Do All Cards Count Towards Amex’s 4 Card Limit?
American Express has had a limit on how many credit cards you can carry with them for a while now. It was a limit of 4, then it went to 5 or sometimes 6, and then back down to 4. But this was just for credit cards and not cards without a preset spending limit. The cards with no preset spending limit, like the Amex Platinum, were limitless. That was until they weren’t, and they are now capped at 10 per person. These two caps were completely separate though and they did not interfere with each other. That is until dallasguy123 ran into this issue with his most recent application.
He was denied the credit card because he exceeded the 4 credit card limit. Except that he only had 3 credit cards and 3 cards with no preset spending limit and it shouldn’t have been an issue. Even the rep was confused about it after looking over the account. It had everyone wondering, do all cards count towards Amex’s 4 card limit? That was until they figured out the culprit, Pay Over Time!
Credit Card Versus Cards With No Preset Spending Limit
Before we get ahead of ourselves we should point out the difference between credit cards and cards without preset spending limits. American Express puts them in different classes for a reason, since they are different types of lending products.
Cards Without Preset Spending Limits
Cards without preset spending limits are a type of card that requires you to pay the full amount you’ve charged each month. Though, Amex has a “pay over time” option available to some card members. Certain cards also have a feature that allows you to designate specified purchases to pay at a later time. They are initially set up in a way that there is no carrying a balance on your account from month to month though.
Credit cards offer a revolving line of credit, meaning consumers may carry a balance from month to month rather than having to pay the balance in full every month. Each time you use a credit card, you are essentially taking out a loan, and card issuers require a payment of at least the minimum amount due be paid by the due date every month. Interest charges typically accrue on amounts carried over from previous billing cycles.
How Pay Over Time Plays In
Dallasguy123 and the rep tried to figure out what the hold up was on the application. He only had 3 credit cards so the 4 card rule should not play a role in the application process. That is when the Amex rep figured it out, one of his cards without a preset spending limit was auto enrolled in Pay Over Time. The Pay Over Time program allows you to essentially turn a card with no preset spending limit into a card that can carry a balance on selected purchases. People would sign up for this feature in the past as a way to get 10,000 easy points.
I have never heard of this being a problem before, or included in a person’s credit card count. But it appears it may be an issue now. American Express’ system is looking at the inclusion of Pay Over Time with a card with no preset spending limit the same as a more traditional credit card.
The rep told dallasguy123 that he would need to remove Pay Over Time from his account and then call reconsideration back after 24 hours. They should be able to process the application then.
I think many of us have Pay Over Time on our accounts from previous offers but have not run into this issue previously. I am not sure if this is a recent change or a one off anomaly at this point. It is something to be aware of if you are applying for an American Express card and are near the 4 card limit. You may want to call, or chat with, Amex and proactively remove Pay Over Time from your cards before applying.
If you have had a similar experience share it in the comments below.