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Chase Ink Business Credit Cards: Does the 5/24 Rule Apply?

Chase, one of the largest banks and credit card issuers in the United States, has a little-known rule that applies to credit cards acquired through the company.

Very few consumers are aware of that rule, but it can determine whether or not you are approved for a Chase credit card -- with little regard for your high income and great credit score.

Referred to as the “5/24 Rule”, it imposes a limit on how many credit cards you can open in the recent past and still be approved for a new Chase card.

What is the 5/24 Rule?

Simply put:

If you open five or more credit cards in the past 24 months, you will not be eligible for a credit card from Chase.

Cards that are counted

Those five credit cards are not restricted to Chase cards either. They apply to any new credit cards opened with any lender within the past 24 months.

That includes not only major credit card issuing companies, like Bank of America, American Express, Discover, and Capital One, but it may also apply to merchant credit cards like those from department stores.

Also:

Be aware that many non-merchant vendors are now offering credit cards that will count toward the limit.

These include co-branded credit cards issued in partnership with airlines, major hotels, and Disney.

Ignores applicant income and credit score

It can be shocking for a high-income applicant who also has a very high credit score to be declined for a Chase credit card.

That will be the outcome if you’ve reached the five-card limit over the past 24 years imposed by Chase.

This can be a serious limitation because many consumers apply for credit cards on an ongoing basis, in an attempt to get the cards paying the highest rewards, or more particularly, to take advantage of generous sign-up bonuses and 0% introductory APR offers for balance transfers and purchases.

Unfortunately, some of the most popular credit cards are offered by Chase.

These include the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Slate cards.

Does the 5/24 Rule Apply to Chase Ink Business Cards?

Chase Ink Business credit cards are in something of a gray zone, because they may or may not count toward the 5/24 Rule, and they may even be exempt from an entirely.

Let’s first cover how Chase Ink Business cards will be affected.

If you’ve hit the 5/24 Rule with other credit cards, you won’t be approved for a Chase Ink Business card.

However, being approved for a Chase Ink Business card won’t count toward the five-credit card limit since it’s a business account.

Got that? It is a bit confusing.

To reiterate:

Chase Ink Business cards don’t count toward the five-credit card limit, but your application for one of these cards will not be approved if you’ve already hit that limit.

What about business credit cards issued by other banks?

It all depends on whether or not those cards are in your name personally or in the name of your business only.

  • If they are under your name, which is highly likely, they will count toward the five-credit card limit.
  • If they’re in the name of your business only, they won’t count at all.

You should be aware however that except for large, well-established companies, even business credit cards will appear under your name personally.

Now:

That will be true even if your business operates under a limited liability company (LLC), partnership, or closely held corporation.

That’s because unless your business has built a sufficient credit rating to apply for credit in its own name alone, a credit card issuer will require you to provide your name and Social Security number, as well as a personal guarantee.

That being the case, the typical business card will count toward the 5/24 rule.

You’ll need to monitor your credit on a regular basis to see if any of those business accounts show up on your personal credit report.

But if you have provided your Social Security number and a personal guarantee for a business credit card, you should fully expect it will show up on your personal credit report.

Chase Ink Business Cards

Below is a brief summary of each of the Chase Ink Business credit cards, including a description of their rewards and other benefits they provide.

Chase Ink Business Preferred

The offers 3 points for every dollar spent on travel and select business categories.

Those categories include:

  • travel
  • shipping purchases
  • advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
  • Internet, cable and phone services

The three-point tier is good up to $150,000 in purchases in those categories each anniversary year.

Apart from the three-point reward category, you’ll also earn unlimited 1X points for every dollar spent on all other purchases.

Rewards points can be transferred to any of 10 airline travel partners, or three hotel travel partners. Meanwhile, you can get employee cards at no additional cost, and there are no foreign transaction fees.

There is a $95 annual fee.

Read the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card editor's review.

Chase Ink Business Cash

The  offers 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent each year on combined purchases at office supply stores and Internet, cable and phone services.

You’ll also get 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent on combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each year, then unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Employee cards are also available at no additional cost. There is no annual fee, but there are foreign transaction fees of 3%.

Read the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card editor's review.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited

The comes with simple rewards – you’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

You can also get employee cards at no additional cost and there is no annual fee. The card does come with a 3% fee on foreign transactions.

Read the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card editor's review.

What You Need to Apply for a Business Credit Card

Qualification for a business credit card can take one of two forms, depending on the creditworthiness of your business.

If your company already has a credit profile of its own, you’ll be able to apply for a business card in the name of your company, generally without needing to provide a personal guarantee or your Social Security number.

This is most typical of large, well-established organizations, with a predictable cash flow and a satisfactory established credit history.

You’ll likely need to supply financial statements and recent business income tax returns to prove your business income.

The lender will run a business credit report on your company to determine its creditworthiness.

However, if you are a smaller business – one that has not yet established independent credit – you’ll need to be personally included on the credit card application. This will be true even if your business is a distinct legal entity, and its name will appear on both the account and the credit card.

Not only will the bank run a credit report on you or any other major owners of the business, but you may also be called upon to document both your personal and business income.

This may be necessary since business credit cards typically have higher credit limits than personal credit cards.

Final Thoughts

If you want to apply for one of the many excellent credit cards offered by Chase and you fall within the 5/24 restriction, the best strategy is to wait until you’re out of the blackout period.

Of course:

If you really want to keep your credit card options open, the better long-term strategy is to limit the number of new credit cards you acquire.

By keeping that to no more than two new credit cards per calendar year, you’ll avoid hitting the threshold.

Finally, if you are normally on the lookout for high rewards credit cards, you might want to prioritize Chase cards, including Chase Ink Business cards, in your search.

Since they are some of the most valuable credit cards in the industry, you’ll want to make sure you have those cards locked down before applying for other cards.