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The Strange Amex Green Application Rules, Unique Rules For This Card Only

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Amex Green Card Application Rules

Amex Green Card Application Rules, Why This Card’s Rules Are Unique

The Amex Green card has been somewhat of an enigma.  Not in terms of the welcome offer, the earning structure or the value the card can offer.  The Amex Green card applications rules are the enigma.  That is because the card works unlike any other card American Express has to offer. It can be confusing, and to be honest, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to me either. But let’s work through this together so you know what the rules are and when it is the best time to apply for the Amex Green card.

American Express Application Rules

Before we dive into the Amex Green card application rules, and how they are different, we should review Amex’s application rules for all cards.

  • Maximum of 5 credit cards.
  • maximum of 10 cards without a preset limit.
  • 2 cards in a rolling 90 day period.
  • Welcome offers are once per lifetime.
    • 7 years used to be considered a lifetime with American Express but we are not so sure now. It could be more like 4 years.  The lifetime clock starts once you close the card not when you get a welcome offer.  Upgrades and downgrades will count against you.
  • A pop-up will alert you if you are not eligible for a particular welcome offer.

The part we want to focus on is the 5 credit card limit and 10 card limit for cards without a preset spending limit.  The Amex Green card used to fall into the latter category, a card with not preset spending limit, and would count towards the 10 card limit but things have changed. Well, sometimes at least.

Amex Green Card Application Rules

The Strange Amex Green Card Application Rules

The Amex Green card seems to be a chameleon.  Sometimes it acts as a credit card and other times it acts as a card with no preset spending limit.  We had originally thought that maybe having Pay Over Time activated (here is how and why you should turn it off) but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  I even thought it was an error because I was approved for the Amex Green even though I was at the credit card limit.

The reason there were varying reports is because it depends on if you are applying or if you already have the card. The card acts differently depending on which situation you are in.

  • If a new application the Amex Green card acts as a card with no preset spending limit and does not count towards the 5 credit card limit.
  • If you already have the card it will count towards the 5 credit card limit.

Huh? Exactly! This seems confusing, dumb, annoying (all of the above). It doesn’t make sense why it would work this way but that is exactly what it does.

When Is The Best Time To Sign Up For The Amex Green Card?

The Amex Green card is a solid card with a decent offer, especially when paired with a player 2 referral offer.  But timing the application right could make it even more valuable.  The best time to apply, assuming you haven’t already had the card, is when you are already at the 5 card limit.  You should get approved since it doesn’t count towards the credit card limit until after you already have it. Remember that this would require you to close 2 credit cards (dropping to 4) in the future in order to get a new American Express credit card though.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this helps you navigate the strange Amex Green card application rules a little easier in the future. It is weird that the card acts as one thing during the application process and a completely different thing when you carry it. I am not sure if this was on purpose by Amex or just some more bad IT on their end.  It should count towards the 10 card limit and not the 5 card limit in my opinion.  If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck then it is a duck! Well unless it is an Amex Green card that is…

I have updated our application rules by bank guide to match this information.  Be sure to check it out before all of your applications.

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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      • “If a new application the Amex Green card acts as a card with a finite limit and does not count towards the 5 credit card limit”

        You were comparing a credit card to a charge card. A charge card does not have a finite credit limit. Charge cards do not count towards the 5 CC limit. A credit card does have a finite limit (the credit limit), and counts towards the 5 CC limit, so I don’t see how what you wrote makes any sense.

        • I agree. Always in the past we talked about credit vs charge with Amex. Now Marks throwing in this brand new term. All cards, even charge cards with no preset limit, have a finite (ie not infinite) limit. Even if you have a black card, there is some internal (finite) limit that they’re going to hold you to.

          • I updated it to a card without a preset spending limit so hopefully that works better. Sorry if it caused any confusion.

            The bank doesn’t want us to use charge card anymore for legal reasons. Seems stupid but that is where we are at unfortunately.


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