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When I first started in the award travel hobby, it was pretty easy to get approved for any and every credit card I applied for. Same for my wife. Our credit was solid (still is – SEE: ), and we opened numerous new accounts with little impact to it. Besides the American Express one-bonus-per-lifetime rule, everything else at the time was fair game.

Then the 5/24 rule hit, just in time to prevent me from getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred for a second time. I was bummed. With 15+ hard hits on my credit, it would be over 18 months before enough new accounts was fall off for me to be approved for a new Chase card. And that would mean going cold turkey on new applications.

But then I stopped worrying about it. There are still plenty of cards out there, and not all Chase cards are subject to the restriction. We moved on.

What about 5/24 in 2P mode?

But after a couple more rounds of card approvals, my wife and I started getting a few more denials here and there. We were also running out of decent American Express cards to apply for. So I eventually decided that one of us should “cool off” and get back under 5/24 (SEE: Giving “5/24” the stare down, and my 2017 credit card signup plans). We could then potentially rotate, one person being in “cool off” mode while the other still picked up new cards when there were good bonuses. I thought it was a decent strategy, as it would still allow us to get some new Chase cards now and then.

Well…we just jumped off that plan, even with just a few months left until my wife could get a Chase Sapphire Preferred again. Why? It’s simple: points now are better than points at some potential time in the future.

A bird in the hand…

You see, the new Hyatt card had been released, and this was the first time I’d been *really* enticed to jump off the 5/24 bandwagon. I don’t want to rock the boat with Chase myself, as I have a lot of hard hits and hold 6 cards with them currently. The shutdown stories scare me. But that 60,000-point bonus is nothing to sneeze at.

So after mulling it over, I decided that my wife should apply for both the Hyatt card and an increased 40,000-point Alaska card offer. That offer *still* gives the 2-for-1 companion certificate as well. Valuing the Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, the Alaska miles a 2.0 cents each, and the Alaska companion certificate at $100, we’re looking at a total bonus of $1,800. All for a $170 in annual fees.

You see, putting some points in the bank, especially the Hyatt points for which I have immediate plans, is a much better plan than waiting to get 55,000 Ultimate Rewards in December. Those aren’t guaranteed (neither were the Hyatt points or Alaska miles, but hey, we got 2 instant approvals). Who knows…maybe Chase will change their rules yet again, and my wife would become ineligible for a new card. Plus, we could only get one at that point. My wife would have to wait another 6 months for 2 more hard hits to fall off her report to be able to get another Chase card.

Moving forward, unless things continue to get *much* tighter, I don’t think we’re going to worry about staying under 5/24. There are still enough decent cards out there that we can make a good number of points. We’re scaling back the number of applications overall after facing an increase in denials, but restricting ourselves to only 5 every 2 years is just too few. There is still too much potential out there.

What about you? Have you stopped worrying about 5/24? Or do you try to stay below Chase’s restrictive number of applications?


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