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Amex corporate card and spending limits

AlanB
New Member

Amex corporate card and spending limits

Hi, I registered on this forum specifically to ask this question. I didn't find an old thread that dealt with it. I hope I'm putting this in the correct area (wasn't sure if it's a card issue, an application issue or an approved card issue - kind of all three).

 

I was recently hired by a very large bluechip corporation with over 300,000 employees worldwide. It is a household name.

 

Everyone who works there, or at least everyone at my level, is encouraged to apply for a corporate Amex card for travel expenses. In my case, I am not a frequent traveler, but may make one or two domestic trips per year. I am not an executive, I'd just be your typical mid-level employee visiting other mid-level employees for in-person meetings, spending maybe two nights before flying home.

 

My credit is thin and poor. I don't have that many negative items, but I also don't have any significant positive items. It was wrecked several years ago when I was an independent consultant and went through a rough stretch. I had just started working on it when I was asked to apply for this corporate Amex. I'd have rather waited a few months, but after doing some online research, I believed that everyone who applies gets approved, since you're really just an authorized user on the company's account. The only exception would be if you owed Amex money (even many years ago), but as best I can remember, that is not the case for me. Then again, I don't remember a lot of details about what specific cards I may have had in 1996 ...

 

So, I applied - I filled out the form on Friday evening, and by Monday morning, me and my manager had an email saying I was approved with spending limits:

 

$5,000 - Maximum Balance
$2,000 - Cash per Month
$100 - Retail

The email also said that after 12 months, I can call and ask to have the limits removed, if I meet their unspecified criteria.

 

My questions:

 

1 - What does "retail" mean? Is an airline ticket or hotel booking "retail"? How about a restaurant bill? I doubt I'd have a $100 bill at a restaurant, but it's possible if I took a team out for dinner. I am primarily concerned about airplane tickets and hotels.

2 - What does "$100" mean? $100 per transaction? $100 per day? $100 total until the bill is paid in full?

3 - Is this typical of Amex corporate cards, or did I just basically inform my manager that I have bad credit? I did, didn't I?

 

Thanks.

Message 1 of 5
4 REPLIES 4
longtimelurker
Mega Contributor

Re: Amex corporate card and spending limits


@AlanB wrote:

 

My questions:

 

1 - What does "retail" mean? Is an airline ticket or hotel booking "retail"? How about a restaurant bill? I doubt I'd have a $100 bill at a restaurant, but it's possible if I took a team out for dinner. I am primarily concerned about airplane tickets and hotels.

2 - What does "$100" mean? $100 per transaction? $100 per day? $100 total until the bill is paid in full?

3 - Is this typical of Amex corporate cards, or did I just basically inform my manager that I have bad credit? I did, didn't I?

 

Thanks.


On 3) I don't think it's that bad.   As far as I remember, at my Forture 50, my limit was $10K, but I think that cash was about the same (maybe $100 per day).

 

My guess is that retail means per transaction, outside of travel and dining.

Message 2 of 5
Namaste7
Established Contributor

Re: Amex corporate card and spending limits

OP - The structure of the AMEX Corporate Card can vary from company to company. Your company may require AMEX to consider the personal profile in establishing limits on the card. 

 

I’ve held a Corporate Card where pre-set limits were applied to all corporate cardholders across the company. The pre-set limit was $10k per billing cycle; however, if you are a frequent traveler, that amount can be increased to $20k+ per billing cycle. In my experience, the pre-set limit was a soft threshold that adjusted with ease. I spent more than $10k in a billing cycle without getting pre-authorization or approval through my company or AMEX. 

~~MMXX~~
My Garden Goal: Double NW
Message 3 of 5
UncleB
Moderator

Re: Amex corporate card and spending limits


@AlanB wrote:

Hi, I registered on this forum specifically to ask this question. I didn't find an old thread that dealt with it. I hope I'm putting this in the correct area (wasn't sure if it's a card issue, an application issue or an approved card issue - kind of all three).

 

I was recently hired by a very large bluechip corporation with over 300,000 employees worldwide. It is a household name.

 

Everyone who works there, or at least everyone at my level, is encouraged to apply for a corporate Amex card for travel expenses. In my case, I am not a frequent traveler, but may make one or two domestic trips per year. I am not an executive, I'd just be your typical mid-level employee visiting other mid-level employees for in-person meetings, spending maybe two nights before flying home.

 

My credit is thin and poor. I don't have that many negative items, but I also don't have any significant positive items. It was wrecked several years ago when I was an independent consultant and went through a rough stretch. I had just started working on it when I was asked to apply for this corporate Amex. I'd have rather waited a few months, but after doing some online research, I believed that everyone who applies gets approved, since you're really just an authorized user on the company's account. The only exception would be if you owed Amex money (even many years ago), but as best I can remember, that is not the case for me. Then again, I don't remember a lot of details about what specific cards I may have had in 1996 ...

 

So, I applied - I filled out the form on Friday evening, and by Monday morning, me and my manager had an email saying I was approved with spending limits:

 

$5,000 - Maximum Balance
$2,000 - Cash per Month
$100 - Retail

The email also said that after 12 months, I can call and ask to have the limits removed, if I meet their unspecified criteria.

 

My questions:

 

1 - What does "retail" mean? Is an airline ticket or hotel booking "retail"? How about a restaurant bill? I doubt I'd have a $100 bill at a restaurant, but it's possible if I took a team out for dinner. I am primarily concerned about airplane tickets and hotels.

2 - What does "$100" mean? $100 per transaction? $100 per day? $100 total until the bill is paid in full?

3 - Is this typical of Amex corporate cards, or did I just basically inform my manager that I have bad credit? I did, didn't I?

 

Thanks.


Hi @AlanB, and welcome to myFICO! welcome.gif

 

I was once in a similar situation; I worked for a Fortune 10 company (also a well-known household name) and I was promoted to management just a few months after a bankruptcy in which I included an Amex account.  When I was told I would be expected to get an Amex Corporate card to pay for my upcoming travel expenses I had the same concerns as you (in my case I was especially concerned knowing I had burned Amex specifically).

 

FWIW my Corporate card was approved without fanfare, and I never had a problem.  Later I found out I had coworkers in the same situation, and we got a chuckle over having the same concerns... it's likely you're not alone as well. Smiley Wink

 

On this site some people have reported that they did have issues getting an Amex Corporate card, but in most of those cases their employers are smaller firms.  I suspect my situation (and perhaps your own) wasn't a problem due to the size of the company I worked for.

 

About your questions... I suggest giving Amex a call using the number on the back of your card.  For larger companies they will have dedicated CSRs who are familiar with the "ins and outs" of how your organization works and they should be able to quickly answer your question. 

 

In my own organization there were no preset spending limits on our Amex Corporate cards (aside from a $200 daily cash/ATM limit and Amex's own assigned spending limits, of course) but I had a procurement card (MasterCard) that did have limits similar to what you're describing (daily and monthly limits, as well as MCC restrictions). 

 

TL;DR:  Give them a call... they don't bite. Smiley Happy

Message 4 of 5
AlanB
New Member

Re: Amex corporate card and spending limits

I thought I'd post the answers now that I have them from the horse's mouth. I received and registered the card today, then chatted with an Amex representative who explained it all to me.

 

There are some things that may be different in my case than many cases, because my employer apparently has some of its own rules/requirements that would not apply to Amex corporate cards elsewhere. Most importantly for my situation, my employer has Amex do a hard credit check, and based on that, sets limits dictated by the company (not by Amex). These are the limits I mentioned in the original post.

 

I would consider that bad news, because I did in fact inform my boss that I have bad credit, and, it added a hard check to my account. I am a bit annoyed about this for both of those reasons, but, it's my company, not Amex. If you do not work for a huge company known for making an AI that won Jeopardy (among other things), you may not need to worry about this.

 

The good news is that the $100 really does apply only to retail stores. (However, it is a total, not per transaction.) Air travel, hotels, restaurants are no problem.

 

So, as far as how I'd use it, it should serve my purposes well. Just irked at the hard credit check (which I need right now like a hole in my head as I've done a flurry of applications lately), and at the information it probably gave my boss.

 

Question:

 

Does having a corporate Amex make it easier down the road to get a personal Amex? My credit is not what it needs to be to bother trying for now. Just wondering about in a year or two. I realize the corporate Amex will not directly build my credit, I am just wondering if it gives brownie points with Amex itself.

Message 5 of 5
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