Amex credit cards vs Amex charge cards vs Pay Over Time cards
Amex offers both credit cards, charge cards, and cards that are charge cards under the hood but automatically have credit-card-like “pay over time” capability. At a high level, the difference is that charge cards are required to be paid off in full each month whereas with credit cards and Pay Over Time cards you have the option (usually a very bad option) to run a balance and pay interest. Another difference is that, unlike credit cards, charge cards have no clearly defined credit limit. Behind the scenes, though, Amex can and does impose limits. For the customer, then, there is no practical difference between credit cards and charge cards except for one key thing: Amex imposes a limit on how many of each type you can get.
How many Amex credit cards or charge cards can you get?
When applying for a new Amex card, you may get turned down due to limits that Amex enforces: 4 credit cards and 10 charge or Pay Over Time cards. They won’t make you cancel any if you already have more than the limit, but they won’t approve you for a new card if it would push you over the limit (or if you’re already over the limit).
Both personal and business cards are counted towards these limits. Authorized user cards are not counted towards these limits.
In order to count how many Amex credit cards and charge cards you have, it’s necessary to know which are credit cards and which are charge cards. As a general rule, all of their co-branded cards such as Delta, Hilton, and Marriott are credit cards. Amex’s own branded cards are mixed. Some are credit cards, some are charge cards, and some are Pay Over Time cards.
Here’s a list of cards that we maintain in our database, separated into Charge Cards, Pay Over Time Cards, and Credit Cards: