My Chase Credit Card Strategy (2022)
There are many aspects to maximizing your credit card rewards, including taking advantage of the best welcome bonuses, spending categories, and card benefits.
Sometimes I think it’s interesting to break down credit card strategies by card issuer, so in this article I wanted to share my Chase card strategy for 2022. Chase has some of the best points for earning credit cards , although Chase cards can also be among the hardest to get approved.
Here’s an overview of what you need to know to get approved for a Chase card, a summary of my strategy, and then the Chase cards I’m most interested in.
How many Chase cards can you have?
There is no limit to the number of Chase cards you can have. For example, I have 11 Chase cards, although I know people who have more than that. With Chase, the limiting factor is usually the total amount of credit the bank is willing to extend to you. This means that if you apply for a new card and you are at the maximum credit that Chase is willing to extend to you, you may be asked to transfer lines of credit.
The other big restrictions relate to the application process, as I will explain below.
Restrictions on applying for Chase Cards?
There are a few major restrictions to be aware of when applying for Chase Cards:
The Chase 5/24 Rule
Chase has what’s called the “5/24 Rule,” where you generally won’t be approved for a new Chase card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months. For this reason, it’s often a good idea to apply for as many Chase cards as possible at the start of your credit card journey, as these are cards you may not be able to get back in the future.
Note that as a general rule, business credit cards will not count against this limit, whether issued by Chase or another card issuer. When applying for Chase cards, you should prioritize business applications over personal applications.
See this article for more details on how to check if you have less or more than 5/24.
Waiting Between Chase Apps
You will generally not be approved for more than two Chase Cards in a 30 day period. Some report only being able to be approved for one Chase card during this time. Personally, to be sure, I wouldn’t ask for more than one personal card and one business card in a 30 day period.
Rule Chase 24/48 months
The exact terms vary by card, so you’ll always want to check the terms of your credit card application carefully. Usually, Chase will only approve you for a card if you don’t currently have it and you haven’t received a new cardholder bonus on the card in the last 24 months.
However, for some cards (like Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve), this waiting period is even longer, up to 48 months.
Rules of the “Family” card
For some cards, Chase has a “family card” rule. Essentially, Chase will not approve you for a card if you currently have a card in the family or if you received a new cardholder bonus on a card in the family within the last 24-48 months.
This is the case with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® cards, for example. If you have one of these cards, you cannot be approved for the other card, and vice versa.
Similar restrictions apply to certain Marriott and Southwest cards.
What Chase cards do I have?
At the moment I have the following 11 Chase cards (as you can see the focus is on cards earning Ultimate Rewards points), and this is also the most cards I have with any issuer. Here are the Chase credit cards I have:
For years, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® (review) card was my “go-to” credit card, although since then I’ve upgraded to Sapphire Reserve instead.
How do I use my Chase cards?
There are different reasons why I have Chase credit cards:
- Some I have for the ongoing benefits they provide
- Some I got for the return on spend they offer
- Some I have for a combination of both factors
Below I will detail the reasons why I have each of the Chase cards in my wallet.
Chase cards I have for perks
I have both the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card and the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card specifically for the anniversary free night certificates offered by the cards, each valid at a property costing up to 40,000 points per night (and you can even use points to top it off on those certificates and redeem them at more expensive hotels).
This alone more than justifies the annual fees for both cards and is also a reason to choose an IHG card.
That’s not even taking into account other IHG Premier benefits, including IHG One Rewards Club Platinum status, a fourth night free on rewards redemptions, and more.
Then there’s the British Airways Visa Signature® card, which offers all sorts of perks, like up to $600 in reward flight statement credits per year, 10% off British Airways flights, and more. Again. Although the card hasn’t brought me as much value in the past two years, when I get value from the card, it saves me hundreds of dollars. That’s why I intend to keep the card.
Chase cards I have for perks and spending bonuses
The World of Hyatt credit card pays for itself with benefits alone. It has a $95 annual fee, and I’m keeping it because it offers an annual free night certificate valid at a Category 1-4 property, plus five elite nights toward status each year. This more than justifies the annual fee, in my opinion.
But I also end up putting $15,000 of spending on the card per year, because spending that amount earns me:
- A second category 1-4 free night certificate
- Six additional Elite Nights toward status each year (two for every $5,000 spent)
I also purchased the World of Hyatt business card in late 2021, and frankly, I’m still trying to figure out exactly how it fits into my overall strategy. The card has an annual fee of $199 and offers up to $100 in Hyatt credits per year, which means it really costs me less than $100 per year to keep it.
The card earns elite qualifying nights at a faster rate than the personal version of the card, although there are no free night certificates. I don’t need extra elite parties this year, but maybe it will be more useful next year.
Hunting cards I have for spending bonuses
I have the other six Chase payback credit cards they offer, although I don’t actively use them all. These cards constitute what I like to call the “Chase Holy Grail”.
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card has an annual fee of $550 and offers 3x points on dining and travel, plus all sorts of perks, including a $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass membership, excellent travel and purchase protection, and more.
- The Chase Freedom FlexSM has no annual fee and offers 5x points in rotating quarterly categories, on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter, plus 3x points in pharmacies and restaurants
- The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has no annual fee and offers 1.5x the points on all purchases, making it one of the best personal cards for everyday spending; the card also offers 3x points in pharmacies and restaurants
- The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has an annual fee of $95 and is the best business credit card, offering 3x points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases per cardholder per year on travel, shipping , internet, cable, telephone services and advertising purchases made on social media sites and search engines
- The Ink Business Cash® credit card has no annual fee and offers 5x points on the first $25,000 in combined purchases per cardholder year at office supply stores, Internet, cable TV, mobile phones and landlines, and 2x points on the first $25,000 of combined purchases. purchases by cardholder year at restaurants and gas stations
- The Ink Business Unlimited® credit card has no annual fee and offers 1.5x points on all purchases
I don’t think there is a more ideal combination of cards with any issuer because Chase cards get everything from a lot of my bonus spending to a lot of my non-bonus daily spending.
One of the main ways my credit card spending has changed over the past two years is that my non-bonus daily spending no longer goes to Chase credit cards:
When it comes to transferable point currencies, I prefer to earn 2x points rather than 1.5x points. So why keep cards like Chase Freedom Unlimited and Ink Business Unlimited open? Well, there’s value in holding on to cards for the long term because having cards for a long time helps your credit score. You can’t beat that without annual fee cards.
Which Chase cards do I want the most?
At this point, I’m happy with my Chase credit card portfolio and have most of the cards I really want. From my perspective, there are a few Chase cards that would be nice to have:
At the end of the line
I would say that Chase currently has the most compelling rewards card portfolio. Between great co-branded cards and cards earning Ultimate Rewards points, there are plenty of opportunities to maximize points.
The main thing to keep in mind is that Chase Cards are also some of the hardest to get, so consider when to request Chase Cards.
I’m really happy with my current ten Chase credit cards. Some cards I find valuable for the benefits they provide simply as a cardholder, while other cards I find valuable for the return on spend they provide. There are a few other Chase cards I’d love to pick up, but even without them I’m still very happy with my setup.
What does your chase card strategy look like today?