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Have you heard of the Chase 5/24 rule?
Every credit card issuer sets its own rules about how many credit cards you can have open with them at a time and how soon after your most recent card you qualify for another. Sometimes these rules are more like suggestions and sometimes they’re rigid. When you’re talking about Chase Bank, this is referred to as the 5/24 rule. It’s a strict policy for how many new credit cards you can have on your credit report and still get approved for a new card.
Here’s everything you should know about the 5/24 rule and how it might affect your next credit card application.
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What Is It?
For all intents and purposes, the 5/24 rule is an unofficial policy. You won’t find it explained anywhere by Chase, but enough people know about the rule (and have experienced breaking it themselves) that it’s pretty much common knowledge.
There was a time a few years back when Chase published more information about 5/24, but for one reason or another, decided to remove all trace of it from their website and keep it on the not-so-low down low. Since then, everyone assumes–correctly, if all the rejection letters out there are any indication–that it’s the same rule.
Basically, the 5/24 rule states that no one can be approved for a new Chase card if they have opened 5 or more credit cards in a 24-month period. This includes but is not limited to Chase credit cards.
The 5/24 rule, though not written in any terms and conditions, is strict. It applies to all Chase credit cards and all applicants. Even co-branded credit cards such as the United Club Infinite Card, the World of Hyatt Credit Card, and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card are subject to this policy.
Why does Chase have this rule in the first place? It was likely put in place as a way to prohibit how many sign-up bonuses a single applicant can qualify for. And even more so, to discourage users from applying for cards strictly for bonuses and then never using them again. This practice is referred to as “churning” and Chase, like a lot of credit card companies, frowns upon it.
The 5/24 rule is probably the most well-known, but it’s not the only policy Chase uses to screen applications. There’s also the 2/30 rule, which disqualifies you from getting approved for more than two new cards in 30 days.
Rules for Other Banks
Chase is far from the only bank with a rule like this.
American Express, for example, doesn’t allow anyone to have more than five existing credit card accounts. Capital One limits all customers to opening one personal credit card every six months and to have no more than two open at a time. Discover will only let you have two open cards and you’ll need to wait 12 months between applying for the first and second. Barclays won’t usually let you get a new card if you’ve opened more than six new credit accounts in the past two years.
Other banks limit the total credit you’re allowed to have across all of your cards but are less picky about the number of cards you carry and how often you open them.
Chase is one of few banks that looks at the total number of cards you have with all banks, not just their own.
How It Works – and How to Get Around It
If you break the 5/24 rule when applying for a new credit card, you can be immediately denied. It doesn’t matter how creditworthy you are, how loyal a Chase customer, or how much money you have in the bank (with Chase or otherwise). Even if you check all other boxes, breaking this rule is enough to earn you a rejection letter.
But you might be thinking, “I got around the rule before. Why can’t I now?” Chase used to show favoritism and let some people slide if they were over five cards, such as Private Clients and select new customers, but those workarounds are a thing of the past. Now, it’s very rare to get the rule waived.
So how do you know you’ve been rejected because of the rule? If you’re found to be in violation of the 5/24 rule, your rejection letter will state your reason for denial as “too many credit cards opened in the last two years.”
Don’t reapply right away if you receive this message–doing so will only hurt your credit and won’t get you the card. Also, certainly don’t close any of your existing credit card accounts. This not only negatively impacts your credit but won’t change your 5/24 status.
All Chase credit cards fall under this rule, so you are not any more likely to get rejected for one card over another. The Chase 5/24 rule is applied to credit card applications only–your status will not affect your ability to open a bank account, get a loan, or invest with Chase (although too many new credit accounts of any kind can make you appear less creditworthy).
The only surefire way to get around the 5/24 rule is to just wait it out. Many people have had success applying again after waiting at least 30 days (which is rumored to be the shortest amount of time Chase will allow between applications), but it all depends on when your most recent application was approved.
With that said, you might be able to get around the rule by converting one of your old cards into the new one you’re applying for. Chase sometimes allows customers to convert cards within the Ultimate Rewards category, but you’ll likely forfeit any bonus offer you would have earned to open a new account if you are approved to do this.
Calling for reconsideration can only work if you have a valid reason that the rule shouldn’t apply to you. For example, your reason could be that you have authorized users for your other credit cards and they are counting toward your 5/24 status or that you only just exceeded five new cards days before applying for the new one. As with any time you call for reconsideration, nothing is guaranteed. It really just depends on who happens to answer your call and how cooperative you are.
Check Your Status
To know for sure that you won’t get rejected for having too many new accounts, check your 5/24 status yourself before submitting an application. Chase doesn’t have a fancy process for doing this and they don’t do anything you can’t do.
If you’re not sure how many new credit cards you’ve opened in the last 24 months, you can review your credit report to find out. This is what Chase will do when you apply. Be sure to get a report from each of the three credit bureaus–Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion–to see all of your cards. You can do this for free once per calendar year.
Keep in mind that Chase is looking for approved new accounts. It doesn’t matter if you use the credit cards you’ve opened or even if you’ve closed any since applying. All new credit card accounts that are listed on your credit report count toward your limit, including store cards (Chase or not).
Cards in someone else’s name for which you are an authorized user might also count toward your limit. If this is the case and you’d qualify without these accounts, ask a Chase reconsideration representative that these be disregarded and you may have a shot.
If there are credit cards not listed on your credit report, such as business cards, which do not count toward your personal credit, they do not affect your 5/24 status. Also, credit cards you have applied for and been denied won’t count against you.
Top Chase Credit Cards
If you’re in the clear and ready to apply for another Chase card, make sure you choose wisely.
Here are our picks for the best Chase credit cards.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers up to 5 points per dollar on travel and rotating categories and 3 points per dollar on dining, grocery, and streaming.
And with perks like 1:1 point transfer with airline loyalty programs (including United MileagePlus and Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards); savings with Doordash, Peloton, and Lyft; and a $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit, this is one of the best travel rewards cards out there. We think it’s worth the $95 annual fee. See credit score requirements.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
This rewards card does almost everything right. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card earns 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase, 3 points per dollar at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5 points per dollar on everything else. With no annual fee, this is a crowd favorite for everyday spending and one of the highest-reviewed rewards cards out there.
Chase Freedom Flex is a very similar option, the primary difference between them being that Flex offers 5 points per dollar on travel through Chase and rotating points categories that change quarterly. Also, Flex earns 1 point per dollar on everything else compared to Unlimited’s 1.5.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
If you’re looking for a rewarding business card with a low annual fee, it doesn’t get much better than the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. This earns 3 points per dollar on shipping and business expenses (such as advertisements and travel) and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
All cardholders receive complimentary travel and purchase protections such as emergency assistance services, roadside dispatch, purchase protection, and trip cancellation insurance. Plus, waived foreign transaction fees, 1:1 point transfer, and the option to redeem your points for 25% when you put them toward travel. The annual fee is just $95 and you can add additional employee cards to your account at no additional cost.
Although we didn’t include them here, Chase’s co-branded credit cards with airlines and hotels are also pretty good overall. Just remember when applying for these that they’ll affect your 5/24 status.
Other banks restrict how many cards you can get approved for in a given period of time, but the Chase 5/24 rule might be the most well-known. Chase won’t budge on this policy, so find out for yourself if you break the rule before you apply for your next Chase credit card. You can use this article to check your 5/24 status if you aren’t sure how.