When you apply for an American Express issued credit or charge card there may be a signup bonus for meeting a minimum spend requirement in a given amount of time.
Sometimes when you apply for an American Express product a message may be presented that you may apply for the card but you will not be eligible for the signup bonus.
This is referred to on credit card message boards as being in "Popup Jail".
Unlike JP Morgan Chase, American Express will still give you the option of applying for a card if American Express will not offer a signup bonus on the card.
On some websites you may read that if you have an American Express issued credit product, if you apply for another American Express credit product you will not receive a hard pull.
Such unequivocal statements are misleading.
It would be more correct to say that if you already have an American Express issued credit product, you may or may not receive a hard pull if you apply for another American Express issued credit product.
Before the Covid pandemic, data points from credit related forums indicated that American Express had a limit of 5 credit cards and 10 charge card per account holder.
On March 19, 2020 American Express responded to a question on Twitter to say that the limit on credit cards was 4.
The timing would suggest the new limit was intended to limit credit exposure during the Covid lockdown.
In late April 2021 and early May 2021 there have been several third-party posts on the internet suggesting that that the pre-Covid limit has been restored.
Both pre-Covid and during the Covid lockdown, the limit was something between a soft and a hard cap.
Some people might have been able to have been approved for cards beyond the limit, but it was not common.
In addition, even if American Express has a policy of granting a maximum number of a given type of account, any one given card member might only be approved for a number under that limit.
On cards running on the American Express payment network there may be a "Member Since" date.
For cards issued by American Express opened until 2014, or perhaps until early 2015, American Express reported the account opening date to credit bureaus as of when you opened your first American Express account, not when the new card account was opened.
For authorized users, until that time there was also the additional edge case whereby the Member Since date displayed on the card and the card account opening date reported to credit bureaus were as of when the basic member opened his or her first account, not the authorized user.
For some readers, the oldest cards listed in their credit reports may be American Express cards, and they may not even realize it.
The point about the date reported to the credit reporting agency is intended to apply specifically to cards issued by American Express, not those merely running on the American Express payment network.
If you are an existing American Express card member and you move to another country, the American Express Global Transfer program may help you get your first American Express card in your new country.
Even if you do not specifically need another card that will run on the American Express payment network, it may help you bootstrap your credit report in your new country of residence.