Is the Amex 5 Credit Card Limit Gone?

Yesterday, I accidentally applied for the SPG card.  A reader had asked about the new feature where Amex will warn you if you’ve had a card before and are not eligible for the bonus.  I had never seen the warning myself except as posted on other blogs, so I picked a card that I’ve had before (the SPG consumer card) and applied.

I expected to see something like this:

Image captured by a member of our Frequent Miler Insider’s Facebook Group (thank you!)

Instead, my application was instantly approved.

I don’t know why the application itself didn’t warn me that I’m not eligible for the bonus.  I thought at first that maybe Amex is considering the SPG card new since it now earns the equivalent of Marriott points instead of Starpoints.  But others have received the warning for this card with the new earning structure, so that’s not it.  Maybe Amex somehow forgot that I had this card.  I had cancelled it in May 2015 which is nowhere near the 7 year timeframe that seems to be their forget threshold.  Most likely, the warning simply failed to trigger.  I think it is very unlikely that I’ll get the bonus for this card.

The more surprising part of all of this is that I got approved despite having 5 credit cards already open.  In the past, my applications have been denied when I tried to open a new credit card that would put me over the Amex credit card limit.  Note that the limit used to be 4 credit cards, but had moved up to 5.  Note also that charge cards, such as Amex Gold cards and Platinum cards, have never been part of this limit.

So, now I had 6 credit cards open.  Maybe Amex has changed the limit to 6?  I decided to push forward to find out…

I next opened the application for the SPG Business Card.  I had cancelled that one as recently as June 2017.  Surely the application would warn me that I’m not eligible for the bonus, right?  Nope.  I was instantly approved.

I now have 7 Amex credit cards.

I’m feeling fairly confident now that the hard limit on credit cards is gone.  Or, maybe they have a limit, but it varies by person.

What’s up with the Amex bonus validator?

The validator seems to be completely broken for me.  Or maybe it doesn’t work with Chrome?  But it’s not broken for everyone.  Quite a few Facebook group members reported that they received the same “PLEASE CONFIRM” message as shown above.

Reader Input

We need more data points to fully understand what’s going on.  There are two primary questions:

  1. Is there any limit to Amex credit cards anymore?
  2. Is there a way to trust the bonus validator if it shows the warning sometimes but not other-times?

And, of course, there’s a third question: Do I have any hope at all of getting the welcome bonus for either card?  I’m pretty sure that the answer is no.

What has your experience been with these topics?  Please comment below.

By the way, when counting your Amex credit cards, don’t count charge cards, and don’t count authorized user cards.  Thanks!

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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Blue
Guest
Blue

This is a very interesting development, particularly with the new Amex check on no bonus due to churning. Keeping more cards alive and able to spend on would be awesome.

tom
Guest
tom

hmmm – shame it was 2 SPG cards you tested. Its possible that AMEX system is looking at these as different now, at least for bonus purposes. It does seem the limit is gone, then again lots of people were at 7+ when the Citi Hiltons came across

dave3584
Guest
dave3584

I just applied for and received my 6th AMEX credit card (Hilton Aspire). I was approved instantly.

Jim F
Guest
Jim F

I applied for the Delta Biz Plat a week ago, and since I was at the 5 card limit, the rep said I would have to close a card, so I chose to close my Delta Gold. I was then approved for the But the card never closed, as it was active on my account, and I called again to have them close the Gold. If I didn’t, I would have had 6 open as well.

Matt
Guest
Matt

I just applied for the everyday Monday for an incognito 25,000 point sign up. Did not get the sign up message to show. Just instantly approved. I Have never had the card, currently have PRG, SPG and platinum.

Jay
Guest
Jay

I can give you the CDN reply. Since both the personal and business cards don’t waive their annual fees, you can get the cards over and over (just wait a year or so between) You get the sign up bonus every time for either a fee of 120 or 150 but well worth it! Now of course this may change with the new developments, but it seems if you pays the fee, you gets the BONUS!!!

Marriott Rewards Abuse Team
Guest
Marriott Rewards Abuse Team

Thank you Sir, we will get to fix this right away!

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

@Greg, have you tried chatting or calling Amex to see if they’ll tell you whether the computer has your new cards coded to receive the bonuses?

Also, did you apply for both cards on the same day? I thought Amex allowed one credit card application in a 5 day period.

JayP
Guest
JayP

Interesting it says “Member Since: Today!” Doesn’t it usually say the year you first got an Amex card? Seems like it’s just not seeing your history with them.

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

I noticed the same thing when I was approved for a Delta Gold on 8/8. I previously received the card in early 2012, so I decided to test whether or not I’d receive it, assuming I’d receive the pop up if I wasn’t eligible for the bonus. I didn’t receive any pop-up and was auto-approved, but my welcome email included the “Customer Since: Today” language. Additionally, I was not allowed to add the new card to my existing user ID but was forced to create a new one. Very strange all around.

Dee
Guest
Dee

First, only in this hobby does anyone not bat an eyelash at, “I accidentally applied for an Amex card.”

You may get the bonuses. I’d call to ask. Within the last year, I got bonuses for Gold and Delta cards that I’ve had before. I called to have a rep check and was told that even though I had the card before, yes, I could get the bonus.

S Nack
Guest
S Nack

Oh please, how long have you been in this hobby? You don’t just “accidentally” apply for a new card lol

Jason
Guest
Jason

Some people are just so rude. No decency at all.

zmicer88
Guest
zmicer88

DP 1: Tried to apply for SPG Business (closed in Jun’18) on desktop (Chrome, not incognito) – got the no-bonus warning;
DP 2: Filled in an application for the SPG Personal (closed in Sept’17) on iPhone (Chrome, incognito) – got the no-bonus warning

Mark
Guest
Mark

This is really interesting.
Thanks for this report.
Here’s another piece that’s ‘new’ or strange:
I was at the 5 card limit, applied for a card, first got declined by the system, called in, and then the rep suggested for me if I couldn’t close a card (!!!).
This happened twice already, and with cards that I had just gotten a couple of months ago, reaping substantial bonuses off of them.
Makes me like Amex even more than before.

CHICO
Guest
CHICO

AMEX QUESTION…..does anyone know if being an authorized user on wife’s AMEX Hilton B, card (then cancel it) voids out any chance of getting the AMEX signup bonus on my own Amex (Hilton Business) card. Thank you in advance for your help.

chris Pilafas
Guest
chris Pilafas

Disregard

Fonzi
Guest
Fonzi

Could you explain us how is it possible to “accidentaly” apply for credit card. How come this accide t never happened to me?

WR2
Guest
WR2

Did you only read the first sentence of the post and then go straight to typing an ignorant comment?

James
Guest
James

My wife applied for the SPG Biz card a few days ago, she had it maybe 5 or so years ago. She got no warning message. We were a bit concerned, so while they were processing the app we called to see if amex could see that we had the card previously and they did confirm she had the card before. We canceled the application, assuming in the end they would (rightly) claim we have had the card and not give the bonus.

tmouse
Guest
tmouse

I went to test out the pop up window just 2 days ago as well. No pop up window came up to tell me if I was eligible or inelgible. There was only the “submit” button…and I didn’t press it because I thought the application would go through. Waiting for Aug 23!

P-nope
Guest
P-nope

I applied on June 9 for a sixth card and got denied due to having the maximum. Maybe this is something new. I’ll test it as well since Amex does not do credit check on denials anyway

Mark
Guest
Mark

Suggestion to close a card that you don’t need any longer; then they’ll approve you for the one you want now.

Danny
Guest
Danny

Question I’ve always wondered. I’m at the supposed AmEx limit (actually over it thanks to the Citi Hilton merger). If I want to apply for another AmEx credit card do I (a) need to cancel down to 4 and then apply or (b) apply while still at 5 or 6 and then cancel during reconsideration call?

I especially ask because I have a fraud alert on my credit file so I am definitely getting a call from AmEx regardless and that could be a good time to cancel down to the needed 4.

Thoughts?

Mark
Guest
Mark

Danny, I was at the 5 limit, applied, got declined by the system, then called recon, and they suggested to me (!!) to close a card, which I did, and then I got approved for the new one I wanted. This happened twice already. Good luck!!

Danny
Guest
Danny

Awesome; thank you!

Mark
Guest
Mark

most welcome

5150d
Guest
5150d

Come on Greg – You’re the Frequent Miler. You’re famous. You don’t think that AmEx knows who you are. You are in the system. They love you. You have links. They would probably do anything for you.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Do you have six personal and one business cards? I’ve seen that they can look past the five credit card rule for a combo of both, but they will not give you more than five personal credit cards

HokiE36
Guest
HokiE36

This limit has been long lifted for me, as I shared with Greg a couple of years ago. Back then I had 5 cards. Now I hold 7 credit cards with AMEX. They are EveryDay (from EveryDay Preferred), Old Blue Cash, SPG, SPG biz, SimplyCash, SimplyCash Plus, and lastly Blue Biz Plus. The last two were approved since 2016. And only one of them was applied and approved using my EIN; others were applied using my SSN. Guess I always had a good ride with them, with heavy spendings thus more cards to approve in my favor maybe? Anyways, with Ritz card approved, I’m thinking to get that Aspire as well; or maybe Marriott or biz version to pool points? Never had any good plan with hotels, but whatever…

miles husband
Guest
miles husband

An AMEX chat agent told me late 2017 that co-branded SSN account history pulled from a separate system. Is possible a change was made to that system that impacts only co-branded

trackback

[…] Is the Amex 5 Credit Card Limit Gone? by Frequentmiler. Greg was able to get a 6th and 7th Amex credit card. Limit always used to be 4, then was bumped up to 5 for most people, with sporadic successes of 6. Not sure if I’ve heard of 7 until now. […]

trackback

[…] I am pretty sure they are taking notes in that department over at Amex. I am referring to the Amex 5 card limit… […]

trackback

[…] I’m also waiting to see what happens with my recently (and somewhat accidentally) acquired SPG and SPG Biz cards.  I’ve finished the minimum spend on each, but haven’t received new SPG membership yet for those cards (see this post for details about this craziness). […]

Ryan del Mundo
Guest
Ryan del Mundo

Applied for the new SPG LUX yesterday and got a call from them that I have too many cards (5 including one from Hilton Citi xfer) and would have to cancel one. So it must be YMMV.

trackback

[…] few weeks ago, I accidentally signed up for the consumer SPG card.  I was expecting to see a popup warning me that I wasn’t eligible for the card, but received an […]

Eduardo
Guest
Eduardo

The limit is still in force for some people then.
I just applied for the Amex Blue Business Plus. Application was put on hold.
2 days later, got a call from Amex, explaining that I needed to close 1 of my accounts (I have 5 credit, 1 charge)
After I closed one of the accounts, the application was approved

james
Guest
james

did you end up getting your bonus and did you confirm that this was indeed your 6th amex credit card?