What The Heck Is 5/24?

We get at least three questions a day from people asking to clarify aspects of Chase’s 5/24 rule. In many cases, these folks understand the gist of the policy, but get lost in the details. More and more I’m realizing that this is happening because the words and terms being used to describe the rules don’t necessarily have universal or obvious definitions.

So I figured it would be helpful to go through those terms in a concrete way. If nothing else, it will give us somewhere to link back to.

And if you already know all this, and don’t want to stick around while I literally cite chapter and verse, here’s a very good puppy meeting a baby goat:

What is Chase’s 5/24 policy?

With Chase’s 5/24 policy, you typically won’t be approved for particular cards if you’ve opened five or more new accounts in the past 24 months. This is more of a general guideline than a strict rule, though.

Part of what makes it confusing is that not all cards (or all customers) are bound by this policy, but we’ll get to that in a second.

“Counts towards”

You would think that this would be as simple as adding up all your approvals over the past 24 months. Once you get to five, you win (or lose, possibly, I suppose).

The trick here, however, is that in order for approvals to count towards your five, they have to be reported. In particular, while the inquiries for non-Chase business cards will still generally show up on your personal credit report, the opening of the card may not.

American Express small business cards typically don’t report on personal credit reports, for example, so when we say they don’t “count towards” 5/24 it means that since they won’t be visible, they literally won’t be counted.

Meanwhile, if you’re an authorized user on a card, that will show up and in many cases be counted by the computer towards your five. Readers report success in explaining that the authorized user accounts are just that, and having a rep run things again.

So when you’re figuring out what your n of 24 is, here’s the math:

# of reported new accounts – authorized user accounts =
# of new approvals

Again, keep in mind that some non-Chase business cards won’t be reported in the same way, which is what makes them “not count” here. It’s not that Chase is giving special dispensations to certain competitor cards.

All of your approvals theoretically count towards your five, it’s just a matter of what shows up on the list.

Make sense?

“Subject to”

Alright, so now that we’re all on the same page about what counts and doesn’t, let’s talk about what is meant by cards being “subject to 5/24.” This phrase is used to describe cards that fall under the 5/24 policy.

If a card is “subject to” 5/24, that means it is affected by, or under the control of, the 5/24 rule.

And now I’m probably going to infuriate and offend everyone (hopefully equally, though for a wide variety of reasons!) by giving you a surefire way to remember this, courtesy of the King James Version of Ephesians 5:24 (which...):

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Regardless of your feelings on that particular verse (or the politics of the translation, I suppose), you’re not going to forget it now. 😉

So some Chase cards are “subject to” 5/24, and others are exempt. Most cards issued in partnership with another travel brand don’t fall under this policy, unless the co-brand partnership includes small business cards.

That’s a long way of saying that the Ultimate Rewards cards fall under 5/24, as do the United and Marriott cards, and the others don’t. Ben gave the rundown on the current 5/24 situation here.

And regardless of whether or not a Chase card is “subject to” 5/24, if you are approved for the card, it “counts towards” your future # of new approvals as per the above discussion.

Bottom line

Now, none of this means that you’ll automatically be declined for card that is subject to 5/24 if you’re over that limit, nor does it mean that you’ll necessarily be approved for a card that isn’t subject to 5/24 regardless of how many cards you have. Credit worthiness, recent inquiries, and all those other things still apply.

We’re just saying it’s much less likely that you’ll be approved for a card that is subject to the 5/24 rule if you have five or more new accounts that count towards that limit.

And hopefully those terms make more sense now.

Any other questions we can answer about 5/24?

Comments

  1. “And regardless of whether or not a Chase card is ‘subject to’ 5/24, if you are approved for the card, it ‘counts towards’ your future # of new approvals as per the above discussion.”

    Are you sure about this? What about Chase business cards, in particular, the current top-value card, Chase Ink Preferred? My understanding is that it is subject to 5/24, in the sense that you can’t get it if you are at or over 5/24, but that once you get it — and even though Chase of course in some very real sense knows that you have the card — it does not count in your 5/24 calculation, insofar as future applications are concerned. This is more than a semantic point, because for those under 5/24, it insists that one do Chase Ink Preferred before other options. I.e., at 4/24 you could do Chase Ink Preferred and then do a Chase Sapphire, but not in the other order.

    Please delete this if it is totally wrong.

  2. When did Marrriott Cards start falling under 5/24? I got the bus and per version of them 2 years ago and they were not subject to it. I was going to cancel so i could reapply (in another 2 years) but i will never be under 5/24.

  3. Why is it ok to eat goat meat and not dog meat? Why do some people push their value system on the rest of the world? You know who these “some people” are. Either be a vegetarian or shut up with your values.

    Non sequitur comment but your YouTube video was as well.

  4. @Debit – Almost every type of mammal is endearing when it’s young. Some remain endearing even as they age. But only a select few species have been bred into companion animals. We don’t eat them because we (humans) literally created them (dogs) over the past 20,000 years to serve us.

    Also vegetarianism sucks, and cultures that encourage the eating of dog meat are backwards.

  5. @ Biggie F — As I understand it, Chase doesn’t report small business cards on personal credit profiles either. However, as they do have access to that information in-house, there is potential for those cards to still be counted towards your five. It may be a situation where YMMV depending on how much application review is required. But I wouldn’t assume that Chase business accounts won’t be visible to Chase for future applications.

  6. @ Jim F. — Fewer than there used to be, but keep in mind this isn’t a hard and fast rule anyway, and some people have experiences that fall outside of these guidelines.

  7. @Trup

    Marriott personal card is subject to 5/24, but the Marriott business card is not. Why, I have no idea.

  8. This only applies to revolving credit, correct?

    Just wondering if I should be considering my mortgage refinance last year in the calculation.

  9. @ Abe — Pretty strict. You should be able to product change, or if you’d otherwise be eligible you could potentially close the Preferred, and apply for the Reserve. You won’t get the bonus on the Reserve unless it’s been more than 24 months since you received the bonus on the Preferred.

  10. @Tiffany I’m guessing the answer to this is “maybe,” (lol) but I figured I would ask. If one decided to product change, would they hard pull?

  11. If it’s a store card that says charge card on credit karma it doesn’t go against Chase 5/24 rule.

  12. I have several cards coming off the 5/24 lists but I am wondering if I need to wait to the next month or does the exact date count?

  13. @ Deanna — Any revolving credit card account that reports to credit bureaus would typically count. There may be exceptions, but they typically count.

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