There are some common misconceptions about the Chase 5/24 rule that people constantly make so hopefully this post helps to answer them:
Here is my basic understanding of the 5/24 rule. If you have 5 or more credit cards in the past 24 months, Chase will not approve you for the following cards: Slate, Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Ink Plus, Marriott (Personal), United (Personal/Business), and Southwest (Personal/Business).
Do student loans/mortgages/auto loans count as an account when calculating out 5/24? Nope.
Do non-Chase cards count against the 5/24 rule? Yes. Cards with other banks do count towards the 5/24 rule (with the exception of some non-Chase business cards). This is why I suggest applying for Chase cards first if you’re just starting out in travel hacking.
Do AMEX credit cards count? Yes. Do CitiBank credit cards count? Yes. Do Bank of America credit cards count? Yes. I think you get the point.
Do AMEX Charge Cards (i.e. PRG, Platinum, etc) count against the 5/24 rule? Yes they are considered an account.
What if the credit card is not on my credit report yet? If the credit card is not on your credit report and it is from a bank other than Chase, it will not count against your 5/24. This sometimes happens with AMEX, which typically does not report cards to the credit bureau until your second statement. Additionally, some business cards do not report the account to your personal credit report.
Does closing a credit card account (that I’ve opened in the past 24 months) help me get under 5/24? No. It is based on when the credit card accounts were opened in the past 24 months not how many cards you currently have opened. Therefore, closing a card does not lower your 5/24 count.
Do Authorized User accounts count against the 5/24 rule? Yes. Depending on the issuer though, you can sometimes get these removed from your credit report. Here’s a report on how I removed an AU account from my wife’s credit report.
Will I get automatically denied? Not sure. Some people report the application will go to pending review and then you’ll receive a letter stating that you are denied due to too many accounts in the past 2 years (24 months). Others report that they get denied right off the bat.
Are there ways around 5/24? There are plenty of data points of people (who have more than 5/24) getting approved via a pre-approved offer. You can find out if you’re pre-approved by going into a Chase bank and asking a banker. There are also some scattered reports of people who are Chase Private Clients (i.e. have $250k with them) also getting around the 5/24 rule.
A 5/24 Analogy
Here is an analogy to help explain Chase 5/24:
You have 5 different pockets in your wallet. Any new credit card account, no matter what bank, that you apply for takes up one of the pockets. The card is removed from your pocket after 24 months. If all your pockets are full, Chase will not approve for the following cards: Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Slate, CSP, CSR, Ink Plus, Southwest, United, or Marriott.
The one exception to this rule would be a non-Chase business card that does not report to your personal credit report. This would not take up one of your pockets.
Understanding specific bank rules is an important part of travel hacking. Because of 5/24, I highly suggest when you first start out to focus on applying for Chase cards. You can get cards from other banks later.