Does the American Express Gold Card really have No Credit Limit?

The American Express® Gold Card has No Preset Spending Limit, but that doesn’t mean it has an unlimited credit line or no credit limit at all. Instead the American Express® Gold Card has a “flexible” spending limit that “adapts based on factors such as your purchase, payment, and credit history.” (That’s how American Express describes it.)

No Preset Spending Limit vs. Unlimited Credit Limit / No Credit Limit

When you are approved for the American Express® Gold Card, you will not be given a “hard” limit on the amount you can charge to the card. However, if you got the card and immediately tried to buy a million dollar watch with it (for example), you’d quickly find out (when your purchase was denied) that the American Express® Gold Card does have a “soft” credit limit.

In other words, while the American Express® Gold Card has no “preset” spending limit, American Express actually has set up a “soft” credit limit for your account based on your income and credit history, and they adjust that “soft” credit limit based on:

  • the purchases you make
  • your track record of paying off the card
  • your ongoing credit score/credit history.

So you don’t have unlimited spending power with the American Express® Gold Card. But the point of having no credit limit is that American Express wants you to feel like you can spend whatever you want on the card without worrying about it. And as long as your card spending doesn’t get completely out of whack in relation to your income or to your past spending, your charges are likely to be approved.

But if you suddenly start charging far beyond what American Express believes you can pay back, they will put the brakes on, at least until they can speak to you personally to decide whether further charges should be OK’d. That’s when you’ll find out that “no preset spending limit” means “no credit limit, but only within reason.”

Amex Gold Card Limit vs. Gold Card “Pay Over Time” Limit

While the American Express® Gold Card has no preset spending limit, it offers a “Pay Over Time” feature that DOES have a limit. Pay Over Time allows you to pay less than your full balance each billing cycle if you choose. (You will be charged interest on whatever is not paid in full.)

By default, your new American Express® Gold Card will have the Pay Over Time feature set to “active,” meaning all of your charges could be stretched out beyond the current billing cycle. (You’d still have a minimum payment each cycle.) If you choose to keep the Pay Over Time feature set to “active”, there IS a “Pay Over Time Limit” that IS a concrete credit limit.

In order to truly keep the “No Preset Spending Limit” aspect of the American Express® Gold Card, you’d need to set the Pay Over Time feature to “inactive” and pay off your card balance in full each time your payment is due.

Good luck on your approval for the American Express® Gold Card!

(See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. American Express is a ProudMoney advertiser.)


Author: Adam Jusko


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