Chase 24 Month Rule Changes
Earlier this week I shared a confusing situation that a reader had reached out about. They kept getting denied for the new Freedom Flex offer even though it had been well over 24 months since they last grabbed the card. The system kept saying that they were within the 24 month window even though the reps agreed that they weren't. That wasn't actually true, as we came to find out thanks to some other ToP Facebook Group members that have been in the same boat. That is because there are some Chase 24 month rule changes, or an interesting interpretation of them at least.
What Is The 24 Month Rule?
Chase has a few different rules that we need to work through when applying for their credit cards. The most infamous rule, by far, is the Chase 5/24 rule. The other major one is their 24 / 48 month rule.
The 24 / 48 month rule means you can not earn a welcome offer on the same card if you have received one over the last 24 / 48 months. It depends on which card you are going for whether or not you fall under the 24 month or 48 month rule. The timeline is based on when you earned the welcome offer and NOT when you signed up for the card. That is the key here, and where their new(ish) interpretation of the rule comes in.
Chase 24 Month Rule Changes Explained
A couple of ToP Facebook Group members, and Twitter followers, pointed out the potential problem. It is a change we were made aware of for the new Freedom Unlimited match offer for the first year but I thought it was more going forward versus being retroactively enforced.
Chase's interpretation of the rule, or at least their IT system's interpretation, is every time you earn the 5x on the Freedom Flex offer it is considered a “welcome offer” and restarts the 24 month clock. This is especially notable for the Freedom Unlimited double points offer because you will pretty much automatically need to wait 36 months in-between applications. That is if you use the card the entire year for the bonus points at least.
That means with these Freedom Flex & Freedom Unlimited bonus points offers over 12 months you will need to wait 24 months since the last time you triggered the bonus earnings from the welcome offer. That will vary widely among people depending on how quickly they were able to use up the $12,000 earning cap.
Our Reader's Experience
I reached out to the reader to see if the offer their spouse had signed up for a few years back was a 5x earning opportunity. They confirmed that it was a 5x grocery offer. The reader said they signed up for the card in the summer of 2021 and completed the 20,000 point after $500 in spend portion of the offer in the first month. They did not complete the 5x on grocery portion until later in the 12 month window though. That means they are still several months away from being eligible because of the Chase 24 month rule changes, or their interpretation of the rule.
Chase Application Rules: ToP Thoughts
I am glad we were able to get to the bottom of this and a big thank you to the readers and group members that helped decode this one. It is good to be aware of these Chase 24 month rule changes, or their unique interpretation of them. This helps ensure you know fully what you are getting into with these types of offers. If you take one of these offers from Chase that gives bonus points over a set time period it could cause you to reset your 24 month clock. That could delay you on getting the card again down the road.
I wouldn't let this rule interpretation stop me from going for one of these offers. They are still way better than the standard 20,000 points after $500 in spend welcome offers. Especially that double points offer on all spend, including bonus categories, that the Freedom Unlimited has right now. You just need to be aware of the Chase 24 month rule changes if you go to apply again for the same card down the road. Make a note when you last earned bonus points and put a reminder on your calendar 24 months in the future. You should be good to go at that point.