The Chase 5/24 Credit Card Strategy Guide 2018

In the past year, Chase has added a handful of new cards, and application rules have also changed. We’ll cover the landscape of cards and what the optimal strategy is for applying for Chase credit cards.


As a prerequisite before diving in, this post assumes a few things:

  1. You have at least one credit card that’s not an authorized user account.

  2. Your oldest non-authorized user card is at least ≥ 1 year old.

  3. You have a 700+ credit score.

If everything under 1-3 does not apply to you, then wait until your credit history is 12 months old before applying these strategies, and/or work on your credit score.

Chase 5/24: Optimal Strategy

Chase 5/24 has an unofficial rule that states that if you have opened 5 or more credit cards from ANY credit issuer in the past 24 months, you will not be eligible for select Chase cards.

Credit cards that are affected by Chase 5/24 (personal):

  • Chase Freedom

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve

  • Marriott Rewards Premier Plus

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus 

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority

  • United TravelBank

  • United Explorer Card

  • United Club

Credit cards affected by Chase 5/24 (business):

  • Ink Business Cash

  • Ink Business Unlimited

  • Ink Business Preferred

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business

  • United MileagePlus Explorer Business

  • United MileagePlus Club Business

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If you check the boxes in the prerequisites, that means you should have at least one Chase 5/24 box taken by your first non-authorized user credit card.

After your first credit card has at least one year of credit history, I recommend going for a starter card like the Chase Freedom if you want to earn 5x on rotating categories you activate, or the Chase Freedom Unlimited if you want to earn hassle-free cash back (1.5X).

Chase Freedom

  • Earn 5X points on select rotating categories each quarter you activate

Chase Freedom Unlimited

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  • Earn 1.5X points on all purchases

Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve

After you get a starter card from Chase, I recommend moving on to the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve when you have a large expense or when you’re ready to travel.

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In the past, you were allowed to get a Chase Sapphire welcome bonus every 24 months. The Chase Sapphire cards have a new rule that state you can only earn a Chase Sapphire welcome bonus once every 48 months.

Because of the new 48-month rule, I recommend getting the Chase Sapphire cards as soon as you’re eligible in case the rules change again. For all we know, the Chase 5/24 rule can easily change to 5/48 in the future (hopefully not!).

Another important note: don’t try to “double dip” the applications. With the new rules, any double dipping will result in one denial and eyes on your account.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Welcome bonus: 50,000 points after $4,000 in spend within the first 3 months

  • Earn 2X on travel and dining

  • Redeem points at 1.25X via Chase Travel Portal

Chase Sapphire Reserve

  • Welcome bonus: 50,000 points after $4,000 in spend within the first 3 months

  • Earn 3X on travel and dining

  • $300 Travel credit

  • Priority Pass Select

  • Redeem points at 1.5X via Chase Travel Portal

The Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve both have a 50,000 point welcome bonus.

There are a few cases to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred over the Chase Sapphire Reserve:

  • If your income level is not eligible to get approved for a $10,000 credit limit

  • If you don’t plan on traveling anytime soon, but you want to stock up on points

  • If you don’t want to pay a $450 annual fee

  • If you have or plan on getting the American Express Platinum card - a lot of benefits from the Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve overlap

Find out if you should get the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve using the calculator in this post.

Business Credit Cards

The next step is to determine if you are eligible for a business credit card. Business credit cards are affected by 5/24, but they don’t count towards it.

If you have a sole proprietorship (with your first and last name), you generate income outside of your full-time job, or you have the intention of starting a business, depending on the state you live in, you might be eligible for a business credit card.

Depending on your business expenses, the Ink cards can be a valuable asset to your wallet.

Ink Business Cash

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  • Welcome bonus: 50,000 points after $3,000 in spend within the first 3 months

  • Earn 5X points on internet, cable, and phone services*

  • Earn 2X points on gas stations and restaurants*

  • Earn 1X points on all other purchases

     *on up to $25,000 in combined category purchases each cardmember year

Ink Business Unlimited

  • Welcome bonus: 50,000 points after $3,000 in spend within the first 3 months

  • Earn unlimited 1.5X on all purchases

Ink Business Preferred

  • Welcome bonus: 80,000 points after $5,000 in spend within the first 3 months

  • Redeem points at 1.25X via Chase Travel Portal

  • Earn 3X points on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and phone services, social media ads and search engines*

 *on up to $150,000 in combined category purchases

Southwest Companion Pass

If the Southwest Companion Pass is on your wish list, then I recommend reserving a business card slot for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card.

Southwest Companion Pass gives you a free companion ticket every time you book a Southwest flight. The pass is valid for the year you obtain it, plus the following year. You can change your companion up to three times per the calendar year.

You can earn Companion Pass if you earn a minimum of 110,000 points in one calendar year. This is possible with credit cards if you get one Southwest business card and one Southwest personal card.


After you obtain the business cards (if eligible), I suggest filling up the remaining two 5/24 slots with cards that add value to you.

I recommend going for an airline card depending on if you fly Southwest or United. Otherwise, you can fill the spot with the remaining Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited spot to complete the Chase Trifecta.

If no other cards interest you, feel free to move on to cards that are not affected by the Chase 5/24 rule.

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.