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?

Order online for free

Here’s my referral link to signup for a free prepaid card: American Express® Prepaid Card

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.

To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.
Chase 5/24 semantics ("Subject to" vs. "Count towards"): Most Chase cards are subject to the 5/24 rule. That means the rule is enforced in making approval decisions. In other words, you probably won't get approved if your credit report shows that you opened 5 or more cards in the past 24 months. Meanwhile, most business cards (such as those from Chase, Amex, Barclaycard, BOA, Citi, US Bank, and Wells Fargo) are not reported on your personal credit report. These cards do not count towards 5/24.

Example: Chase Ink Business Preferred is subject to 5/24, so you likely won't get approved if over 5/24. If you do get approved, it won't count towards 5/24 since it won't appear as an account on your credit report.
Amex 5 credit card limit: If you apply for a new Amex credit card, you may get turned down if you already have 5 or more Amex credit cards. Both personal and business cards are counted towards this limit. Charge cards, though, are not counted. You can apparently get as many charge cards as you’d like, and the number of charge cards you have does not affect your ability to get up to 5 credit cards. Authorized user cards are also not counted towards the 5 credit card limit. See also: Which Amex Cards are Charge Cards vs. Credit Cards?
Applying for Business Credit Cards

Yes, you have a business: In order to sign up for a business credit card, you must have a business. That said, it's common for people to have businesses without realizing it. If you sell items at a yard sale, or on eBay, for example, then you have a business. Similar examples include: consulting, writing (e.g. blog authorship, planning your first novel, etc.), handyman services, owning rental property, renting on airbnb, driving for Uber or Lyft, etc. In any of these cases, your business is considered a Sole Proprietorship unless you form a corporation of some sort.

When you apply for a business credit card as a sole proprietor, you can use your own name as your business name, use your own address and phone as the business' address and phone, and your social security number as the business' Tax ID / EIN. Alternatively, you can get a proper Tax ID / EIN from the IRS for free, in about a minute, through this website.

Is it OK to use business cards for personal expenses? Anecdotally, almost everyone I know uses business cards for personal expenses. That said, the terms in most business card applications state that you should use the card only for business use. Also, some consumer credit card protections do not apply to business cards. My advice: don't use the card for personal expenses if you're not comfortable doing so.
Manufacturing Spend Caution: Many, many things can go wrong when manufacturing spend. If you suddenly increase credit card spend, your accounts may get shut down. If you cycle your balance often (e.g. spend to your limit, pay the bill, repeat) within a billing cycle, your accounts may get shut down. If you repeatedly pay your credit card bill from an anonymous bill payment source, your accounts may get shut down. If you buy lots of gift cards you may lose money due to gift card fraud, theft, loss, or simply mishandling those gift cards (e.g. maybe you thought you already used a gift card and tossed it into your “used” bin). If you rely on only one method to liquidate gift cards, you may be stuck unable to pay your credit card bill when that method gets shut down. In other words, don’t try this at home unless you know what you’re doing, and you understand and accept the risks..
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are super valuable and super flexible. At the most basic level, points can be redeemed for cash or merchandise, but you'll only get one cent per point value that way. A better option is to use points for travel. When points are used to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, points are worth 1.25 cents each with premium cards (Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred, for example) or 1.5 cents each with the ultra-premium Sapphire Reserve card. Another great option is to transfer points from a premium or ultra-premium card to an airline or hotel program when high value awards are available (see this post for details). If your points are tied to a no-fee "cash back" Ultimate Rewards card, then first move those points to a premium or ultra-premium card before redeeming them in order to get better value.
Amex Membership Rewards points can be incredibly valuable if you know how to use them. In general, if you use Membership Rewards points to pay for merchandise or travel, you won't get good value from your points. One exception is with the Business Platinum card where you'll get a 35% point rebate when using points to book certain flights. This gives you approximately 1.5 cents per point value, which is pretty good. Another exception is with the Business Gold Card where you'll get a 25% point rebate when using points to book certain flights. This gives you approximately 1.33 cents per point value. If you don't have either card, then your best bet is to transfer points to airline miles in order to book high value awards. More details can be found here: Amex Membership Rewards Complete Guide.
Marriott points can be redeemed for free night awards, travel packages, airline miles, or experiences. 5th Night Free Awards: When redeeming points for free nights, the 5th night within a single reservation is free. Airline miles: Points can be converted to airline miles at a rate of 3 points to 1 mile. A bonus is added on when you transfer 60,000 points at a time, such that 60,000 points transfers to 25,000 miles. Also, you'll get a 10% bonus when transferring points to United Airlines.

Everything you need to know about Marriott's rewards program, Bonvoy, can be found here: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide
Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by the same guy who showed you how to fly round trip to Africa (DC to Senegal) for 50,000 points, how to book business class to Europe for 80,000 miles roundtrip, and more. You can find John’s website and award booking service here: theflyingmustache.com/awardbooking.
-Greg The Frequent Miler

Amex Application Tips



  • Safe to Apply: Amex is the safest bank for trying your luck at a new welcome bonus. They don’t usually issue a hard pull when denying your application. Plus, they’ll now warn you during the application process if you’re not eligible for the bonus.

  • Lifetime Rule: If you've ever had the same card before, you are most likely prohibited from getting a welcome bonus for the card if you apply now. Fortunately you'll be warned during the application process if this is the case. Amex is known to "forget" that you've had a card after about 7 years.

  • 5/90 Rule: In general, you can get at most one credit card within 5 days and 2 within 90 days. The 5 day limit is not enforced when your applications are automatically approved. Neither rule is enforced for charge cards.

  • 5 credit card max:Amex usually won't approve applications for new credit cards if you already have 5 or more Amex credit cards open. This limit does not apply to charge cards.

  • Better Offers: You may be able to get a better offer than the best available public offer. Details here.

  • Hard inquiries combine into 1 when approved same day


Check application status here.
If denied, call reconsideration: 877-399-3083 (new accountholders); 866-314-0237 (current accountholders)


Chase Application Tips

  • Shut-Down Caution: Signing up for new Chase cards can lead to Chase reviewing your accounts. This may lead to Chase shutting down all of your accounts if you appear to be a credit risk. See this post for details and recommendations: Why Chase shutdowns have increased and how to avoid them.
  • 5/24 Rule: With most Chase cards, you won't get approved if your credit report shows 5 or more cards opened in the past 24 months. Details here.
  • 24/48 Month Rule: With most Chase cards, you can get the same card and bonus again 24 months after having received the bonus as long as you no longer have the card open. With Sapphire cards, you must wait 48 months. No wait is required for Chase Ink cards.
  • 30 Day Rule: It is tough to get approved for more than 2 Chase cards within 30 days
  • Get Same Card Again: You can get the same exact card and again if you first cancel the older card and follow the 24/48 month rule. Ink cards are OK to get again without cancelling previous card if you apply with a new business.
  • Better Offers: You may be able to get a better offer than the best available public offer. Details here.
  • Hard inquiries combine into 1 when approved same day (not always true when mixing business and personal)

Call (888) 338-2586 to check your application status
If denied, call reconsideration here:1-888-270-2127 for both personal and business cards


Citi Application Tips




  • 24 Month Rule: To apply for a card within the same brand, must wait 24 months after receiving a new cardmember bonus or closing account.

  • 48 Month Rule: Some cards (AA cards, for example) have a 48 month rule instead of a 24 month rule. In these cases, you have to wait 48 months after signing up for the same exact card.

  • Velocity Rules: Max 1 personal card per 8 days. Max 2 personal cards per 65 days. Max 1 business card per 95 days.

  • Get Same Card Again: Citi allows getting same card again (even if card is still open) as long as you follow the 24 month rule (or 48 month rule if applicable) and velocity rules (above).

  • Hard inquiries DO NOT combine into 1 when approved same day


Check application status here.
If denied, call reconsideration here:800-695-5171 (personal); 800-763-9795 (business)
If reconsideration # doesn’t work, try the Citi Credit Card Executive Office: 423-477-6858


Bank of America Application Tips

  • 2/3/4 Rule: Max 2 consumer cards per rolling 2 months, 3 per rolling 12 months, and 4 per rolling 24 months.
  • 5 card limit: You will not get approved for a new consumer card if you already have 5 consumer BOA cards open

  • Get Same Card Again: With some BOA cards, must wait 24 months after either opening or cancelling, depending upon the card.

  • Hard inquiries are usually combined into 1 when initiated within 30 days but there have been reports of TransUnion not combining.


Click here to check your application status
If denied, call reconsideration here: 800-354-0401 (8am-7pm ET Mon-Fri); 866-695-6598 (business cards);

Barclays Application Tips


  • 6/24 Rule Arrival+ Only: Difficult (but not impossible) to get approved for Arrival+ if you've opened 6 or more cards with any bank in past 24 months.

  • Get Same Card Again: Must wait at least 6 months after cancelling previous card (with some accounts Barclays requires waiting 24 months).

  • Hard inquiries are combined into 1 when approved same day. Most inquiries issued through TransUnion.


Consumer: Click here to check your application status
Business cards: Click here
If denied, call reconsideration here: 866-408-4064

Capital One Application Tips


  • 6 month rule: Must wait 6 months after applying for a Capital One card before applying for another one.

  • 2 card limit: You can have at most 2 Capital One consumer cards

  • Get Same Card Again: There is no known rule against getting the same card and bonus again even if you still have the card open.

  • Hard inquiries usually get issued through all 3 credit bureaus


To check application status, call (800) 903-9177 or (877) 277-5901
If denied, call reconsideration here: (800) 625-7866

Discover Application Tips


  • 2 card limit: You can have a maximum of 2 Discover cards.

  • 12 month rule: Must wait just over 12 months after previous card was opened before applying for another Discover card.

  • Get Same Card Again: No known rules against getting same card & bonus again.


Click here to check your application status
If denied, call reconsideration here: 888-676-3695

TD Bank Application Tips


Call (888) 561-8861 to check your application status

US Bank Application Tips


  • Get Same Card Again: No known rules against getting same card & bonus again.

  • Hard inquiries may be combined into 1 when approved same day.


Call (800) 947-1444 to check your application status.
If denied, call reconsideration here: 800-947-1444 or 800-685-7680

Wells Fargo Application Tips


  • Bank first: Wells Fargo usually requires having a bank account open before you can apply for a credit card.

  • 16 month rule: Limit of one signup bonus per 16 months

  • Get Same Card Again: No known rules against getting same card & bonus again.

  • Hard inquiries are combined into 1 when approved same day.


Check application status here.
If denied, call reconsideration here: 1-866-412-5956

Under certain circumstances consumer Visa cards don't work with Plastiq. The following payments are fine:

  • Rent (residential rent, HOA fees, and commercial rent)
  • Taxes & government fees
  • Utilities (electricity, cable, internet, and telecom)
  • Tuition (including daycare and camp)
Payments outside of the above list are subject to the following limitations:

  1. Payments using personal Visa cards issued by Chase are subject to a limit of 20% of your credit limit.
  2. Payments using personal Visa cards from other issuers (other than Capital One or Wells Fargo) will code as a cash advance. That means you’d incur cash advance fees and wouldn’t earn any credit card rewards.
  3. The following types of Visa cards are not affected by these changes: Capital One personal Visa cards, Wells Fargo personal Visa cards, Visa business credit cards, Visa corporate, debit and prepaid gift cards.
In order to meet minimum spend requirements, people often look for options to increase spend in ways that result in getting the money back. These techniques are often referred to as "manufacturing spend". American Express has terms in their welcome offers that exclude some manufactured spend techniques from counting towards the minimum spend requirements for the welcome bonus. For example, most new cardmember bonuses have terms like this:
Eligible purchases to meet the Threshold Amount of this offer do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchase of travelers checks, purchase or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or other cash equivalents.
That said, many techniques for meeting minimum spend are perfectly fine. Here are some techniques that are safe for meeting Amex minimum spend requirements (click each link for more information):
Marriott Bonvoy credit cards are issued by both Chase and American Express.  If you're interested in signing up for more than one Chase and/or Amex Marriott card, it's important to consider the complex rules they have put in place:

We have added this to our running list of Black Friday deals, which will be constantly updated through Cyber Monday with a mix of gift card deals, merchandise deals, and travel deals. Check back often.

Last updated on September 25th, 2012

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.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

Regarding comments: Comments posted at the bottom of Frequent Miler pages and posts are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Anonymous.hackrer
Guest
Anonymous.hackrer

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

smitty06
Guest
smitty06

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.

laurent
Guest
laurent

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?

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

I’ve got two as well.
One for Patrick and one for Pat.

gm
Guest
gm

I have 2 under my name, both spelled the same way.

FrequentMiler
Guest

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.

harvson3
Guest
harvson3

We can call this the “one-browser trick.”

FrequentMiler
Guest

harvson3: LOL. Ironically, Million Mile Secrets (who often writes about the two browser trick) posted today about how many Ink Bold cards one business can get: http://millionmilesecrets.com/2012/07/05/chase-ink-bold-bonus/

edgar
Guest
edgar

LOL, pat

Gary S
Guest
Gary S

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.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Gary S: Why the rush to hit the 50K limit? I think there’s a big risk of Chase shutting you down if you do that too aggressively.

Scott
Guest
Scott

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.

Ted F
Guest
Ted F

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.

FrequentMiler
Guest

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).

hmaia
Guest
hmaia

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

FrequentMiler
Guest

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.

atxtravel
Guest
atxtravel

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.

Tso
Guest

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?

Carl
Guest
Carl

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.

sandra
Guest
sandra

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!

rick
Guest
rick

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?

smitty06
Guest
smitty06

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.

Caleb B
Guest
Caleb B

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!

toparis
Guest
toparis

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?

sandra
Guest
sandra

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

David
Guest
David

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?

Tim
Guest
Tim

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.

Tim
Guest
Tim

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.

sandra
Guest
sandra

@ 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?

David
Guest
David

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?

Jason
Guest
Jason

@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?

rick
Guest
rick

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.

FrequentMiler
Guest

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.

j
Guest
j

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.

Jason
Guest
Jason

@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.

Gary P
Guest
Gary P

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…

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Stchoump
Guest
Stchoump

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.

FrequentMiler
Guest

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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