With the introduction of its unofficial 5/24 Rule, Chase has made life much harder for those who like to frequently sign up for credit cards to get the signup bonuses. With the 5/24 Rule, Chase denies most application in which the applicant has opened 5 or more cards in the past 24 months.
And we’re not just talking about Chase cards here. All issuers count. If you’ve never opened a Chase card in your life, but you opened 3 Amex cards and 3 Citi cards in the last 24 months you may be out of luck.
Even authorized user cards count. If you opened 3 of your own cards and were added as an authorized user to 3 other accounts in the past 24 months, you may be out of luck.
Fortunately, not all cards count towards the 5/24 Rule. Many business cards do not appear on personal credit reports and therefore do not count towards 5/24. See: Business card advantages (and a straw man plan).
How to count your 5/24 status
Chase bases its count on info found in your personal credit report. There are many ways to get your credit report for free so that you can count your 5/24 status yourself.
Here’s one way to count your 5/24 status… step by step. A similar process should work with just about any tool or report that shows you your credit report details.
1) Credit Karma: Setup account or log in
Credit Karma is one of many available free services that estimate your credit score. I particularly like Credit Karma because it gives you free access to your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports, and optionally provides active monitoring of your TransUnion report.
When you first log in, Credit Karma will show you your estimated scores:
3) Scroll down to find the number of accounts on your reports.
The numbers include credit cards (opened and closed) as well as other accounts such as mortgages, auto loans, and student loans. Usually the totals will be identical across both credit reports:
4) Click “Credit Cards”
By clicking the “credit cards” link in the first column, you’ll see a list of credit cards on your TransUnion report.
5) Sort by Open Date
Click the heading “Open Date” once to sort ascending:
6) Scroll to find recently opened accounts
Scroll down until you find the first card opened within the past 24 months. For example, if the current date is August 24th 2016, then you would look for the first card opened by or more recently than August 24th 2014.
In my case, my first qualifying card was opened on September 23rd 2014:
7) Count ’em up
Starting with the first card that appeared within the past 24 months, count all of the cards that were opened on that date or more recently. Closed cards do count. Authorized user cards do count.
If you’ve signed up for new cards in the past 30 days or so, those may not be reflected in your Credit Karma report. Fortunately, if you’ve turned on Credit Monitoring (go to the person icon on the top right of the screen and click “Communications & Monitoring”) you should have received an email alert from Credit Karma if any new accounts have been added. If so, add these to your count.
I currently have 24 accounts that were opened in the past 24 months. So, I am waaaaaay over 5/24.
Do Chase Business cards add to your 5/24 total?
Chase business cards do not appear on personal credit reports, but obviously Chase knows if you have opened those cards in the past 24 months. The question is whether Chase includes those cards in the total for 5/24 Rule purposes? If you have first-hand information that would help answer this, please comment below. Ideal evidence one way or another would be if Chase tells you during a recon call how many cards you opened in the past 24 months. You can then compare that number to the number you calculate yourself with and without counting Chase business cards.
Evidence that Chase counts their own business cards:
Evidence that Chase does not count their own business cards:
UPDATE 1/15/2017: New evidence from a few readers suggests that Chase may count Chase business cards towards 5/24. To be safe, include Chase business cards in your count if you’ve opened any in the past 24 months. Let me know if you get confirmation about this theory one way or another!
Fortunately, there are ways around the 5/24 rules. Please see the following resources:
- How to get approved for the Sapphire Reserve 100K offer [NEW]
- Flying under 5/24
- Breaking 5/24
- Chase Special Consideration [Now for business cards only]