How many Amex prepaid cards can I have?

Ever since I documented how to get 5X points pretty much anywhere using a Chase Ink Bold credit card (see “One card to rule them all”), I’ve been asked many times how many Prepaid Amex cards each person can have.  Confusingly, I have two answers:

FAQ Answer

According to the Amex FAQ, you can order 3, but only have 1 in your name:

An adult over the age of 18 may order and manage up to three American Express Prepaid Cards in total (including if one is purchased for him/herself). Each American Express Prepaid Card User can have only one Card in his or her name.

Live Answer

Before I read the FAQ shown above, I ordered a second prepaid card for myself.  It arrived without any trouble.  Once I received the card, I called to make sure I wasn’t doing anything wrong.  The Amex rep assured me that each person can have up to 3 for themselves.  Since then, I’ve happily used two cards in my name without any trouble.  It is worth mentioning though that one card lists my name as “Greg” whereas the other lists my name as “Gregory”.  I did that, not to trick Amex, but to have a way to differentiate between the two cards.

So, I don’t know which of the above answers is really right.  Have you tried ordering more than one for yourself?  What has your experience been?

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About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. I personally have 3 and my wife has 2. We use the same method to keep track of cards. First.last, first initial.last, first & middle initials.last. We both have Ink Bolds and will probably hit the $50k hard limit for the 5x deal. Hopefully Chase will come out with something just as good or better before that happens

  2. I just ordered a 2nd card because I can easily drain the one I have through everyday spend. It hasnt shipped yet, so we will see what happens.

  3. Btw is it somehow possible to load these AMEX prepaid cards ordered online with a Vanilla prepaid reload card, and still get the 10USD bonus per 50USD card?

    Maybe when they arrive in the mail, instead of online when ordering them through the AMEX website?

    • gm (and others): It’s great to know that you can get multiple cards with the same name — it’s nice to know that I wasn’t accidentally scamming Amex when I used different name variations.

  4. I have 3. All spelled the same. I would love to get more, to hit the 50K limit sooner. I only got the ink bold last month.

  5. I have three in my name and three in my wife’s name. Names spelled the same with same addresses. Have had no problems so far. Have a couple of businesses and have the use of 7 separate INK BOLD accounts (2 old ones with spend bonuses and 5 with 5x bonuses). I am going to try to get a few more in my parent’s name (they also have ownership in the business) and spread my Vanilla Reload purchases as thinly as I can across these cards. I live close to Houston and have yet to even be asked for ID when purchasing the reload cards. Thank you very much for publicizing the Office Depot/Vanilla REload opportunity.

  6. I have FOUR linked in my account. I am card purchaser and one of the four is in my name. I got four because I got one (in my name) when the first load $25 get $25 promo went on last year. Got that bonus no problem. Then when the second one came around couple months ago, I ordered 3 more (in family member names), which came with no problems but I only received 2 of the bonuses.

    • Ted F: Interesting! It seems that Amex is still struggling to enforce their written limits. Some people (not me, though) have had success in exceeding other limits as well (such as how much can be loaded per day, or per month).

  7. Can I buy the vanilla cards at Office Depot to help me meet the spending requirement ($10,000)for the Amex Business Gold?

    • hmaia: Yes you can do this to meet minimum spend, but you won’t get the 5X that the Ink Bold gives. Also, I don’t recommend loading them to Amex prepaid cards and then trying to cash out all at once: That’s just asking for a financial review from Amex. Instead, if you have to cash out quickly, consider the NetSpend card. Even if they cancel your account (as they did to me), you will get the balance as a check.

  8. Anyone know when the Vanilla reloadable card is coming out? Can’t wait to use that in tandem with Netspend to try and generate several grand a month in fake spending.

  9. I keep hearing about FR from Amex. I could see this on a charge or credit, but would they really do it on a prepaid? Has anyone heard of someone’s prepaid account being shut down?

  10. It is only a matter of time before this deal is dead. If folks are ordering multiple prepaid cards, that means they are buying thousands of dollars of vanilla reloads per month.

  11. got a friend who just got his IB card shut down along with his other chase credit cards. Chase gave him a reason of “ABNORMAL REGULAR LARGE PURCHASE AT OFFICE DEPOT STORES” He told me the highest spending his does on his IB is at OD store.

    When he called executive office, he was told to not talk about anything else than paying down the balance due on IB and his freedom card which he said had about $1260 due Jule 21st or risk his credit score.

    becareful guys!

  12. Here’s what I don’t get, if chase has a $50k a year ($4166 / month) limit on office supply bonuses, then they don’t consider it abnormal if someone were to spend a few grand there each month.

    You’d think people would have a better chance of getting shut down after buyer $1k worth of gift cards during grocery store promos. Who ever spends $1k at a grocery store for normal purchases?

    • One of the themes for getting shut down ive noticed is that alot of folks charge more than their monthly credit limit. They pay their bill during the month in order to charge more. I would suspect that doing this month after month looks highly abnormal.

  13. Thank you for your posts on Sears and the Southwest shopping portal!
    My 20K points from my purchase just posted to my Southwest RR account!

  14. How is the $50K office spending counted on Ink Bold? Is it from January to December, or some other ways related to your card’s activation date?

  15. my IB doesn’t have CL but I pay down my credit card bills every 2 weeks small or large and I don’t wait till the due date to pay my card balances.

    all my cards have credit utilization ratio of only 1%.

    Yes, becareful with the OD thing

  16. Doh, I’m sufficiently worried now…how much is too much OD spend on an IB every month? $4-5K?

    Because stock has been low at my OD, I feel the need to purchase more reloads. Maybe if I just buy 1 reload at a time?

  17. Sandra, your ink bold does have a CL, you are just not aware of it. Even though chase assigns this as a charge card and you can charge what you wish, they do have a CL associated with it in the background. You have to ask chase for it, it’s not disclosed like on your credit accts. I found this out as I moved some CL on the biz side around for a new acct opening. My ink old is at 48k and the new is at 30k.

  18. FM, it would be an interesting find to publish more specifics of what really happened when chase shut these accounts down. There is a lot of guessing, heresay, erroneous information, and not full disclosure of the facts/truth as any real evidence. Many people likely don’t want to disclose the exact reasons because of embarrassment, stupid moves, and purely pulling stunts far greater than the norm. Like doing OD at 10k a pop, etc. I’ve not read a single report with full disclosure nor any where when the OP was hard pressed for more accountability that they didn’t go silent and never address the questions. Others simply claimed ‘innocent’ behavior. Yeah right.

  19. @ rick,

    yes $50k a year at office supplies stores on IB card BUT it is obvious that if the only office store you visit is OD and this is only place office or not where you spend $500 to $2K a month, this get’s their attention.

    so unless you spend $500 to $2k a month at staples, officemax too, this maybe their so called ABNORMAL LARGE PURCHASES?

  20. I’m not sure if it makes sense to really spread around office supply spend…this isn’t realistic. Once you have a preferred vendor, you normally go to one place. Businesses don’t normally have the luxury of shopping around weekly or monthly for the best deals. They just hope to get a negotiated discount based on annual spend.

    I think the magical shutdown algorithm involves looking at % of credit limit spent, which goes toward risk of an open account…or maybe there is a negative cost per point (internal for Chase) associated with accounts, and they monitor accounts that are negative for them. Accounts that accrue 20K+ UR pts/month with minimal fees can’t be very profitable for Chase, right?

  21. @Sandra
    How much did your friend spend at Office Depot every month? And how much did your friend spend in total for the Bold every month?

  22. I’ve been spending $500-$1500 at OD every month with no problems. I always buy odd amounts on the cards so the totals come up just under an even hundred.

    I highly doubt Chase cares about this scheme, more than they care about risk, otherwise they would have designed the program differently.

  23. Unfortunately, no one (except maybe someone at Chase) knows what is safe and what’s not. Each person needs to figure out the level that is likely to be safe for them, for their situation, and for their risk tolerance. If the fear of getting shut down by Chase is overwhelming you, then don’t do this — extra points aren’t worth losing sleep over.

  24. I had obtained 3 of the amex blue prepaid cards last year, well before the ‘one card to rule them all’ strategy was masterfully discovered by FM. I used the same browser, and my same info for all 3 cards and received them, along with 3 $50 gift cards (a promo last year), without a problem. Amex had the promo again at a later date and I tried to apply for another 3 but was denied. It seems like Amex has no problem giving 3 per person.

    As far as spending on the IB, i’ve been doing between 2 to 5k per month at office depot. Last year, when I initially was approved for the ink bold, I did get a call from them because my usage was very high (i put maybe 5 or 6k on it in the first few weeks). I basically told them that my spending will be all over the map and that if I ever get denied on that card that I’ll happily use my amex gold biz. I haven’t had an issue since.

  25. @J

    How long have you had your Ink? And approximately how much of your monthly office depot purchases consist of gift cards? I just want to get an idea of how much I can spend in gift cards.

  26. Does anyone have an idea about how long it will take to get the cards in the mail? I ordered 3 of them June 28th and have had each of the $200 amounts taken out of my bank accounts but have not received any emails about the cards being shipped and only 1 of them shows up online after I set up the account. Just curious if anyone has previous experience with this time frame…

  27. When you say 3 is the max, what do you mean?

    – Is it three of the very same AMEX card e.g. 3 AMEX Prepaid or 3 AMEX target

    or

    – Is it three prepaid AMEX product, whichever they may be e.g. 2 AMEX for Target and 1 AMEX Prepaid

    This could be a big difference.

    • This post is based on old Amex prepaid cards that are no longer available for new applicants. They didn’t have a name like Bluebird or Serve. They were simply called American Express Prepaid cards. Named cards have specific limits of their own. You can have 2 Target Amex cards. You can only have one Bluebird OR one Serve card.

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