About a week ago I applied for a new Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Today I got the denial letter–“too many credit cards opened in the last two years.” This is my first encounter with Chase’s 5/24 rule.
Why I Applied For the Sapphire Preferred
I have the bonus Ultimate Rewards points from the application I did a year ago with the Ink Plus. I just realized that my annual fee is coming due. Usually I’ll cancel the card rather than pay the annual fee, but I had a sizable chunk of Ultimate Rewards points in the account. The Ink Plus is the only card I had that earned those points, and if I cancelled, those points would disappear. I was thinking of several options to preserve the points:
Pay the annual fee and keep the card another year.
I didn’t want to do this. If I were up to my old tricks and were earning 5X at Staples I might consider it, but I have cut down on these types of activities, because of family responsibilities and actual travel.
Transfer the points out to one of the partners then cancel the card.
Usually I transfer my URs to United, where I can get a value of at least 2¢ per mile. I’m pretty flush now with United miles, and haven’t used any of my stash of BA miles in a long while. If I could transfer to Delta I would, but they’re not UR transfer partners. I’m not familiar with the Hyatt program but I hear it’s good so I’m considering a transfer there.
Transfer the points to B.’s Ultimate Rewards account.
I’ve done this successfully in the past. Actually I transferred his URs to my account which I used for United award tickets. After checking his accounts I realized his Ink card was cancelled earlier in the year, so this was not an option.
Apply for another credit card that earns Ultimate Reward points.
This would keep my UR account alive so this is what I decided to do. I hadn’t had the Sapphire Preferred in two years, and there is an offer for 50K URs after $4k spend. I applied online but didn’t get my usual instant approval.
No New Chase Cards For Me Due to the 5/24 Rule
Yesterday I got the denial letter from Chase. The reason for rejection, ” too many credit cards open in the last 2 years.” I was shocked because it seems I’ve gotten so few credit cards lately. Chase has a new rule called the 5/24 rule. They don’t want to give new cards to people who’ve opened more than 5 credit cards in the last 24 months (and not just from Chase–from ANY bank.) I thought there was some mistake so I called the Chase reconsideration number (888-245-0625) to find out the details.
Was Being an Authorized User the Problem?
Not only do I have my own credit cards, but I’m an authorized user on everyone else’s cards in the family. I thought this might be the problem, so I was prepared to discuss this when I talked to the recon specialist. At first she explained that I opened too many credit cards in the last two years (just like the letter said.) I asked if the problem could be if all my authorized user accounts were on the credit report and she said yes. She put me on hold for a couple of minutes while she took those accounts off. When she came back on the line, she said that I personally had opened too many cards and she could not approve me.
I Pulled My Credit Reports
I went to annualcreditreport.com and requested my free credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. I saw that I had opened six new accounts with various banks in the last two years. A couple were from August of 2014, so if I had waited another month, I would probably have been approved! I’ll wait until December of this year before another credit card application (famous last words–what if a 100k offer came up!)
I Transferred Out the URs and Closed the Account
I decided to transfer the points to Hyatt. Most of my remaining hotel points are with IHG and this will add some variety to the points bank. I will be extremely selective with my future card apps, and my family members will have to be more hands-on with their own cards. No more being an authorized user for me!
Update: I Downgraded to an Ink Cash Card
I sent a secure message to Chase that I wanted to cancel the card. I got a reply that I had the option to downgrade the card to a no-fee Ink Cash. It has the same spend bonus categories as the Ink Plus, except you get cash back instead of UR points. I chose to downgrade to this card instead of cancelling.