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How many American Express cards can you apply for?

The short answer is that you may essentially own up to five American Express cards at any one time. But the actual number that you can apply for depends on certain factors, especially the time frame within which you are applying for more than one card.

There may also be some limitations on your eligibility for certain welcome bonuses. So to get a more accurate answer to the title question, we’ll need to break this down a little bit further. 

That’s because there are a number of unwritten but widely recognized rules about how many AmEx cards you can apply for within a set duration. Below, we’ll dig a little deeper into a number of rules including the so-called 2 90 Rule, the 1 in 5 rule, and the Once Per Lifetime Rule..

Of course, before you apply for multiple cards at once, you should know what goes into determining your eligibility for just one American Express credit card. If you’re not sure where you stand, jump to our look at exactly how hard it is to get approved for an American Express credit card.

Otherwise, read on to find out what kinds of special rules, conditions, and limitations might apply before you shop around for that second, third, or fourth AmEx.

What is the AmEx 2 90 Rule?

Many credit card companies have unwritten rules about how many cards you can be approved for within a specific period of time. For instance, while there is no officially stated policy at American Express, an article from WalletHub notes that it is widely reported that American Express maintains a 2 90 policy. This means American Express will likely limit the number of cards you can be approved for within 90 days to just two. This means that even with excellent credit and an otherwise sterling financial profile, it still may not be possible to get three cards or more within the space of three months.

What is the AmEx 1 in 5 Rule?

There is also a rule which applies to the frequency with which you can even apply for a new AmEx card, let alone be approved. According to the 1 in 5 rule, you can only apply for one American Express credit card every five days. One reason for this is to reduce the likelihood of fraud. Practically speaking, it means that you must wait five full days after applying for your first AmEx card to seek a second one. There is one exception to this rule. According to an article from BankRate, you can apply for a credit card and any number of American Express charge cards on the same day.

Check out our article on high limit American Express cards to learn more about the different rules for credit cards versus charge cards.

Does AmEx Have a 5 24 Rule?

No, American Express does not have a 5 24 rule. Many credit card issuers, including Chase, have a rule which states that you may not apply for a new card if you have already been approved for five or more credit cards in the last 24 months. While these conditions do not appear to be published anywhere on the Chase website, an article from NerdWallet reports that it remains the unwritten but official rule. By contrast, American Express has no such 5 24 rule.

American Express does, however, have a rule which places a fairly decisive limit on how frequently you can receive its welcome bonus benefits…

What is the AmEx One Per Lifetime Rule?

While you may be able to own up to five American Express credit cards along with an unspecified number of charge cards, there is one thing you can only get from American Express once…ever. According to the AmEx once per lifetime rule, you may only receive your welcome bonus one time in your life. No matter how many AmEx cards you ultimately plan to apply for, you will not be receiving multiple welcome bonuses. So if you do ultimately plan to pursue multiple personal and business cards with American Express, it is advisable to pursue the card with the highest possible welcome bonus first. This would be the Platinum Card from American Express. This prestigious charge card comes with a wide selection of benefits as well as an incredible welcome bonus of 150,000 membership rewards points for account holders who spend $8000 in the first six months.

What else should I know about applying for multiple American Express cards?

While the technical rule is that you can’t own more than five American Express credit cards at one time, there are a few exceptions. You may hold additional charge cards without a preset spending limit such as the Platinum or Centurion card in addition to the five credit cards under your name. Of course, such cards are reserved only for the most financially suitable candidates. But theoretically, it is possible to hold five American Express cards in addition to a charge card.

Should I have multiple AmEx credit cards?

Yes, holding multiple American Express cards can be well worth it. If you do it wisely, it is possible to enjoy the perfect mix of benefits and perks by holding a set of carefully selected AmEx offers. According to an article from NerdWallet, you may be able to optimize and maximize your membership benefits by applying for what it calls the AmEx Trifecta. With three specific cards, you can ensure that you are receiving all the very best benefits, perks, and offers in every area of spending.

NerdWallet advises signing up for The Platinum Card® from American Express in order to maximize your travel rewards; the American Express Gold Card for your dining rewards; and the The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express for all other purchases. This combination gives you a chance to redeem the widest variety of rewards across all spending categories.


Not sure where to start? Find out who to contact at American Express to learn more.