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Finally! I Slayed The Amex Pop Up – How I Think I Did It

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Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Links in this post may provide us with a commission.

How To Avoid The Amex Pop Up On Credit Card Applications

It has been almost a year that I have been stuck on the Amex sidelines.  Last December is when I first saw the Amex pop up when I was applying for the Charles Schwab Platinum card.  I haven’t sat completely idle.  I have done some upgrade offers and even received one of those targeted no lifetime Delta offers.  Those plus spending bonuses have kept me busy with American Express.  But I had tried for four different welcome offers over the last year and I had to abort all four applications after seeing the pop up. However, last week I was able to avoid the Amex pop up on my most recent application! I wanted to share with you how I think I got off the naughty list.

First Of All What Is The Amex Pop Up?

Before we get ahead of ourselves I should go over what the Amex pop up is.  Around a year ago American Express started a program that would alert people if they were not eligible for a welcome offer.  This pop up would appear after you hit apply telling you that you would not receive the welcome offer. You would be offered the chance to cancel the application after they informed you.

It sounded like a pretty customer friendly thing at first.  Amex was going to let us know if we had the card in the past and just forgot about it etc.  The program quickly morphed into something much more obscene and obscure.  Amex had changed their terms that they could pretty much deny anyone for any reason they wanted.  That is when the pop up started appearing in large numbers for people in the miles & points hobby.  We were labeled as gamers or abusers and we were locked out of Amex applications.  That was true for me too, until now!

An actual picture of me the first time I saw the Amex pop up.

How Was I Able to Avoid The Amex Pop Up?

Since we don’t really know what causes someone to get the pop up this is speculation on my part.  It had been several months since I had applied for anything from American Express and with the increased Delta offers I decided to go for the Delta Business Platinum card.  I can always use more Skymiles!

When I applied there was no pop  up (hooray!) but I was not auto approved either.  I had 5 Amex credit cards and needed to close one before I could be approved.  Some people are able to get 6 cards but most are capped at 5 credit cards. Charge cards are not taken into account for these figures.

I have since activated the card and confirmed the welcome offer via Amex Chat.  There is always a chance they still deny the offer but I don’t think that is too likely.

What Changed This Time Around?

So what changed since the last few applications?  Remember I said that I hadn’t been sitting idle and that I had taken an upgrade offer and done several spending offers?  Well the upgrade offer was to the American Express Surpass card, one of my favorite cards.

After completing the minimum spend for the upgrade offer I continued putting spend on the card to get the free night for spending $15,000 in a calendar year.  That plus the spending offers means I have probably put $20,000-$25,000 on my Amex cards over the last 6 months.

Before that most of our Amex spend had been on my wife’s cards.  And I think that may be why she did not get the pop up even though her application patterns etc. were very similar to mine. I think putting more spend on your American Express accounts is the get out of jail free card.

Final Thoughts

I can’t say for sure that my increased spending got me off of Amex’s list but I think it is likely.  The timing of my release from application purgatory makes sense.  I have been heavily spending on my Amex cards recently.  That plus the fact that my wife has stayed off the pop up list while spending at a decent rate shows a pattern.

There is a chance that American Express still denies me for the offer.  Others have had it happen when they cycled applications multiple times trying to get through without a pop up.  This is a little different since I only applied once for the card instead of doing it back to back to back etc.  I also confirmed it via chat which doesn’t mean a ton since it is Amex Chat but it is something.  But all of that together leads me to believe it will work out.

Has anyone else been able to avoid the Amex pop up after initially getting it?  Share your experience in the comments.

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. I commented on your Schwab Platinum post (from Dec 2018) back in July of this year about how I was in the same boat. I have also taken advantage of upgrade offers and 1 new card/bonus since last Nov. I’ve since put probably about $15k on my cards. I applied again the other day for the Schwab Plat but again with the bloody pop-up!! Here’s the kicker though: about a week ago I got an upgrade offer in my account to upgrade my Gold to the Plat with no lifetime language. The thing is, I don’t want the regular Plat. And I certainly don’t want to get rid of my Gold. This is so very annoying! Not sure if anyone has any additional data points.

    • Are you shooting for the Schwab for the 1.25 cent cash out option? I would have thought $15K in spend would have done the trick.

      • Yes, I really want the 1.25 cash out option! I’ve moved about 90% of my spend from Chase to Amex in the last few months and I’m dying trying to get this blasted card. Technically, I wouldn’t need it until next spring (for a specific vacation). I guess I can’t get it out of my mind because it’s the one Amex card I can’t have right now. I’ve gotten the upgrade with no lifetime language from Gold to Plat and multiple no lifetime offers for the Delta cards.

        • Well hopefully the loosen the reigns by next spring. I would just keep spending and try again in a few months.

  2. My wife got the preapproved friend offer. I had tried many different AMEX cards always getting the popup. With the preapproved offer I finally got a new AMEX card! Since it’s the Surpass card I am busy spending on it trying to get the free night before the end of the year. Hopefully next year will be better between myself and AMEX!

  3. I was able to do it when I was offered the 125 k upgrade bonus from the Bonvoy to Bonvoy Brilliant that was via phone call offer made when I called AX regarding another issue. When I applied outright I got the pop up. Have put around 10 k spend over the last 5-6 months. Also did not get it on the regular HH card. Everything else for the past year resulted in the pop up.

  4. I hope it doesn’t really take $25K spend to get back on their good side. That’s more than half of my total yearly budget! I used to MS a little, but gave it up when the credit card companies caught on and started cracking down. I have been using my Everyday card for groceries lately – maybe that will help them like me again.

    Love the Lego self-portrait! You’ll have to do a new one of you waving your new card.

    • Never do it when working on a welcome offer but you can still earn points on gift card purchases after that. Some places like Simons Mall will not earn points but most things still work fine.


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