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American Express (Amex) is known for being particularly generous when it comes to things like credit card rewards programs and welcome bonuses. So generous, in fact, that some new users might have a hard time figuring out which card to choose.

While Amex’s card comparison tool makes it easy to compare various card offerings, you may even find yourself tempted to take advantage of multiple offers. But how many Amex cards can you have at once?

You’ve come to the right place to find out. Join us for a walkthrough of Amex application restrictions, rules, and considerations to keep in mind before you send in your application.

How Many Amex Cards Can You Have?

types of personal credit cards AMEX

The number of Amex cards you can have at once is more of an unofficial rule than a hard cut-off. Rather than specifically listing a limit, the terms and conditions of most of Amex’s cards state, “We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.”

It’s understandable that some users may want to have separate cards for things like business, travel, and personal use. This is quite possibly why Amex keeps things a bit more open as far as being able to take in certain considerations on a case-to-case basis.

That said, some cards do have lifetime limitations that only allow you to take advantage of their bonus offerings once.

How Long Should You Wait Before Applying for Another Amex Card?

Woman watching her phone with credit card

Given that it is certainly possible to have more than one Amex card, you may be wondering, “how many Amex cards can I apply for at once?” Again, Amex is a little dodgy about giving one straight answer.

They do, however, provide clues for current users who have been declined after applying for a second card. Their website states,

“While we take your history with us into account, it's not the only factor we consider when making our decision. We review each application individually, using the most current information available, including your payment history with us and your other creditors, your income and assets compared to your overall debt level, and information from the credit bureaus.”

They do also advise waiting at least 30 days before resubmitting your application, as users who are not approved at any given time may be in the future. You can also give them a call at 1-800-567-1083 if you’d like them to reconsider their decision.

How Many Amex Business Cards Can I Have?

Screen AMEX Business Credit Cards Benefits

While Amex doesn’t offer a specific answer, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that many of their business cards are not available to users who already have or have had the same card in the past.

Amex’s recurring application theme tends to stress that new cards are available to members on a case-by-case basis. If you are a member in good standing who wants to upgrade to another card or add a second one, then you most likely stand a better chance of getting approved.

Does Amex Do a Hard Pull for Another Card?

American Express mark in corner of card

There’s good and bad news, depending on what type of card you’re interested in. Amex recently updated their application process to allow members to apply for certain types of cards with no initial impact on their credit score.

The most important exceptions to note are that this offer does not apply to business cards and that it may not apply if you log into your existing account. So, if you want to apply for a non-business card, make sure you log out first.

How does it work? Simply submit your application and get a decision on whether or not you’re approved with no impact on your credit score. If you aren’t approved, you’ll save yourself a credit pull.

If you are approved and do choose to accept the card, then Amex will have to provide your information to the credit bureaus, which may affect your score. But at least you’ll know it was worth it.

Will American Express Give Me a Second Chance?

Checking credit score on the phone

This too likely depends on your past history with the company. If you are a bit behind but are eventually able to pay off your Amex debt, the odds are definitely better than if you’re still in deep or filed for bankruptcy.

While Amex offers no guarantees as far as issuing further credit, they do seem willing to work with clients on a case-to-case basis.

See Also: Second Chance Credit Cards: Best Unsecured Options for People with Poor Credit

Amex Credit Card Bonus Rules

man reading a paper sitting on the table

While Amex is a little vague about its rules, there are a few worth considering, of both the official and unofficial varieties. Let’s take a closer look.

The Once-Per-Lifetime Rule

If you score a great welcome bonus on a new Amex card, don’t count on enjoying it twice. Amex has a strict once-per-lifetime rule when it comes to the bonuses it offers on each of its cards.

For instance, say you open an Amex Platinum account, use it for a few years, and then close it. If you decide a few years down the line that you’d like to reapply for the same card, you may be able to get approved but will not get a second welcome bonus.

Which credit cards are affected by the Amex once-per-lifetime rule?

The once-per-lifetime bonus rule applies to all Amex cards, whether personal or business cards. You'll find this outlined in the “terms and conditions” section of each card, which states that each customer can only take advantage of each card's bonus offer once.

While it may sound a bit strict, Amex likely enacted this rule to keep people from taking advantage of their generous welcome bonus offers over and over.

If you can't remember if you've had a certain card in the past, Amex makes it easy to tell if you're not eligible for the welcome bonus. During the application process, an alert will appear that will inform you that you're no longer eligible to receive the bonus again and ask if you want to proceed anyway.

Exceptions to The Once-Per-Lifetime Rule

Occasionally there are exceptions, especially when it comes to current customers who are offered upgrades. Should you choose to upgrade your card, you may indeed be eligible for additional bonuses. If you want to be sure, it’s never a bad idea to contact Amex by phone or chat to confirm.

Additionally, the once-per-lifetime rule does not apply to additional cards. For instance, if you have a personal Amex card and decide to also apply for a business card, you'll still be eligible for the second card's bonus as well.

Unofficial Amex Rules

old man checking his phone with credit card in hand

While Amex does not specifically state certain rules on its website, a number of sources claim that there are unofficial rules that may apply to applicants interested in opening more than one card. These include:

Amex 5-card rule

The Amex five-card rule suggests that five is the general number of cards Amex will offer to one client at a time. While there may be exceptions, if you have a hard time getting approved for more than five cards, you may want to consider reaching out to Amex if you’d like another. It’s worth asking whether canceling at least one of your current cards may help or if there are any upgrade options available as an alternative.

Amex 1-in-5 rule

The Amex 1-in-5 rule states that customers tend to be limited to being approved for one card every five days.

Amex 2-in-90 rule

The Amex 2-in-90 rule says that Amex generally caps new customers at approval for two cards every 90 days.

How to Find Out If You’re Eligible for an Amex Card Before Applying

Want to avoid the disappointment of getting denied altogether? There may be a simple workaround. Amex now offers a feature designed to help potential customers identify pre-qualification offers. Just head over to the pre-screening page and fill out some basic information.

Amex will then reveal a set of pre-qualification offers with no impact on your credit score. The feature does have a few caveats that are worth considering, however. The first is that it specifies that even if a card does appear in your search results, it’s not necessarily a guarantee that you’ll be approved.

It also states that some offers may not come with a welcome bonus or introductory APR. So your best bet may be to get a good look at the offers it presents, then compare each to the bonus offers on Amex's regular website. In some cases, it may be worth leaving the pre-screening tool rather than using it to actually apply for a certain card. It's also worth noting that the pre-qualification feature will not work for existing customers, who are advised to check out this feature instead.

The Best Amex Cards to Apply For

The great thing about Amex is that they offer a range of different credit cards for every type of customer. Here’s a breakdown of some of the best Amex cards that we’d recommend looking into:

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Intro Offer: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $8,000 within the first six months
  • Annual Fee: $695 (See Rates & Fee)
  • Pay Over Time APR: 21.24% - 29.24% (Variable) based on creditworthiness

If you have good to excellent credit and are looking for a card with great travel perks, then the Amex Platinum Card may be for you. Not only does it come with one of Amex’s most generous welcome bonus offers, but it also allows members to earn 5x the Membership Rewards® Points on flights up to $500,000/ calendar year.

Members can also earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points by booking prepaid hotel stays through Amex Travel.

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card
  • Intro Offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $6,000 on qualifying purchases within the first 6 months. Terms Apply
  • Annual Fee: $250 (See Rates & Fee)
  • APR: 21.24% - 29.24% variable APR on eligible charges

If you’re more into dining than traveling, then the Amex Gold Card may be the better option for you. Members can rack up 4X Membership Rewards® Points at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in U.S. And 4x points at U.S supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year, then 1x)

Amex recently updated the Gold card’s offerings to include up to $10 in monthly statement credits for purchases at participating restaurants and food delivery services. Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
  • Intro Offer: $200 in statement credit when you spend $2,000 in the first 6 months. Terms Apply
  • Annual Fee: $0. (See Rates & Fee)
  • APR: 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 15 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% variable

If you’re looking for a card with $0 annual fee that’s great for everyday purchases, then the Amex Blue Cash card is definitely worth checking out. Rather than a points system, the Blue Cash operates on a cash-back rewards basis. Members can earn 3% cash back on up to $6,000 worth of purchases a year from U.S. supermarkets, U.S. online retail stores, and U.S. gas stations.

All other eligible purchases, as well as any made in the categories above after reaching the $6,000 annual threshold, earn 1% cash back.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Intro Offer: 120,000 Membership Rewards® when you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. Terms Apply
  • Annual Fee: $695. (See Rates & Fee)
  • APR: 18.74% - 26.74% variable

If you travel a great deal for business, then the Amex Business Platinum card can help you take advantage of all those travel expenses. Members enjoy 5X Membership Rewards® points when they book their flights and prepaid hotels through Amex Travel. Members can also earn 1.5X Membership Rewards® points per dollar on key business expenses and on any purchase over $5,000 up to $2 million per calendar year.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
  • Intro Offer: $250 in statement credits when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 6 months. Terms Apply
  • Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (See Rates & Fee)
  • APR: 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% variable

The Blue Cash Preferred card is a nice choice for earning cash back on a wide variety of everyday purchases. Customers can earn a generous 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations. The card also offers users 6% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases for a total value of up to $6,000 per year and 1% on other purchases thereafter.

Bottom Line

As you can see, Amex has some enticing offers for a wide variety of different types of customers. Whether you are looking for a card for business or personal use, you'll find a variety of different options complete with rewards systems based on everything from travel points to cash back.

While the temptation may prove strong to cash in on all the offers at once, it's best to up your odds of approval by starting out with the card that appeals to you the most. Once you establish a good reputation with Amex, it's very likely that they'll welcome you to take advantage of additional card offerings.

For Rates & Fees of:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express Click Here
- American Express® Gold Card Click Here
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Click Here
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express Click Here
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Click Here

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply

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The responses below are not provided, commissioned, reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any financial entity or advertiser. It is not the advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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