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Before applying to Chase credit cards, it’s important to understand the rules for applications (2/30 Rule), eligibility (5/24 Rule), and bonuses (once every two years).

2/30 Rule

The 2/30 rule says that you can only have two applications every 30 days or else you’ll automatically be rejected.

If you don’t have a high credit score (700+), your chances of getting approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is slim. Chase usually looks for a great credit score or a banking relationship. It’s a lot easier and less risky for Chase to give you a credit line of $1,000 with the Chase Freedom Flex℠, as opposed to the minimum $10,000 credit limit with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

5/24 Rule

The most infamous rule is the Chase 5/24 rule. The idea is if you have more than five new credit cards in the past 24 months, from any issuer, you’ll automatically get rejected for certain Chase cards.

For example, if you received 4 Bank of America credit cards and 1 Citi credit card in the past 24 months, then your Chase application will be automatically rejected because of 5/24.

The main exception to this is Chase business cards because they don’t go on your credit report. Even though Chase can see them on your report, they don’t care.

Intro Bonuses

Regarding intro bonuses, you can qualify for a new bonus every 24 months. For example, if you received the Hyatt sign up bonus in 2013 and applied for the card again in 2017, you would be eligible to receive a new bonus.

If you’re currently an authorized user for a card you want to apply for, you should remove yourself to qualify for the intro bonus.

“One Sapphire Rule”

The one exception to the intro bonus rule in the section above is the Chase Sapphire family of cards.

The “One Sapphire Rule” refers to Chase Sapphire card applications and approvals.

You cannot apply and get approved for a Sapphire card if you currently have an open one.

You can have an open Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, OR a Chase Sapphire card, but not more than one at a time.

Exceptions to the “One Sapphire Rule”:

  • If you had more than one Chase Sapphire card before the rule kicked in August 2018; then your cards are grandfathered.
  • You can product change a card to have multiple Sapphires

Chase Sapphire 48-Month Rule

In addition to the “One Sapphire Rule,” you can only receive an intro bonus to a Chase Sapphire card once every 48 months (4 years).

For example, if you receive an intro bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred in Jan 2018, you would have to wait until Jan 2022 to receive another Chase Sapphire bonus.

If you were to downgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred in Jan 2019 to a Chase Freedom card and apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you would not qualify for the bonus due to the 48-month rule.

Again, the 48-month rule only applies to the Chase Sapphire family of cards.

If you are an authorized user on a Chase Sapphire card and you want to get your own, be sure to remove yourself as an authorized user before applying.

“One Southwest Rule”

You are not eligible for a personal Southwest credit card intro bonus if you:

Currently have any (personal) Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card

Received a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card intro bonus in the past 24 months

The above rules do not apply to the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business cards. There are currently 3 personal Southwest credit cards, so you can only get the intro bonus for one every 24 months.

However, if you want to earn Southwest Companion Pass from credit cards, you can apply for one personal and one business Southwest card.

Chase Business Credit Cards

Chase business credit cards are affected by 5/24 (you can get rejected due to 5/24).

Chase business cards (and business cards from most issuers other than Capital One) do not show up as a new account on your credit report and therefore do NOT add to 5/24.

For example, you can be at 4/24, add a Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, and you would still be at 4/24.

On the flip side, if you are at (or above) 5/24, and apply for a Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, the application would be rejected due to the 5/24 rule.

Optimal Strategy

If you’re looking for the optimal strategy, go for the Chase cards you want first based on your goals (travel or cash back) before any other credit issuer.

The benefit of going for Chase cards first is that unlike other card issuers, most of the core Chase cards have no annual fee product change options to keep your credit history alive.

At the end of the day, we recommend applying for cards that make sense for you and add value based on what you’re trying to achieve.

YouTube Video: Chase 5/24 Rules

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
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