Business credit cards often come with great perks, such as generous rewards on your spending and a nice sign-up bonus. But, if you hope to sign up for multiple credit cards, they can be an even better deal than you realize. That's because of a rule from Chase called the 5/24 rule.
What is the 5/24 rule for Chase?
The Chase 5/24 rule is not an official rule that has been announced by Chase, but its existence has been well-established by data from card applicants and credit card experts. This unofficial rule prevents you from qualifying for a new Chase credit card if you've recently opened too many other cards.
Specifically, you'll likely be denied when applying for new Chase credit cards if you've opened five or more credit cards within the past 24 months — hence the name of the rule. The cards that can count against you include:
- Store credit cards that can be used outside of the store that issued the card
- Charge cards affiliated with banks
- Credit cards on which you're an authorized user (though you may have some success calling the Chase reconsideration line if this turns out to be what prevented you from qualifying)
Although you can sometimes try to find ways around the 5/24 rule, such as applying for a Chase card in your local bank branch where you've been pre-approved, it definitely becomes harder to get another Chase card once you've met the five-card limit.
You can check your Chase 5/24 number to find out whether this rule is likely to hold you back from approval by pulling your credit report and counting the number of accounts you’ve opened within the past 24 months.
Do business cards count toward the Chase 5/24 rule?
The good news is, there is a way to avoid running into trouble with the 5/24 rule while still opening new credit cards. You can open up business credit cards instead of personal ones.
Most business cards are not listed on your personal credit report, with a few exceptions such as cards from Capital One and Discover. That means when Chase checks your credit, they won't see any business cards you have that are not listed on your report. And, if they don't see them, they can't count them against you when checking to see how many cards you've applied for over the past two years.
So, the short answer is: most business cards won't count toward 5/24 unless you get your card from one of the few card issuers that reports business cards on your personal credit history.
Does the 5/24 rule apply to Chase's own business cards?
Although Chase may not be aware of business credit card accounts opened through other card issuers, you might be wondering if you can open a business card from Chase itself or if that will count against you.
The good news is, Chase doesn’t count its own business credit cards against the 5/24 rule. So you could apply for cards such as the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card or Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and these cards wouldn't count as one of the credit cards you're allowed before running afoul of the rule.
But, there's a weird quirk to be aware of. Although Chase business credit cards don't count in determining whether you've opened five cards in the past 24 months, the 5/24 rule still does restrict you if you want to apply for them. So, for example, if you wanted to open an Ink Business Cash Credit Card, you'd likely be denied for it if your personal credit history shows you've opened five cards over the past two years.
Business credit cards we recommend if you’re worried about 5/24
Okay, so maybe you’re excited about the idea of how a business credit card can help you in terms of the Chase 5/24 rule. But there are a lot of other reasons to consider choosing some of the best business credit cards that Chase has to offer. So let’s look at the ones we recommend you start with and why.
|Card name||Welcome bonus||Earnings rate||Annual fee|
|Earn $1,000 bonus cash back after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening||5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; unlimited 2.5% cash back on purchases of $5,000 or more; unlimited 2% cash back on all other business purchases||$195|
|Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening||3X points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year; and 1X points per $1 on all other purchases||$95|
|Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening||Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase||$0|
Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
|Earn a $300 online statement credit after you make at least $3,000 in net purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening||3% cash back on your category of choice: gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services and 2% cash back on dining (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, then 1%); and unlimited 1% cash back on everything else||$0|
|Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months for 12 months, then 18.24% to 26.24% (variable)||2X Membership Rewards points on everyday eligible business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on eligible purchases after that||$0 (Terms apply)|
Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card
The Chase Ink Business Premier Credit Card is a new addition to the Chase Ink lineup. It has a generous sign-up bonus that allows you to earn $1,000 bonus cash back after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. However, it comes with a high $195 annual fee.
The card can be ideal for travel purchases through the Chase portal and large business expenses. It earns 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; unlimited 2.5% cash back on purchases of $5,000 or more; unlimited 2% cash back on all other business purchases.
One downside is that you cannot transfer the points you earn to Chase’s transfer partners like you can with some other Chase cards.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is well-worth its small annual fee because it provides 3X points on a wide range of common business purchases up to a much higher spending limit than some competitors.
The card is also ideal if you want to use your rewards points for travel. You have the flexibility of transferring points to Chase’s airline or hotel partners on a one-to-one basis or redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards, where this card will also get you a 25% bonus on travel-related redemptions.
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
Startups and sole proprietors will do well with the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card thanks to the $0 annual fee and the low spending requirement to earn bonus cash back. Best of all, an introductory 0% APR on purchases for 12 months after account opening (then 17.99% - 23.99% Variable) will provide some flexibility in managing cash flow.
Free employee cards also help to keep this card a bargain for those who have staff, and special features including auto rental collision damage waiver, extended warranty protection, and purchase protection are valuable perks for a free card.
Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
The unique rewards structure of the Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards credit card ensures you're always getting cash back on the things you spend the most on. But this card tends to be better if you don't spend as much, as there's a $50,000 combined limit on earning bonus rewards.
Also, if you have other accounts with Bank of America or Merrill Lynch and maintain a balance that qualifies you for Preferred Rewards, you can benefit from a higher earnings tier on your spending. You can earn 5.25% cash back on your choice category, 3.5% on dining purchases, and 1.75% cash back on all other purchases. All of this makes this free card an especially great deal.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
If you don't make a lot of purchases in traditional business categories, The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express could provide the most bang for your buck when it comes to earning rewards. Of course, this card isn't ideal for big spenders as your bonus points are restricted to the first $50,000 in purchases.
If you're looking to pay off big purchases over time, though, you'll benefit from the card's 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases, then 18.24% to 26.24% (variable).
A 5/24 case study
Still confused about how the 5/24 rule could affect you? Let's consider how it works in practice.
Say you've applied for five credit cards in the past two years — Citi® Double Cash Card, Discover it® Cash Back, Chase Freedom, Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, and Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card. That’s 5/24.
But one of those cards — the Bank of America card — is a business card that doesn't report to personal credit, so it won't count against you. So really you have one slot available, and you’re 4/24. So here's what could happen next:
- If you apply for a personal card from Chase and for a business card from another issuer that doesn't report on your personal credit, it doesn't matter which of these two cards you apply for first. The business card won't show up on your credit history so you can qualify for the Chase personal card.
- If you want to apply for a Chase business card and a Chase personal card, you'd need to apply for the business card first. It wouldn't count against you in 5/24 so you could then go ahead and sign up for the personal card next.
- If you plan to apply for a Chase personal card and apply for a business credit card that reports on your personal credit history, such as a Capital One card, you should apply for the card from Chase first. Otherwise, your business card would be your fifth card and the 5/24 rule would prevent you from getting approved for either a Chase personal or business card.
If you're worried about getting close to the 5/24 rule, never fear. Now that you understand most business cards won't count against you, you've opened the door to a whole new world of credit cards you can open without limiting your ability to get a card from Chase in the future.
Armed with this knowledge, you can apply for the cards you need to help your side hustle or startup to grow — and maximize the rewards you can earn on all of your different types of spending.
Hot Welcome Bonus
Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
3X points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year; and 1X points per $1 on all other purchases