Credit Card Strategies in a 5/24 World

Credit Card Strategies in a 5/24 World

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With Chase decreasing the sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve in a few days (January 12) some may be interested in applying sooner, rather than later.

That being said, Chase’s 5/24 rule is still in affect. Though many of you may be over that – this should be helpful if you’re just getting started out, or want to increase your credit card rewards portfolio.

As a reminder, the following cards ARE affected by the rule:

  • Sapphire Reserve
  • Sapphire Preferred
  • Freedom / Freedom Unlimited
  • Business: Ink Cash / Preferred
  • Marriott
  • Southwest cards (Premier, Plus and Business)
  • United MileagePlus Explorer (Personal and Business)

Keeping that in mind, it would be my recommendation that you only apply for five of these cards from Chase before applying for any other personal (and some business cards) from other issuers.

Disclaimer: As always, what works for some, may not work for others. Be sure you will get the most ‘bang for your buck’ with these various strategies. 

The Ultimate Rewards Junkie

This strategy is designed for those who like the flexibility Ultimate Rewards offer. Remember, these are transferable points and give you lots of options. Additionally, some of the perks offered by the Sapphire Reserve – such as redeeming your points for 2 cent per point against travel – are invaluable, depending on your type of travel.

  1. Chase Sapphire Reserve (100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards, $4,000 spending)
  2. Chase Sapphire Preferred (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5,000 for adding an authorized user, $4,000 spending)
  3. Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards, 2,500 for adding an authorized user and $500 spending)
  4. Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card (50,000 United MileagePlus miles, 5,000 for adding an authorized user, $2,000 spending)

The fifth would be a free slot, but I’d recommend holding off (if you can), as Chase may be offering some new products soon. If you need hotel points, you can go with Marriott, though they’re inflated.

If you’re a small business owner, I’d definitely go for the Ink Preferred and Cash as my last two slots.

Domestic Traveler

Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

The first three slots would be the same as the ‘Ultimate Rewards Junkie’ but the last two would change:

4. Southwest Plus

5. Southwest Premier

Remember – wait until these cards are offering 50,000 points each so you can snag yourself the coveted Companion Pass.

International Premium Cabin Travler

Though this can be part of the ‘Ultimate Rewards Junkie’ strategy/scenario, the difference is that you’re working to use your points solely for international travel in premium cabins. This will require a lot of points that can be transferred to partners like United, Korean and Air France/KLM FlyingBlue program.

I’d keep the first four slots the same and wait for a fifth card to come – if you can hold off!

Another alternative would be the United Business card – but if you have a small business, you’re probably better off getting the Ink products.

Bottom line

Because of restrictions by card issuers like Chase, it is important to be hyper-strategic about your applications. If you’re a rewards junkie, chances are you’re way over 5/24 – if you’re just getting started: stay organized and get strategic.

-The Miner


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