Proceed with Caution! American Express’ New Policy is Dangerous
American Express has been getting more restrictive with signup bonuses lately. Now they have taken one more step in that direction, and this one gives them even more power to deny bonuses. Here’s everything you need to know about the existing American Express rules and conditions: Guide: Amex Program Rules: Application Strategy, Card Limits and Difference Between Credit and Charge Cards
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Previously Amex only had the following language in the terms of the application:
- Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card.
- Purchases to meet the spend requirement do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of traveler’s checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or purchases of any cash equivalents.
It prevented you from getting the bonus twice on the same and also from purchasing gift cards and other cash equivalents for the spending requirement.
Now there’s a new limitation for signup bonuses. It’s very vague and it gives Amex full power to withhold signup bonuses for a variety of reasons.
We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.
There’s no real rule here. Your bonus can be denied if you have too many Amex cards. There’s no set number, so you do not really know what “too many”. Besides that, the bonus can also be denied because of “other factors”.
On top of that it’s not clear how they will enforce or implement this new language. Will they approve you for a new card and then tell you that you do not qualify for the bonus? Will they wait for you to complete the spending requirement and then look at your account to decide whether you should get the bonus? We’ll have to wait and see.
These new Amex credit card rules are bad news for many and the uncertainty of it is even worse. There’s no set rules for what disqualifies you for a bonus with Amex. If you start getting denied for bonuses I guess you need to wait a long while before trying again. How long? Again, no one knows.
Hat Tip US Credit Card Guide