Marriage and the Points Game: a Chase 5/24 Issue

Chase 5/24 quick definition

Certain consequences can be had when you “play” the points game extensively. Chase, on certain credit cards, has what is called the 5/24 rule. Basically, open more than 5 credit cards of any type and Chase will reject you for cards under 5/24 umbrella. Chase’s 5/24 rule isn’t the only one out there but that is what prompts the below story.

How marriage comes into it

When the Chase Sapphire Reserve was announced it was a BIG DEAL. Unfortunately I had opened more than 5 credit cards in 2 years since I had no idea a 100k Chase Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus would be on the horizon. Plus I already had the Chase Sapphire Preferred. At this point Ben and our other brother were mocking me incessantly for opening too many cards in two years. But I was thinking “no problem! my husband can get it, he has only opened 2 cards in 2 years!”

This damn card


Long story short…I’m an idiot. I had kept adding him as an authorized user on my cards since they didn’t ask for a SSN so I assumed it wasn’t going on his credit report. Well, that was a rookie mistake. He dutifully applied when I emailed him the link the day it opened and got a rapid “pending” message of doom.

He called the reconsideration line but they stated if any money had come out of a joint account to pay the bill on any cards it was a NO. He’s an ethical guy so told the truth, hung up and that was that. Good thing I planned a honeymoon 6 months earlier which included a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue being left at his seat in Cathay Pacific First Class or I may have been in real trouble! I kid of course, but he was a little miffed about being rejected for a credit card for the first time in his life.

When luck comes into play…

Luckily for us I was approved in-branch despite being over the 5/24 rule (an awesome exception that can work for many people!). So we still became the recipient of a Chase Sapphire Reserve which then rounded out the perfect trifecta. Therefore our household was still the benefit of the 100k sign-up bonus as well. It’s now been a year since that JW Blue on Cathay though so I’m feeling the heat. I have a feeling that Maldives trip will make up for it and then some!

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