I’m Under Chase 5/24, Now What?! Here Is My Plan Of Attack

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Under Chase 5/24

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.

Under Chase 5/24

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.

Under Chase 5/24

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.

Under Chase 5/24 Ink Preferred

Chase Ink Preferred

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).


Chase Sapphire Preferred

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.

Final Thoughts

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.


    • I keep a spreadsheet of card opening and closings but the next best way is to pull your credit report and look at the inquiries and match it up to cards you were approved for.

    • You can also keep your history updated in Travel Freely. As long as you put the right info in there for card accounts’ opening dates, it will tell you when you’re under 5/24 or how many days until you will be.

  1. I’m just about to drop under 5/24, but I’m seriously torn on what to do. The problem is that I have a bunch of Chase cards already that I keep for ongoing benefits: 2x Ink Bold, 1x Ink Preferred, 1x UA bus., 1x Marriott bus., 1x Marriott pers., 2x Freedom, 1x CSP, 1x old IHG, 1x Hyatt. Even with lowering my credit limits, I’m not sure if Chase is going to be willing to give me more cards. The personal cards are either free and too old to want to cancel or have a free night or some similar perk that makes keeping worthwhile. Any thoughts?

    • To be honest I wouldn’t be worried about a few older cards personally but that is me. I try to keep 1 or 2 across all banks that are old for my credit report but I would probably close the Hyatt or Marriott and grab the bonus again but there are risks for sure. If you are getting enough from your spend then you could just move onto to Capital One or Barclays etc. that is hard to get when over 5/24 too.

  2. Hi Mark;
    I am not really into the credit card hobby, but I have a question that probably others also have. I hadn’t gotten any new cards lately, but I was looking for a card with the TSA rebate and some decent points. I applied to Capital One and was rejected. I have never been refused credit from anyone …ever. My score hovers around 825. I own my house free and clear. I own both my cars, I pay off all my cards, in full, every month…..I don’t owe anyone anything. I called them to ask way…could not get a reason why. If I was a bank, i would love to have a customer like me….Any thoughts on why this happened. I am reluctant to apply for any other cards, because I am concerned that I might be rejected again..

    • Capital One is kind of a wonky bank that denies qualified people. Usually it is for to many recent applications but that doesn’t appear to be the case for you. I would guess it is because you don’t have enough debt on your profile as crazy as that sounds with your house and cars paid off. That would be my best guess but I doubt you would have an issue with Amex or Chase etc.

      Here is a list of cards that offer Global Entry/TSA rebate for cheap


      • Going to give the Cap1 no fee Savor a try. Looking for cashback. And plan to spend that $500 on our Vegas trip. Hope my great credit score and 15+ cc’s with no carry balances doesnt hinder my chance. The only debt is basically my mortgage.

    • For business rentals, yes, coverage from the Ink card applies. The problem is that representing a personal rental as business is insurance fraud if you get into an accident. What if Chase wanted proof that you were renting for work?

      • Yeah for me it wouldn’t be a problem since most of my travel is work related but for her she doesn’t have any work related travel for her business.

  3. I’ll be under 5/24 next month. My wife is at 3/24 right now (we just started doing 2-player mode last year). I almost made the mistake of getting her a Target Red Card during their recent Holiday promo signup, but then I remembered Joe’s story from the podcast 😉

    My plan for 2019-2020 has been to get 4 lower fee cards that offer Global entry rebates so that I could cover my wife, myself and our two kids (hopefully signing up in the same year, despite the delays). I figured that getting the Chase IHG Premier and the Chase United Explorer card for each of use would be the way to go. We do allot of road trips so the IHG nights are a no brainer and while we only average about one flight (internationally) per year, the two United cards would give us 4 club passes after the first year which might come in handy.

    I was able to get the IHG Premier last summer when they offered the big sign-up bonus (and I had luckily dipped under 5/24 at the right time). Just before the holidays my wife got the United card. Now we just need to reverse it in the coming months. At the moment, I’m debating if we should wait to see if IHG has another increased signup bonus later in 2020.

    I was also thinking to do a status run for Hyatt status in 2020, but I have the old Hyatt CC which I don’t really want to give up, so I’m debating to put the plan above on hold and let my wife try for a WoH CC and let her go after the status in 2020. But I’m also wondering if the IHG and United card might cut the Global Entry benefit (since cutting benefits seems to be the hot new trend for CCs these days >_< ).

  4. I am finally way under 5/24. Applied and approved for SW Business and Priority and just hit spending to get Companion Pass which we use a lot out of Seattle. Trying to decide whether to go for the Ink Business Preferred with 80,000 point bonus or the Chase Sapphire Reserve which was the original plan before the annual fee went up. My husband already has Chase Sapphire Preferred. I have the Chase Freedom with rotating categories , so Freedom Unlimited is also a good option. The decisions are tougher than I thought. Enjoy getting input from others on this blog! Thanks

    • I would get the ink before getting any of the Sapphire products since you could do both. Just space them out a bit with the 2 Southwest cards recently going through.

      I probably wouldn’t sign up for the Freedom Unlimited. I would maybe downgrade your husbands card to it once you get a Sapphire card. Something to consider at least…or downgrade yours after the first year etc.

  5. I would have her grab the other southwest business card a month later for a quick CP, that way she will still have her personal slot open (no pun intended). That’s what I did.

  6. Both my husband and I are way over 5/24. As more banks tighten up, I’m content with my decision to keep getting cards from other banks while it has still been possible. I keep thinking we will run out of options, and although it’s certainly slowed from a few years ago, we are still getting perhaps five or six cards per year. Eventually we will be forced to be below 5/24! But it’s taking way longer than I thought it would.

    • I had started running into denials from a lot of the banks and I just wasn’t super enticed by many so we have been more selective of late and that plus her getting a lot of business cards naturally brought her close to being under.

  7. After several years, my wife has finally fallen under 5/24 – not necessarily by design but rather because she hates dealing with banks and we just decided a while back to temporarily discontinue applying for new cards for her. Now that she is under 5/24, I/we are are oddly ambivalent about applying for new Chase cards. I also have mixed feelings about the Southwest Companion Pass, because I think it’s worthwhile for our travel patterns but a bit overrated. We’ll likely pick up the Southwest and Hyatt cards for her later this year. Even though I’m way over 5/24, with no hope of getting under this threshold, I was recently approved for the United card under the recent offer that bypassed the 5/24 rule. I don’t value United miles all that much, but there was some nostalgia in getting approved for a new Chase.

    • I know what you mean about the nostalgia :). I tend to use United miles on partners since their routing doesn’t work for me much personally.

      The personal Southwest cards are at 75K right now which may make it worthwhile bumping up the timeline some on that one because they could be down to 40K-50K towards the end of the year. This also gives you more time/opportunity to go for the CP if you so choose to. Just a thought.

  8. My wife’s CSR cycles 4/1 so she’s first in line for the fee increase. We’re planning on canceling her card and keeping mine and adding her to my card. The plan is to get her into an Ink Preferred to replace the CSR. Any advice on timing this relative to the cancellation of her CSR? Thanks.

    • I don’t think there is any need to wait between the cancellation and the application. I would consider applying before (if possible) to ensure she gets it so you could decide to downgrade the card etc. if there is an issue grabbing one.


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