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.
Yes, we do have limits on Lending Consumer and Lending Business cards. The limit is four total of Consumer or Business lending cards. The limit for charge cards is ten.
— Ask Amex (@AskAmex) May 19, 2020
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.
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)