Chase has the most restrictive application rules of any credit card issuer. Their infamous 5/24 rule limits you to five new credit card accounts in the last 24 months. If you’ve gotten five (or more) new cards in the past two years, Chase will deny your application. You won’t be able to get most Chase credit cards.
In this article:
- Alternative to Chase Freedom (5% Cashback Categories)
- Alternatives to Chase Freedom Unlimited (Fixed-Rate Cash Back)
- Alternative to Ink Business Cash (No-Fee Cashback Business Cards)
- Alternatives to Ink Business Preferred (Travel Business Cards)
- Alternative to Ink Business Unlimited (Fixed-Rate Cashback Business Cards)
- Alternatives to Chase Sapphire Preferred (Flexible Travel Rewards)
- Alternative to Chase Sapphire Reserve (Premium Travel Perks)
- Alternatives to Chase Slate (0% APR)
- Alternatives to Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Visa Signature (Hotels)
- Alternatives to the Southwest Airlines Cards (Budget Air Travel)
- Alternatives to the United Explorer Card (Airline Perks)
- Alternatives to the United Club Cards (Lounge Access)
- Alternatives to the Starbucks Rewards Visa (Dining and Food)
If you’re over the 5/24 limit, you still have options. You can still get just about any credit card that’s not issued by Chase. Let’s take a look at some of your best options.
Alternative to Chase Freedom (5% Cashback Categories)
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great card that offers 5% cash back in rotating categories. It’s not the only game in town, though. If you want this card, but can’t get it because of the 5/24 rule, consider Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card instead.
You won’t get the same 5% cash back in rotating categories, but you will not have to keep track of all the categories and sign up for each category every quarter. Besides, with Savor Credit Card from Capital One you will get $300 after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
That effectively pushes your earnings up to 10% back for the rotating categories and 2% for everything else. Depending on how much spend, that can be a lot more valuable than the Freedom card’s intro bonus.
Alternatives to Chase Freedom Unlimited (Fixed-Rate Cash Back)
If you’re looking for a simpler card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited that offers a fixed rate of return for all purchases, either the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer or the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card are great alternatives.
The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer card actually outperforms the Freedom Unlimited by offering 2% cash back on all purchases. You’ll earn 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay it off. The catch? There’s no welcome bonus.
If you really want that intro bonus, the Quicksilver card offers $150 after spending $500 in three months. You’ll earn cash back at the same rate as the Freedom Unlimited, getting 1.5% back on all purchases.
Alternative to Ink Business Cash (No-Fee Cashback Business Cards)
The Capital One Spark Cash for Business offers a $500 bonus and 2% back on all purchases. While the annual fee is waived the first year, it will cost $95 after that.
Alternatives to Ink Business Preferred (Travel Business Cards)
The American Express Business Gold card and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Visa Signature both offer extremely flexible and valuable rewards and great earning categories that easily rival the Ink Business Preferred card.
The American Express Business Gold Card costs a bit more than the Ink Preferred ($295 vs. $95), but Amex Membership Rewards points can be transferred to more travel partners than Chase Ultimate Rewards.
The card also lets you choose which category you’ll earn triple points in, while the remaining categories earn double points. Add in a 500-point welcome bonus, and this card more than pays for itself.
If flexible rewards are what you’re after, there’s no beating the Marriott Bonvoy program. The points you earn with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card can be transferred to over 40 different airline programs. With this card you will get 75,000 bonus points. You will get 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping, 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
Alternative to Ink Business Unlimited (Fixed-Rate Cashback Business Cards)
The latest offer from Chase is the Ink Business Unlimited card. It’s main feature is a 1.5% cashback return on all purchases. The Capital One Spark Cash for Business card, though, bests the Ink Unlimited by offering unlimited 2% cashback on all purchases. You’ll also get a $500 welcome bonus. Not bad.
Alternatives to Chase Sapphire Preferred (Flexible Travel Rewards)
The Chase Sapphire Preferred may be on everyone’s best-of list for travel credit cards, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great alternatives.
Like the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, the Citi ThankYou program allows you to transfer points to a variety of airline partners or redeem through the Citi travel portal. The ThankYou Premier card is a great introduction to this program, offering a 50,000-point bonus, triple points on travel (including gas) and double points for dining out and entertainment.
The Amex Membership Rewards program also allows transfers to a wide variety of airline partners. And the American Express Gold Card is a great way into that program thanks to it’s solid 35,000-point welcome bonus and great earning categories.
Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. While it does cost a bit more at $250, it also includes a $100 airline fee credit that helps offset the difference.
Alternative to Chase Sapphire Reserve (Premium Travel Perks)
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with an impressive list of travel benefits, but so does the alternative from American Express.
The Amex Platinum card was the original premium credit card and still outdoes the competition in a lot of ways. It has the best airport lounge access, including free entry into Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs and Priority Pass lounges, plus valuable credits.
Every year you have the card, you’ll get a $200 airline fee credit. Throw in Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement and elite status with a variety of hotels and rental car agencies, and this card is hard to beat.
The Business Platinum card is a great option for small business owners. It comes with nearly the same perks as the personal Platinum but currently offers a huge 75,000-point welcome bonus. Unfortunately, you have to spend $20,000 in three months to get that bonus.
Alternatives to Chase Slate (0% APR)
Would you like interest-free financing on a big purchase or a chance to pay down some existing debt without incurring more charges? Good news! There are a lot of cards on the market that offer a promotional 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases.
With the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, you’ll get 0% for the first 15 months that your account is open., plus the ability to earn 150 cash back.
Alternatives to Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Visa SIgnature (Hotels)
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is a natural alternative to the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card. Although they both belong to one rewad program, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is issued by American Express, not Chase.
American Express also offers a line of cards from Hilton, and the Hilton Honors Ascend card is a great option. You’ll get a huge 125,000-point intro bonus.
Alternatives to the Southwest Airlines Cards (Budget Air Travel)
While the Southwest Companion Pass is fantastic, and the quickest way to earn it is with the Southwest Airlines credit cards, you won’t have that option if you’re over the 5/24 limit because these cards are issued by Chase.
If you’re still looking for a way to earn free travel on Southwest, consider the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. With this card, you can use the miles you earn for statement credits toward any travel purchases, including Southwest flights.
But if you have your heart set on a co-branded airline card with a budget carrier, the JetBlue Plus card offers 40,000 bonus points, 6x points with JetBlue and 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores. You’ll also get free checked bags and a 50% discount on in-flight purchases.
Alternatives to the United Explorer Card (Airline Perks)
The new United Explorer card has a lot to offer, but you can only use the rewards you earn to book flights through United. With the Venture card from Capital One you can use your miles for purchases on any airline (or for any travel at all).
Don’t forget about the excellent Alaska Airlines Visa Signature from Bank of America. This card comes with the valuable Companion Fare which allows you to take a friend with you on an Alaska flight for just $99 plus taxes and fees. You’ll also get a welcome bonus, free checked bags and other perks.
Alternatives to the United Club Cards (Lounge Access)
Chase offers two high-end cards co-branded with United, the United Club and United Business Club cards. These cards come with big annual fees, but also big perks. Namely, you’ll get complimentary access to United’s network of airport lounges.
Perhaps the best and most flexible alternatives to the United Club cards are the Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum. Both offer access to more lounges (Centurion, Delta Sky Club and Priority Pass), plus a wide variety of credits (including an annual $200 airline fee credit that can cover a lot of checked bags).
If you often fly on Delta, Amex also offers a business version of the Delta Reserve card. They give you access to Delta Sky Clubs and the ability to earn status qualification miles.
Alternatives to the Starbucks Rewards Visa (Dining and Food)
The Starbucks Rewards Visa may appeal to you if you’re a loyal Starbucks customer, but you can do better. Both Savor and SavorOne from Capital One, as well as the Uber Visa, offer more flexible and more valuable cashback rewards.
With the SavorOne card, you’ll get 3% back at restaurants and 2% back at grocery stores, plus a $150 intro bonus.
The Uber Visa may have a smaller welcome bonus at $100, but it gives you an impressive 4% back at restaurants and 3% back on airfare, hotels and vacation home rentals.