Amex Appears To Have A New Four Credit Card Limit

Filed Under: American Express

All the major card issuers have different restrictions when it comes to approving people for new cards. This is to limit their exposure, encourage profitable behavior, etc.

In light of the current situation we’re seeing banks largely tighten up credit, so we’ve seen some new restrictions added. It looks like Amex may have just added one such restriction.

Amex’s new four credit card limit

For a while there have been rumors of American Express limiting people to having four credit cards at any given point. For context, previously Amex had a limit of five credit cards per cardmember, but recent data points have suggested that people with only four credit cards were being denied for having too many cards.

Amex seems to have officially confirmed this new restriction on Twitter, claiming the limit is four total consumer and business lending cards.

If you already have five Amex cards then you should be able to keep them, but don’t expect you’ll be approved for anything beyond four credit cards.

I’d note that while this does appear to be a new restriction, there may still be some inconsistency, as it sometimes takes a while for policies to be fully implemented. There are always exceptions and outliers when it comes to policies like this.

Amex also has a 10 charge card limit

Historically American Express hasn’t had a limit on how many charge cards you can have, though the above also mentions a limit of 10 charge cards per cardmember.

In reality that shouldn’t be restrictive for a vast majority of people. Odds are that the only reason you’d have more than 10 charge cards is if you had multiples of the same cards, which is of limited value to most.

What’s the difference between credit & charge cards?

What’s the difference between a credit card and a charge card?

  • The basic distinction is that a credit card allows you to finance charges over time, while a charge card requires you to pay off your balance in full each month
  • While credit cards have a credit limit, charge cards don’t

A charge card can be useful if you’re making a big purchase, since it’s more likely to be possible on a charge card than a credit card where you have a defined limit.

The other major implications have revolved around the approval restrictions associated with them, since credit cards were subjected to the five card limit (and now four card limit), while charge cards weren’t.

Amex charge cards including the Personal Platinum, Business Platinum, Personal Gold, and Business Gold. Furthermore, the Personal Green has been a hybrid charge and credit card.

Bottom line

It would appear that American Express has a new limit of four credit cards per cardmember, and it doesn’t matter if those are personal or business cards. For those who already have five cards that should be fine, but don’t expect to be approved for a fifth card going forward.

Hopefully this is just a temporary restriction as Amex tightens up on credit in this environment.

If anyone has any data points to share regarding these new limits, please share them below!

(Tip of the hat to Miles to Memories)

Comments
  1. I’ve always had more than the limit from when the Citi Hilton switched over to an Amex Hilton. I just kept it open because I’ve had it for so long and there’s no fee. I don’t need any cards right now, have all of them I need; but down the road may have to make a decision.

  2. If you have more than 4 Amex credit cards, in addition to their charge cards, you have bigger problems with debt or with the amount of time it takes to pay bills and manage your spending. The only exception is if reviewing and writing about credit cards is your full-time job (ex. Lucky and other bloggers).

  3. @Sam Clearly you don’t own a business. If you did you would know there are plenty of legitimate reasons you would have more than four amex credit cards.

  4. @Sam

    You probably never earn more than median income to think people with many cards have debt issues.
    You probably take so much time because not only do you not use the online features, you wait for all your bills in the mail and write a check for every single one of it. That takes a lot of time for sure.
    It takes auto pay and minutes to reconcile your expenses (Amex actually has a great tool for that). That already includes manage spending.

    I’m going to guess you like debit cards more than credit cards. You fit the stereotype.

  5. It stinks that you can’t get their “credit cards” as charge card versions to override the limit. (Like getting a Hilton Aspire as a charge card) Very few people in this game(especially those of us without businesses) need the payment flexibility on that many cards, since paying any interest defeats the benefit of earning points.

  6. AmEx regularly puts credit limits on charge cards — and raises interest rates on credit cards if payment history on charge cards deteriorates. That’s why they’re the last card you should rely on (especially when vendors don’t like their higher fees).

  7. @Sam I always pay my CC’s in full each month , most with Autopay, both business and personal. Since I have done this always for years, my credit score is 830.

    How can you assume other people’s motives and debt issues? Every one of my cards have a reason why they were acquired and when they are used. Aspire makes me Hilton Diamond, Amex Business Platinum gets me travel goodies including club access allover the world, Marriott cards (bus and personal) come out ahead just on the free nights, Pres Plus gives me UA club and some cards were just due to acquisition bonuses to big to pass like AA Executive 100,000 miles! Get my drift?

  8. I’ve been lucky lol. I had 5 amex credit cards for many years as I have different business and when Amex took over the Hilton Citi cards I got to keep that as well so now have 6 credit cards. One of them was the good old SPG card and when the “luxury Spg “, now Bonvoy brilliant, came out a few years ago I applied and got denied as they said it would be a 7th card. I wouldn’t mind paying the annual fee on both as the free nights are always worth it. Upon calling Amex recon they agreed to close the regular SPG and let me open the new luxury Spg. I’ve been with Amex since 2014 and spend over 400K a year and pay every penny in full every month on time so YMMV. @sam. Credit cards can be used to amass debt for stuff you don’t need to impress people who don’t care or a as a tool to run an efficient business and reap the benefits of the rewards you can earn from spend. An example is some vendors want COD payments for orders, instead I give them my CC card on file to charge as orders are shipped.

  9. @ Eskimo

    People who earn a lot more than the “median income” have better things to do in life than juggle MR or UR balances and perform mental gymnastics to determine their payout value.

    Essentially, credit cards aren’t top of mind and they don’t need to churn to make a quick buck here and there. One or two credit cards are sufficient to get the job done.

    It’s the people who like to pretend they have money but actually don’t that end up juggling the half dozen or more account and churn account for sign-up bonuses.

    For the rest of us, our time is most valuable.

  10. Sam why don’t you take a hike with your nonsense dribble. Why are you even on this blog?

  11. @Sam

    I had four Amex cards earlier this year – My Aspire, new Surpass, and regular Hilton plus the Green. The Aspire is my go-to for Hilton stays and gives a weekend free night cert, the Surpass is now my grocery card (12x) as I move towards the $15k free weekend night award cert, and the regular Hilton was for the 80k SUB (I since canceled it). I’d have totally gone for five or more (like the Bonvoy) if I was eligible for the welcome offer (I got the Chase Marriott 75k bonus last year). I also have two Chase and three Citi cards and am always ready for another targeted SUB. Many of us have and use multiple credit cards responsibly, for travel benefits. I also don’t carry a balance.

    And that’s without flying Delta, mind you, if I flew out of Delta hubs I’d probably have two more.

  12. @Janice Amen to that! Busy and can’t be bothered to carry multiple cards and keep track of the one for groceries and stuff. I just spend and keep a couple of cards active. All airline and non Amex allowed on a MC elite and the rest on the plat card.
    Although, I might have to try and spend more of my business costs on my card after reading here!

  13. @Janice Amen to that! I’m busy and can’t be bothered to carry multiple cards and keep track of the one for groceries and stuff. I just spend and keep a couple of cards active. Probably not maximizing points but time is valuable too. All airline and non Amex allowed on a MC elite and the rest on the plat card. Plus I’m in Canada so the cards aren’t as attractive as in the Us it seems.
    Although, I might have to try and spend more of my business costs on my card after reading here!

  14. So far i have: Personal Plat, Green, Hilton Honors, Hilton Surpass
    Yesterday I was instantly approved for a Hilton Business credit card totaling 5 cards as of today

  15. Ralph, Personal Platinum and Green cards are considered as Charge cards so they don’t count toward the 5 cards limit (or 4 cards limit). You have 3 credit cards now.

  16. Ugh, this isn’t good timing. I’m under 5/24 and almost complete building out my collection of Chase cards. I plan to pivot back to AmEx later in the year. I now wish I had acquired more AmEx cards earlier on.

    I already was not thrilled with the five card limit. I was planning on the Blue Business Plus and four “keeper” / “benefit” cards as my AmEx setup long term. I didn’t like that I would have open/close accounts to keep a slot open for other cards. I would love to go through every co-branded Delta card and downgrade them. I would probably even hold a few of them long term.

    I sometimes wish AmEx were more like Chase. While 5/24 is frustrating for some, it’s easy to navigate around in a long term strategy. In exchange for being reputable / low-risk (e.g., decent credit history, relationship with Chase, no excessive credit lines with Chase) and pacing oneself (e.g., under 5/24), Chase is pretty generous. For the most part, they don’t really restrict the amount cards one can hold and apply for in the long run. It’s theoretically possible to hold nearly every card in the Chase UR and co-branded portfolios. On top of that, there are generous product-change options. It’s easy to avoid opening-and-closing accounts. There are no vague “financial review” scenarios. They set the rules of game and make them clear.

  17. I have enjoyed reading the article and comments while learning a lot about consumer habits, wants and needs. Obviously, there is a small segment of our society that will go to great lengths to “save” money by jumping through hoops to maximize their points and discounts while compromizing their flexibility, business decisions and enjoyment of life, in my opinion.

    Firstly, i can understand a family with a relatively small amount of monthly charges using auto-pay, but not someone with many transactions per month or a serious business – that is why we have bookkeepers and strict policies.

    I am principal / managing partner / “owner” of more than one business and I see no reason to have more than 3 “accounts” per business, plus another 3 for personal / family use, although we have many “cards” for our executives, sales personnel, etc.

    Additionally, I don’t want my personal or business expenditures being controlled by how I must pay for them to maybe save a buck. We are quite mindful of our options and take advantage of many cost saving opportunities, but not at the expense of prudent business decisions and quality of life. I can’t imagine forcing myself, family or business associates to only stay at a Hilton or only fly Delta or only eat at a Golden Corral.

    So, if we are actually talking about the number of physical cards per credit card account that can be used, I can understand having many, but if we are talking about the number of different accounts / providers, I don’t get it. Whatever happened to Diners Club?

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