Originally posted on 5/24/19:
Today is 5/24 day, a sad day for mileage junkies.
For many years it was easy to open hundreds of credit cards and rack up millions of miles and there were lots of easy ways to spend and earn miles. I’ve burned through 8 figures of miles flying around the world in first class and am still sitting on 8 figures of miles thanks in large part to the good old days.
Then the banks started cracking down.
In March of 2014 I broke the news that AMEX consumer cards went to a one signup bonus per lifetime system. In reality it’s more like once in 4-7 years. The good news is that you can apply for a card and if you get a popup telling you that you won’t get a signup bonus you can still cancel the card application. In 2016 AMEX extended that to their business cards.
On about 5/24/15 Chase made the 5/24 rule to limit credit card signups. They made it very hard to get approved for a Chase Sapphire or Freedom card if you have been approved for 5 cards from any bank within the past 24 months.
On about 5/24/16 they expanded the 5/24 rule to include most of their credit cards and since then it’s been expanded to all of their cards.
The worst part about 5/24 is that you can’t even get a card that you want for the benefits while forgoing the signup bonus, as AMEX allows.
The good thing is that you won’t get a credit card inquiry if you are rejected due to 5/24.
While the policy is unofficial, it did show up on the Sapphire Reserve application very briefly, though it was quickly removed:
5/24 doesn’t look at card applications. It only counts the number of credit cards (on the single report that they pull) that have been opened within the past 24 months. The report that Chase pulls can vary from card to card and state to state.
You can get all 3 of your reports (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion) for free on annualcreditreport.com to see how many cards you have that have been opened within the past 24 months.
If you’re just starting with credit cards, you’ll want to start off with Chase cards that may be harder to get later on due to 5/24. A card like Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great way to transfer Chase points into miles. You can read more about it here and you can read about creating a Chase Quinfecta here.
Chase has several great business cards as well that are subject to 5/24, though it’s worth noting that business cards from AMEX, Barclaycard, BOFA, Chase, Citi, and USBank don’t show up on your report and don’t count towards 5/24. Spending on these cards also won’t affect your credit score as they’re not on your report. Business cards from Capital One (except Spark Cash cards opened after 10/1/20) and Discover do show up on your report and will affect 5/24.
That means you can signup for business cards and not worry about that setting you back for the next time you want a Chase card.
Authorized user cards are where things get tricky. If you are an authorized user on someone else’s card, the system automatically counts those cards towards your 5/24 count. Even if you call reconsideration, they will turn you down for 5/24 based on having authorized user cards that were opened in the past 24 months. However if you tell the reconsideration rep that you aren’t financially responsible for the authorized user cards then they will not count them towards 5/24. If you have any issues you can ask for a reconsideration supervisor and tell them that you aren’t financially responsible for the cards. You can HUCA if you are still denied due to authorized user cards.
Store cards that are only good for use in a single store are also tricky. The system will count them, but you can explain to a reconsideration rep or supervisor that the card can’t be used anywhere but that store and then they won’t count towards 5/24.
Before calling reconsideration, be sure to know exactly how many cards you have opened in the past 24 months. That way when a rep tells you that you are at 9/24 you can ask for a manager and explain that authorized user cards and store cards should not count. Be sure to remember to stress that you aren’t responsible for the authorized user card!
Do you try to stay under 5/24 to get approved for more Chase cards? Or do you not even try to stay under 5/24 and focus on cards from other banks?