Every credit card issuer has lots of rules that one is not likely to know about, but can result in credit card application denials.
Anyone that has started to get into the credit card rewards game has no doubt heard of the Chase 5/24 rule (wherein Chase won’t approve any new cards for you if you have opened 5 or more personal cards in the past 24 months). And that is prudent because not knowing about that rule can really mess you up. But…
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Is there a limit to how many Chase credit cards you can have at one time?
In the MilesTalk Facebook group last night, I polled our over 5,200 members to see how many Chase credit cards people had (personal and small business cards combined) and I was surprised by what I learned.
While, as expected, many had 5, 6, 7 or 8 (I have 8 myself), we had 6 people with 9 Chase credit cards, 5 people with 10 Chase cards, and 5 people with more than 10 Chase credit cards.
So what is the highest Chase credit card count that anyone had?
We had not one, but two group members with 14 cards.
I’m not even sure that 14 is a hard limit as much as a function of running out of cards to choose from or total credit line available – or both.
This brings me to an important point. While it appears that there is no hard limit on the number of cards that a Chase customer can be approved for, there is still something I refer to as the Chase Wall.
Note that I am also assuming you already know how to manage the Chase 5/24 rule efficiently, prioritizing Chase small business credit cards first since business cards don’t count against your 5-24 until you are at/over 5/24 (5 or more personal cards in the last 24 months). And make sure you know that if you are an authorized user on another person’s card, Chase’s system will count that against your 5 24 count, but that you can have a Chase reconsideration agent remove those from your total.
Note that this contrasts wildly from American Express, who allows you 4 credit cards and 10 charge products – max.
The Chase Wall: Your Max Credit Limit with Chase
When Chase denies you because they have “extended all the credit that Chase can extend to you at this time,” I call that hitting the Chase Wall. This doesn’t mean you can’t have that additional card, but it means that you will need to call the Chase reconsideration line and have then reallocate credit lines from one card to another. It’s the total credit line, not the card quantity that matters.
Let’s say you have 5 Chase card products with a $100,000 total credit limit and they are not willing to give you more credit. When you apply for the 6th card, you’ll have your card application denied.
But you can still call the Chase reconsideration line and ask if they can move some credit from one (or more) of your other Chase cards to the new one.
Two rules to be aware of with regards to credit reallocation with Chase:
* Chase can only reallocate from a business credit card to another business credit card, or from a personal credit card to another personal credit card.
* Each Chase credit card has an (unpublished) minimum line of credit to be open. For example, a Chase Sapphire Reserve card needs at least $10,000 in credit and a Chase Sapphire Preferred needs at least $5,000 on its credit line to stay open.
To over-simplify, this means that if you had just a Chase Sapphire Reserve with a $10,000 credit line and Chase denied another card application because it had extended all the credit it was willing to, you would not be able to move any credit from that Reserve card because any reallocation of that line would put you under the minimum credit line for that card.
Of course, in reality, you will likely have more credit the minimum on one or more of your cards to reallocate. Eventually, however, you may run out of credit line to spread around before you get up to 14 Chase credit cards…
The total credit line Chase will extend to you won’t be known to you until you “hit the Chase Wall” but it’s safe to say that it’s a function of your credit score, your history with Chase, and, more than anything, your income. Credit line to income as a % is definitely a major factor here.
Available Chase Credit Cards
You might be wondering how someone could even want 14 Chase credit cards, but the fact is that they have a lot of cards with great benefits and there are reasons to want many of them.
On this page alone, we have 25 Chase credit cards currently available for new accounts, and the United Quest is coming soon as well. That will make 26. And that doesn’t account for all of the ones no longer offered but you might still have. There are many Chase cards to want.
I personally think that you could make a case for having all of the following cards in an ideal wallet:
Chase Business Credit Cards:
- Ink Business Preferred (huge 100,000 point signup bonus; 3X on travel and advertising; unlocks the ability to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to Chase travel partners)
- Ink Business Cash (5X on office supplies including gift cards)
- Ink Business Unlimited (1.5X on everything)
- Southwest Performance Business credit card or Southwest Premier Business credit card (at least to get Companion Pass for two years when you get one of these + a personal Southwest card or both Southwest business cards)
- United Business card (for the free checked bags and expanded award availability).
Chase Personal Credit Cards:
First, the Chase Trifecta:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred (large signup bonuses; either unlocks the ability to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to Chase travel partners)
- Chase Freedom Flex (3X on dining and drugstores; 5X rotating categories each quarter; no annual fee)
- Chase Freedom Unlimited (1.5X on everything; no annual fee)
Then you could also reasonably want:
- World of Hyatt credit card (Nice bonus, annual free Cat 1-4 night, earn 2 elite nights for every $5,000 you spend, 4X on Hyatt stays)
- IHG Premier Rewards Club credit card (4th night free on IHG award stays; included IHG Platinum status; annual free night)
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card (15 elite nights towards status each year; annual free night up to 35,000 points)
- Any of the three personal Southwest credit cards (primarily for the bonus towards Companion Pass since you’d do better putting spend on a Sapphire Reserve or Preferred and transferring to Southwest if you really wanted)
- The United Explorer or United Club Infinite card if you don’t already have the United Business card. (And the United Quest is coming soon.)
- A British Airways credit card (bonus can go as high as 100,000 Avios; 10% off BA flights)
By my count, that’s at least 12 Chase cards it would be reasonable to want, all at once and for different reasons.
Other Chase Credit Card Application Rules
Just keep in mind that you may hit the “Chase Wall” before you get all the cards you want, so it’s still important to get the business card you want first, since they won’t increase your 5/24 count. All of the great credit card offers can sometimes threaten to knock you off of your strategy, so stick to the plan.
After that, you need to really prioritize the order since you don’t know when you’ll run out of space (i.e. credit line). I have still never had a United card or the IHG Premier card as I’ve been prioritizing other cards. I really do want an IHG card for the 4th night free. And I just finally picked up a World of Hyatt card in December in preparation for the Great Globalist Run of 2021 (now over).
Long story short: There’s no limit on the number of Chase credit cards you can have, but you may run out of credit lines before you get all the cards you want.
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You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.
New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.