How Much Are Chase Credit Cards Worth?

Chase has an unwritten “5/24” rule where you can’t get approved for a Chase card if you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards or charge cards from any credit issuer in the past 24 months. One of the big reasons for this post is because I often get asked if people should get “X” card over a Chase one. Let’s evaluate.

How Much Is Each Chase “5/24 Slot” Worth?

If you are under the “5/24” rule, currently 4 or less opened credit cards in the past 24 months, I recommend planning your credit card applications wisely. If you add the “wrong” card, you could easily pass up $500-$1,000 value in travel.

The easiest way to determine the value of a 5/24 slot is to use an example of someone who’s currently at 4/24.

Chase Slot Value: Cash Back Scenarios

If you’re only looking to optimize for cash back, the minimum value of a Chase slot is $150. The Chase Freedom and the Chase Freedom Unlimited both have a $150 intro bonus after $500 in spend within the first 3 months of account opening.

Cash back is ideal for people who don’t care about travel and plan to redeem points for statement credits or cash.

A common question we get is, “what about the Uber card?”

Scenario 1: Uber First

  1. Uber = $100 bonus for $500 in spend

  2. Chase Freedom = Not eligible; you run into 5/24

Scenario 2: Chase Freedom First

  1. Chase Freedom = $150 for $500 in spend

  2. Uber = $100 bonus for $500 in spend

 

Looking at the above scenarios, if you’re currently at 4/24, I recommend getting the Chase Freedom card before the Uber card so you can earn an additional signup bonus.

Chase Slot Value: Travel Scenarios

Ultimate Rewards can be redeemed for travel at a higher value when you have cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Preferred, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

For example, the new Chase Sapphire Preferred 60,000 point bonus is valued at:

Minimum (cash back)

= 60k UR * 1 cents = $600 - $95 annual fee (AF)

= $505 net cash back for $4,000 spend

Minimum (travel)

= 60k UR * 1.25 CPP = $750 - $95 AF

= $655 net value

Aggressive (travel via transfer partners)

= 60k UR = 60k Hyatt / United / etc. * 2 CPP = $1,200 - $95

= $1,105 net value

 

The benefit of the Chase Sapphire cards is that they a downgrade path to the Chase Freedom cards after the first year.

…but what about the Uber card?

We’ve had people ask about the Uber card vs. CSP. The Uber card earns 4% on dining purchases, and the CSP earns 2x. Let’s break it down:

Cash Back

Solve for x:

  • where x = dining spend

CSP 60k = Uber card

$600 bonus - $95 AF + 0.02x = $100 bonus + 0.04x

$505 - $100 = 0.02x

$405 = 0.02x

x = $20,250

Dining spend has to be MORE than $20,250 for the Uber card to come out ahead (mathematically).

Travel

Solve for x:

  • where x = dining spend

CSP 60k = Uber card

60k * 1.25 CPP - $95 AF + 0.02x*1.25CPP = $100 + 0.4x

$750 - $95 + 0.025x = $100 + 0.4x

555 = 0.015x

x = $37,000

Dining spend has to be MORE than $37,000 for the Uber card to come out ahead mathematically.

Exceptions

There are a handful of exceptions for people who shouldn’t “fill” the 5/24 slots with Chase cards.

1. People who don’t care about Chase

If you’re someone who’s had a bad experience with Chase in the past, or you simply don’t care for Chase cards, then move on to other card issuers.

Another scenario is if you’ve already added the cards you want from Chase, and you want to move on.

People who have been banned or blacklisted from Chase also fall in this group.

2. People who would benefit from another card RIGHT NOW

People who would benefit from another card immediately should go for it. A prime example of this is if you have a handful of Hilton stays lined up, and you would benefit from the Diamond status.

In this case, I would recommend getting the Amex Hilton Aspire for the complimentary room upgrades, lounge access, and breakfast. The Diamond status would give you outsized value, especially if you are traveling to expensive resort areas like Bora Bora or the Maldives.

3. People who have slots to “burn”

If you’re in the late game and you’re circling back to Chase cards, the cards might not be a fit anymore. Chase Sapphire cards are limited to one signup bonus once every 4 years.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, you are ultimately in the driver’s seat for your credit journey. Make educated decisions and pick the cards that fit your lifestyle.



Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, vendors or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. 

UGC disclosure: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.