Experian.com
  • b. Click Sign In, if you have an account, proceed and sign in. If not, sign up and create a free account
  • c. Download this app – Experian Credit Report
  • d. Sign in to your account using the app
  • e. Once signed in, click CREDIT (from the bottom tab)
  • Make sure you are on the EXPERIAN tab
  • Goi to Quick Actions – VIEW REPORT
  • Click ACCOUNTS
  • Go to VIEWS and click VIEWS (top right hand side)
  • Click DATE OPENED (NEW TO OLD)

This will show your accounts that you’ve opened most recently to the oldest ones. This will also include other loans (not just credit cards). So if today is Sept 18, 2023, when you scroll down, count the number of credit cards you opened for the past 2 years or 24 months. In this example, cards opened between Sept 18, 2021 and Sept 18, 2023 do count as part of your 5/24. That’s your 5/24 count.

Milan, Italy 2015

7. Which Chase cards should I get if I am under 5/24

Remember, if you are over 5/24, Chase will most likely decline your application no matter your credit score or income. Chase has a suite of credit cards that one should consider getting BEFORE applying for other non-Chase cards.

 

8. How do I know which cards to get first?

As with anything, there’s always a strategy. For me, I focused on cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards first. Depending on your goals, the perfect starter card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

There are many other Chase credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards such as:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • Chase Freedom®
  • Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
  • Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

They all have their own perks, and when it comes to strategy, there are ways to obtain these cards in a strategic manner. If you’re starting from scratch, I’d consider getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

In short, the strategy is to focus on these Chase cards first. Fill up your first 5 slots with Chase cards, and then once you go over 5/24, then begin entertaining other non-Chase cards.

Find the links to these cards here. 

Kauai, Hawaii 2019

9. Does this mean I should not consider other non-Chase cards?

No, you can weigh your options when faced with a decision to go for a Chase card or go for a non-Chase card. I’ll give you a perfect example.

Yes, you will hear me and many others OVER and OVER AGAIN to focus on Chase cards while under 5/24. But with every rule, there are exceptions, and we all make the ultimate decision as to what we believe is right for our personal strategy. Back in April 2023, I was at 3/24.
I used the Experian app and looked at my personal credit card history of applications within the last 24 months.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – 4/30/21
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card – 12/7/21
  • Capital One Venture X – 3/8/22
The above data showed that I was at 3/24. What does this mean:
  • I have room for 2 more slots to get Chase personal cards;
  • I could also concentrate on getting other business cards, get business cards that ;
  • Or, entertain the idea of getting a non-Chase personal card
Cambugahay Falls – Siquijor Island, Philippines – January 2020

What’s the overall takeaway?

Gone are the days when I would simply just jump on a credit card bonus offer and apply without thinking. Gone are the days when I’d be blinded by the # of points offered as sign-up bonus. When you find yourself in a position and you’re asking, “What card should I get first? Which one should I get next?” I suggest checking your 5/24 status first. If you find yourself UNDER 5/24, then focus on filling up your slot with Chase credit cards – fill up your first 5 slots with Chase credit cards that earn you more Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Remember to do it in stride. Don’t go crazy and apply for Chase cards left and right. This is not a race, pace yourself. It’s more like a marathon.

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Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

 

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