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Chase 5/24 Rule: Why It’s Not Relevant Anymore

The Chase 5/24 Rule  has been a thorn on most of our sides since it was implemented last year. It’s one of the most stringent rules implemented by any bank to curtail credit card churning. With a few exceptions, Chase will not approve credit card applications for people who have applied for five of more credit cards in the last 24 months. The good news is that the 5/24 Rules doesn’t apply to all Chase credit cards. The Chase Hyatt Visa, IHG Rewards Club Card, British Airways Visa, and Marriott Premier Rewards Business Card are just a few of the credit cards excluded from this rule. So when I hear people lamenting about 5/24 I always wonder, “Is 5/24 even relevant anymore?” Is any Chase credit card worth staying under 5 applications? I don’t think so.

Mile Earning Credit Cards

Regardless of whether you’re a regular credit card churner or not, I don’t think the 5/24 rule matters much anymore. Yes, if another 100,000 point Chase Sapphire Reserve offer comes around I’ll totally backtrack on that comment. But that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon, since it seems to have been purely a marketing ploy to promote a brand new card. After all, if the sign-up bonus had been 50k like it currently is, bloggers would have a hard time writing about it with enthusiasm. That’s especially true since the Sapphire Preferred offers the same bonus and a lower annual fee, albeit with fewer benefits. 

Even if the 100,000 point bonus did make a comeback, I still don’t think its worth holding off on other credit card sign-up bonuses for. Nowadays, you can easily earn twice as many points per credit card churn as a single Sapphire Reserve megabonus. At the moment, there’s a 75,000 point sign-up bonus for the Business Platinum Card. Citi has been mailing out targeted 65,000 mile bonus offers for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Card. The Barclay Aviator Red and Arrival Plus cards are still churnable with generous sign-up bonuses of 40,000 and 50,000 miles. And don’t forget about the Bank of America Alaska card, which you can get every 90 days (with some restrictions).

If you were to forego all of these cards over a 24 month period, you’d lose out on hundreds of thousands of miles. Never mind that some of them can be churned multiple times over 24 months. I don’t see a single credit card in Chase’s line-up that is worth avoiding 5/24 for.

“But what about the Southwest Companion Pass?” Recently, Chase did increase the sign-up bonus on the Southwest Premier credit cards. The business version is still at 60,000 points after $3,000 spent in 3 months. That’s a great offer and goes a long way towards the 110,000 points required for the Companion Pass. But it’s not the only way to earn those points. Points earned through the Southwest Rapid Rewards portal count towards the Companion Pass, as do those earned through Southwest Dining Rewards. If you’re heavily into manufactured spending, $50,000 worth of Visa gift card churning is basically a cakewalk. But is the possibility of earning the Southwest Companion Pass through an increased credit card sign-up bonus worth foregoing other sign-up bonuses? Absolutely not. Besides, who knows if the Companion Pass will even be a thing in 24 months. Or 24 hours! 

Anyway, I want to hear from you: Do you think the Chase 5/24 rule is relevant anymore? Are there any credit cards you think are worth trying to stay under 5 applications in 24 months?

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Ariana Arghandewal

39 Comments

  1. I do think 5/24 is still valid – mostly bc of the way other currencies are continuously scheming/devaluing. For the other 90% of people who aren’t into MSing $50k/mo, Chase offers the best cards with best point values for the best redemptions —> Tidy, straightforward and simple. 50k sky pesos or jump-hoop points or “air” miles (bc in AA’s case any claimed redemption oops seem to only exist “in thin air”) are comparing apples to oranges. Slow and steady wins the race and most of us aren’t flying 1 million miles a year to even redeem these phantom awards. So bottom lines, yes to 5/24 and yes to longetivity.

    • I don’t disagree that Chase has a good card line-up, but I don’t see an offer worth waiting upwards of 24 months for. 50k UR points for a CSR? You may earn that number in two years from regular spending on a UR card alone. Citi, Barclay, BofA, and Amex all have card offers that are either substantial or churnable.

  2. To say it’s not relevant or even to suggest it is so foolish – especially from someone who is so engaged in the hobby. I hate to use the term, but it’s just stupid.

  3. Not relevant? What a goofy headline to attract readers. Its like those garbage links like “Wait to see was she did next…” stuff. So very bad

  4. For any newbie, you should focus on Chase cards in your first two years – that’s just how it goes. That def. doesn’t mean you can only get 5 cards in 24 months though… Focus on the cards that don’t get accounted for when determining your 5/24 status. That 5/24 could easily and actually be 12-15/24 while still being able to max your 5/24 dependent Chase cards (if you do things right). 🙂

  5. While I intensely dislike the 5/24 rule, I agree that the opportunity cost is far greater than the rewards from Chase partners. I have made over 620K with other banks (BOA, USBank, Citi) in credit card bonuses over the past 6 months alone. I couldn’t have made the same if I had followed 5/24.

    • Hi @philsthril – I’m LOL/24 and I was approved for the Chase Marriott Biz and got the bonus. Less than 2 months ago…

    • The link (& caveat) provided, above, is for Marriott’s personal card, not their business card.

      Capital One is the only business card issuer that also reports on your personal credit report and therefore counts towards 5/24. No other banks’ business cards, including Chase (Marriott), impact 5/24. Note that Chase Sapphire and Citi Thank You premium cards are not offered on business platforms.

  6. As an example, I earn 2 Hyatt points on their Chase co-branded card for restaurant spend. I earn 3 Ultimate Rewards for the same restaurant spend on the CSR which can then transfer point-for-point to Hyatt. Long-term I do better if my focus is on earning and not “churning.”

    As with any credit card, the objective for owning it should ideally match to the card’s features and structure. I believe credit cards to be long-term financial tools that also help me meet travel objectives. Flipping is an entirely different behavior and attitude…

  7. what about the Mileage Plus Business, is that subject to 5/24? thanks

  8. I do think it’s valid, at least in my situation. I love the Companion Pass and need to have a strategy when my wife and I apply for cards. We abuse this Pass like crazy and average about 15 SW flights a year. All of our domestic travel is on SW, and now we can also go to the Caribbean with them. I’m not going to MS $50,000 on a SW credit card to earn the pass. I find that too risky with Chase. It’s extremely difficult to earn 110,000 points from the shopping portal and dining programs these days. I used to be able to do stuff to earn lots of points with the shopping portal, but the rules/points have changed since then. We’re currently making progress towards our next pass since my wife is at 4/24. For the past 2 years I’ve been doing all the credit card signups while my wife has slowed down. I got a number of worthwhile cards during that time.

    My wife was able to get the CSR at 100,000 by getting an in-branch approval even though she was over 5/24, so we didn’t miss out on that one.

    I’m looking into going to Cape Town and will need United miles for this. I would rather earn most of these miles using the United credit card rather than burn through my UR points, so my wife will have to wait until December when she’s under 5/24 again to apply for United. After December she can start applying for other bank cards while I’ll slow it down and try to get under 5/24. If Chase or SW change the rules for the pass in the next 24 months then I won’t bother. But it doesn’t hurt for me to slow it down while my wife picks up the applications.

    I don’t feel that we’ve missed out on any recent signup offers by doing this strategy. Citi limits their bonus to once every 24 months–by the time we’re eligible we should be done with Chase. Amex limits their bonus to once in a lifetime and I’ve earned most of those. The only one I wish we could get is the United 70K offer, but we can’t get it regardless because of 5/24.

    • I think your situation is a little unique because you don’t seem to be a newbie and you also don’t ms. And since you’re getting so much value out of your Companion Pass, it makes sense for you to stay under 5/24 to keep getting the SW card bonus. The ultimate goal is to get tons of travel out of credit cards and if this gets you more travel than a bunch of other sign-up bonuses combined, then that’s awesome.

      • Actually, I do MS, just not nearly to your extent. I MS on cards where I feel safe, such as with Citi, Barclay, Capital One. Amex took my points away for MS’ing last year, so I’ve been cautious since then. I do MS a little with Chase, but mostly with the Ink card. I’ve just read too many stories of Chase shutting people down and they lose all their UR points. I used to do a lot more MS when I had a Bluebird, Serve and Redbird, a minimum of $20K a month.

    • Everything else being about equal, a person with fewer newly-opened accounts and hard pulls actually has the better shot at getting approved by Chase for their premium cards. 5/24 remains “relevant” as long as Chase says it is for most consumers who desire their most valuable accounts for whatever their reasons. It is those reasons and choices for which this posting is trying to evaluate relevancy.

      Every person should decide for themselves based on their own goals, circumstances, and comfort levels. There is not a perfect credit card for all situations just as every credit card bonus available in the universe is not going to be perfect in a person’s portfolio or for their credit score, history, or profile.

    • Silly comment. It depends on what your goals are. 5/24 is relevant for me and I’ve been doing this for several years.

  9. I think it depends on how long your wait will be for you to drop off from 5/24, and your spending power (if you don’t MS very much). For me, I am not waiting simply because it will be ~1.5 year before I am eligible again. I was also able to get in-branch preapproval to circumvent 5/24 for100k CSR last year. So yes, it’s irrelevant to me.

    For my parents, it’s worth staying under 5/24. It’s not just 4 cards for 2 years, since they can apply for business cards too. They don’t MS at all, and tend to meet spending minimum spending together on one card before moving onto the next. UR points are great for them to use on cruise, air ticket, and hotels at ~1.5 cent per point. They are also able to load up on AMEX points from biz cards and AA points to splurge on occasional international business class flights. Right now I am making UR points their primary travel currency due to the flexibility.

  10. Objectively, 5/24 is absolutely relevant, if by relevant you mean meaningful or impactful on what you can and cannot do. However, subjectively, one can choose to “accept” it and move on from those impacts, that is, to “get over it” mentally. So, subjectively, yes, you can make it not seem relevant. That’s what I have done. As someone who was way over 5/24, I decided not to hold off on continued churning for 9-12 months (just to get the CSR) but simply to keep cherry picking the remaining deals – just as you suggest. I have chosen thusly to remain above 5/24, and I don’t regret that choice, given the options. At this point, 5/24 is something I just shrug off because there’s nothing else to be done. But I would never argue that 5/24 is not objectively relevant, because it still constrains me.

    • Thank you, Steve, that is a good and honest evaluation.

      Some consumers would never think of flying any airline other than JetBlue or stay anywhere other than a Hilton brand. They may try and force CSP & CSR to fit their needs, but their products will never be ideal for them for cashing in (unless Chase adds them later as transfer partners).

      I look at bonuses the same way. Is having 60,000 new SWA points really going to serve me best in the next 6 months if I have my eye on Hawaii for Christmas? No – barring a miracle in fleet production I should set my sights on something more usable for me. The 65,000 point Citi Platinum AA card perhaps?

      The bank that ever manages to come out with Hyatt, Hilton, SPG, American, Delta & Southwest as partners AND offer status on each will be the one that covers a WHOLE lot of territory for most and be extremely coveted even at 3/24! Chase has at least started us down that path for those who quality. Best to always be prepared and prudent with the credit lines . . .

    • I think it’s absolutely something newbies should take into account, but for people who have been in this game for a while and/or are into ms’ing, I just don’t think it’s important anymore. Sure, if you’re not churning cards regularly and you’re a couple months short of dropping below 5/24 it makes sense to wait. But does it make sense to wait almost 2 years for a Chase card (esp. considering the current line-up of sign-up bonuses)? I don’t think so. Sure, things can change but I doubt we’ll see another 100k offer again. At this point I think it makes more sense to get a Chase card for long-term use and make use of category bonuses. A lot of people can earn 50k+ miles in 2 years just from putting their regular spending on a card like the Freedom, Ink, or Sapphire.

      • “Newbies” can oftentimes be in the best position for being approved for top-shelf cards like the CSR. They are generally not even aware of 5/24 and often bumble into an online elevated offer with pristine credit. 5/24 is less relevant for them unless they plan on piling on 4 more in short order and want approval for the most compelling offers before they are locked-out?

        JP Morgan (Chase) is the largest credit card issuer in our country by far. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card launch was met with beyond-expectations success – even WITH 5/24 in play and no advertising at first. This is your blog and you are certainly entitled to your opinion, Ariana, but Chase has demonstrated clearly they are done with churners and are fighting back how they best can – DENY CREDIT/terminate existing accounts/forfeit accumulated points/lower credit lines/muddy up the credit rating for a period of time. Nothing that cannot be recovered from eventually, but consider the opportunity cost of lost time.

        Their products/bonuses may understandably not be your cup of tea and so on you go. The reality, however, is that the other 3 major issuers are likely to follow on the tails of Chase’s success and tighten things up as well with THEIR new robust offerings. They are probably waiting on Chase’s verdict after one year of the CSR on their books, which is coming up. And some of the modern offers will likely be very compelling and perhaps improve upon the 100k point monster that Chase has created? That leaves the remaining 10% of issuers to compete for card flippers; a 100,000 bonus might be available, but to use for WHAT, WHERE, WHEN exactly? It is a whole new ballgame from the old comfortable days of churn & burn for anyone with a pulse.

        My own opinion is the best credit card opportunities in the future will go to those who have managed their credit lines with some degree of reticence. Chase has spoken loud and clear (and likely also for the other biggest players in the industry) – aspiring account holders will do well to listen if they intend to seek better deals in the future. The “game” you frequently speak of isn’t much fun if you aren’t even allowed to play.

  11. Relevant wasn’t the best word choice. But good luck getting the author to acknowledge that.

    • But Chase isn’t really fighting back as best they can. They still allow churnable bonuses every 24 months. And not all the Chase cards fall under 5/24. Amex has limited the bonus to once per lifetime. Since I do this with my wife we just take turns–one of us applies for a ton of cards while the other stays under 5/24 to get the best Chase cards for a 2nd or 3rd time. Once that person has gotten all the best Chase cards we reverse–the other one now gets all the credit cards and the other spouse goes back under 5/24 to get the Chase cards all over again.

  12. I think Chase realizes they can’t do a 180 overnight in their credit approvals and business practices. Instead they are easing on in at a 90, and this is the most restrictive they can be for NOW to minimize the fall out. I think other lenders will eventually follow suit, more sooner than later.

    Chase took an enormous up-front loss by bringing the 100,000 bonus CSR to market. They are waiting to see in the next month if folks retain the card and pay the $450 fee. That will be a real indication of how consumers judge its inherent value without a sign-up incentive.

    I would think that if renewals are a bust, 100k bonuses will pretty much also be across the board in the premium market, because they have then proven themselves not to affect customer loyalty to the extent necessary. If Chase instead does well, then other banks may follow with their own hefty incentives.

    Only by showing some restraint in new credit activity will somebody then be able to take advantage of them. Realize that you and your wife are playing off each other’s credit file and merging the final results! Not everyone has that advantage, and opportunities are significantly more limited without the aid of
    family members.

  13. Great post and I couldn’t agree more. Their best card is IHG, to which the rule doesn’t apply. Other than that there are plenty of other products from other issuers and to refrain from them just to satisfy this stupid rule is senseless

  14. Due to an AOR I did this past January, I won’t be under 5/24 until January 2019 if I don’t apply for another personal card until then…that’s not going to happen. While I would like to get a bonus and pick up the CSR and another Ink and the United card so I could get more Saver availability, there are too many offers to take advantage of for the next 18 months. There might be a time in the future that I slow down and re-churn some Chase cards, but not any time soon.

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