I turned over a new leaf in 2020. After years of picking up card products with American Express, Citibank, Barlcays, and others, I finally started the slow slide back under 5/24. Well…the time is here. I’m finally under, which means I’m a bit excited about my credit card application plans for the year.

By my estimation, I should be at 3/24. My most recent Experian report has me at 0/24, based on the accounts that shows, which surprised me. Here in California, I believe Chase pulls all three bureaus, so I still need to check and see what my other credits reports show. In any case, it’s showtime with Chase.

My 2020 Chase Card Inventory

It’s weird to finally be back under 5/24. I’ve written off getting Chase cards for so long, that trying to figure out which would be the most lucrative to pick up in the short term is more of an issue than I thought it would be. Given the line up that I have, I’m also wondering if Chase will not approve me for even five personal cards. Here’s what I currently have:

  • Chase Freedom (x2)
  • World of Hyatt Visa
  • United MileagePlus card
  • Chase IHG Rewards Club Mastercard ($49 old version)

Before I launch into picking up personal cards, I want to nab at least a couple business cards. After picking up a Chase Ink Business Unlimited as a targeted “Just for You” offer in November (unexpectedly able to bypass 5/24), I am looking at picking up another 1-2 Chase business credit cards. First on my list: the Chase Ink Business Preferred.

The Ink Preferred is my ideal “keeper” card for Ultimate Rewards transfers and ongoing earn on travel spend. It also covers some (but not all) of the bases in terms of travel insurance coverage. I’d expected all to go well with my application. But on Friday I received a note from Chase that made my heart sink.

2020 Credit Card Application Plans

Hold Up. What’s All This You Want?

When I applied for the Chase Ink Business Unlimited, the approval took a while. I honestly expected to get a letter stating I was denied, based on how long it took. But instead the approval email hit my inbox a couple weeks later. I was elated.

The ball was in Chase’s court the whole time. They weren’t in any rush to approve me. But I didn’t have to call them or send them anything.

My application for the Chase Ink Business Preferred is entirely different. They sent me a laundry list of stuff they want for me to prove that I indeed have a business and that I indeed operate at the address listed. Given that all my side work happens online, I operated out of my home. The only issue here is that literally nothing is mailed to my home that pertains to my business. The town I live in only offers PO Boxes, which banks seem to hate when it comes to new account applications. My business “name” also includes my full name so that I don’t need to file DBA paperwork.

I’m hoping that a tax return (that at least shows business name and revenue) will be enough to suffice. The other issue is that we just moved, so the personal address is new as well. I’m mixed on whether I’ll be approved, but really hoping I get a helpful Chase rep.

Everything is on hold until I solve my Ink Business Preferred predicament. But after that…the sky is the limit.

2020 Credit Card Application Plans

The 2020 Credit Card Application Plans

Even though being under Chase 5/24 will allow me to qualify for card welcome offers I have been unable to get for years, I don’t want to push too hard, too fast. About few years ago, I picked up 3-4 new products every quarter. But given how much more stringent issuers have become, I toned things down once the denials started hitting from every bank (except American Express, who has approved me for literally everything).

Here are the cards on my radar once I sort out the Chase Ink Preferred issues, in rough order of preference:

  • United MileagePlus Explorer Card with the elevated offer of 65,000 miles
  • Southwest Visa with an elevated offer of 75,000 miles
  • Southwest Business Visa
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred (will be #1 if I get denied for the CIBP)
  • Chase Ink Business Cash
  • Iberia Visa with an offer of 100,000 miles
  • IHG Premier Card

I could be convinced to swap out the Iberia card for a Marriott card if it comes back with a 125,000-point offer. I’ve departed from Marriott for Hyatt these days, but I’d rather have the hotel points than the Avios, personally. That might seem odd, but that is more a function of the spend requirement than anything, as I already need to spend a significant amount on my World of Hyatt Visa and my Delta Reserve for Business cards.

I’d space Chase apps out to one every 3-4 months. During the same time, I’d still be looking to pick up business cards from other issuers, if possible. I have a couple Chase business cards on the list. I’d always thought Chase business cards counted toward 5/24, but it turns out that they don’t, from all reports. All of this assumes I am at 0/24 like Experian thinks I am, or that I will get there within a matter of months.


So it looks like 2020 is the year of Chase. With other issuers, my options have been more and more limited. Either I have few good products left where I’ll qualify for a welcome offer (American Express). Or I get denied frequently (BofA, Barclays).

The jury is out whether I seek to try to stay under 5/24 more often. I’m sure once I qualify for enough Citibank cards again (after the 24 or 48-month windows wear off), or open a deposit account with Bank of America (which seems to be one way to get them to approve you for more), I’m leave 5/24 in the dust. But for now, I’m going to make the most of it.

What are your 2020 credit card application plans?