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Update: In addition to the 5/24 policy, Chase has introduced new terms for the availability of Sapphire-family credit cards.
One rule we're asked to clarify on a regular basis is the Chase 5/24 policy. Although not an officially published rule, 5/24 is a set of guidelines restricting the approval of new Chase credit card products to applicants with less than 5 new credit card accounts (across any credit issuer) opened over the past 24 months. It doesn’t apply to all Chase credit cards, but does cover the most popular, and is applied to all Ultimate Rewards earning cards. Again, to be clear, everything shared here is based on information and evidence provided by the community and is not an officially published statement/policy/rule provided by Chase.
Back in mid-2015, rumors surfaced of Chase credit card applications being denied because of 5 or more new credit card accounts opened in the previous 24 months. At the time, the reports were isolated to Ultimate Rewards earning cards. However, the new requirements expanded to include Chase co-branded cards in May 2016.
Chase doesn’t publish details of the policy (except for briefly on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® application page which was pulled not long after it surfaced), but there is lots of data showing which cards are affected by the tighter rules, and which cards are seemingly exempt.
Being over 5/24 is not a guarantee you'll be denied. There are plenty of reports on Reddit of applicants getting approved for cards when they are well over 5/24. However, it is highly likely you won’t be approved if you are sitting on 5 cards or above.
What Does Chase Consider a New Credit Card Account?
At this point, it’s worth clarifying the difference between cards that count towards 5/24, and cards that are subject to 5/24, as this seems to cause some confusion.
- Cards that count towards 5/24 – This is the number of accounts opened in the previous 24 months. It includes all personal credit cards, from any credit card provider, including co-branded and store-specific cards (typically store cards will show up if they have a Visa/MasterCard logo) that show up on your credit report, along with authorized user accounts, and business cards from Discover and Capital One. Business cards have been specifically called out here as most business credit/charge cards do not show up on your personal credit report under normal circumstances, Discover and Capital One do.
- Cards subject to 5/24 – Cards subject to Chase’s 5/24 policy, based on our research, are those listed below, and include most of Chase’s personal credit cards and the Ink Business cards.
The confusion surrounding this aspect of 5/24 is compounded by cards like the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, which is subject to 5/24, but doesn’t count towards your 5 accounts opened in 24 months because it's a business credit card.
Another important aspect to note is that 5/24 has nothing to do with hard credit pulls on your credit file, only opened accounts. Hard pulls will always be considered as part of your application, and also count towards your credit score, but they do not form any part of 5/24.
Authorized user accounts on your credit report count towards 5/24 by default, although some applicants have noted getting approved after clarifying they don’t use the card, or, are not liable for any outstanding balance.
Which Cards Are Subject to 5/24?
Chase doesn’t release a list covering the cards subject to 5/24, but from data provided by the points and miles community and threads like this one on Reddit, the cards listed below are affected by 5/24:
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- New! Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
- Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
- Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Chase Slate® credit card
- Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
- United MileagePlus® Club Card
- United MileagePlus® Club Business Card
- United MileagePlus® Explorer Card
- United MileagePlus® Explorer Business card
Chase Credit Cards Not Subject to 5/24
As above, this is not a hard list as Chase doesn’t release the details, but, from the data we have, these cards are not currently subject to 5/24:
- AARP® Credit Card from Chase
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card
- Iberia Visa Signature® Card
- Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card
- Disney Rewards® Visa® Cards
- IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.
- IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
- Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
- The Hyatt Credit Card
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card
If we've missed any, please let us know in the comments and add your data points, and we’ll update the post as new information comes to light.
Credit Cards That Won't Count Towards 5/24?
The bad news? If you've opened five or more personal credit cards over the past 24 months, there is very little you can do other than wait for a card to drop off the back of the list (24 months after application), or try one of the strategies towards the bottom of this post.
The good news? The majority of business credit cards do not show up on your personal credit report. Doctor of Credit has a fantastic post listing how each credit card provider reports business credit cards which we’ve summarized below.
Credit providers that don't report new business accounts to your personal credit bureau:
- American Express
- Bank of America
- U.S. Bank
- Wells Fargo
Credit providers that report new business accounts to your personal credit bureau:
- Capital One
Is the 5/24 Policy Always in Effect?
Up until December 2016, applicant’s with a Chase Private Client account reported success when over 5/24, but this path has since tightened significantly, and approved applicants are now few and far between.
There are a few scenarios that we've read about where people were successful while being over 5/24, although these also appear to no longer be working from recent reports. Past methods of bypassing 5/24 include:
- The ‘Your Offers’ tab on your Ultimate Rewards account page. There are multiple reports of applicants getting approved for these ‘Selected for You’ offers when over 5/24
- Targeted invites via mail that contain invitation codes to apply for a card
- In-branch pre-approvals. We’ve also seen lots of people approved over 5/24 for cards when checking for ‘pre-approved’ products in person at a Chase bank.
Chase’s 5/24 rule has changed the game for many in the points and miles community. It's now much harder to plan and execute an effective points and miles strategy if your focus is on Ultimate Rewards earning cards, or Chase products in general. That said, there are still lots of opportunities to maximize your points and miles if you plan your travel goals well in advance, and devise a strategy using a diverse range of rewards cards and loyalty programs.
The introduction of 5/24 makes it essential to keep track of new credit card applications and approvals to ensure you know when each card was applied for, when accounts were opened, and when they will fall off the 24-month count. It may also require a change in strategies to account for less new personal credit card accounts, instead focusing some of your attention on business cards which don’t count towards 5/24.
While we can only speculate at the reason for this policy, protecting themselves from signup bonus abuse is likely at the top of the list. While signup bonuses are fantastic, it is unfortunate that even if you want a card, regardless of its signup bonus, you might not be able to get it. Maybe we'll see this policy change.
If you have any questions regarding 5/24, let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to help!
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