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