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At the moment I’m switching some business to Delta, as I’m completing a Platinum challenge and considering my requalification plans for next year. As a result, I’m finding myself in a situation where I’m not sure what to do with the American Express cards I have, given the limits Amex typically imposes on how many cards you can have.
Amex’s five credit card limit
While it’s not a published rule, Amex seems to limit consumers to having five of their credit cards at any given time. It doesn’t matter whether they’re personal or business cards, but rather just that they’re credit cards.
This limit excludes American Express charge cards, which are Amex’s cards without pre-set spending limits, which have to be paid off in full each month. Specifically, Amex has the following popular charge cards:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
- Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
- The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
Given how many great cards Amex has, for me it’s always a delicate balance of which Amex cards to keep vs. which to cancel.
What Amex cards I have right now
Personally I have the following five American Express credit cards at the moment:
- The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
- Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
- The Blue for Business Credit Card, which has since been replaced by The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express
On top of that, I have The Platinum Card® from American Express, which is a charge card and not a credit card.
The two Amex credit cards I really want
Given that I’m switching some business to Delta, I’ve outlined how I really want to get the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, both of which have limited time offers at the moment. That’s because:
- They’re each offering sign-up bonuses of 70,000 SkyMiles upon completing minimum spend
- They also offer 10,000 MQMs each upon completing minimum spend, which will help me requalify for status next year
- They offer companion certificates annually that I’d get value out of
- Spending $25,000 on a co-branded Delta card would get me a waiver of the revenue requirement for Silver, Gold, or Platinum status
- These cards can also be used to earn further bonus MQMs — you can earn 10,000 bonus MQMs and redeemable miles after spending $25,000 in a calendar year, a further 10,000 bonus MQMs and redeemable miles after spending a total of $50,000 in a calendar year; you can earn that on both cards, for a total of up to an additional 40,000 MQMs
I feel like I’d get huge value out of these cards, and would keep them long term if I could.
But I can’t get any more Amex cards
I have five American Express credit cards, I’d like to get two more, but that can’t happen. So it has me evaluating what I should do with my existing Amex cards:
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express offers a great return on spend, including up to 4.5x points at supermarkets, up to 3x points at gas stations, and up to 1.5x points on everyday spend, so I don’t want to cancel the card.
I recently signed up for the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express, back when it offered a free anniversary night on the card’s first anniversary (which it doesn’t offer anymore). I don’t want to cancel the card, since I’d be giving up the free night on the account’s first anniversary.
The Blue for Business Credit Card offers a 30% points bonus at the end of every cardmember year, so if I canceled the card now I wouldn’t receive the 30% bonus on the spend I’ve put on the card. I’d also eventually like to replace this card with The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express.
So that basically leaves me with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. Could it make sense to cancel both SPG Amex cards in order to pick up two Delta Amex cards?
I’ve had the SPG Amex for almost a decade. It was one of the first cards I applied for when I turned 18, and I’ve had it ever since. The cards have some fantastic perks, though I’m not sure they’re quite as indispensable to me as they used to be:
- The SPG Business Amex offers club lounge access at Sheraton properties, though I’m SPG Platinum anyway, so don’t get value out of that
- Both SPG Amex cards offer premium internet at SPG properties, though I also get that anyway because of my SPG Platinum status
- The cards offer one Starpoint per dollar spent, which is a generous return on spend, though it’s not as amazing as it used to be, given the other great cards that have emerged
- The biggest benefit to me is that each card offers two elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights towards status annually, which sure helps with requalifying for status with SPG; I don’t necessarily need those nights right now, but I’m sure they’ll be useful at some point in the future
So that’s where I’m at. Do I give up four elite qualifying stays and 10 elite qualifying nights annually in order to be able to earn MQMs with the Delta Platinum Amex? Or do I hold off on the Delta Platinum Amex for now?
I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation. What would you do?