2018.5 Update: The “Selected for You” method is alive again (HT: DoC), and the paper application method via a BRM (Business Relationship Manager) for business credit cards is added.
Chase is one of our favorite banks: its credit cards offer great sign-up bonuses and benefits. I believe many people are eager to get another Chase card. However, since 2015.5, Chase suddenly tightened its approval rule: if you have 5 or more new credit card accounts in the past 24 months, you will get rejected directly, no matter how good your credit score is. This policy is called 5/24 rule. Note that many bankers even don’t know this policy, and our readers have many data points that they are screwed by ignorant bankers. So before applying for a Chase credit card, you really need to learn about the exact meaning and the solution of the 5/24 rule by yourself.
1. Which cards are affected by the 5/24 rule?
- Chase Slate
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Ink Cash (Business)
- Chase Ink Unlimited (Business)
- Chase Ink Plus (Business) (Discontinued)
- Chase Ink Preferred (Business)
- Chase UA Explorer
- Chase UA Explorer Business
- Chase UA Club
- Chase UA Club Business
- Chase Southwest Plus
- Chase Southwest Premier
- Chase Southwest Premier Business
- Chase Marriott Premier (Discontinued)
- Chase Marriott Premier Plus
2. Which cards are NOT affected by the 5/24 rule?
- Chase British Airways
- Chase Iberia
- Chase Aer Lingus
- Chase IHG (Discontinued)
- Chase IHG Traveler
- Chase IHG Premier
- Chase Hyatt
- Chase Fairmont (Discontinued)
- Chase Ritz-Carlton
- Chase Marriott Business
- Chase Disney Rewards
- Chase Disney Premier
- Chase Amazon Prime
- Chase AARP
3. What is the exact meaning of 5 new accounts?
- The new accounts include ALL the credit cards appeared in your credit report. Credit cards issued by other banks are included, charge cards are also included. They don’t only count Chase cards!
- The new account that hasn’t been added to your credit report does not count. Absolutely, Chase can’t see the unreported new card even if it pulls your credit report. For example, AmEx new accounts are usually reported to credit bureaus after 2 statements. So if you keep more than 5 new cards while those extra cards haven’t been reported, you should hurry up and apply. But this doesn’t work for the new cards approved by Chase itself, since Chase can trace your new card in their internal system. Also note that Barclaycard will report the new account as soon as you get approved.
- The closed cards, if they are opened within 24 months, also count.
- Authorized user counts toward the 5 new accounts limit. That is very ridiculous, generally speaking authorized user only can make purchases with the card without assuming payment liability, but Chase do count this as a new account. Sometimes adding an authorized user does not need SSN, but the credit bureau is still able to locate you based on the name, birthday and other information, and add the information of authorized user to your credit report. So if someone has added you as authorized user, remember to check your credit report before applying for a new card of Chase. If you get a rejection, when calling reconsider line, you can ask the Customer Service Representative to drop the accounts which you only are an authorized user when counting the number.
- The store credit cards are highly excluded from the definition of credit card account here, because they are labeled differently in the credit report.
- Exact definition of 24 months: Chase won’t tell us how they count months, so we can only guess based on data points. The data points on DoC show that, the 24 months are calendar months. For example, let’s assume a simple situation: if I got 5 cards on Jan 20, 2015, and no new accounts thereafter. Then I’ll be under 5/24 on Feb 1, 2017. I don’t need to wait until Feb 21, 2017 to get approved!
4. The ways to bypass the 5/24 rule
- Online “Selected For You” can bypass the 5/24 rule.
- In branch pre-approved offer can bypass the 5/24 rule. Note that online pre-approvals don’t work. Before your application in branch, let the banker search for pre-qualified offer for you, if you get the pre-qualified offer, you have to use that link to apply!
- A mail offer with a RSVP code can bypass the 5/24 rule for UR cards. Note that RSVP code doesn’t work for the co-branded cards such as UA Marriott Southwest.
- For business credit cards, you can ask a BRM (Business Relationship Manager) to file a paper application in branch to bypass 5/24.
- If you have exactly 5 new accounts, you may or may not get rejected. Some people in 4/24 also tried to apply for 2 Chase cards in one day, and some people was successful. Of course, it depends on how good your credit history is.
- CPCs used to be able to bypass the 5/24 rule, but it no longer works now.
There is a general criteria for you to know whether you will bypass the 5/24 rule before application: look at the detail term, if you see a fixed APR, then it’s highly likely you get a true pre-approved offer; if you see an APR range, then you shouldn’t even try.
A fixed APR is sentence like this:
“0% fixed Intro APR for the first 12 months that your Account is open. After that, 14.74%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.”
An APR range is sentence like this:
“0% fixed Intro APR for the first 12 months that your Account is open. After that, 14.74% to 20.74%, based on your creditworthiness. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.”
5. Strategies towards 5/24
Based on all these information, our recommended strategies are
- For newbies, apply for the cards that are affected by 5/24 first, especially good cards like Freedom/CFU/CSP/CSR.
- If you have 5 or more new accounts in the past 2 years, but after excluding authorized user accounts you are fine, then you should talk with the representative in the reconsideration line.
- If you indeed have 5 or more new accounts in the past 2 years, you should try those bypass methods above. If you can not see the in branch pre-approval offers, you can wait and relax for a while, until you can see those or until you are under 5/24.
- Just move on directly if you don’t care about the Chase UR system, both Amex Membership Rewards (MR) and Citi ThankYou Point (TYP) are very nice points systems. Take redeeming for round-trip ticket between US and China as an example, you can redeem points of Amex for reward flights of ANA and Air Canada that belong to Star Alliance together with United Airlines, Air China, which means you can exchange reward flights among them. In this case, ANA even costs less points than UA.