A new data point from Reddit (H/T) suggests that American Express has limited charge cards to 10 per person. Doctor of Credit (H/T) and Miles to Memories (H/T) have reported on the details earlier today.
American Express has had a long-standing limit of five credit cards per person. However, Amex has never had a limit on the amount of charge cards until now. The limit is set at 10 per person. That means one cardholder can have as many as 10 personal and business charge cards at one time.
Furthermore, this limit has nothing to do with sign-up bonuses. Amex has their infamous Once Per Lifetime Rule for that. Plus, cardholders who currently have at least 11 charge cards should be able to keep them. But prospective cardholders must have nine or fewer charge cards to be approved for a new one.
Charge vs. Credit
Traditional credit cards let you maintain a balance if you wanted to and they have an interest rate. All card issuers offer traditional credit cards. And American Express has offered credit cards since the late 1980s. Some of their current offerings include the Everyday Card and the Blue Cash Preferred Card. All American Express co-branded cards are also credit cards.
Conversely, charge cards are only offered by American Express (and formerly Diners Club) and they must be paid in full every month. Amex’s charge cards include the Green, Gold, Platinum, and Centurion Cards. When the average person thinks of American Express, typically they think of the four charge cards.
Furthermore, this rule should not affect too many non-military people unless they have multiple businesses or co-branded Platinum cards. Cases like these are rare because the combined annual fee of having multiple charge cards can go into the thousands.
However, American Express waives the annual fees for their cards for military personnel. They are complying with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and the Military Lending Act (MLA). This group is the most likely to be affected by this limit because they do not have to pay annual fees. There are plenty of veterans and current military personnel who have multiple Platinum Cards because they have no annual fee.
Setting a charge card limit is an interesting move by American Express. But 10 per person is a high number for most people. Fortunately, this new rule is not as draconian as their Once Per Lifetime Rule. It’s surprisingly one of their fairer rules.