Amex Implements 4-Card Limit

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There are a lot of amazing credit cards on the market these days that offer incredible bonuses and benefits. Often, it can be challenging to decide which one you want to carry because of how lucrative they are. So why not get them all?

EARN AND BURN

A few years ago, it was fairly easy to apply for a credit card, meet the welcome offer (e.g. spend $2,000 in 90 days for 100,000 points), do not put any additional spend on that specific card, and simply apply for another card to earn the next welcome bonus. This technique is known as the “earn and burn” strategy.

Well, credit card issuers became hip to the game and they have slowly found ways to thwart people from “gaming” the system. They have implemented various strategies like upgrading their IT systems that only allow you to apply for a card every 24 months or restricting applicants to only receive the welcome bonus “once in a lifetime.”

Over the past few years, the credit card field has become extremely competitive and banks are fighting for your business. But banks also want to attract long-term customers that use their cards for every purchases (not just to earn the welcome bonuses).

AND THEN COVID-19…

As expected, card issuers have tightened the reins even more due to the pandemic.

A few days ago, Miles to Memories reported that there were several data points of where consumers had applied for Amex cards and were denied. When the applicants reached out to Amex through reconsideration calls to determine why they had been denied, they were told Amex had implemented a limit of 4 cards per customer.

Historically, the limit has been 5 Amex credit cards and up to 10 charge cards at a given time.

They reached out to Amex for confirmation:

…to which Amex replied:

FINAL STAMP

If you already find yourself with 5 Amex cards, nothing happens. If you find yourself with less than 5 cards, you now have one less “slot” for a new card.

Personally, I wouldn’t fret as American Express has several lucrative cards with bonus categories in great categories (e.g. 4x in groceries on the Gold, 5x on airfare on the Platinum, 2x for all purchases on Blue Business, etc.).

However, these new limits may force you to make some difficult decisions in the future.

Personally, I have some annual fees approaching and am considering downsizing and possibly opening different cards. However, closing cards that I’ve had for some time to open new accounts could also hurt my credit score, given the length of my credit history will decrease.

What do you make of this new development?

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