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Just say NO to store credit cards! What, but they are credit cards! I might get $20 off my $100 worth of clothes when I check out if I get this Old Navy credit card! What’s the logic in that?
I hope some of you are laughing and totally know what I am talking about. I remember the day a couple of years ago when my husband came home from Home Depot proudly telling me he had saved some money by signing up for their credit card. He was surprised to find that I was less than thrilled. The reason being, this card now occupied one of his Chase 5/24 slots. Today, we’re going to talk about the Chase 5/24 rule and what to do if you are over it.
Just in case some of you are wondering what all the hoopla is, let’s talk about the Chase 5/24 rule. Chase is one of our favorite card issuers but they have this (obnoxious) rule that they will not approve you for ANY of their cards if you have opened five or more cards in the last 24 months. That means not just their credit cards but cards from other issuers as well, like Amex, Citi, and those random store credit cards.
We like to keep ourselves open to Chase credit cards because they have so many great offers that come up. Two of the most recent Chase offers that we liked were:
I’ve talked to several people who want to get into the points and miles world but within the last 24 months they’ve opened up 4-5 store credit cards. That makes it harder but not impossible. What do you do?
First of all, start saying no to any more store credit cards. The amount you save is not near the amount you will save on travel with credit card points! Don’t let those cards take up one of your 5/24 spots any longer.
If you are at 5/24 or over, then start applying for business cards. Business cards do not count towards 5/24 (with the exception of Capital One, Discover, and TD Bank.) You won’t be able to be approved for Chase business cards but those issued by Amex, Citi, Bank of America, etc. are all fair game and won’t count towards your 5/24 count. If you are at 4/24 then you may also want to consider going for business credit cards so you can keep that last spot open in case a great Chase offer comes along.
One last thing about business cards and 5/24 that can trip people up. Chase business cards do not count towards your 5/24 count, but if you are at 5/24 or over then you won’t be able to be approved for Chase business cards.
If you have a spouse or partner who is under 5/24, now is the time to have them apply for some of those Chase cards that you can’t apply for. Playing this game in 2-player mode is a crucial part of getting more and more travel points/miles. You don’t have to worry about what to do if you are over 5/24 if you have another person in the family who isn’t.
You might need to take a break from credit card applications while you get under 5/24. My husband and I both did this for 9 months once because we were both over 5/24 and I REALLY wanted at least one of us to be under. I have to say, it was HARD. I hated to not be getting those big bonuses even though I had a very healthy stockpile of points. It’s that crazy feeling of scarcity when you don’t have it.
We continued to use the best credit cards we had for every purchase we made for everyday spending and continued to earn points. And more importantly, I survived, and we were able to start getting Chase cards again!
Chase is not the only player when it comes to credit card issuers. There are still plenty of credit card issuers to choose from like American Express, Citi Bank, Barclays, Bank of America, US Bank, and more. The reason I was over 5/24 is that I was opening a lot of credit cards. That is also the reason I had so many points and why it didn’t really hurt to miss out on Chase cards for a while.
Seriously, you just may want to start applying for a lot of other credit cards by other issuers, forget about Chase 5/24 for a bit, build up a stockpile, and then take a break to get under the Chase 5/24 rule.
Or if you’ve already received all the Chase cards you want, move on. So many people worry that they will run out of credit cards to apply for. I’ve been doing this for over 4 years, received over 6 million points, and feel like there are TONS still to get. And then there are some I can get again so that is not something I worry about anymore.
If you play the game of points and miles long enough, there will be times you are over 5/24. Or your spouse/partner will be. Don’t worry about what to do if you are over 5/24. Follow one of our tips above and continue earning points towards free or nearly free travel!
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