Reevaluating My 5/24 Status

My previous office job involved a lot of Excel spreadsheets, so that is how I’m used to organizing my personal finances. I have an Excel spreadsheet that shows my monthly expenditures for the past 13 years! Online sites, who needs ‘em?

Ok, now that I’ve confessed that, I can tell you that I have a tab in that spreadsheet to track my credit card openings. The list has the card holder’s name (me or my husband), the credit card, date we applied, the bonus, required spending for the bonus and a note field. I have a color code for cards we have closed and a different color for cards that were denied.

I decided to count my recent openings and see where I stand on Chase’s 5/24 rule. If you are not familiar with this rule, for the most part it only applies to seasoned miles and points hobbyists. If you have opened 5 or more new credit cards within the last 24 months, Chase will decline new applications for most (but not all) of its cards. It stinks!

I mentioned in an earlier post that my family has benefited greatly from Southwest Rapid Rewards points, and not being able to easily replenish our Southwest stash has negatively affected our future vacation plans.

Where we stand

When I looked at my spreadsheet, I discovered that right now I am at 7/24 and my husband is at 8/24. For the most part, we have applied for the same credit cards with one big exception: he has the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and I do not. He was pre-approved in branch for that card.

The next step was determining when we would each be at 4/24 so that we could apply for a new coveted Chase card. I will drop down to 3/24 in November 2017 (I applied for two cards on the same day in November 2015 so I drop from 5/24 to 3/24). My husband will be at 4/24 in November 2017.

So, I could open one credit card earlier in 2017 and still be at 4/24 in November of 2017. My husband would have to hold off on all new applications until November 2017. In any case, we would need to wait 11 months before applying for any new Chase card that falls under the 5/24 rule.

5/24 Wish List

If I get below 5/24 and can apply for any Chase card, my top picks are:

    • Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR). No brainer! 100,000 bonus points after spending $4k in the first three months. I could transfer those points to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio or book Southwest flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Even though the annual fee is $450, the $300 per calendar year travel credit more than makes up for it (considering the first year I’d get it twice). 3X points on travel and dining? Yes! Update: The bonus is currently at 50,000 points.
    • Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards (both Premier and Plus versions). These cards are the ticket to getting the Southwest companion pass! Several times throughout the year, the bonus is offered at 50k points after spending $2k in the first three months. I could apply for one version next November and time my spending so that the bonus points hit in early 2018. Then in early 2018 when I am back to 4/24 again, I could apply for the other version. After a few months, I’d have 110k Rapid Rewards points and a companion pass! If my husband did the same, we’d have a ton of points and 2 companion passes.

I want to get another one of these!



Holding off on opening credit cards for months has some risks.

  • Lost opportunities. What credit cards will I forgo while I wait until November? How many points and miles could I be earning during that time? Would those points be worth more than what I could get from the CSR and Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards cards?
  • Reduced bonuses. By the time November 2017 rolls around, things could change. The CSR is rumored to have a lower bonus next year, but who knows. The Chase Southwest cards may have lower bonuses as well, making it harder to earn the companion passes.
  • Changed landscape. Heck, other banks might add rules that make it harder for miles and points hobbyists. Citi, Barclaycard or Amex could develop rules similar to Chase’s 5/24 rule.

Card Offers that Would Tempt Me

Many credit card offers would tempt me to stop holding out to get under 5/24. Some of these cards are available right now, but some are ones I’m imagining could become available.

  • Merrill+ Visa Signature. Leana wrote about this card last month, and I’m tempted to apply. It has 50k bonus points after spending $3k in the first three months, and no annual fee! The points are worth $500 cash back or up to $1000 in airfare. How long will this deal be available? Who knows.Update: This offer is no longer available.
  • Amex Premier Rewards Gold. I haven’t had this card yet, but the annual fee is waived the first year and the bonus is sometimes as high as 50k-75k points. I had the Amex Platinum last year, and I found the Amex Membership Rewards points to be quite valuable because of the numerous transfer partners. See this earlier post by Leana on ways to spend Amex points.
  • New Hyatt Card. So this hasn’t happened yet, but I do wonder if Hyatt will revamp its credit card in 2017. The new World of Hyatt program officially launches in March, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a new credit card offering to go with it. Maybe the card would have a higher fee but come with points instead of free nights?
  • 100k offers. In 2017, there could be more banks and cards that offer 100k bonus points. Barclaycard is going to have a new American Airlines card, although the bonus has not been announced. Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi or any other bank could come out with a fabulous new offer to compete with the CSR. And it would tempt me.

The Plan

My plan right now is to have my husband keep applying for cards as good offers arise, but I will hold back. I will keep checking in our neighborhood Chase bank to see if Chase has pre-approved me for the CSR. For now, I will scrutinize all credit card offers and evaluate new ones on a case by case basis.

We have enough miles and points to book our early 2018 flights to Hawaii. It would be nice if things remained the same, and my patience and discipline would reward me with a CSR and Chase Rapid Rewards credit cards at the end of 2017/early 2018.

However, if a great offer materializes, all bets are off for my 5/24! After all, a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush, right?


Who else is contemplating their 5/24 status? If you are trying to get under 5/24, what offers would tempt you to stray?

Click here to view various credit cards and available sign-up bonuses


Author: Nancy

Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.

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19 thoughts on “Reevaluating My 5/24 Status

  1. I’m at 27/24, so it seems almost like a two year journey to clean the record. Yet I went ahead and applied for Merrill+ (too many inquiries) and Avianca (instant approval). I also recently went for the Platinum leak (instant). Having collected enough of points for the next 2 years, the question comes to mind to stop applying for a longer time. But that is what I was thinking almost a year ago after Bluebird shutdown and instead have turned it into a big bonus year…Yet I know the era of TYP is over for me and I have to transfer out 150k by August 2017 because I will be closing both premium cards. The era of SPG is over for me as well and I will be closing my business SPG card and there are no more SPG bonuses for me and I already transferred out majority of points keeping only enough to top airline accounts or maybe a hotel night or two. My era of UR has already ended as I transferred out and closed my UR premium card a year ago and have only been adding the 5% from Freedom. It was good while it lasted and 1 year break could re-open UR. So yet again I’m strongly considering an application hiatus. Unless of course a very good offer appears…;-)

    • @Seth–Two years is a long time to wait! I think 2017 will bring some new card launches to the table like 2016 did. Glad you were able to get the Avianca card, as that one is also tempting me!

    • @Seth I’m in a similar situation. Tons of inquiries and major banks getting wary of extending me more credit. I’m still picking up offers here and there, but it’s getting harder. I lucked out with pre-approval on CSR. A very welcome windfall after Amex fiasco (still developing BTW).
      I’m curious about that Avianca card. Did you confirm that you will be getting 60K miles with that special code? I keep going back and forth on whether I can utilize a Star Alliance redemption within the next few years. Unlike most in this hobby, we don’t fly very often. I hate to hoard miles just for the sake of hoarding. In fact, I think I may need to switch to hotel points in a near future.

      • On Avianca, I pasted the code into the application but so far have no bonus status. I made a $10 purchase on the card a few days ago when I received it and stored it. It is a developing story. As a matter of fact, I don’t have a Lifemiles login as I never registered previously. I’m sure someone will follow up by email within a few days. There are no stopovers on these miles, but i.e. Lufthansa without surcharges is only possible with United and Avianca. So I’m hoping to get 60k miles for $150 as that would be i.e. 2 x economy one ways to or from EU. Granted there are some added ticket fees, lets say 1 x EU economy will cost me $150. The miles expire after 24 months but any transaction seems to renew them. Someone mentioned Banco Popular results in two inquiries but I have not checked. There are not as many good CC offers left after several years of exploiting them, so I’m not as concerned about inquiries. Yet you are right that we can become point hoarders with having not enough time to spend them all 😉 In any case, 60k Lifemiles can provide you with 5 US one ways if you transfer in 3k from SPG and that way the value after the $150 fee would still be a minimum of $600. Not bad for the about an hour to 90 mins of work required to proceed with all steps including the closing call. Of course, i dont count the countless hours necessary to explore Lifemiles and find the right flights 😉

    • @Seth Thanks for the follow-up comment. I agree, getting 60K miles for $150 is a fantastic deal, no question about it. If you can, let me know how things work out with this card as well as difficulty level of dealing with the bank.

  2. I think about this all the time too. I am at 17/24 (not including AMEX business cards which I heard does not count as part of the 5/24 – I wonder if any other business do not count as 5/24 – anyone know?)
    I am hoping to do the Marriott Nights and Flights in January to get my companion pass and then should have all of my flights taken care of for the next two years. I have enough hotel points for two years if I play it right – I don’t travel alot but do need to take a trip to see family twice a year – no plans to do anything else and have more than enough points for that.
    I will probably do the amex business cards that I don’t already have and see what other good offers appear. I feel like something is missing from my life if I don’t have a minimum spend to meet!

    • @Hilary, it sounds like you’re in a great position for the next 2 years! My understanding is that only some Chase business cards will count against the 5/24 rule, but other bank business cards should not count. I understand how you feel about something missing if you’re not working towards a minimum spend, LOL!

  3. I fell below 5/24 on December 10. Do you have any idea when I can apply for the Chase Reserve? Is it as soon as the anniversary date drops off or maybe the next billing cycle?

    • @Jennifer At this point I would hold off applying till January because you will have a hard time double dipping on $300 travel credit. Wait till maybe January 15th or so. Then, if you decide to cancel the card, you will be able to get $300 in January of 2018 before doing it.

      • Well, that makes sense. I wanted to try and get the $300 twice, and it just didn’t cross my mind to get it in 2018 before I cancel. Thanks!

      • I hope so too. My husband was instantly approved when it first came out. I’d be thrilled if I could get one also.

  4. Similar situation here-have family and got great value out of companion pass over past 2 years. It expires 1/1/17 and want to get again. Came to the conclusion that waiting 10 more months to drop below 5/24 was a waste of opportunity. Instead decided that we’d use starpoints to top off a marriott account in Jan 2017 in order to purchase a flight and hotel package with enough miles to instantly get the Southwest companion pass. That will give us 2 more years of companion pass and freedom for the companion pass holder to apply for plenty of cards in early 2017. When he drops off the companion pass in 2019 he can wait a couple of months to begin applying again for Chase cards when those acquired in 2016 and early 2017 are past 24 mos old.

    • @Beth First of all, my apologies for not seeing your comment in spam yesterday. Sorry! I try to keep track of these things, but I’ve been really sick lately. I think your strategy for topping off Marriott account is a great idea. I love Southwest, so getting a Companion pass is definitely a terrific way to use Marriott points. You are right, foregoing credit card offers and all the bonuses that go along with them should be taken into account when making these kind of decisions.

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