AMEX Canada Introduces “Check Spending Power” Feature

While our American companions have had this feature for a long time, AMEX Canada has recently introduced a “Check Spending Power” feature to their online services. Most AMEX cards are charge cards instead of credit cards. While a credit card has an established limit, the idea of charge cards is that they do not have a pre-established limit. Example charge cards are the American Express Gold Rewards card, or the American Express Platinum Rewards card. AMEX does a credit analysis each time a charge is put to the card, and based on your credit profile and the charge amount, either accepts or declines the charge.

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In practice, most charges put on a charge card are approved. However, if you’re looking to do an unusually large charge (say, because, you like to visit the Royal Canadian Mint 😛 ), AMEX may decline it. With this new tool, which you access once you login to your AMEX account, allows you to input a number on the tool, and it will either tell you whether you’ll be approved or declined for that charge. There is no credit hit, and the process is very quick.

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For example, I put a request for $10,000 on my card, and the system immediately told me it’d be approved:

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The only caution I’d provide is that there are reports in the United States that using this tool too often or for too high an amount can lead to a security freeze, or even a financial review of your accounts. So only use it when you need to, not for curiosity (or to make pretty pictures for blog posts).

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