Under 5/24. Which cards should I collect next?

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I’m a huge nerd when it comes to credit cards.  I collect them the way that others collect baseball cards or sneakers.  To me, the ideal cards for my collection are those that offer perks that I value more than the card’s annual fee, or better yet, fee-free cards that offer perks simply by keeping the account open.  If the card also offers great rewards for spend — so much the better.  Best of all is when such a card is no longer available to new applicants… but I still have it.  A great example is the IHG Select card.  You can’t get the card anymore, but those who have it get a 40K free night cert each year, which more than makes up for the card’s $49 annual fee.  Plus, you get 10% back on award redemptions, and Platinum Elite status.  It’s a true collector’s item.

Image of Greg choosing between many Chase credit cards

Under 5/24

Travel Freely website shows that Greg is under 5/24
The Travel Freely website shows that Greg is under 5/24. The 5/24 indicator shows that he is currently at 3/24 and will drop lower in June and again in December.

I’ve been on an unintentional Chase credit card diet for the past couple of years due to Chase’s 5/24 Rule, but I’ve finally dipped under.  My Travel Freely account shows that I’m currently at 3/24 and will drop to 2/24 in June.  I can finally apply for Chase cards again!

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.
To determine your 5/24 status, see: Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.

Chase Collectibles

My favorite Chase cards aren’t really collectibles.  Instead, they’re cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points in multiples ranging from 1.5x to 5x for various categories of spend.  And I already have them all: Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ink Business Cash, Chase Ink Business Plus, Chase Freedom Flex, Chase Freedom Unlimited, etc.

I also already have lots of “collectibles” issued by Chase…

Rare collectibles (no longer available new)

The cards in this section are ones I have, but which are no longer available new.  With the first two, as far as I know, there’s no way to get them now if you don’t already have them.  The Ritz card, though, is still available through product changes.

  • IHG Select:  This $49 per year card offers an annual 40K free night e-certificate (but without the ability to top-off with points for higher-level stays).  It also gives the cardholder a 10% rebate on award stays, and Platinum elite status.

Available collectibles

The following are cards I currently have which are still available to sign up new.  Each of these offer perks that I value more than the card’s annual fee.  To make this determination, I look only at perks offered automatically, not those that require spend.  For example, the Bonvoy Bountiful wouldn’t make the cut because it requires $15K spend for its 50K cert (and that’s why I don’t have or want that card!).

  • Bonvoy Boundless: This $95 Marriott card offers a 35K free night certificate each year to more than make up for its annual fee (Marriott 35K certs can often be redeemed for well over $200 in value).  Additionally, the Boundless card offers the ability to earn elite nights with spend: For each $5K of spend, you get an elite night that will help you earn elite status.  While I don’t usually make use of this feature, it came in very handy late last year.  See: Marriott Titanium achieved. Here’s how I sprinted to the finish.
  • World of Hyatt: This card offers an annual category 1-4 free night certificate that more than makes up for its $95 annual fee (Hyatt Cat 1-4 certs can easily offset a stay costing $250 or more).  Get another certificate after $15K annual spend.  Plus, earn 2 elite nights with each $5K spend.  This one would be a keeper even without its spend bonuses, but I do love the fact that the card can be used to earn high level Hyatt elite status with enough spend.
  • IHG Premier:  This one offers an annual 40K free night e-certificate (with the ability to top-off with points for higher-level stays) which more than makes up for its $99 annual fee.  It also gives the cardholder fourth night free award stays; Platinum elite status (or Diamond status with $40K annual spend); and up to $25 in United TravelBank cash every six months.
  • United Gateway Card: Like all United branded cards, the fee-free Gateway card unlocks improved economy saver award availability.  25% back on in-flight food, beverage, and wifi purchases; and 25% back on premium drinks in United clubs.

Which Chase cards should I collect next?

Now that I’m under 5/24, I can finally add to my Chase credit card collection.  Here are the contenders where the card’s automatic benefits (which don’t require spend) arguably offset the card’s annual fee:

IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Card Offer and Details
140K points $3K spend in 3 months
$99 Annual Fee
This card is expected to be subject to Chase's 5/24 rule (click here for details).
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Earning rate: 10X IHG ✦ 5X travel, gas stations, restaurants and dining, social media and search engine advertising, office supply stores ✦ 3X on all other purchases
Base: 3X (1.89%)
Travel: 5X (3.15%)
Dine: 5X (3.15%)
Gas: 5X (3.15%)
Office: 5X (3.15%)
Brand: 10X (6.3%)
Card Info: Mastercard World Elite issued by Chase. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Big spend bonus: 10K bonus points + $100 statement credit after you spend $20K in a cardmember year + make one additional purchase. ✦ Diamond status after $40K in purchases + one additional purchase in a calendar year ✦ Free night certificate (up to 40K points) after $60K in purchases + one additional purchase in a calendar year
Noteworthy perks: Anniversary free night e-certificate good at IHG properties up to 40K points per night ✦ Ability to add an unlimited number of points to a free night certificate to book a higher-level hotel ✦ Fourth night free on award stays ✦ 20% discount on points purchases ✦ Platinum elite status ✦ Up to $50 in United TravelBank cash per year (must register your card with your United account)

Some of this card’s perks are useless to me since I also have the consumer version of this card.  For example, I already get the fourth night free on award stays, a 20% discount on points purchases, Platinum elite status, and $25 in United TravelBank cash every six months (These don’t stack: I won’t get $50 every six months for having both cards).  All of that said, I know I can use the 40K free night cert for more than $99 value every year and so this card fits nicely as a collectible.  For me, it’s not a must-have, but it’s a nice-to-have.

United℠ Business Card

Card Offer and Details
100K miles after $5K spend in first 3 months.
$99 Annual Fee
After clicking through, be sure to click the link at the top that says, "Are you a small business owner?" to see the business card offers that include this card. You are not eligible for the bonus if you have received the bonus on this card within the past 24 months. Please note that the United EXPLORER Business card (no longer available) is a different product and does not affect your ability to get the bonus on this card.
Recent better offer: Expired 11/9/22: 150K (75K after $5K spend in 3 months and another 75K after $20K total spend in six months)
FM Mini Review: Decent perks such as enhanced access to United saver level economy awards makes this a keeper for some.
Earning rate: 2X at restaurants including eligible delivery services , gas stations, and office supply stores ✦ 2X United ✦ 2X on local transit and commuting, including taxicabs, mass transit, tolls, and ride share services
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Dine: 2X (2.6%)
Gas: 2X (2.6%)
Office: 2X (2.6%)
Other: 2X (2.6%)
Card Info: Visa Signature issued by Chase. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Big spend bonus: $100 annual United travel credit after 7 United flight purchases greater than $100 ✦ Earn up to 1,000 PQPs per year: 25 PQPs per $500 spend
Noteworthy perks: ✦ Improved economy saver award availability ✦ Unlocks complimentary elite upgrades on award tickets ✦ Free first checked bag ✦ Priority boarding ✦ No foreign exchange fees ✦ 2 United Club passes per year at anniversary ✦ Free DashPass for one year (must activate by 12/31/24) ✦ Primary auto rental collision damage waiver ✦ 5,000 bonus miles at anniversary when you have this card and also a personal Chase United credit card. ✦ 25% back as a statement credit on United in-flight and Club Premium drink purchases

This card gives me two things every account anniversary to help offset the annual fee: 5,000 bonus miles (I qualify for this because I also have the United Gateway card), and 2 United Club passes.  I would also qualify for perks when flying United such as free first checked bag and priority boarding, but I already get those things from having United Premier Silver elite status, which I get from having Marriott Titanium elite status.  Going forward, if I ever fail to qualify for Marriott Titanium status or if the United/Marriott partnership ends or changes, then those perks may become meaningful to me.  Meanwhile, the question is whether I’m willing to pay $99 per year for 5,000 United miles plus two club passes.  I’d be willing to pay as much as $75 per year for the annual 5K bonus, but would I pay $24 per year for United Club passes?  I’m not so sure (I can’t even remember the last time I’ve been at an airport with a United Club and where I haven’t either had free United Club access due to flying international business class or had free access to other clubs thanks to Priority Pass or my Amex Platinum card).  The good news is that I don’t have to decide right away.  With the current offer, the first year annual fee is waived.

Cards that didn’t make the collectible cut

I considered a few other Chase cards, but they didn’t meet my definition of “collectible” cards:

  • The Aeroplan® Card: This card’s discounted award pricing on Air Canada flights alone could make it worth the $95 annual fee, so I’m on the fence with this one as to whether or not it qualifies as a collectible for me.  The problem is that I don’t often book awards flying Air Canada and it’s impossible to know how much of a discount I’m likely to get when I do.  If I was interested in earning Air Canada elite status, I’d be more excited about the card since it offers 25K status w/ $15K annual spend and a status boost to the next higher level of status with $50K spend.
  • United Quest Card:  For frequent United flyers, this card’s perks can easily make up for the $250 annual fee:  Up to $125 in statement credits for United purchases each cardmember year; first and second checked bag free; two 5K award flight rebates per cardmember year.  In my case, I don’t fly United often enough to be likely to use these benefits every year.
  • World of Hyatt Business Credit Card: In exchange for the card’s $199 annual fee, you get up to $100 each cardmember year in Hyatt statement credits (get a $50 statement credit up to two times per year).  Additionally, the card offers these spend bonuses: Get 5 elite qualifying night credits every time you spend $10,000 in purchases; after $50K spend in a calendar year, get 10% back on redeemed points for the rest of that calendar year (Up to 20K points back per year).  To me, this is the most interesting of the cards that didn’t make the initial cut.  I stay at Hyatt hotels often enough to easily earn back $100 each year in statement credits.  Additionally, I usually put huge spend on my consumer World of Hyatt card in order to ensure earning Globalist elite status each year.  As I’ve shown in the past (see this post for details), the best strategy is to have both cards and to spend just $15K each year on the consumer card and then put big spend on the business card.  If I could put $50K spend on the business card early enough in the year, I shouldn’t have any problem with earning 20K points back (worth much more than the card’s annual fee).
  • Southwest Cards: Chase offers quite a few Southwest Airlines credit cards.  Most come with annual point bonuses and perks when flying Southwest.  For those who fly Southwest often, some of these cards would be great to have and to hold.  I never fly Southwest and so, I’m not interested.

First Up: United and IHG

Card Offer
100K miles after $5K spend in first 3 months.
$99 Annual Fee
After clicking through, be sure to click the link at the top that says, "Are you a small business owner?" to see the business card offers that include this card. You are not eligible for the bonus if you have received the bonus on this card within the past 24 months. Please note that the United EXPLORER Business card (no longer available) is a different product and does not affect your ability to get the bonus on this card.
Recent better offer: Expired 11/9/22: 150K (75K after $5K spend in 3 months and another 75K after $20K total spend in six months)
140K points $3K spend in 3 months
$99 Annual Fee
This card is expected to be subject to Chase's 5/24 rule (click here for details).
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Last week I decided to get started on my next collectibles by applying for both the United Business card and the IHG Business card.  Both have very strong welcome offers at the time of writing and since both are business cards, they won’t add to my 5/24 count.

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.  This is true for Chase business cards too: you won't be approved if you are over 5/24. That said, if you are under 5/24 and get approved for a Chase business card, that card won't add to your 5/24 count.
To determine your 5/24 status, see: Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.

I applied for both cards on the same day.  That way, the hard credit inquiries get combined into one.  In general I don’t believe that credit inquiries are much of a problem, but when I can avoid one easily I might as well do so.

In both cases, it looked like my application wasn’t automatically approved:

a screenshot of a credit card

a screenshot of a credit card

However, the United application was actually automatically approved.  Within seconds of applying, I got this email:

Subject: Greg, Your new Chase credit card is approved

Congratulations! Your new credit card is approved

Your new United Business Card and welcome kit are on the way and should arrive in 3 to 5 business days.

With the IHG card, the initial email showed that my application was pending review:

Subject: Greg, Thanks for applying for a Chase credit card

Thanks for requesting a new credit card!

We’ll review your IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card application and be in touch soon.

A day later, though, my application was approved!:

Subject: Greg, Your new Chase credit card is approved

Congratulations! Your new credit card is approved

Your new IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card and welcome kit are on the way and should arrive in 3 to 5 business days.

Next Up: Hyatt

Card Offer and Details
Up to 75K points ⓘ Non-Affiliate
60K after $5,000 spend in 3 months , plus an additional 15K points after $12K total spend within 6 months
(Offer Expires 3/6/2024)
$199 Annual Fee
This card is subject to Chase's 5/24 rule.
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
FM Mini Review: Great for its initial bonus and for Hyatt enthusiasts to spend toward status and rebate on award stays.
Earning rate: ✦ 2X in the top 3 spend categories each calendar quarter through 12/31/24 (then the top 2 categories after that). Eligible categories include dining; airline tickets purchased directly with the airline; car rental agencies; local transit and commuting; gas stations; internet, cable and phone services; social media and search engine advertising; and shipping ✦ 4X Hyatt
Base: 1X (2.1%)
Brand: 4X (8.4%)
Card Info: Visa Signature issued by Chase. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Big spend bonus: Get 5 elite qualifying night credits every time you spend $10,000 in purchases. ✦ After $50K spend in a calendar year, get 10% back on redeemed points for the rest of that calendar year (Up to 20K points back per year).
Noteworthy perks: Discoverist elite status ✦ Ability to gift Discoverist to up to 5 employees (they do not need to be cardholders) ✦ Up to $100 each cardmember year in Hyatt statement credits: Spend $50 or more at any Hyatt property and get a $50 statement credit up to two times per year.

While the World of Hyatt Business card fell short of my definition of a collectible card, I’m still mildly interested in getting the card.  In this case, it’s the card’s benefits from spend that I value.  After I earn the welcome bonuses for the IHG and United cards, I’ll probably try signing up for the Hyatt Business card.

Bad Advice

Please don’t mistake the above discussion for advice.  It’s not meant to be advice for what you should do.  Not at all.  For most people, the best approach is to make sure you have a core set of Ultimate Rewards cards and then whenever you can, try signing up for additional Ink Business Unlimited and Ink Business Cash cards (see this post for considerations about getting the same card again).  These business cards tend to have the best welcome offers and they earn super valuable Ultimate Rewards points which, when combined with a premium Ultimate Rewards card, can be transferred to airline and hotel partners.

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