Chase has been forcefully implementing a new rule designed to stop people from churning credit cards. The rule, known as the 5-24 rule, bars people from getting a new point-earning credit card if they have applied for more than 5 credit cards in the last 24 months. The rule applies to credit cards received not just from Chase, but from all credit card issuers. The rule currently applies to all Chase Sapphire products, Chase Ink products and Chase Freedom products. It does not apply at present to other Chase-branded cards such as the United card, the Fairmont card, the Hyatt card and their Marriott and Ritz Carlton cards.
BestCashCow thinks that Chase’s 5-24 rule is entirely misguided. As it applies universally to all customers, including those who have records of having spent thousands monthly through Chase products, it prevents their most loyal and highest spending customers from upgrading to their new products. These customers are then driven to competing products, such as the American Express Platinum card and the Citibank Prestige card, in order to take advantage of the higher level of service that Chase is now offering. Because it applies to business cards as well as personal cards, the rule disproportionately discriminates against small business owners and entrepreneurs, many of whom need to frequently open multiple cards at once for accounting and legal purposes.
Quite oddly, Chase’s entire marketing strategy for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is to advertise on Bankrate’s ThePointsGuy website, a website which is designed to advise young kids in their 20s how to effectively rack up tons of points and miles through flipping credit cards. Essentially, Chase has given Bankrate a present which will have unintended consequences for them (similar to Putin’s decision to undermine the US election system and install Donald Trump as President). In the case of Chase, they are attracting those customers who have not demonstrated loyalty in other Chase product offerings and who present a much higher credit risk than those in their 30s and up who they should be attracting for this product.
Nevertheless, the reality is that if you apply for this product and are rejected, you have very little recourse. Your first line of recourse to get them to make an exception is to call the Chase Credit Card reconsideration line at 888-270-2127 (the Business Credit card reconsideration line is 800-453-9719). The Chase credit analysts who answer the phone may not change the outcome of your application, but they will inform you how many cards Chase has a record of you having applied for in the last two years and when you will be eligible to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.
If you visit a branch to seek reconsideration for your application, you will be encouraged to apply for a Chase Private Client account. These accounts require $250,000 to qualify and are part of Chase’s latest bank-wide efforts to get into the money management business and compete on some level with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. Even if you have the ability to do this, you may want to pause and consider the following:
- Anecdotal evidence is that Chase’s Private Client system isn’t tied to their credit card system. While Bankrate’s ThePoints guy brags of having defeated the 5-24 rule through his having a Chase Private Client account, plenty of customers are opening these accounts and then getting rejected a second time for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
- The benefits of the Private Client account really do not justify having the account. While Chase offers these clients free ATMs, no foreign currency exchange fees, a free safe deposit box, free checks and free money orders, these services do not compete with the access and services that Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley provide.
- If you are moving $250,000 in cash to qualify for Chase’s Private Client status, your cash will be earning 0.05% or less at Chase. That same cash deposited at one of the leading online banks will earn over 1%. Hence, you will be foregoing over $2,500 a year in interest. See the best savings rates here. (Note: You can also transfer assets in kind to Chase to obtain Private Client status).
In short, if you get rejected for Chase Sapphire Reserve, you should fear not and take a look at the other great cards you can get: