How Many Hilton Amex Cards Can You Apply For?

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At the moment we’re seeing some increased welcome bonuses on American Express’ co-branded Hilton credit cards. The details of these offers are as follows:

As you can see, combined all four cards have bonuses of up to 475,000 Honors points, though admittedly it’s unlikely anyone is going to get all four of them. You’re potentially looking at even more points if you and a spouse/friend apply for these cards, especially given that Hilton Honors allows free points pooling between accounts.

So, how realistic is to get all of these cards? Let’s talk a bit about the restrictions to be aware of.

All Amex Hilton cards are considered separate products

All of these cards are considered separate products, meaning that you can earn the welcome bonus on each of these cards once.

In other words, even though the Hilton Honors Ascend Card and Hilton Honors American Express Business Card are similar cards (one is personal and one is business), you can have both cards at the same time, and can also earn the welcome bonuses on both cards.

Note that the Hilton Honors Ascend Card is the refreshed version of the Hilton Surpass Card (which is no longer open to new applicants), so if you’ve had the Surpass Card in the past then you’re not eligible for the Ascend Card.

Limits to how many total Amex cards you can have

Typically each person is limited to having at most five American Express credit cards at a time. It doesn’t matter whether those are personal or business cards. This doesn’t include charge cards, which include The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPENThe Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, and the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express.

All Hilton Amex cards are considered credit cards, so would be subjected to the five credit card limit.

Limits to how many Amex cards you can apply for

This is more anecdotal than anything, since Amex doesn’t officially publish rules on this. Generally you won’t be approved for more than two American Express credit cards in a 90 day period. So while we don’t know the end dates on these bonuses, chances are they won’t stick around for more than 90 days, so most people will only be able to pick up two cards during the promotion period. Some people report being approved for more cards, but that seems to be more the exception than the norm.

If you haven’t had any of these cards before, I’d probably consider one of the following strategies if trying to get no more than two cards:

If your goal is to stay under the 5/24 limit (a general Chase restriction where they won’t approve you for a card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months), then you’ll want to apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, since applying for that won’t count as a card towards that limit.

For more on applying for an American Express business card, see this post.

Bottom line

The current increased welcome bonuses on the Hilton Honors Ascend CardHilton Honors American Express Business CardHilton Honors Card from American Express, and Hilton Honors Aspire Card are generous. Realistically you can only be approved for two of these cards in a 90 day period, so you’ll want to think carefully about which of these cards you want to apply for.

For those with excellent credit, I anecdotally find that these cards are quite easy to be approved for, so even if you haven’t had many Amex cards in the past, you’re likely to have luck with applying for these cards.


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Comments

  1. The June 2018 change to certain card holders not being eligible to get bonuses on new cards they apply for >~-_REALLY_=~< needs to get a shout out by now. It's almost October. If you blow through AMEX cards (personal and business) with the old mentality of racking up the entire portfolio due to the once per lifetime rule, they will lock you out.

    No one has specifics on the exacts of what will lock you out, but it doesn't take THAT much if you're average.

  2. @Lucky – strictly speaking your statement regarding former holders of the Surpass card is wrong – they’re eligible for any of the new Hilton cards issued by American Express (subject to approval criteria of course). What they’re not eligible for is the sign up bonus on the Ascend card.

  3. >>chances are they won’t stick around for more than 90 days<<

    There has been speculation that either American Express or Hilton has some contractual obligation to produce #### of new card accounts, and the bonuses are going up because they are falling short of the magic number. Do you have any insight how long this may last?

    Anyway, it seems AmEx is creating some bad blood. They have raised the bonus 4 times in a month, and I see griping in the comments from a lot of people who signed up and then saw AmEx increase the bonus again like the next day.

  4. Be careful, they took away my welcomr bonus for aspire as i cancelled the no annual fee card before 12 months, as it was a free card i thought it wouldnt matter. What they actually ended up doing was pyshing my spend to discover/chase

  5. Joel is absolutely correct. My wife has little history with American express – got an SPG card a few years back and that was it. Amazingly, she was denied the bonus for the Ascend when we gave her information to Amex. Wasn’t expected. Note that they didn’t have a problem with the Aspire card – maybe because of the higher fees.

  6. “when we gave her information to Amex”

    No idea what ‘giving her information to AMEX’ might mean. But doubtful that a previous SPG account would interfere with an Ascend bonus. I’m guessing there’s something else to this story. Did she perhaps previously have the Citi HH card that got replaced by the Ascend card? That would disqualify her for the Ascend bonus.

    AMEX now, (not then, but now) doesn’t like it when you cancel a card within 12 months of opening it. But since the AF isn’t due until after that 12 months is over it’s not really a problem to keep it open that long. And I haven’t heard of AMEX applying that to cards issued years ago.

  7. I have spent 2+ hours on the phone with AMEX after getting the “you are not eligible for the sign-up bonus” message on the Hilton Honors (no fee card). No one could figure out why I was getting that message. Eventually, a customer service manager just stated that since I got the sign-up bonus for the Biz card in May, I was not eligible for another Hilton bonus. After probing, she basically said that I would be ineligible for any other Hilton card sign-up bonus, ever. Despite them being different card products. I believe that this really has something to do with me cancelling my Delta Gold card after the annual fee came due and after upgrading that to a Biz Delta Platinum. Got bonuses for both of those. My wife got denied the sign-up bonus on the Hilton Honors also and never had the Hilton Biz card (or any other Hilton card). She did the same thing with the AMEX Delta cards. Very frustrating AMEX! Any suggestions?

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