I’m Under Chase 5/24, Now What?! Here Is My Game Plan
Chase 5/24 is a rule many of us know and to be honest it is kind of the bane of our existence. It was one of the first rules by the banks aimed at our hobby. And to this day it is probably the most discussed or known of all of the banking rules. It has changed the way we strategize and the route we take when planning our upcoming applications and travel in order to get under Chase 5/24.
Some of us sit on the sidelines for a few years until we fall out from under its spell. Others have a two player system where people go on 5/24 ice. Others throw caution to the wind and leave Chase in the dust. There is no right or wrong answer on which route to take. After kind of falling into it I have recently taken up the two player method where one person is on 5/24 ice.
What Is Chase 5/24 & The Two Player Method?
Before we get ahead of ourselves I should do a quick recap on what Chase 5/24 is exactly and how to use the two player method to your advantage.
Chase 5/24 Rule Explained
You will not be approved for any Chase credit cards if you have opened 5 or more revolving accounts (including credit cards, lines of credit, etc.) in the past 24 months.
Any new accounts opened from any banks count towards your 5/24 total not just Chase cards. But the following things do not count towards your total:
- Most business cards, including Chase business cards
- The exceptions are Capital One, Discover and possibly Barclays
- Auto loans
- Home mortgages
One other thing that does count towards your total is when you are added as an authorized user to someone’s account. You can somewhat easily correct this by closing any authorized user cards before applying, if those AU cards push you above 5/24.
For a more detailed breakdown check out our guide on Chase 5/24.
Using Two Player Mode To Your Advantage
Now that we have the 5/24 rule down what is this two player mode system I speak of? This is when you have a significant other that is a part of the hobby as well. Whether that be by choice or by force having two people can be used to your advantage. There are a few ways to do this.
Some people will keep one person under Chase 5/24 at all times and have them apply sparingly. Sometimes this is out of choice and other times it is because player two doesn’t really want to be a part of it (cough cough Joe).
The other way people do it is to rotate years between the two people. That means they have one person do some applications until they are above 5/24 and then put them “on ice” until they drop back under. You can then rotate to the other person and do the same thing. If you stagger it properly you should be able to rotate years between the two people essentially.
Which Two Player System Do I Play?
I am currently taking the one person under 5/24 approach. It wasn’t really planned this way until recently. Earlier in 2019 I realized that my wife had naturally fallen pretty close to dropping under 5/24. And if I waited until January 2020 she would be at 4/24 with two more cards dropping off the first of April.
I am still taking advantage of offers that are advantageous to us or that fit our spending patterns as well. And I will continue to do that going forward so I don’t think I will ever be near under 5/24 in the future. Because of that I think I will have her just kind of hover where she is at from now on picking up a card here or there.
I’m Under Chase 5/24 Now What?
Okay so let’s get into the good stuff. My wife finds herself under 5/24, so now what? What is my game plan going forward. There are a few different routes we can take so I will share those with you and also tell you which one we decided on.
The Companion Pass Route
The first, and probably most popular route, is to go for the Southwest Companion Pass (CP). It is one of the, if not the, most valuable travel perks out there. If you earn the CP then you can take someone with you for just the cost of taxes and fees whenever you fly Southwest. The really great thing is that it even works on award tickets.
The companion pass can be difficult to earn via normal methods but lucky for us welcome offer points count towards the 125,000 points needed to earn it (this was recently increased from 110,000). That means she would be able to earn it fairly easily and pretty quickly. Plus, if she earned it now she would have it for almost two years. That is because you get the companion pass for the rest of the year you earn it in plus the following year, meaning most of 2020 and all of 2021.
I have recently shared with you why the Southwest Companion Pass just isn’t for us. But if I were to do it I would have her sign up for the Southwest Performance Business card first. This is because the card would not add to her Chase 5/24 status since it is a business card. I also think this card is also a long term keeper for Southwest flyers since it gives you near unlimited free WiFi on Southwest for you and people you are traveling with.
I would then have her grab a Southwest Plus card since it is the most affordable of the personal cards and comes with the same increased 75,000 mile welcome offer. If you want perks and fly Southwest often then the Southwest Priority card is probably your best option from the personal cards.
I Am Going The Ultimate Rewards Route
The Companion Pass route is a great option for many it just isn’t for us so we decided to go the Ultimate Rewards route. Even though Ultimate Rewards are not worth what they used to be they are still my most coveted points, mainly because of the Hyatt 1 to 1 transfer. There is not another transfer partner that makes extracting value easier in my opinion.
She has already applied for the Chase Ink Preferred and got a pending message. I plan on just waiting for them to decide versus calling in, mainly because my wife hates calling. But most people have been approved a week or two later when getting this message.
The Chase Ink Preferred comes with the best Ultimate Rewards welcome offer at 80,000 points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months. Ian has called it the best Chase card out there now with the recent Chase Sapphire Reserve changes. I also had her start with this card so it doesn’t add to her 5/24 count. The Chase Ink Preferred also comes with a pretty rewarding earning structure and cell phone insurance (Learn More).
Next up I will have her apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred. This will finally give us a Sapphire product which is great for travel insurance and primary car rental insurance. My plan had been to have her upgrade it to the Chase Sapphire Reserve after the first year was up. That will not be the case any longer with the increased annual fee. She will most likely keep the card long term and we will use it for all of our travel bookings for the insurance. That makes this card well worth the $95 every year to us.
Remember that you can only receive a welcome offer on a Sapphire product once every 4 years. She last had the card in 2014 so it isn’t an issue for us. But, that could change things for you if you have received a welcome offer in the last 4 years.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a current welcome offer of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 within 3 months.
What About Looking Outside Of Chase
There are some other issuers that are tough to get approvals for when above 5/24 status and I am considering some of those too. My wife will have two more inquiries drop off in April so that gives me a little wiggle room to play around some.
I will probably pick up a Capital One® Venture® card with the 50,000 point offer. I love having a travel eraser card for those staycations in northern Michigan where there are no points hotels. Capital One® has been kind of picky lately and very inquiry sensitive so it could make sense for my wife to grab one now.
The other issuer I have had problems with is Barclays. I may have my wife grab one of their American Airlines cards while she can since they have what appears to be a 6/24 rule.
Now that I have shared how I play the two party system and what my plan is now that we are under Chase 5/24 I would love to hear from you. Do you play a two party system? Which route do you take if you do? And if you are trying to get under Chase 5/24 or just got there now what? What is your plan of attack going forward? I look forward to reading everyone’s responses.