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How the Chase 5/24 rule works and what it means for your Chase credit card applications

The Chase 5/24 rule is rumored among credit card forums, yet not officially published anywhere by Chase. Here's how it can affect your Chase credit card applications.

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Deciding when is the best time to apply for a new credit card is key, especially if you're looking to open a Chase credit card. While Americans have an average of four credit cards, those with more may run into Chase's "5/24 rule."

The 5/24 rule limits who can open a new Chase credit card, based on how many cards they have opened within the past two years. So, if you're looking to maximize travel rewards with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or get out of debt with the Chase Slate®, you may need to calculate your 5/24 score before applying.

Below, CNBC Select reviews how the Chase 5/24 rule works, so you can gauge qualification odds for Chase credit card applications.

What is the 5/24 rule?

Many card issuers have criteria for who can qualify for new accounts, but Chase is perhaps the most strict. Chase's 5/24 rule means that you can't be approved for most Chase cards if you've opened five or more personal credit cards (from any card issuer) within the past 24 months.

For instance, if you've opened two Citi cards and three Amex cards within the past 24 months, then you will likely be denied for a new Chase card until your 5/24 score decreases. There really aren't any workarounds to the 5/24 rule, beyond waiting for a new account to be over 24 months old.

What Chase cards are affected by 5/24?

How to calculate your 5/24 score

If you've recently opened new credit cards and want to apply for a Chase credit card, you may not know where you stand for the 5/24 rule. To calculate your 5/24 score, simply review your credit report and count the number of accounts that were opened in the past 24 months.

This also includes if someone added you as an authorized user on their account. And any accounts that were opened within the past two years but also closed within that time should still be counted.

Does the 5/24 rule affect other card issuers?

No — other card issuers don't follow the 5/24 rule, so you may qualify for an Amex or Citi card if you've opened five accounts within the past 24 months. However, all card issuers have their own requirements and criteria for approving applicants.

Information about the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, Chase Freedom®, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card, Chase Slate®, AARP® Credit Card from Chase, Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Credit Card, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, Disney® Premier Visa® Card, Disney® Visa® Card, Iberia Visa Signature® card, IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card, Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card, United Club℠ Business Card, and United Club℠ Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.