Amex allowing more than 4 credit cards (sometimes)

19

For several years now, Amex wouldn’t allow people to have more than 4 credit cards.  Extra charge cards were fine, but if you applied for an Amex credit card  and already had 4 open credit cards (business plus personal combined), they wouldn’t approve the new card unless you cancelled an old one.  In just the past couple of days, I’ve heard from a few readers who have been approved for a fifth credit card.  Here are some examples:

Via a blog comment, John wrote:

I went ahead and applied for the SPG personal. (Already have 4: Amex blue, Everyday, Hilton and SPG business). Went to pending and was immediately approved! Also applied for a targeted Gold PRG 25K (Have had this card and 50K bonus before, so figured would use the combined inquiry) Approved.

So yeah now I have 5 open credit cards and 1 charge card with amex.

Via Twitter, Will wrote:

Also via Twitter, Dino wrote:

Has Amex changed their policy recently?

The same Will that Tweeted about his girlfriend, above, wrote:

When Dino was asked when he applied for his 5th card, he wrote:

From these few data points, it appears that Amex has changed their policy somewhere between a month ago and 11 days ago.  However, in this Reddit thread, a number of people report that recent applications were denied due to already having four credit cards.

Credit Cards, not Charge Cards

The Amex 4 credit card limit is with credit cards, not charge cards.  With credit cards, the card issuer extends a line of credit and you are allowed to pay off your balance over time.  With charge cards, you must pay your balance in full each month.  In general, it is good practice to pay in full each month anyway.

Examples of popular Amex credit cards include:

  • Delta branded cards
  • Hilton branded cards
  • Starwood branded cards
  • EveryDay cards
  • Blue Cash cards

Examples of popular Amex charge cards include:

  • Platinum cards
  • Gold cards
  • Green cards
  • Plum card

Basically all cards named after a color are charge cards.  Exceptions include cards named after the color blue and Delta branded cards which are credit cards, but also have color names: Gold and Platinum.

Conclusion

It’s too soon to say for sure, but it appears to me that Amex still has their 4 credit card rule in place, but that they’re failing to apply it in all cases.

I have no idea why Amex has this rule in the first place.  I can understand wanting to limit the amount of credit extended to each person, but they can manage that with any number of cards.  The optimist in me hopes that this is the beginning of the end of the Amex 4 credit card rule.

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