American Express Family Language


American Express Membership Rewards are one of the flexible currencies we use in the credit card points and miles game all the time. However, AMEX has changed some of the application rules for their cards. Let’s get clear on the American Express family language!


American Express Cards Earning Membership Rewards

You used to be able to open a card from American Express in any order. I opened a personal Platinum Card, then a Gold Card, and finally a Green Card. I couldn’t do that today as they have added specific language to many of their credit cards. For instance, if I click on an American Express Gold Card application, it will say: You may not be eligible to receive the welcome offer on the Gold card if you have or have had The Platinum Card from American Express…”

Similarly, the American Express Green Card application states, “You may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer if you have or have had this Card, the Platinum Card®, … the American Express® Gold Card or previous versions of these Cards.”

Oops—that means you have to apply in a certain order now if you’d like to eventually hold and get the welcome offers on all three American Express Cards offering Membership Rewards (the Green, the Gold, and the Platinum). Here’s the order that you want to follow now:

For now, the family language only applies to the personal versions of these cards.


American Express Delta Cards

American Express co-branded cards also have limits on which you can apply for. Basically, if you get one of the cards with a higher annual fee, you will not be able to get one of the Delta co-branded cards with a lower annual fee. This isn’t a problem if you haven’t started getting Delta cards, but if you hold the Delta Platinum card currently, you won’t qualify for the welcome offer on the Delta Gold card. This takes planning the order in which you apply for American Express cards. Here’s how I would apply for these AMEX Delta cards now:

As each card takes a 5/24 spot, I wouldn’t bother with the lower-level (Blue card) options.


A delta airplane sitting on the tarmac at an airport

Pay attention to the American Express Delta family language if you fly Delta often.


American Express Marriott Cards

To begin with, Marriott cards have a complicated list of which cards you can get between the Chase and AMEX versions. Check out our eligibility chart here. However, if you stick with the American Express Marriott Cards, there are even more rules. (I’m so glad I got into these cards before all these rules, as I still have both Chase and AMEX cards). Basically, here is how you should apply now


Bottom Line

Currently, the Hilton and American Express Business Cards do not have family language on them. Will that last, or is this a new trend for all AMEX cards? Only time will tell, but hopefully you are a little clearer on where things stand with the American Express family language right now.



Huntington Beach pool

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a Travel Mom Squad advertiser, but we always show the best public offer even when we don’t earn a commission. Terms Apply. 

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  1. Claire says:

    If you open the delta gold personal, does Amex count that as disqualifying you from getting the delta gold business?

  2. Bianca says:

    My husband applied for the Delta Gold Amex personal card like 6-7 years ago and cancelled it back in 2022. Would he be able to get another Delta Amex Gold SUB if he applied now? Or does he have to get the Platinum? Are Delta Amex Gold and Amex Gold part of the same family?

    • Pam says:

      He might be able to get it again so I’d apply for that one first because the Platinum would preclude him from getting the Gold later. Not he Delta Amex Gold and Amex Gold are different families so you can get both.

  3. Jen Gilday says:

    Am I able to get the Delta Amex cards AND regular Amex cards? Or is it one or the other?

  4. kim says:

    With all of these having annual fees, do you cancel them after a year or can you downgrade to a non fee card?

  5. Kari says:

    If I applied for say the personal Gold card first, could I downgrade that to the no annual fee Blue card after a year and then apply for the Personal Platinum?

    • Pam says:

      There is no downgrade path for the gold card that doesn’t have an annual fee. The platinum can downgrade to gold or green and the gold can only down great to green which has an annual fee of $150. You’re probably better off just sticking with the gold and using the monthly credits to offset the fee.The Blue card is a cash back card and you can only downgrade to the same family of cards. You must keep a card that earns Membership Rewards to not lose your rewards. I’d apply for the Personal Platinum and then cancel the Gold if you really have no value for it.

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