For the past few years Amex has generally been pretty conservative with their credit card welcome bonuses. They’ve been more focused on retaining customers than on offering big bonuses with which to incentivize people to sign up for one of their cards, so this post is about the general restrictions on applying for Amex cards.
The great Amex card offers we’re seeing
Here are some great American Express welcome bonuses we’re seeing at the moment:
Now let’s talk about the basic restrictions in terms of being approved for Amex cards, earning the bonuses, etc.
Amex bonuses are once in a lifetime
Nowadays American Express welcome bonuses are once in a lifetime, meaning you can only earn the bonus on a particular card if you’ve never had it before. However, keep in mind that this is specific to each product. In other words, if you have the business version of a card you can still earn the welcome bonus on the personal version of a card (and vice versa), and if you have the Gold version of a card you can still earn the welcome bonus on the Platinum version of a card (and vice versa).
You can have four Amex charge cards and four Amex credit cards
All issuers have some sort of limit on how many cards you can have. In the case of American Express, any person can typically have up to four credit cards and four charge cards. It doesn’t matter how many of those cards are personal cards or business cards, but rather just whether they’re charge or credit.
It’s worth noting that some people have reported being able to have five credit cards at once, though that seems to be on a “your mileage may vary” case, as I haven’t had such luck.
Amex charge cards vs. credit cards
Continuing on the above, what’s the difference between an Amex charge card and an Amex credit card?
- A credit card has a credit limit, and you can finance charges over time if you want to (though you should avoid doing so, given the high interest rates charged)
- A charge card doesn’t have a pre-set spending limit, but you can’t finance charges over time
In general charge cards are lower risk for the issuer, as there’s a lower risk of people not paying their bills, since they have to pay them off at the end of each statement.
So, which cards are credit and which are charge?
The following are some popular American Express credit cards:
Meanwhile the following are American Express charge cards:
You can apply for multiple Amex cards in one day
Some issuers have specific restrictions on how often you can apply for cards. In the case of Amex, there’s not a specific limit in my experience. Really the biggest limit is the total number of cards you can have.
In general you can apply for two Amex cards in a day, though one application will often be delayed by a few days. That’s totally fine, as they simply delay the application on their end by a few days, and it’s not like you have to apply again or they pull your credit again.
So if you are going to apply for two Amex cards, there’s no reason to space out the applications. I’d recommend applying for one card, and assuming you get instant approval (or get approved after calling), you might as well apply for the second card, even though the application will likely be delayed a couple of days.
Amex cards are anecdotally fairly easy to be approved for
This is entirely anecdotal, but I find that Amex cards are the easiest to be approved for of any major issuer, assuming you have good credit. I almost always get instant approval, and when I don’t, I typically just have to call to verify some basic information. In my experience:
- Amex charge cards are even easier to be approved for than Amex credit cards
- Amex is the best when it comes to approving small business credit cards, even if your business is still fairly new
- The first card I ever applied for was an Amex, and I got instantly approved
There are a lot of great American Express welcome bonuses at the moment, so hopefully the above is helpful for anyone considering applying for an Amex card. Amex is among the most straightforward issuers when it comes to approving applicants, so assuming you have good credit, you should have no problems getting approved for Amex cards, whether they’re personal or business.