Is the Amex 5 Credit Card Limit Gone?

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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!

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