Targeted Offers Without the Once Per Lifetime Limitation
American Express is a generous bank in many ways. I have found that it is fairly easy to get approved for their cards and I also LOVE the Amex Offers program. With that said, there is one frustrating rule they have. Unfortunately, you can only get one sign-up bonus per product per lifetime on personal cards. (Note: As of 2/25/16 this rule applies to business cards as well. More info here.) Here is the language they use on card applications:
Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.
There really isn’t much wiggle room in that. If you have had a card before, no matter how long ago, you will not receive the bonus. I have heard sporadic reports that people have received a bonus again when it has been many many years since they held the card, but I have also heard many reports of people being denied. Fortunately there is one way to still get the bonus again on a product.
Targeted American Express Offers
Last August I covered the news that targeted offers for American Express business cards were coming in the mail without the “once per lifetime” bonus language. Now it seems that similar offers are being sent out for personal American Express cards. My wife received the following offer in the mail last week for the Premier Rewards Gold:
Now granted 25,000 points isn’t a great offer on this card (50K offers surface somewhat regularly) what is amazing is that the “once per lifetime” language is not anywhere to be found. I went through the disclosures, welcome letter and application and there is no mention of that rule at all. The only real restriction mentioned is the hard expiration date of April 30. The card must be approved by then.
Watch For Targeted Offers
I believe American Express is sending out targeted offers to good customers who they don’t mind giving another bonus to in order to earn their business. For this reason I think it is a great idea to actively look for targeteted offers that come in the mail. I want to be clear that you aren’t guaranteed to get an offer without the language (or to get an offer at all), but this is definitely something to keep in mind or look for.
How to Make Sure You Are Opted-In
American Express has made it very easy to manage your communication preferences including whether or not you want to receive offers via email, mail or the telephone. You can also review all of your privacy and information sharing preferences as well since they are on the same page.
To manage your preferences visit: https://www.americanexpress.com/communications and sign-in to your account.
While there is no way to guarantee you will receive targeted offers without the once per lifetime language, you can make sure you are opted-in to offers and be sure to read anything you receive in the mail carefully. While this 25K offer for the Premier Rewards Gold isn’t the best, considering someone who has had the card normally isn’t eligible for anything, it isn’t bad either.