Did American Express Increase How Many Cards You Can Have? Here’s My Experience

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Different credit card issuers have different policies on how many cards they’ll approve you for.

American Express’ limits on how many credit cards you can have

In the case of American Express, their policy has historically been that each person can have no more than four charge cards and four credit cards. It doesn’t matter how they’re distributed among personal and business cards, co-brand vs. non co-brand, etc. All that matters is that you have no more than four charge cards, and no more than four credit cards.

In my case, I have four Amex credit cards, as follows:

Meanwhile at the moment I only have two charge cards:

Having maxed out my four credit card limit with American Express is rather frustrating, as I’d like to apply for the limited time welcome bonuses on the Delta Amex cards — especially the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express — but all versions of the cards are credit cards rather than charge cards. So in theory I’d have to cancel an Amex credit card before I can apply for another one.

Is Amex’s limits on cards changing?

Million Mile Secrets reports that some people are having luck getting five Amex credit cards recently. The problem is, the data points don’t seem consistent. Some people are easily getting approved for a fifth card, while others are being rejected for a fifth card.

My experience applying for a 5th Amex credit card

After reading that post, I figured I’d give it a try myself, since I’m presently at the four card limit. I decided to apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express. Upon submitting my application I received a message stating that my application was pending further review.

Minutes later I received a message indicating that I was declined for the card, because I “currently have the maximum number and type of American Express Card accounts” allowed.


I phoned up American Express, and asked if I could cancel the Hilton Honors American Express Card in order to get approved for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. The friendly agent transferred me to the customer service number for the Hilton Card, where they quickly canceled my card, and then I was transferred back to the application line, to have my card application analyzed again. They told me it will be a few days, though I suspect I’ll be approved without issue.

Bottom line

Anecdotally it seems Amex is no longer limiting all consumers to just four credit cards, though it doesn’t seem to be consistent, since I was initially denied for my fifth card. I’m not sure whether this limit differs by member, based on the specific cards you have, what your split of business and personal cards is, etc. Regardless, it’s a positive change overall, and hopefully over time we can figure out what triggers being eligible for a fifth credit card from American Express.

Have you had any luck being approved for more than four Amex credit cards?

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  1. Haha. I can’t believe you read MMS. I always find it painful to read that site and gave up a few years ago. TPG is a little better, but not much. There is a huge gulf between those blogs and OMAAT.

  2. I had chatted with an Amex CS agent earlier today. She also stated that the 4 credit card rule doesn’t exist any more. Maybe the systems aren’t updated yet completely , that’s why some of you are getting rejected still.

    However She did mention the hard stop in the system is not to allow Sign up bonuses if you have any of the credit cards in the past unless there is a promo offer that lets you re-signup for the bonus.

    This is also true if you downgraded your card to one that you never signed up before. You will never get the bonus on the downgraded card like EVER.

    Example, lets say you downgraded your SPG Personal to a Amex Everyday Credit Card, You will get No bonus. However lets say you later cancel this card and a few days later Apply for a new Amex Everyday Card, they should allow you to get the Signup Bonus as you technically never got the bonus on it previously, right? WRONG. System is harcdoded not to give you the bonus as you held this card previously.

    Therefore DO NOT downgrade to a Amex credit card that you have have not signed up in the past. You will not get a signup bonus if you reapply for it later.

  3. I currently have 5 Amex – all personal credit cards.

    I already had the Amex Blue Cash Preferred, Amex Hhonors and Amex Everyday. I added the Hhonors surpass somewhere around 6 months ago when the bonus went up (yes, I have both Amex Hhonors cards) and then added the SPG about two months ago.

    Could be related to have two Hhonors cards?

  4. Once Starwood rolls into Marriott, probably late 17 or early 18 with a very uneducated guess, those two SPG Amex’s will go away and you’ll be eligible for 2 additional cards though. I’m in that same position with 2 SPG Amex cards.

  5. I have had 6 cards for quite some time. Last approval was 1 year ago. 3 personal, 3 business.

  6. @Mileage Man…Lol this just in, “Amex bonuses are once per lifetime”. Thanks for keeping us in the loop…

  7. I was successful in adding Amex credit card #5 about a month ago after reading reports on FlyerTalk about recent rule changes on the max number of cards. Currently have 4 personal credit, 1 business credit, and 1 personal charge. I’ve ran into the max card rule for years. 6 years ago my Amex cap was only 3 credit cards. My theory (until reading this post) was that the Everyday Preferred cards were not applying to the 4 card cap.

  8. Ben: Speaking of numbers of cards I applied for the Chase Ink Plus Business Card through the link on One Mile At A time and was denied “because of too many credit card applications in the last two years.” I find this significant because I have not applied for any Chase cards in the last two years!

  9. I applied for the SPG business card and was denied it until I closed a card (the hilton one, that I wanted to keep). I currently have personal SPG, costco (soon to go kaput), everyday and the platinum (personal).
    I was annoyed I had to close one even though they knew that the costco card was only going to be good for another 2 months……

  10. @Dan – lol , true, but let’s rephrase my point , “with downgrades , Amex bonuses are NEVER per lifetime “.. Cheers !!

  11. From another Tom: So the first Tom above wins my Best Post of the Day prize.

    As he implies, and if I can use a diving metaphor, the “degree of difficulty” difference between Ben’s blog and MMS is so large as to be nearly breathtaking, and TPG is barely better. How can people stand that stuff?

  12. @Dan – I certainly find that information useful and disturbing.

    @John H – I too just had a Chase Ink denied for to many applications, although this was only the 5th in a lifetime! Not getting this. It’s business being handled differently?

  13. Just approved for 5th AMEX credit card. AMEX Everyday with 25k signup bonus. Not an instant decision. Got the we’ll let you know in 14 days message, but approval came in less than 24 hours later without me calling.

    Definitely something new as I had to cancel a JetBlue AMEX a few months ago in order to get a Delta Gold AMEX as they would not approve due to 4 card limit.

  14. Folks,

    Some weeks ago I received a targeted offer for 100K points for the Amex Open Biz Plat, after 5K spend. Applied, got the card immediately.

    A week later Amex sends me another targeted offer in the mail: same card 150K bonus, 100K after 5K spend, another 50K points after an additional 10K spend.

    What is this ? That’s crazy? Can I really have two Biz Plat Cards and get both bonusses …?
    I don’t believe so, because when putting in the RSVP code for the second application I nowhere see mention of the 100K bonus …

    Any comments?

  15. Just got approved for 5th Amex credit card! I’ve had the blue cash for several years, SPG personal since February, SPG business since March, Hilton Honors since May, and just received Delta Gold. I happily surprised to be approved!!

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