TravelSort reader Mike writes "How many AMEX cards and signup bonuses can you get? And does AMEX enforce its rule that you can't get the bonus on a card if you've had that same card within the past 12 months?"
Great questions Mike, and timely, given some of the confusion reported over who was eligible to receive the AMEX Platinum 100,000 Membership Rewards points offer (now dead). I'll put your questions on how many AMEX cards and AMEX bonuses you can get into a FAQ, along with other questions I've gotten asked:
Is There a Set Number of AMEX Cards You Can Get Approved For?
Yes, when it comes to AMEX credit cards, such as the Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX personal and business cards and Delta Gold AMEX: the maximum number of AMEX credit cards you can have is 4.
However, the 4 card limit does NOT apply to AMEX charge cards, such as the AMEX Platinum, AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card, etc. Charge cards must be paid off in full every month (although you should be doing this in any case for credit cards as well, to avoid paying high interest charges that negate the value of your miles and points earned).
So If I Currently Have 5 AMEX Credit Cards Will They Make Me Close One of Them?
No, if you don't apply for more AMEX credit cards. But if you do, then you would have to close two of them to get one approved, for a maximum of four AMEX credit cards.
If I Have or Have Recently Had the Same AMEX Card I'm Applying For, Will I Still Get the Bonus?
Maybe. AMEX has given another signup bonus to some applicants who already have or recently had the AMEX card they're applying for, while denying others in a similar position the bonus.
Yet, even among those told they'd be denied the bonus, some received it after completing minimum spend.
Hence, it's your mileage may vary. If another amazing 100K offer comes along, I'd recommend applying, and also applying for other cards from other issuers at the same time, so that even if you're unlucky and don't automatically get the AMEX bonus, some of your credit pulls can at least get combined and you won't have wasted a credit pull on a card bonus you may not get.
So How Many AMEX Cards, Credit Cards and Charge Cards, Is It Possible to Get?
Dan of Dan's Deals reports his current 10 AMEX cards are:
- AMEX Platinum
- AMEX Platinum (2nd card)
- Premier Rewards Gold
- Premier Rewards Gold (2nd card)
- Starwood AMEX Personal
- Starwood AMEX Personal (2nd card)
- Starwood AMEX Business
- Starwood AMEX Business (2nd card)
- Delta Gold Skymiles
- Delta Gold Skymiles Business
Naturally, this isn't to say you'll be able to get approved for 10 AMEX cards, since it depends on your own credit history and financial circumstances.
How Many AMEX Cards Can You Get Approved For At the Same Time?
As far as I know, 4 AMEX cards at one time is the maximum anyone's been approved for. Let me know in the comments if you've successfully gotten approved for more than that. Personally, I would only apply for 2 or 3 AMEX cards at the same time, and would make sure I had good reasons for each card I was applying for.
If I Close an AMEX Card, How Long Do I Have to Wait to Get the Bonus Again?
Well, since it's actually possible to have more than one of the exact same AMEX credit card or AMEX charge card, there's technically no waiting period. That said, AMEX has been known to warn people it views as merely getting cards for the bonuses that they won't get the bonus for any future cards. So use common sense and discretion.
Can I Get the Bonus for Both the AMEX Platinum and Mercedes-Benz AMEX Platinum?
Yes. And at least for me and several others, already having the Mercedes-Benz Platinum did NOT prevent us from receiving the 100,000 AMEX Platinum bonus points.
Is There Any Way to Expedite the Membership Rewards Bonus Points?
Simply meet the minimum spend as quickly as possible, payoff the entire balance, and secure message AMEX asking them to expedite the points. Many folks have had success with this. Note that AMEX won't expedite the points from the actual spend, but is able to expedite the bonus points. For example, if your minimum spend is $1000 and the bonus is 50,000, AMEX can expedite the 50,000 bonus points, but not the 1000 points from actual spend. Note that for AMEX Points Advances from actual spend, you'll need to have had the AMEX card in question open for 6 months or more. See AMEX Points Advance Tips
How many AMEX cards do you have, and how many times have you gotten the bonus?