I just ran my quarterly credit card “App-o-rama” yesterday, applying for 7 new credit cards in order to collect the various sign up bonuses. If I bring them all home, that will be an additional 410,000 miles and points added to the collection. When doing this I always try to spread my applications across issuers, so something from Chase, something from Amex, something from Citi etc.
Anyway this time I decided to focus on Hilton, and that included the Hilton cards from Citi and Amex. I got an interesting call today from Amex. There has been some debate over the years as to how many Amex cards one person can have. Right now I have six, four personal and two business. Anyway the lady calling said I had reached the limit of cards one person could have. I was curious how that limit was defined, and she told me that the limit applies to credit cards (not charge cards like the Platinum or Premier Rewards Gold cards) and is 4. This is the first time I have been told of a hard limit. While I would generally caution against taking the word of one customer service agent, this lady sounded like she knew what she was talking about. I agreed to cancel a Delta card I have not used much and just hit me with an annual fee of $150. I actually thought twice about this as that card actually impacts your position on the upgrade list with Delta, but in the end I let it go and got approved for the Hilton card.
This is something to keep in mind when planning your credit card apps. Especially now that Amex is making it clear when you can and can’t get a sign up bonus (generally at least 12 months after you closed the same type of account). With a good plan you should still be able to get one Amex card and sign up bonus per quarter in perpetuity.