A Chase credit card is one of the most sought after cards available. With multiple types available, often with lucrative signup bonuses and rewards programs, it’s no wonder why so many people apply.

Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card

However, a few years ago, Chase introduced the 5/24 rule as part of the application process. It’s been increasingly enforced, making it difficult for people to qualify if they frequently apply for credit cards.

In order to have the best chance of approval and avoid too many inquiries for unsuccessful applications on your credit report, we’ve pulled together everything you need to know. You’ll learn what exactly the 5/24 rule means, how to find out if it affects you, and what Chase cards are and are not impacted by this rule. Be sure to keep reading before you apply for your next credit card from Chase.

What does the Chase 5/24 rule mean?

In a nutshell, Chase’s 5/24 rule is this: Anyone who has opened five or more credit cards in the past 24 months will not be allowed to open a Chase credit card. So if you have any more than four credit cards that are relatively new, your application will be automatically denied.

Chase has become increasingly strict with this rule and it’s becoming harder and harder to content (although it’s certainly not impossible, as you’ll see).

Refusal of your application usually happen very fast and success has only been reported by a few users. All customer service agents are quick to state that the decision is final and that there is nothing to be done. Even trying to go above them yields no results, as managers and supervisors have been found to be just as quick to say that the decision is final.

Keep in mind that most of the information on 5/24 is purely anecdotal. If you want to find printed material by Chase on the rule, you will find very little, if any. Of course, there are exceptions, just as there are to any rule.

However, the overall consensus is that Chase is rejecting all applications where the user has opened five or more cards in the past two years. Find out why, and the few ways you may be able to get around it.

Why does Chase have the 5/24 rule?

Since credit card reward programs began, there’s been a whole underground of people who have found clever ways to outsmart credit companies. They’ve gloated online and taught others how to outmaneuver companies to do what they do.

Most frequently, these people sign up for multiple credit cards in order to take advantage of various signup bonuses. They can then benefit from large amounts of cash back or even free travel. The 5/24 rule is an attempt to stop such people from abusing the system and getting cards for the rewards alone.

What cards count towards the 5/24 rule?

Under Chase’s 5/24 rule, all bank cards count towards the rule. So if Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover is printed anywhere on any of your cards, they count. When Chase runs a credit check, regardless of whether they look at Equifax, Experian, or Transunion, whatever cards you have out in your name are going to show up on the report.

It doesn’t matter if none of them are a Chase card. You could have four Visa from various banks plus a Discover card, and Chase would still deny you a new credit card.

Even if you close an account and it’s no longer active, the card still counts towards the 5/24 rule during the 24-month period. However, there are some credit cards that won’t be included in your tally of cards.

Retail cards, for example, usually don’t count. So if you recently opened up a department store credit card or a Lowe’s card (or both), you don’t have to worry about them impacting your Chase application.

The only caveat is if the card can be used anywhere, even outside of the store — those would count. However, any business credit card you have should be exempt because they’re not listed on your personal credit report.

How can you tell if you’ll be affected by Chase’s 5/24 rule?

The easiest way to check if you’ll be affected by this rule or not is to request a copy of your credit report. You can order your reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion for free every 12 months.

If you’ve already received your free reports in the past 12 months, you can purchase them directly through the credit bureaus. It’s good to get all three because not all credit card companies report to all three bureaus. Checking each one ensures you’re seeing every bit of your personal credit history, including all of your credit cards.

Once you have your reports in hand, go down to the Revolving Accounts section. Your credit cards and other lines of credit are divided into two categories: open and closed accounts. Under each one, you’ll see the exact date the account was opened.

Go through each and every one, both open and closed, and count how many have been opened in the last 24 months. If there are five or more, you won’t be able to qualify for a new Chase card.

To find out when you can qualify, simply find the oldest account within the last 24 months. Find the date of when it will have been opened for more than 24 months.

If you’re intent on getting a new Chase card, you can mark your calendar so you remember exactly when you can apply. If you specifically want this type of card, make sure you don’t open any new cards in the meantime, otherwise, you’ll have to wait for yet another card to age out of the 5/24 rule.

Is it possible to avoid the 5/24 rule?

There are a couple of ways you can potentially get around this rule from Chase. The first is to request a pre-approval from Chase in an actual bank branch. Obviously, this won’t work if you don’t live in an area served by Chase, but if you do, you may have some luck.

By giving the teller or financial adviser your ID and social security number, you can find out if you’re pre-approved. Ask for a confirmation by getting a printout of the terms.

If you have a set interest rate, then you’ve got a full pre-approval. If you’re provided a range of interest rates, you’ve only received a lesser level of pre-qualification. With the pre-approval terms, you should be able to successfully apply for a card. You can also try submitting a paper application to increase your chances of bypassing the 5/24 rule.

Another method for getting around it is by going to the Chase website and checking for offers personalized for you. Just enter a few lines of personal information and the last four digits of your social security number, so you know you won’t have a hard credit check. Similarly, use any Chase invitations from the mail to avoid the credit card limit.

What if your application is denied because of the 5/24 rule?

If your application is denied, try calling the Chase reconsideration line in case some of your retail cards showed up as traditional credit cards. You can explain the situation to clarify that some of your credit cards are only retail or business cards. When you do this, you just might receive a different response on your Chase application.

You can also ask Chase to reconsider if you’re only an authorized user on one of your recent credit cards. The entire card history shows up on your credit report, but it may not count since you wouldn’t be the one receiving any rewards program benefits. You may not have 100% success in these scenarios, but it’s worth a quick call.

Another reason to call the reconsideration line is if you’re on the cusp of 24 months. Chase uses calendar months, so if you’re just a few weeks away from your oldest card dropping you down to just four cards, you could call once you pass the threshold.

Most of these scenarios are still up to the discretion of the customer service rep you speak to. Hopefully, they’ll be sympathetic and use their authority to get you approved.

What Chase cards are affected by the 5/24 rule?

The following Chase cards are affected by the 5/24 rule:

  • Chase Freedom
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • Chase Ink Cash
  • Chase Ink Preferred
  • Chase Marriott Premier Personal
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Chase Slate
  • Chase Southwest Plus Personal
  • Chase Southwest Premier Business
  • Chase Southwest Premier Personal
  • Chase United MileagePlus Club
  • Chase United MileagePlus Club Business
  • Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Personal
  • Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Business

What Chase cards are not affected by the 5/24 rule?

The following Chase cards are not affected by the 5/24 rule:

  • Chase AARP
  • Chase Amazon
  • Chase British Airways
  • Chase Disney
  • Chase Hyatt
  • Chase IHG
  • Chase Marriott Premier Business
  • Chase Ritz-Carlton

Bottom Line

Chase is making it increasingly difficult to churn through credit cards just to get the signup bonuses. If you partake in any kind of credit card hacking, you may have to start shifting your strategy.

You’ll either need to eliminate Chase cards from your list or become more selective about the rewards cards you do apply for. Since Chase often offers some of the best rewards programs, the latter option may be the best one.

Start to create your strategy by analyzing your current credit situation. Once you know how many of your credit cards contribute to the 5/24 rule, you can put together a game plan for when and how you can next get approved. It just might be worth it in order to stay in the good graces of Chase.