This guide has finally been published in r/churning. I plan to continue updating this guide on both places.
>> Note: The intended target audience of this guide are newbies who want to optimize Chase cards and are under 5/24. This guide does not cover folks beyond 5/24 neither does it fit those who are under 5/24 yet chose to altogether neglect Chase cards. <<
I answer a lot of question in r/churning newbie thread and lately I’ve noticed that there is one question that I end up answering multiple times every day…and well it is getting a bit repetitive. Plus, I think to fully answer the said question, one really has to take a lot of time and effort. This is my attempt to answer that question to the best of my ability in as comprehensive manner as I can. This way I don’t have to engage in an hour long conversation on this subject over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, I love helping out newbies -otherwise I wouldn’t be in a newbie thread answering questions or here writing this guide. That said, here is the question in hand:
I am 0/24, 1/24, 2/24, 3/24, or 4/24, what card(s) should I get next?
But in order to get to the heart of this question, I expect you to know certain things before hand, let’s call them “prerequisites”. In prerequisites section I will briefly go over things that I expect you to know and provide some follow up links that you may want to check out.
Then I will consider various scenearious and answer the question in hand. I intend to update this guide time and again (last updated 1/19/2017) so whatever you see here is most likely up-to-date information. This is out of necessity because, for example, 4 weeks ago CSR would have been the first card I would have recommended but now I would recommend Ink Plus (more on this later).
Finally, after tackling the question from various angles, I will end this guide by answering some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). These questions will mostly be based on questions that I have seen a lot in newbie question thread of r/churning.
What is 5/24?
If the credit bureau Chase pulls for you shows 5 or more cards open in last 24 months, then Chase will generally deny you certain cards.
Free ways to check credit report?
Experian phone app for Experian and Credit Karma for Transunion and Equifax are two most common methods.
What is 2/30?
2/30 is a guideline (not a rule) that Chase uses very often to deny your 3rd Chase application within 30 days. If they choose to deny you based on this rule, then call reconsideration line once your 1st and 3rd applications are 30 days apart but within 30 days of your 3rd application.
What is Chase reconsideration number?
Personal: 1-888-270-2127 (8AM-10PM EST on weekdays, 8AM-8PM EST on weekend)
Business: 800-453-9719 (1PM-10PM EST on weekdays)
Check Status: 888-338-2586 (24/7 bot) or
Quick Status Check: 800-432-3117, press #,3,1 then enter Social Security Number (SSN).
Remember you can only recon within 30 days from the day you submitted your application.
Should I recon or not?
Generally speaking recon for personal Chase credit card is rather easy. On the contrary, it is strongly advised that you don’t recon for Chase business applications, particularly if your business is a “business”. The reason being that Chase business recon is considered to be harsh in a sense that they’ll ask you a ton of question about your business. Because of this the general advice for a newbie is never recon Chase business card. However, do note that sometimes Chase will ask you to call them and occasionally this request from Chase may only be because they wish to do some verification. Still, because you’ve no way of knowing if it is simple verification call or not, I strongly advice newbies against reconing for Chase business card. Now if on a rather rare occasion Chase sends you a letter stating you must call then do proceed to call.
How to combine hard pulls?
If you apply for 2 Chase personal cards on the same day then your pulls are combined. In other words, your credit bureau will show 1 hard inquiry from Chase instead of 2. Note that should you get approved for both cards, then both new cards will still show up in your report.
Does Ink Count Towards 5/24?
As of writing this article, there is a huge misconception (which probably prevails in above supplement articles) that Ink products do count towards 5/24. Most who argue this do so because they believe Chase can “see” your Ink card. However, important thing to note is that Ink products (like many business cards) do not show up in your personal credit report. As such, Ink products do not count towards 5/24 but remember 5/24 does apply to them.
2 cards at 4/24 trick???
Suppose you are at 4/24 and decide to apply for 2 personal chase cards on the same day. One would think that one of the apps would get approved while other would be denied because of 5/24. However, recent data points (DP) suggest that it is possible to get approved for both. I think the ideal thing to do is –
- apply for the card that you want more first
- get it approved, recon if you must (remember recon isn’t open 24/7)
- then apply for second card on the same day
- and i would further say recon to get that one approved as well
How do I get a business card without an actual business?
Have you ever sold an item on amazon/ebay? Have you tutored kids for money? Have you been paid (in cookies) for babysitting your brother? Congrats, you got a “business”. Essentially during the application process all you have to do is the following:
- select “sole proprietor” as business type
- use your SSN for tax ID number (TIN)
- and use your name as business name
Yes, this is a perfectly valid thing to do, even if you’re applying at branch. It always helps if you’ve been doing “business” for couple of years and showing couple of thousand as annual revenue is generally helpful as well. Remember, these cards are approved based on your personal record.
The ABSOLUTE WORST Case of Manufactured Spend (MS) aka I don’t have enough spend, should I even apply for CSR/Ink/CSP/etc?
The bonus in these cards is so high that even in worst case scenario, you’ll end up making $500 from couch. I describe the absolute worst case scenario as follows:
- you can’t put any organic spend (aka your real spend) on the card
- instead you’ll MS all your minimum spend
- and you will MS by paying highest fee you possibly could – 3% with Venmo or Square Cash
- lastly you will burn your Ultimate Reward (UR) points at one of its lowest value 1:1 cash i.e. 100 points is $1.
Now, for an example let me consider my beloved Ink Plus. Ink Plus has a signup bonus of 70k (more on that later) and it comes with an AF of $95. If you MS all $5k with Venmo then your worst net profit will be $505.
700-95 (fee) – 150 (Venmo fee) + 50 (1% earning) = $505
Congratulations, you made $505 by clicking buttons for less than 5 minutes.
Now imagine if you could put all organic spend or even half organic spend. How about if you could MS at lower fee rate? What if you could get 2 cents per point (cpp) with UR points?
Small Note on Venmo: If you use a credit card (3% fee) to send money to Account2 from Account1, then don’t send that Venmo balance right back (no fee) from Account2 to Account1. This will eventually lead to a shutdown. Ideally speaking, you want to send money to a trustworthy person, have him transfer Venmo balance to their bank account, and then this person should return you your money via other means such as cash or check.
Do I burn 5/24 slot on UR earning card or non-UR like Marriott, United, or Southwest?
UR transfer to Marriott, United, Southwest, and more 1:1 so unless you’ve a special situation in hand, focus on top UR cards first. Additionally, UR points can be cashed out 1:1, redeemed via UR travel portal at 1.25-1.5 cpp. Last but not least, for most of us UR cards are long term investments. The amount of points you can shower by having Ink, CSR, and Freedom cards is unfathomable.
I am 3/24, want a companion pass as well as UR earning card(s), what should I do?
If a Companion Pass is of high value to you then it makes sense to ditch the idea of applying for CSP and CSR and burn 2 slots of 5/24 towards attaining a companion pass. However, an important thing to remember is that Ink products do not count towards 5/24. Because of this, if time allows, I suggest grabbing Ink product(s) before applying for SW cards.
I desperately want non-UR card(s) that are under 5/24 but I don’t want to lose out on UR earning personal card either….what should I do?
You could get that card non-UR card and then visit a Chase branch to see if you’re pre-approved for a UR earning card. As of now, nobody knows what triggers pre-approval but it seems like 95% of folks who have had pre-approval didn’t have 2+ Chase cards in last 6 months. Remember that most non-UR cards can’t be applied in branch.
MY Recommended way of Prioritizing UR earning Cards (last updated 2/12/2017)
A little bit of disclaimer in hand – everything in this section assumes the following:
- You don’t have a special circumstance preventing you on focusing on UR cards only
- You have fair amount of time to focus on UR cards only
- You’ve at least 2 slots left in 5/24 i.e. at worst you are 3/24
That said here is the specific order in which I would prioritize my application towards UR earning cards:
Ink Preferred (IP) is #1
I rank it #1 pretty much because
- 1st year AF is waived for in branch applicants
- Chase does not report opening of a business account to a your personal credit bureau
- Chase business cards do not count towards 5/24
- and most importantly the current sign up bonus of 80k is a limited time offer that could technically disappear tomorrow without warning.
edit [2/11]: According to DoC, Ink Preferred is going to get a 100k offer soon. Generally Chase matches you to higher offer if you request to be matched within 90 days of getting the card. Now, there have been occasional where Chase will not match you to higher offer (ex: 70k United) or will only match some users to higher offer (ex 30k Freedom and 70k CSP in branch offer of Dec 2016). Because of this reason it may be ideal to postpone your IP application for a bit but as always YMMV.
Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) is #2
Current online sign-up bonus on this card is mere 50k but till 3/12/2017 in branch offer is still 100k. Plus because this card comes with annual $300 credit, I will still rank this as #2 card.
If you apply this time of the year (last updated 11/26/2016) then you can triple dip the $300 travel credit. In other words, for one annual fee (AF), you can get $300 credit for 2016, 2017, and 2018. Also, I personally would be surprised if 100k signup bonus makes it past Q1 of 2017.
Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) is #3
In December of 2016 Chase had offered in branch 75k offer (non-branch applicants rarely got matched) but for now they’re offering the standard 55k offer. While this is a card everyone should apply for, it just so happens that currently above two cards should often be prioritized first. If you wish to sign up for this card then consider signing it up through my the referral link below and win some internet ❤
Additionally, you can apply for CSR and CSP on same day and have your inquiries combined. This is also why I chose to subsequently rank CSP after CSR.
Should one always follow above ranking?
Not necessarily. Above ranking is often ideal for those who have enough time to space out business space out business applications.
Why didn’t Freedom card make the cut? $150 for $500 spend is real easy man.
Because the signup bonus often isn’t good enough. Even with increased 32k signup bonus in branch (credit: USCCG), the math is heavily in favor of above cards. That’s right, even if you put organic spend on Freedom and MS on Ink+ in absolute worst way, even then Ink+ will be in heavy lead.
Ideally speaking Freedom cards are what you downgrade to not what you start with.
My score is low, should I start with Freedom?
If your score is piss poor then have someone with decent score add you as AU (they can keep your card if they like). Alternatively, it might be worth getting a store card that reports to credit bureau. Why? Because over recon, Chase will not count store cards for 5/24.
If your score is kinda okay then I suggest you start with CSP. The minimum initial credit limit Chase has to extend you for CSP is 5k as well so you might as well try. If they deny you, you can always make a case over recon. If they still deny you after 20 recon attempts, make peace knowing the fact that you attempted to go the most optimal route. If you’ve a decent score then I suggest attempting CSR (minimum initial credit limit of 10k needed)ko first for above mentioned reasons.
I’m under 5/24 and just received great targeted Amex offer, what should I do?
The important thing to realize is as follows:
- Most folks can easily get 2 Chase cards in a month.
- Amex reports opening of a new card on 2nd statement.
In essence, it is often possible for you to apply for your Amex card and burn through 5/24 Chase cards before Amex cards shows up in your report. However, proceed at your own risk.
I must apply for XYZ non-chase personal card soon, I’ve already applied for 2 Chase cards this month, I’m still under 5/24, I want to get a third 5/24 Chase card, but XYZ card will put me over 5/24. What do I do?
You could attempt to get around this situation by dropping a 3rd Chase app some days after your 1st Chase app. Then apply for the XYZ card. Now should you get denied for for your 3rd Chase app, you can call recon within 30 days for reconsideration. For example, if you were denied because of 2/30, then wait until you are out of 2/30 zone and call but remember to call within 30 days of your 3rd application.
I am at 4/24, how do I get maximum # of cards that are under 5/24?
- Remember that Ink products do not count against 5/24 so I suggest you get as many Ink products as you can. While there are 4 Ink products you can apply to, realistically most folks reading this won’t be able (or won’t have patience) to get that many. I suggest grabbing Ink Plus and Ink Preferred.
- Attempt to grab 2 personal 5/24 cards on the same day. See prerequisites section for detail.
All in all I think it is possible to get 4 5/24 cards while you are at 4/24.