Chase 5/24 Rule Explained

The Chase 5/24 rule limits the number of personal credit cards you can open within a two-year period and still qualify for most Chase products.
Elina GellerJul 16, 2021

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The Chase 5/24 rule limits the number of credit cards you can be approved for within a two-year period and still qualify for additional Chase credit cards.

An overview of the Chase 5/24 rule

To be approved for a Chase credit card, you must have fewer than five approvals for credit cards within the last 24 months. When you apply for a Chase credit card, Chase will count the card you’re applying for as part of your allowed five approvals. This means that you can only have been approved for four credit cards (with any issuer) in the preceding 24 months.

Business credit cards that do not show up on your personal credit report will not count toward your 5/24 score.

Chase published the 5/24 rule on the application page for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® in 2016, but on Sept. 1, 2016, all language referring to 5/24 was removed from the website. That remains true today, as the 5/24 rule is not published anywhere by Chase.

Because of this lack of documentation, much of what’s understood about this rule comes from crowdsourced information. Starting in 2015, when the original rule seemed to have gone into effect, many applicants with self-reported excellent credit (defined as 720 or higher) have shared on social media channels that Chase representatives communicated their denial was due to having opened too many credit cards in the last 24 months.

In fact, this happened to me in 2016 when my application was denied. I called Chase and got the same explanation.

Chase isn’t the only issuer to impose a limit on the number of approved cards. American Express, Barclays, Citibank and various other banks have their own rules. Although rules differ between issuers, the underlying message is that banks want to prevent consumers from having too much credit and either getting into debt or abusing rewards programs.

How does Chase compute my 5/24 score?

When you apply for a credit card, you authorize the bank to run your credit report. The bank will pull your credit report from one of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.

The credit report will include a lot of important information about your financial profile, including all of the credit cards that you have opened and closed, and when you applied for those cards.

When Chase runs your credit report and finds five credit card approvals in the past 24 months, you will automatically get declined for a Chase credit card. So if you were approved for a card on Jan. 15, 2020, that card may no longer be considered as part of your 5/24 count by Feb. 1, 2022. There have been reports of people getting approved within a few days of a card falling off the 5/24 list, but there is no guarantee that will happen.

Note, if you are added as an authorized user on someone else’s credit card, the card will likely count toward your 5/24 score.

What is my 5/24 count?

Since Chase can pull your credit report from all three bureaus, you will want to make sure that you calculate your 5/24 status before applying for a Chase card.

You are entitled to at least one free copy of your full credit report from each major credit bureau every 12 months. You can get your free credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com, giving you insight into your credit history from all three bureaus.

It's important that you look at the list of the approved cards from each of the three credit bureaus provided on the credit reports so that you can accurately count the number of credit cards that you have been approved for over the past 24 months.

Look at the sections that contain the list of both your open and closed accounts. Even if an account is currently closed, if it was opened within the past 24 months, Chase will count that card.

Add up the number of credit cards you have been approved for in the past two years. If that number is four or less, you are not in violation of the Chase 5/24 rule and can be approved for another Chase credit card.

Nerdy tip: After you get your full free credit report, create a spreadsheet to track the number of credit cards you have been approved for over the past 24 months, along with the approval dates. This information will help you decide when you will not be in violation of the 5/24 rule and can apply for a new card.

Which Chase credit cards are subject to the 5/24 rule?

This data is based on crowdsourced information and is subject to change without notice from Chase. With that said, based on the latest findings, the following Chase credit cards are subject to the Chase 5/24 rule:

Chase personal credit cards

Chase Business credit cards

Starting in November, 2018, Reddit users began reporting that they were rejected for other Chase credit cards previously not included on the above list.

We think it's pretty safe to say that now Chase counts all of its cards toward the 5/24 rule.

Which credit cards are NOT counted in the 5/24 score?

Mortgages, auto loans, student loans, credit cards that you were not approved for and certain small-business cards (see below) do not add to the Chase 5/24 total.

Generally, all personal credit cards, including charge cards and retail store cards, are factored into your 5/24 count. In addition, business cards with TD Bank, Capital One and Discover are included.

If you have been added as an authorized user on another individual’s credit card, you can ask Chase to exclude those cards from your 5/24 count. One way to get an authorized user account removed from a credit report is to ask the primary cardholder to remove you from the card, then contact each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and ask them to remove that card from your report.

How are business cards treated?

Not all business credit cards are included in the 5/24 count.

Why is this? Generally, business cards are related to a business and not necessarily to the individual applying for the credit card. So if you have a business along with a business credit card, you won't have to worry about high balances on your business card affecting your personal credit score. Some card issuers report business card activity to commercial credit bureaus rather than consumer credit bureaus.

NerdWallet contacted representatives from various banks to find out their policies regarding business card reporting and found the following:

Does the issuer report small-business credit card activity to consumer credit bureaus?

Does the issuer report small-business credit card activity to commercial credit bureaus?

American Express

Yes, but only negative information.

Yes.

Bank of America

No.

Yes.

BBVA

No.

No.

Capital One

Yes.*

Yes.

Chase

No, unless the account is seriously delinquent.

Yes.

Citi

No.

Yes.

Discover

Yes.

Yes.

U.S. Bank

No, unless the account is seriously delinquent.

Yes.

Wells Fargo

No.

Yes.

* In late 2020, Capital One told HelpMeBuildCredit.com that new accounts on the Capital One Spark Cash for Business would no longer be reported to consumer credit bureaus as long as the account was in good standing. It appears that consumer credit bureau reporting will continue as before on pre-existing accounts as well as all of Capital One's other Spark-branded cards.

In addition to the above, it appears Barclays doesn't report business card activity on your personal credit report, while TD Bank does.

Do product changes on existing credit cards count toward 5/24?

An example of a product change is when you downgrade a credit card from one with an annual fee to a no-annual-fee version in the same family of cards. Maybe you want some perks of the card, but not all of the ones that the annual fee version offers. An example of a downgrade would be asking Chase to convert your Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (annual fee: $95) to an Ink Business Cash® Credit Card (annual fee: $0).

When you do a product change, the card number remains the same, but the expiration date and CVV reset. Because the card number doesn’t change, it doesn’t count as a new credit card approval.

Nerdy tip: Requesting a product change rather than applying for a new card also typically makes you ineligible to earn the welcome offer on the card you’re switching to, so only do this if you know you won't want to earn the welcome offer on the new card.

Can I bypass the 5/24 rule?

Generally, no. However, there is one instance in which you may be in luck: "Just for you" offers.

"Specific for you" or “Just for you” offers are exactly what they sound like — special offers that you see once you log into your Chase account. Rumor has it that if you see a card in this section and it includes a fixed APR, you can apply for it even if you are at (or above) 5/24. If the APR is variable, you will be denied if you’re in violation of the 5/24 rule.

There are reports of people being targeted for such offers as recently as June 2021 (hat tip to Doctor of Credit).

Strategy for Chase credit cards

If you’re just getting into the world of miles and points and are considering cards from various issuers, plan to apply for Chase credit cards first given their strict 5/24 rule.

If you already have a few slots filled in your 5/24 count and are considering a non-Chase card, you’ll want to follow this guidance. First, check if there is a business version of the credit card available. If so, check to see if the issuer reports approvals to a personal credit bureau. If the issuer doesn’t, the card will not count toward 5/24.

Frequently asked questions

Download a copy of your free credit report from one of the three bureaus (Transunion, Equifax or Experian) and count all the credit card accounts that you’ve been approved for in the last 24 months (also count closed accounts). Add up all these credit card accounts to get your 5/24 score.

Unfortunately not. Chase counts credit cards toward 5/24 even if they have been closed.

If you’ve been approved for five cards in the past 24 months, you will not be approved for another Chase card thanks to the 5/24 rule. There have been reports of “Selected for you” and “Just for you” offers being exempt from the 5/24 rule.

Generally, targeted offers that have been mailed or emailed to you count toward Chase’s 5/24 rule. There have been reports of some individuals receiving approval; however, the information is not consistent enough to recommend this method. If you’ve received a targeted mail with an RSVP code, you could try calling Chase and ask if it's possible to process the application and bypass the 5/24 rule.

5/24 rule summarized

Although the Chase 5/24 rule isn’t officially published anywhere, it remains in place. If you’re just beginning your application journey, you’ll want to be deliberate with your applications. Chase Ultimate Rewards® are an extremely versatile rewards points currency, and if you’re looking to earn these points, you’ll want to prioritize Chase cards above others given their stringent 5/24 rule.

If you’re already at 5/24 and are waiting it out, focus on business cards that are not reported on your personal credit report.

Have you been able to bypass the 5/24 rule or have experiences to share that differ from any of this info? Email us and let us know!

The information related to the Chase Freedom®Chase Slate®United℠ TravelBank Card, Starbucks® Rewards Visa® CardDisney's Premier Visa® Card and Disney Rewards® Visa® Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.


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