Some of our readers applied for the Chase Sapphire Reserve that we raved about and were shocked when they were rejected. They had great credit scores (750 to 800), had previous credit cards with Chase, and even had a banking relationship (many having more than $10,000 sitting with Chase).
Why were they rejected? Simple. It’s the Chase 5/24 Rule.
What is the Chase 5/24 Rule?
Chase has a rule that it will automatically reject you for some of their credit cards if you have 5 or more new accounts on your credit report in the past 24 months. The five accounts can be with any bank and are not exclusive to Chase.
As long as you have five new accounts on your credit report in the last 24 months, you will be rejected for the affected cards.
There are some, limited, exemptions, but it’s a very specific rule that’s difficult to get around.
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Am I affected by Chase’s 5/24 rule?
Keep reading or try our Chase 5/24 Calculator to see if you’re affected!
Which cards are affected?
All of the Chase branded personal cards are affected. That includes the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Sapphire Preferred, and the Sapphire Reserve. Their business cards — the Ink Plus and the Ink Cash — are also affected.
Some of the Chase co-branded cards are affected. This includes all Southwest, United, and Marriott, as well as some business variations.
Cards NOT affected by Chase 5/24:
- British Airways Visa Signature® card
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card
- IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- The Hyatt Credit Card
- Disney Premier Visa® card
- Disney Rewards® Visa® card
- Amazon.com Rewards Visa card
- AARP® Credit Card from Chase
- Marriott Rewards® Premier Business credit card
You’ll be able to get these cards even if you’re over 5/24 since the system, currently, doesn’t factor in 5/24 into the equation.
How do I know if I’m under 5/24?
Sign up for CreditKarma.com and look at the accounts you have. How many accounts do you have in the past 24 months?
Are any cards exempt?
Some cards, like store-based credit cards (think Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s) are exempt from the rule.
The system will reject you still, but if you call Chase’s reconsideration line and explain that those are store cards, they’ll usually ignore them in their calculation of 5/24.
Some business cards are also not considered, specifically cards that don’t hit your credit report. Otherwise, if they’re on your credit report, they’ll count.
How do you get around 5/24?
There are only two ways to get around 5/24 and the auto-denial. Be pre-approved in branch or be Chase Private Client.
Even if you’re not a Chase client, you can go into the branch and ask if you’re pre-approved by providing your government ID and SSN. Make sure that you’re actually pre-approved. Some bankers will tell you that you’re pre-approved, even when you’re not because they get a commission. You can find out if you’re pre-approved by asking them to print out the terms for the credit card before applying (“the Reserve sounds great but can you print me out the terms to read first?”).
If the terms show a fixed interest rate (i.e., 17.28%), then you are pre-approved. If the terms show a range (16% to 19.99%), then you are NOT pre-approved.
The other alternative is Chase Private Client. To qualify, you’ll need to have $250,000 with Chase, and you’ll be exempt from 5/24. Easy, right?
Can you give me an example?
A simple example would be Optimal Oliver. He’s been applying for credit cards often in the past two years since he wants to optimize his spend to maximize his cash back. He’s gotten the Discover It for the 10% quarterly bonus, the Chase Freedom for the 5%, the Chase Sapphire Preferred for travel, the American Express Everyday card for the Amex offers, and the Citi Prestige as a secondary travel card. If he applied for the Reserve, he'd automatically be rejected. He can call Chase’s reconsideration line, but there’s nothing they can do unless he was Chase Private Client.
Another example would be Shopping Sean. He’s gotten six credit cards in the past two years, but they’re all for department stores he frequents. When he applies for the Reserve, he’ll automatically get rejected. He’ll have to call reconsideration and explain that the cards are all store credit cards. He’ll get around 5/24 because of this.