Reader Inquiry: At 4/24, Which Chase Card To Get Next?


I recently received the following email from a reader:

Hi Sarah,
My husband is currently at 4/24 (as long as the Chase Ink Business doesn’t count) so I would love for him to get another Chase card. Which Chase card would be best? 
  • Chase Freedom
  • Chase Hyatt
  • Chase IHG
  • Chase United
  • Chase ? (Is there a better Chase card to apply for?) 
Thanks for your help!


The reader’s husband opened all of the following Chase cards in the last 24 months:

  • Sapphire Reserve
  • Sapphire Preferred
  • Southwest Plus
  • Southwest Premier 
  • Ink Plus Business
Yes–that is five cards listed. They wrote that they are hoping the Ink Plus Business will not count as his fifth card since it is a business card, which is a valid conclusion to make considering other data points out there
So which Chase card should be his last (at least for a while)?
Let’s start with a process of elimination out of the cards the reader was interested in.
  • Freedom
  • Hyatt
  • IHG
  • United
We can eliminate the Hyatt and IHG card as eligible candidates, as the 5/24 rule is known not to apply to the Hyatt Card nor the IHG Rewards Club Select Card. Even after having opened five credits in 24 months, many people have reported approvals on their applications for these cards.
Lobby of the Grand Hyatt Macau
Lobby of the Grand Hyatt Macau

That leaves either the Freedom or the United MileagePlus Explorer Card. The reader asked if there were other Chase cards they should consider that she hand’t listed. I would consider the United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card instead, which has better category bonuses than the personal version of the card.

That leaves us with the…

  • United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card
  • Freedom Card

Long story short, the better card to choose between those two is probably the Freedom, unless they’re trying to pad their rewards balance ASAP for an impending trip. Keep reading if you want to hear my reasoning behind that answer.

United Business Card VS. Freedom Card

Here’s the bulk of my response to the reader:

I think your suggestions of the Freedom and United card are your best remaining options–although the United Business card has better category bonuses than the personal card. Which one he chooses (Freedom vs. United Business) is going to depend on your immediate versus long term goals.
Before I compare these two cards it’s important to note the difference in the type/value of rewards they each earn. The Freedom earns 1% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back on categories that rotate quarterly. At least that’s how it is marketed, but in fact, the card earns points that can be redeemed as cash back or can be converted to much more valuable airline miles and hotel points as long as you have a more premium Chase card account open. If you have a Freedom and either a Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred open, you can transfer your Freedom’s Ultimate Rewards to your Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus account inside your account. Then you can transfer Ultimate Rewards from your Sapphire Preferred/Sapphire Reserve/Ink Business Preferred account to airline miles or hotel points.
The United Business card earns normal United miles. United miles are useful and valuable, but less so than Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred to a variety of airline/hotel partners.
I think in the long run (as long as your husband plans on keeping one of his premium Chase cards open), the Chase Freedom card is the better play. You can keep it forever as it has no annual fee and you’ll earn more from maxing out the 5x category bonuses that rotate quarterly with less spending necessary. In the past the categories have been restaurants, amazon purchases, gas stations, grocery stores, etc.
If you need a surplus of miles now to book an award, then the United MileagePlus Business Card is the better choice because the bonus of 50k United miles is much bigger than that of the Freedom.
I’m going to play out a scenario here in which you put $6k of spending a year on the Freedom and 6k of spending a year on the United Business card for comparative purposes.
You’ll earn a bonus of 15k Ultimate Rewards for meeting the minimum spending requirement ($500 in three months) as well as 2,500 Ultimate Rewards for adding an authorized user.
If you max out the rotating category bonuses (cap for 5x earning is $1,500 per quarter), that would be $6k in spending (4 x $1,500)  x 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar spent = 30k Ultimate Rewards.
So in year one, you’d earn 47,500 Ultimate Rewards from the bonus + maxing out category bonuses (for a total of $6k in spending).
You’ll earn a 50k bonus from spending $3k in three months. When you factor in another $3k in spending with at least some category bonuses for spending at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores, or on United purchases, I’d say an estimate of 8k United miles for 6k in spending is more or less accurate.
So in year one, you’d earn roughly 58k Ultimate Rewards from the bonus + some category bonuses (for a total of $6k in spending).
You’ll earn 30k Ultimate Rewards for maxing out category bonuses with $6k of spending.
Spending $6k, even if you got a 2x category bonus on every dollar spent, you’d only earn 12k URs.

Bottom Line

I wrapped up my response pointing out that if you fly United often the perks like free a checked bag can be valuable, so consider those, but not to forget that the annual fee will kick in on the United Business card after the first year of card membership while the Freedom has no annual fee.
As long as the reader’s husband plans on keeping one of his premium Chase cards open, meaning he can transfer the Ultimate Rewards earned by his Freedom to that account which makes them transferrable to airline partners and much more valuable than just 1 cent each cash back, then in the long run I think they’ll realistically get more out of the Freedom with less spending. But of course, if they need a boost of points for a trip that’s right around the corner, the United Business Card could be the better play.

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.

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  1. better choice is to get the United Business first. Getting that card won’t bump the count up to 5/24, so then he can get the Freedom afterwards. Best to stay under 5/24 as much as possible.

  2. Why not both? If chase business cards don’t count towards 5/24, he should apply for United business and still be at 4/24 and then apply for the freedom.

  3. Your reader should apply for the United Business card, because it will not count against 5/24 (just like the Ink), and she can then get the Freedom at some near-term future point. If she proceeds the way you’re suggesting, the Freedom will count against 5/24 and will preclude her from getting the United Business card. Better to get both rather than choose one.

  4. What about the Business Preferred card? Then possibly the United or Marriott business cards? That way you can remain at 4/24 and then eventually go for a non-business card. That’s what worked for me until recently.

  5. Call them up can’t hurt then apply over phone . I got turned down like 6x in 6 years reapplied got 4 of them 6 months later.

  6. Definitely get the United card over the Freedom card. Since they have the CSR, the Sapphire Preferred is redundant, and they product change it to the Freedom card after a year, so that you can end up with both of the cards, but still have the better sign up bonus with the United card!

  7. Why are bloggers not talking about users protesting to Chase by boycotting their products.

    Chase’s 5/24 rule needs to eliminated…otherwise, other credit card issuers are going to follow suit!!!

    I refuse to apply for any Chase cards…I will not do business with them specifically because of the 5/24 rule.

    I’m going to bet that you won’t publish this due to your inherent conflict of interest with Chase.

    • I don’t support a boycott of Chase because Chase doesn’t owe us the ability to apply for unlimited cards. What a weird right to believe one has!

  8. I am over 5/24. I spent time pulling my credit history to figure out when I could get below the line. I would of had to wait 7 months to get to 4/24. I quickly decided I was going to miss out on to many great opportunities from other companies. When the barclaycard aviator came out i signed up and took the easy points. Chase cards on the 5/24 list are in the rearview and I don’t plan to spend any more time thinking about them. Plenty of other options out there. If I was at 4/24 with that list of cards already in my wallet I would be moving on to products like the barclaycard aviator red or arrival plus or both. Don’t let 5/25 stop you from taking advantage of all the other great offers.

  9. Yes no worry Don’t bank them SPEND them and their will b a New deal right around the corner . I need a card 4 Comfort INN.

  10. SO… If husband is 4/24 and currently has CSR (I have CSR and Freedom)…. Would he be able to apply for the business ink (waiting for the 100k offer) and then ANOTHER chase card? Same Day? Time Frame to wait?? Thanks in advance.

    • @Nicole, he could apply for the Ink yes, however, he would still be considered 4/24 after that. So, I would wait a month after that app then apply for 2 chase personal cards at the same time. He’ll likely get approved for both. I was in the same situation and it was recommended that I do that. I applied for CSP and Marriott personal and got them when I was at 4/24.

    • Theoretically yes, but there’s a chance he’ll get denied. I’ve seen more data points of Chase business cards not counting towards 5/24 rather than counting, but just so you understand the risk, I’ve also seen many data points when it has counted. So it depends… if there’s another Chase card he’s dying to have, perhaps it’s not worth the risk? That’s up to you guys to decide.

  11. Great post. Wanted to eventually get to Park Hyatt Maldives soon using points so I would get Chase Hyattt next in my churns. Got the Chase CSR recently and trying to finish meeting min spend. There is huge bonus from Plastiq lately to use for your minimum spend requirements by using it to pay for your mortgage. You can get $500 FFD (as May 23, 2017). I have been using it as last resort to meet the min spend for my Chase CSR card. Wish me luck!!

    Referral code 648787


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