Chase Expanding 5/24 Policy to Additional Co-Brand Cards

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Midway through November, we started seeing reports of Chase’s 5/24 policy being applied to co-brand cards not previously subject to the tighter application restrictions. Data points from the AwardWallet Facebook community, Doctor of Credit, FlyerTalk, and Reddit, suggest Chase has tightened its application requirements for many co-brand rewards cards which now appear to be subject to 5/24.

For those not familiar with the 5/24 policy, if you’ve opened five or more personal credit cards from any card issuer in the previous 24 months, it's a near certainty that Chase will deny your application for all Ultimate Rewards earning cards, plus the majority of its co-brand and cash-back cards.

Stricter Application Restrictions for Co-Brand Chase Cards

Chase doesn’t publish details of its application restrictions, so it’s difficult to obtain concrete information. But, prior to November 13, 2018, select co-brand cards from Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG, plus the trio of Avios earning cards had been exempt from the rule, with folks well over the 5/24 threshold regularly getting approved for the cards.

Since then, dozens of data points across multiple points-related websites and forums all but confirm Chase is implementing tighter application restrictions on cards previously unaffected by 5/24, including:

During the World of Hyatt Card launch back in June, Chase executives told Gary Leff of View From The Wing that it was only a matter of time before the 5/24 rule was rolled out across their entire card portfolio.

Based on recent first hand-reports from the points and miles community, it looks like that day may have come. Although this is clearly a negative change, it should still be possible to acquire a quality mix of Chase products with the right application strategy.

How Does This Change Application Strategies?

When asked about rewards card application strategies in our Facebook community, we routinely suggest folks fill out their Chase portfolio before moving on to other card issuers, because it can be hard to dip back under that 5/24 mark if you travel regularly using points and miles. That advice doesn’t change with Chase updating its application strategy.

What will change, however, is the order in which you apply for cards, and potentially the co-brand cards you choose to add to your wallet. Ultimate Rewards points still rank as the most valuable transferrable rewards currency in our books, so we recommend securing your Ultimate Rewards earning cards before moving on to co-brand cards.

As the majority of cards affected are co-brand cards, you need to work out which frequent flyer or hotel loyalty program works best for your travel goals, then decide if Chase provides the best points-earning potential and benefits, or, if there are alternatives.

Here are a few factors you might want to consider:

  • Which programs allow you to pick up points or miles outside of Chase? – Potentially not applying for a Marriott co-brand card, knowing that you can pick up an SPG co-brand card that earns the same points and similar benefits after filling your 5/24 slots with other cards.
  • Is there a flexible currency that allows you to transfer to that program? – Rather than applying for an Avios earning card, earn points on your Ultimate Rewards cards and transfer those points to Avios. Or, look at cards earning Citi ThankYou points when you are over 5/24, which convert to Avios at 1:1.
  • Which Chase co-brand cards provide tangible benefits you can’t get outside of holding the card? – Good examples here include the World of Hyatt Card, which allows you to spend your way to top-tier elite status, and the United℠ Explorer Card, which opens up additional award space available only to cardholders.

Final Thoughts

It's hard to know for sure if the policy affecting these co-branded cards is an expansion of the existing 5/24 rule or something new. Many of the early data points we’ve seen merely state “too many new accounts in 24 months,” without providing concrete info on how many cards the person already holds, or their exact x/24 count.

For now, it's best to assume you will be denied for a Chase co-brand card if you are above 5/24, even if that card was previously unaffected by the 5/24 policy.

If you applied for one of the cards mentioned above after November 13th, 2018, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments. Please be sure to include your 5/24 status, the co-branded card name, and the result of your application.

Chase Expanding 5/24 Policy to Additional Co-Brand Cards
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Comments

  • Thanks for the heads up. This is not good news.

  • Very disappointing.

  • Unfortunate, but hardly comes as a surprise. I’m sure the previously-5/24-free cards were getting hit noticably harder. Also makes sense to have the same rules apply to all products in the Chase portfolio.

  • Now we have to be VERY selective on cards. Ugh!

  • this sucks

  • I got screwed by this.
    I was going to apply for the Hyatt card next year, but now I can’t anymore unless I wait about a year from now on. 🙁

  • Thanks for the update. Curious, any word/thoughts on when Chase might bring back the bonus for upgrading the Hyatt card?

  • Say it ain’t so! Thanks for the meta analysis.

  • Great Article

  • Not surprising!

  • I applied for the Chase United Explorer Business Credit card on 12/01. I was denied because of 5/24. I thought business credit card applications were not subject to 5/24?
    Am I out of luck or is there a another way?

    • Business cards are indeed subject to 5/24. I think you may be confused with the fact that business cards (typically) don’t show up on your personal credit report, which means they wouldn’t impact your 5/24 count.

  • Not good news at all.

  • ron_vaughn@hotmail.com says:

    the noose gets a little bit tighter. now i wait for the trapdoor to open. sadly, the opportunities for points and miles get more and more limited

  • ouch, thanks for the info

  • Not good news. I don’t have too many cards but if I keep them active and current that should go against me.

  • oh boy

  • Bill from Maine says:

    I was holding out and really disciplining myself from opening any more cards of any type so I could re-apply for a couple of Chase cards in 2019. But how can I refuse various 100-150K offers I have received form Amex and Citi in the last few months. I can’t. So instead of flying UA or LH to Europe (which I still can with all the miles I’ve accrued), I’ll fly DL & AA or some of their partners instead in the future and apply for those offers until they tighten their nooses.
    I have received 3 offers without the once in a lifetime language from AMEX and applied and been successful with 2 of them so far, so they seem to be picking off spending ( at least with me they have) that I used to give Chase. Chase is only getting $2-3K of my monthly $15K spending.
    No, I’m not quitting the game because of Chase. I’m actually increasing my options for my travel needs by reaching out to AMEX, Barclays and Citi who are offering increasingly larger bonuses.

  • This will somewhat crippled many who are counting on this for travel plans! Sad.

  • Thanks for the info. My next card play is/was likely to be the Aer Lingus card, so I’m crossing my fingers that it’s not included, because it’ll be awhile before I’m under 5/24.

    • Hey Kevin, we didn’t include the AerLingus card specifically in the post because we haven’t seen any data points regarding the new 5/24 for that card. My gut instinct is that it’s probably on the new restriction list too. If you decide to give it a shot, please post a comment to let us know what happens. Fingers crossed they left that card out.

  • Slowly chipping away at the game 🙁

  • Here comes the shock, oh well…

  • I’m surprised it took them this long; not sure why they didn’t do this when they first introduced 5/24 for the UR cards.

  • At least now I won’t have to keep checking the 5/24 list to see which Chase cards are on it.

  • Chase is a Grinch!

  • Not good news for consumers, but it makes sense for Chase
    I’m surprised it wasn’t covered originally

  • Clearly, Chase doesn’t care about new signups anymore.

  • I recently got the Freedom Unlimited and now have the Chase Trifecta. I want to get the Amex Gold card very soon so I had basically given up on worrying the Chase 5/24. Although it is disappointing, there have been so many other improvements on non-Chase cards that it is still possible to get great value from card bonuses, we just need to modify our strategies.

  • Thanks for the heads up!

  • Makes sense.

    Besides… if you’re going over 5/24 with select cards, you’re just making it harder on yourself to get back below 5/24 to re-apply for the best ones.

  • I’ve been stingy with my applying so I won’t have any worries, thank goodness. However, Amex has been stingy. I’ve tried getting their Amex Everyday and apparently can apply for the card and get it but wouldn’t get the welcome bonus. Never had the card before, have great credit, closed one card. I’m just confused why I wouldn’t get the bonus MR and no one at Amex can tell me why. Frustrating all of this.

  • No good news!

  • This is not so good news, time to start looking at other card options now.

  • These restrictive policies must work for Chase’s profitability. Or they wouldn’t be doing it for this long. Unfortunately, this policy keeps me away from being able to participate.

  • I already thought this applied to all their cards, hmmm.

  • not customer friendly. now some of their cards even have 48 months to be eligible for sign up bonus.

    • Customer friendly? They are a business after all and can’t afford to be giving out $500 to customers every 24 months. Free money is great but not getting liberal signup bonuses is not an indicator of customer service.

  • Luckily I got the World Of Hyatt card in time. Should have had my mother get one fro their family pooling, points transfer, or whatever they call it.

  • Thanks for the heads up on this.

  • Been waiting till early Feb to apply for the new WOH card? Guess not with lol/24. On other happier note, i got the IHG Premier card just in time

  • I was past the 5/24 and somehow got approved for the SouthWest Priority card. Maybe I should in two months try for the United card. Maybe

  • Was always going to happen that it expands to all of them – was just a matter of time. Just had to make sure their “partners” – airlines/hotels were ok with it.

  • Indeed, it is just a matter of time.

  • I’m glad I have the Chase quadfecta of cards (saph reserve, ink plus, freedom, and fredom unlimited). I’m still trying to decide if I should keep the Saph reserve card. I’m not a big flyer, and having a relative large family, I never get higher class awards, so transfers to other airlines almost never occur, so the 1.5 redemption value is really nice. Just a question if I’m making up the “$150” yearly fee then.

  • This really sucks, it was nice having some options not affected by 5/24 but these card companies are catching onto the game.

  • At this rate, the best bet for CC hackers is to wait for another recession and hope the big CC issuers get hit. But then again, your investments would take a major hit. What’s a little 30% dip in your retirement account for the glory of a 100k UR offer?

  • Shubhayan Mukherjee says:

    Most of the banks are now following Chase’s model specifically Barclays and Capital One. Bank of America, US Bank and Wells Fargo have also gotten more restrictive lately and require a banking relationship to be approved for credit cards. Citibank and American Express are the only liberal issuers left.

  • I’m not surprised at all.

  • Really stinks for consumers how the banks have tightened up sign up bonuses more and more over the years. On the other hand, I understand where the banks are coming from.

    • Yeah sign up bonuses are definitely becoming a thing of the past with Amex’s once per lifetime rule (and other subjective disqualifiers) and Chase expanding 5/24, one sapphire, and limiting sapphire bonuses to once per 48 months. Find your keeper cards now and look long term rather than short term.

  • It’s a shame, but really it was only a matter of time before this happened.

  • Just another obstacle to work around

  • Only a matter of time until they add applications for competator’s cards to the 5/24 restrictions

  • ron_vaughn@hotmail.com says:

    definitely not good.

  • Will keep watching to see if restrictions change

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