Credit Cards

New American Express Policy

I had heard from different bloggers and others that there was a new American Express policy when it came to the amount of cards that you can have. The rumor was that it was 4 credit cards max – that is personal AND business! Well, I found that out for myself today. In the past, I had as many as 6 personal cards at once and a couple of business cards. Now, it is a total of 4 combined. Now, that does only apply to credit cards –charge cards (cards with no credit limit) are excluded from that. This makes things a little difficult for the card user who wants to maximize points.

For example, the cards I currently have are:

  • Hilton HHonors American Express
  • American Express Business Platinum
  • American Express Delta Reserve
  • American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business
  • American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Personal

The SPG personal card was the one that I had recently applied for and which I was called about today. The Amex Business Platinum does not count in the 4, but I had an older small business card that I had not used in years, so I told them to close that.

Now, the cards I have are all for different purposes. For instance, I have always had a Delta Amex card and I plan on using my Reserve card this year to get the bonus MQMs for the different spending thresholds. So, I need that one.

The Hilton American Express is the card I use for all of my Vanilla Reload cards to fill my Bluebird account when I am not trying to hit minimum spending (because I get 6x points for using it at a pharmacy – CVS). So, I need that one.

The two Starwood cards are good because I get stay credits with each towards elite status. Since I can now only have 4, I will probably have to begin to alternate closing those cards to get in on the other good offers. For right now, I need both of those.

Now, what will this do for card history on your credit report? I always try to leave my oldest card open with an issuer so as to help my relationship with the issuer as well as give my average credit length a good number. With this new policy, I may have to start being careful with how often I close these cards.

This is a shame – it used to be that there was some internal number of how many cards you could have from a particular issuer for each individual and Chase use to be the one that was the most strict (although my wife has 6 personal cards and 2 business cards with them!). Now, it is 4 Amex cards for everyone. So, choose wisely and just be aware as to what card(s) you may be willing to give up when you apply for a new one.


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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • Unless something has changed since January 2013 (when I last procured an AmEx card), AmEx marks a card’s opening date as the month it was opened and the year _of your first AmEx membership_. e.g.: If your first AmEx was in 2001, and you obtained a card in January 2013, the new card appears as January of 2001 (with zero usage in prior months).

    • That is interesting. I do know that every Amex card lists the date of membership as the first time that you had held an Amex card (even if that first card gets closed). But everytime I apply for an Amex card and am approved, it shows up on my credit report as a new card account and shows that date that it was opened. I have not really looked into the detailed reports to see when it shows it opened. I will have to check that. I do know that the limit is 4 credit cards at any given time. Once you close one, you will be fine to get another.