Chase’s Expanded 5/24 Rules are a Bad Idea, Here’s How They Affect What Card You Should Get

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I was the first person to report over the summer that Chase would be expanding their 5/24 rule. Chase doesn’t approve most applicants for their cards who have opened 5 or more new credit card accounts in the previous 24 months. This is too blunt of an instrument.

5/24 Can Harm Chase Partners and Keep Them From Growing Their Niche Portfolios

The idea here is Chase does not want to invest a costly signup bonus on someone who is moving from card to card. They only make their money back acquiring a customer if that customer keeps the card and uses it over time.

However this is a fairly blunt instrument.

  • It means there are Marriott ‘Ambassador’ members who spend over 100 nights and $20,000 with the chain, with perfectly good credit, who want to carry the brand in their wallet. They apply for the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card and get rejected.

  • It means there are United Global Services members spending over $50,000 a year with the airline who want the United co-brand — which is a pre-requisite for getting upgraded on domestic award tickets — and who get declined.

Meanwhile I think that the World of Hyatt Credit Card is a fantastic card. But the market for the Hyatt card is relatively narrow. Hyatt has a limited footprint. They have the best elite program if their hotel locations works for you. Most people with a Hyatt card aren’t going to just have a Hyatt card. As a result 5/24 seems disproportionately likely to keep the bank from building its Hyatt portfolio.

Better to Approve Customers Without a Signup Bonus

American Express has a different tact. They only allow one initial bonus per card in a lifetime (lifetime being as long as their records reflect you’ve had the card before). More recently they’ve added additional unpublished hurdles where they decide you may or may not be eligible for a bonus. But they tell you in advance during the application process whether or not they’ll give you that bonus. They let you apply, and will approve you for the card, either way.

In contrast Chase won’t give you the card at all if you’re at 5/24. I’ve written that I believe Chase ought to follow the American Express lead here and at least be willing to approve customers for their cards, albeit without a bonus. That has largely upside — a customer getting a card without bonus is likely to keep the card and likely to use it, and it’s less expensive to acquire that customer.

Of course that would take a focus and investment at Chase in creating the algorithm and separate approval path, and they haven’t shown any inclination to do that. Co-brand partners like United and Marriott should be pushing them to do so.

Expanded 5/24 Re-orders Which Cards to Get First

Now that 5/24 appears to have expanded to more cards the strategy over ‘which cards to get first’ changes.

  • If you’re under 5/24, start with Chase business cards. While they are subject to 5/24 (you need to have fewer than 5 new card approvals in the last 24 months to be approved) they do not seem to increase your total (if you’re at 3/24 and get a new Chase business card you stay at 3/24).

    The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has the best new cardmember bonus in the market in my opinion offering 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • Get other business cards first. The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® with its B>70,000 mile initial bonus after spending $4,000 within the first 4 months of account opening and $0 annual fee the first year (then $99) won’t increase your 5/24 total. Neither will the Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express which earns 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar on your first $50,000 in purchases per year and is the best most rewarding card for otherwise-unbonused spend. [Offer expired]

American Airlines Boeing 787-9 Business Class

If you’re under 5/24 and want a Chase personal card my recommendation is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

  1. It has a great initial bonus at 50,000 points after $4000 spend within 3 months.

  2. It’s easier to get approved for than Sapphire Reserve.

  3. Points transfer to United, British Airways, Southwest, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Air France KLM, Hyatt, Marriott and IHG.

  4. There’s no annual fee the first year then $95.

  5. You can request to product change after that year to a Sapphire Reserve (in my experience the easiest path to getting one) or to a no annual fee Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card. Having a card that can be product changed is useful given Chase’s restrictions on getting approved for new card accounts.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. Or you can just forget about Chase cards, avail of the plethora of other offers out there (Amex, Citi, Barclays, etc., with Capital One recently joining the crowd), and concentrate your spending and business on those other cards and their affiliated companies.

  2. Exactly. 1K now and probably GS next year.

    I’m really annoyed that United does not give CPUs on domestic award tickets (while American does) without the MileagePlus card — which I cannot get because of 5/24.

  3. My advice: avoid Capital One like the plague. They rejected my wife w/ 800 credit score as follows… The reason(s) for our decision are:
    Based on your credit report from Equifax, too few or no revolving accounts have a balance.
    Based on your credit report from Trans Union, there are too many new revolving accounts.

  4. This might be a fluke, but I was recently rejected for United *Business* Signature. They said it was because I had too many cards in 24 months.

  5. Well said. I’ve been meaning to write something like this but you really nailed the point.

    They are truly throwing the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to someone that may want a co-branded card but happens to have gotten 5 cards in 24 months.

    For sure, 5 cards is more than “normal” but it certainly isn’t crazy that someone learns about these types of cards and goes a little crazy wanting all their favorite brands. Then they decide they want their United or IHG or Hyatt card and get denied.

    I believe that may also hurt their perception of the co-brand involved, as not everyone thinks like us and delineates, for example, Chase from Hyatt when they get declined for the “Hyatt Card”

  6. Dave makes an excellent additional point in his last paragraph. In my discussions with people outside of the hobby, most (if not all) of those folks fail to draw the distinction between the issuing bank and the co-brand of the credit card. They are likely to blame the brand for “rejecting them” instead of the bank. Additional ill-will can come of this when the person applies pursuant to marketing that comes directly from the brand itself, such as the brand’s website or an in-flight credit card pitch by flight attendants.

  7. Totally agree with the premise of this article.

    I recently applied for both the personal and business Southwest Airlines cards issued by Chase through links in your previous article. Chase turned down both applications due to having too many Chase cards (two) and new accounts in past 2-years (three). I thought to myself, how stupid can they be, considering I was planning to put roughly $10,000 spend per month on the cards in order to capture the elite status and companion pass with Southwest? I don’t even fly Southwest! But, was going to convert most of my AA Exec Plat travel over to Southwest due to the cards and companion pass.

    Oh well. No biggie. I just applied for the AMEX Biz Platinum instead. Now, I will capture the 75,000 point bonus by February. And obviously, I won’t be flying Southwest either.

    So, in the end, it’s a loss for Chase, a bigger loss for Southwest, and a win for AMEX.

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