If you’ve been reading my blog for a few months, you’ve probably seen me mention Chase 5/24 rule. To put it simply, it refers to one’s inability to get approved for certain Chase products if they’ve opened 5 or more cards (from any bank) in the span of 24 months. If you added yourself as an authorized user to someone else’s account, it counts toward the total.
A lot of proverbial ink has been spilled on this rule and ways to circumvent it, to the point that very few even doubt its existence. I recommend you follow this Flyertalk thread for all the latest developments. As it usually goes with this sort of things, there are few contrarians in the hobby who say the rule isn’t real and that folks are paranoid.
After all, if you’ve applied for many cards within the last few years, you probably just got denied for having too many inquiries. Nothing to do with 5/24 rule. I respect folks’ right to think whatever they want, but is their opinion based on reality? Nope.
Here is why:
1)There are too many data points to prove otherwise. If few readers reported being told that 5/24 rule was their reason for rejection, I can understand the skepticism. But we are talking hundreds of people here.
2) Chase briefly put the terms of 5/24 rule on Chase Sapphire Reserve application before quickly removing them. It doesn’t get more real than that.
3) My husband’s app for Chase Sapphire Reserve card was recently denied due to 5/24 rule.
I really wanted to get CSR in his name now due to all the reasons highlighted in Nancy’s recent post. Unfortunately, he is way over 5/24 limit and last time we checked, he wasn’t pre-approved in branch. But I thought maybe I can somehow beat the system. After all, he has a savings and a checking account with Chase. Would those help? Nope!
The application went to pending, so I didn’t have a lot of hope. And sure enough, a week later we got a denial letter in the mail saying that he opened too many accounts within the last two years. But, but, but, you may say, maybe he was just denied for having too many inquiries, not some fictitious 5/24 rule. Ok, to all of you doubters, let me give another data point.
Our friend’s CSR application
While I do my best to avoid peddling credit cards to family and friends, occasionally, some come to me for advice. So, of course, I’m happy to give it. I always recommend the exact same cards to my friends as I do to blog readers, and CSR is currently at the top of my list. So, that’s what I suggested to one of our good pals. I also told him it was crucial to apply soon in order to take advantage of this year’s $300 travel credit allowance.
According to CSR terms:
“$300 Annual Travel Credit: A statement credit will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for purchases in the travel category, up to $300 in statement credits annually (“annually” means the year beginning with your account open date through the first December statement date of that same year, and each 12 billing cycles starting after your December statement date through the following December statement date).”
So, it’s important that the purchase posts on December statement. Merely charging travel expense in December may not cut it because it might go on January 2017 statement. If there was any delay in card’s approval, it could jeopardize this credit. Our friend did apply and it went to pending. I suggested calling this number for reconsideration: 1-800-432-3117 He did, and afterwards sent me this email:
“I called. They said it was denied because I opened 6 credit cards in past 24 months. They said if it was for any other reason they could have worked it out. However, they can’t work around the 5 or more in 24 months rule. Is that true?”
Yep, it is indeed true. It didn’t even occur to me to ask my friend. He has been an accidental miles and points hobbyist, and didn’t even know it. But regardless, I think the wording of denial makes it pretty clear that 5/24 is for realz.
But it’s not written in stone
Of course, there are various ways to circumvent it. I’ve written about getting approved for CSR in physical branch, and I recommend to at least stop by and check if you are in the same predicament. Some have been able to get approved due to Chase Private Banker status, or having a relative with this status.
If you’ve been added as an authorized user and it killed your chances, it might be possible to call and plead with Chase credit analyst. You may be able to change a No to Yes. I’ve seen reports of people who got approved online despite 5/24 rule. It’s totally possible that it was a system glitch. Or maybe they were confused as to how many cards they have gotten in the last 2 years. It’s also possible that they are making stuff up. This is internet. And those reports are few and far in between.
You also have to remember that not all Chase cards are currently subject to 5/24 rule, so it’s pointless to lump them in the same category. This is where things get fuzzy. While I wouldn’t bother applying for cards that earn Ultimate Rewards (Chase proprietary currency), I think the rules are somewhat loose when it comes to co-branded credit cards. The only way to know for sure is to actually apply.
The 5/24 rule is very real. Can we all just agree on that already? No, it’s not set in stone. But wasting two credit inquiries ( Chase pulled Experian and Equifax for my husband) to try to beat the system with very little chance of winning may not be the wisest thing to do. Every credit pull reduces your chances of approval for the next, potentially spectacular offer. So, pick your battles and respect 5/24 rule. Who knows, eventually it may go away.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.