Getting Approved For Chase Cards Could Soon Be More Difficult

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Credit card companies have been making changes lately to try and encourage profitable behavior and also cut down on the number of people applying for the same cards over and over. For example, American Express now restricts credit card bonuses to once in a lifetime, on both personal and business cards.

Last year Chase also instituted a new policy on their personal non co-brand credit cards (cards not issued in conjunction with another brand), like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Freedom® Card. Specifically, Chase is generally no longer approving people for these cards if they’ve applied for more than five credit cards in the past 24 months. We’re not talking about five Chase cards in the past 24 months, but rather five cards of any kind.

The logic is likely that they assume those with more credit cards are more likely to be getting the cards just for the sign-up bonuses, and therefore are less likely to be profitable customers.

As reported by Doctor of Credit back in February, this 5/24 (five cards in 24 months) policy will apparently be extended to Chase’s co-branded credit cards as of April 2016. Of course this comes from an unnamed source so I can’t confirm it, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true. I assume the timeline has the potential to change, though if you want to be on the safe side you’ll want to pick up these cards in the next couple of weeks.

This includes cards like the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, etc.

Chase has some extremely compelling co-branded credit cards, and I most recently wrote about trying to decide between applying for the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card and the British Airways Visa. If you’re in a similar boat and have applied for more than five credit cards in the past 24 months, I’d highly recommend applying soon.

Doctor of Credit notes that apparently Chase’s non co-branded business cards, including the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card and Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card are supposed to have similar restrictions as of this month. As far as I know that hasn’t happened yet, so if you’ve been eying one of those cards I’d consider applying sooner rather than later.

Bottom line

While it won’t impact the average consumer, those with a lot of credit cards will be negatively impacted by these changes. While we don’t know the exact date that Chase’s “five cards within 24 months” rule will be applied to business and co-brand cards, it’s likely to be soon. If you’ve been eying one of those cards, you’ll want to apply sooner rather than later.


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Comments

  1. Hey Ben, I’m fairly new to travel hacking and don’t have any chase cards yet, but I have applied for exactly 5 cards in the past two years. Would you recommend applying for the sapphire and the freedom cards at the same time so as to only have one hard pull?

  2. The time has come, from both a marketing and bottom line financial viewpoint, for banks to end their lucrative affinity deals with frequent flyer bloggers who have been instrumental in not only attracting but targeting credit card applicants who churn accounts.

  3. I don’t think I believe this. If Chase was going to do this, why would they announce it three months in advance rather than just doing it right away? This seems more like a marketing push by bloggers to get more referrals in due to an imaginary deadline.

  4. Worth noting that my wife has been declined for Chase Freedom based on “too many new cards opened”, I suspect based on the 5/24 rule despite the fact that these were mostly as an additional cardmember on my cards. Very strict.

  5. Already is. I have a fraud alert on my report. It goes to an analyst everytime. And they reject me.

  6. This rule is already in effect…so doubt it is bloggers trying to drum up business. There are plenty of data points on the various forums and I can attest my personal experience applying for the IHG Chase card (I already have the CSP, Freedom, Explorer, MileagePlus and recently cancelled the Hyatt and United Cllub cards).

  7. I recently applied for Chase Sapphire but upon submitting the application it said that they need more time to review it. It has been a few weeks now and there is no sign of approval of the credit card. My history is excellent and I have held only 2 of chase credit cards so far. Not sure what is taking so long for them to approve

  8. @Mark R – Not in effect yet per my data points. My partner just got a Chase hotel brand card in the last month and they have way more than 5/24 accounts on their credit report.

    @Murtuza – Approval of the card mentioned above took about 3 weeks. We didn’t call in for reconsideration. I thought it was a long time too.

  9. @Lucky, while “authorized user” accounts show up on the credit report, do they count against the 5/24 rule? Thanks.

  10. Looks like it is already happening. Just yesterday I was denied a Chase co-branded card (Ritz Carlton). Called reconsideration line and was told “too many applications in the last 2 years” and that was the only reason given.

  11. Me and my wife we both have excellent credit scores, and never missed a full payment. In the past 12 months we got 4 new cards between us. Then she applied for the United MileagePlus Explorer Visa card (50k sign up bonus – targeted offer). We applied online, and then the message popped up saying something like: “we need more time to decide”. Waited 3 weeks, no response. Called them (Chase) and after talking to an agent, she said that the reason for not approving straightaway was that she already has 2 different cards with them (Chase), so they were only willing to open the card, if a low credit limit was established on that new card. They also reduced the credit limit by the same amount on one of the existing Chase cards. I think it is worthwhile calling them (Application Review dept) if you do not hear from them within a week or so.

  12. Opened at least 10 credit cards last year. Including Chase ink and several cobranded. Also citi and amex. Applied for the Sapphire, heard nothing for 3 weeks and then received welcome email and card in mail this past month.

  13. I recently applied for a Chase Fairmont card and was sent to manual review for a couple weeks before I got a phone call back after inquiring about it. I did get the card eventually but usually get approved instantly by Chase (and I am Private Client). It may be just the way they handle this particular card or something else.

  14. It is occurring for Chase cards like Freedom. I had a few Chase cards including Sapphire Preferred, South West and received a letter from Chase when I applied for Freedom stating “Too may credit cards in the last two years” Sep 2015. however I have just been approved for Chase Marriot and Mileage Plus, so it seems it includes Chase branded cards but not co branded. Got in before it did

  15. Have to laugh every time someone explains this is to weed out the unprofitable churners from the profitable “normal” spenders. Up until now, we both made a point to put monthly spend on every Chase card either of us had open, just to increase the odds of approvals on new cards. Now that it’s clear where Chase is going, I’m only spending on Chase cards when there is a bonus to the spend. Which means not another penny spent on my Marriott card ever.

    I found out about this policy with the CSP just before reapplying for it. Now all of the spend I would have done with the CSP is going on my new Citi Premier card, which turns out to have better spend bonuses anyway. And after getting my second LH MM card from Barclays, with a 50K mile sign up bonus, I put an additional $35K on that card to get another LH FC TATL award.

    Meanwhile, AMEX with their ‘once in a lifetime’ policy, and Chase with their >5/24 policy are having such a terrible time retaining market share that they are having to resort to huge sign up bonuses, and ‘friend and family’ referral bonuses, to try to get anything near the card members they would have previously easily acquired. SPG at 35K, Surpass at 85K, 5K per personal (not affiliate) referral.

    Ironically, Chase is turning down very high spenders who would have been very profitable clients. There was a comment on FT from someone who had spent $40K year on his CSP for 5 years in a row. He applied for a no AF Freedom card, and was turned down for too many apps in 24 months. He was so angry he canceled his CSP and got a Premier card instead.

    Shooting themselves in the foot, they are…. 🙂

  16. I have about 15 inquiries in the last 2 years, many are chase. I had read about the possible changes in april and decided to roll the dice. I was instantly approved for the Ritz Carlton yesterday, assuming they would deny me. I knew this was pushing it, and won’t apply for another chase card (or much else for that matter) for 24 months.

  17. @Joe according to the few reps I’ve spoken to over the last few weeks at Chase, yes, any authorized user accounts on your report count against you for the 5/24 rule as well. 🙁

  18. @Robert Hanson. Chase losing market share? Guess again, I work here. Latest quarter shows $5.4 billion in profits. We’re doing this to eliminate churning.

  19. Your information is incorrect. It’s based on the number of accounts opened not applications made. Also Chase may or may not overlook AU accounts…YMMV. The best source for the latest actual data points is on the Chase forum on Flyertalk.

  20. No reason to worry. Nature hates a vacuum. If Chase starts playing hardball, another card issuer will sweeten its deals to attract new cardholders. Barclays Aviator Card has some awesome perks for American Airlines, and the customer service is superb. Bye, Chase.

  21. My advice would be to collectively close chase cc accounts either direct or co branded once you all have meet criteria for bonus points and explain to them as a consumer you will not be shafted in such manner.
    They will definitely take note and review their 5/24 policy.

  22. @TravelingCat +1

    “No reason to worry. Nature hates a vacuum. If Chase starts playing hardball, another card issuer will sweeten its deals to attract new cardholders”

    Citi has already done this with it’s TYPs programs. Bigger sign up bonuses, increased bonus categories, and more transfer partners, makes the Premier far more rewarding than the CSP. I would of course have liked to have gotten another CSP sign up bonus. But for everyday spend I don’t miss the CSP at all.

    @No name If all Chase was doing was eliminating churners who did the min spnd and then put the card in their sock drawer or quickly canceled, this would make sense. But instead they are denying apps from people with a history of strong spending on their Chase cards, yet approving people who may have only one or two cards, and hardly use them. Where is the profit in that?

    In any case, my comment wasn’t about Chase’s total profits from all of it’s operations. I was noting that both AMEX and Chase have started resorting to greatly increased sign up bonuses, which indicates to me that they are having difficulty bringing in as many new accounts as they were hoping for.

    Which for Chase is only going to get worse, as non-churners will mostly not hear about this new Chase policy. So when the AF on a Chase card comes up, they might very well cancel the card, not knowing that they can no longer reapply a couple of years later. Meaning all of their subsequent spend will go to Citi, Barclays, and B/A, who will be quite happy to open new accounts for them.

    And of course, Chase has just recently begun this new policy, and up to now it only applies to Chase UR cards. In a couple of months it’s reportedly going to apply to every co-branded Chase card, and that’s when the decimation of new accounts will begin in force.

  23. The 5/24 rule if it does go into effect does not count apps it is counting accounts that have actually been opened in the past 24 months. Chase is fairly backed up on co-brand apps and they are saying it will take 30 days to get an app answer. I applied for the Chase Marriott card and its been just over two weeks and still no update. The real question is should I call in and try to speed up the process if we get to the last week of March and the app is still pending. I would hate for it to go into April and then get denied 5/24 when they review it.

  24. Lucky – How long do you have to wait between Chase co-brand applications? I got a Southwest personal card and a Southwest business card on March 1, and am wondering if I can do the Marriott one before April 1.

  25. Lucky/ Everyone,

    I recently have been hearing about the new Chase 5/24 rule and had some questions regarding it. In the past two years I have opened four new cards. My next applications I am planning for are Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Cash both of which I was prequalified for. All four previous cards were applied for under my SSN. I just started a small business and now have an EIN as well. I was wondering if I apply for both cards will I be rejected for one because of the new rule? Or can I apply for CSP with my SSN and Ink with my EIN and they won’t count towards the 5/24 rule? Also if I close and account from the past two years does that leave me wiggle room to apply for another chase card or does the 5/24 rule also apply to closed accounts? Thanks for any response!

  26. AMEX will really be hurting in a few months when there will be a mass exodus of people from their card. For me, I have both SPG AMEX cards which I predominately use at COSTO. For many people, the only reason they have a AMEX is because of Costco. When COSTCO switches to VISA, there is no reason why any of these folks will keep the card. I’ll still keep both AMEX cards just for SPG stays and charge on them for my stays, but otherwise there are enough places that don’t accept AMEX to make carrying it as my go-to card impossible.

  27. @Robert Hanson Sorry but screaming and stomping our feet isn’t going to do anything. I’m as pissed as the next guy you gotta agree, this is a smart business decision and I think it will be profitable for Chase in the long run.

    Churners, travel hackers, etc. make up a very small proportion of the market. Look at airlines who have gone revenue based (the Big 3). There was plenty of outrage but no reversal or even consequences for them. DL’s skypesos program is making money hand over fist. We have no voice. In fact, AA recently said ~80% of their FFP members only fly once per year! That explains the lack of outrage/consequences.

    Feel free to take your business elsewhere but Chase will just slam the door shut behind you. Loyalty is a thing of the past :/

  28. Does 5/24 rule look at just credit cards or any other hard credit inquiries? In the past two years, I have 4 Equifax credit inquiries (which Chase looks at for Maryland apps) but only 2 are credit cards.. the other two is my credit union and Honda dealer (for the same car) when I purchased a car 15 months ago. Does anyone know if those two counts toward the 5/24 rule?

    It would help me plan applying for the Hyatt and Marriott card.

    Thanks,

  29. I’m the user that normally posts as No Name here and on the forum and the comment for the CC employee above is not me.

  30. Has the 5/25 rule gone into effect for co-branded card (e.g. Southwest)?

    I applied and was approved for five cards (3 Chase) in the past five months. Would now like to apply for the Southwest card. Thoughts?

  31. I applied CSP and IHG card over the weekend, though I didnt get instant approval, IHG card showed up in my Chase account 2 days later. I had to call application status line twice to know I was denied for CSP due to “5/24” rule though they didnt mention while indicating I have 7 total accounts (including the auto loan) and due to this reason there is no way it will be reconsidered while for any other reason they would have reconsidered but asked me to wait it out before applying again. Very Strict! one lady even mentioned I have good report, good score but just that 7 accounts. I even offered to move the credit line from Marriott which I got last August and they wouldnt budge. Apparently being employee of JP Morgan with 7 digit salary for 6 years now doesnt help either.. I think I’ll just stick with Citi Prestige as my primary card for everything…

  32. Chase is clamping down on UR card churning as well:

    “Chase cardmembers who currently have or have had a Chase credit card in any Rewards Program associated with this offer, may not be eligible for a second Chase credit card in the same Rewards Program. Chase cardmembers currently receiving promotional pricing, or Chase cardmembers with a history of only using their current or prior Chase card for promotional pricing offers, are not eligible for a second Chase credit card with promotional pricing.”

    This was in the pricing and terms for both Ink cards and CSP.

  33. How frustrating! I just got denied with a 800+ credit score for a United Chase card. I’ve opened 8 cards in the last year, got a application pending instead of approval, tried calling the reconsideration hotline the same day and was told I’ve opened too many in the last 24 months and that this decision cannot be reviewed, and there is no one else who can overturn it. I travel a lot for work now, so I thought it made sense to have different airline cards–I guess Chase doesn’t agree!

    Goodbye Chase–time to move all my business to Citi!

  34. Yep, this Chase thing seems to be real. I just got rejected for the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Upon calling the reconsideration line, I was told there was no reconsidering … No shifting of credit limits … No nothing. I have received too many new credit cards in the last year. End of discussion. I guess I can’t fault their strategy if they don’t want to fool with people like me who are only in it for the points. But it still makes me mad!

  35. I applied for the Chase Marriott Visa and got the message more time to decide regarding approval. I called a few days later and was told I was declined. I have over an 800 credit score (and currently have a Chase Sapphire Visa). The rep said it was due to opening too many cards in the last 24 months and has nothing to do with credit worthiness.

  36. same experience. 800+, i’m fairly new so i have only 6 cards in 24months but still got rejected for UA card

  37. Same experience. I got denied for the Chase Marriott Visa due to the same stupid rule. It made me insanely upset because I received 3 invitation from Marriott to apply for the card and the third one came on the next day after I received the denial from Chase! I am moving all my accounts to City, f..k Chase.

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