Amex Business Cards – Wait 12 months for another bonus? Or Not!!!

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Amex Business Card Bonus Churning

Targeted Amex Business Offers Without 12 Month Language

Last year American Express made some changes to their so called “churning” policy. As part of those changes, they made it so each person can only get a bonus once for each personal card product. That hurt, but fortunately there is still opportunity. Business cards still contain the following language, “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product within the last 12 months.

A few weeks ago when I was in Ann Arbor, Julian the Devil’s Advocate shared an interesting tidbit of information with me. Apparently some targeted offers for American Express business cards don’t carry that language. If anyone else had told me this then I would have probably questioned whether they read the terms closely enough, but Julian knows his stuff.

Following our chat in Ann Arbor, he went on to write over at Frequent Miler about his experience. Julian not only received an offer without the 12 month language, but applied and successfully received the bonus. He was ready for Amex to try and deny the bonus, but alas it posted automatically!

My Wife’s Business Gold Rewards Offer

Amex Business Card Bonus Churning

Well sometime in the past month my wife received a 75K offer in the mail for the Business Gold Rewards card. My wife canceled her card almost a year ago, so I was just waiting for 12 months to pass before applying again since this is such a good offer. Even so, I decided to look closely to see if it has the 12 month language.

After opening the offer, I carefully combed over every piece of paper and every word in the fine print. I read everything multiple times and nowhere does it mention the 12 month language. In fact, it doesn’t mention eligibility for the bonus other than to say the application must be approved by 8/24/15. No other restrictions at all.

Why Would Amex Do This

Amex Business Card Bonus Churning

In his article on FM, Julian was attacked by a few people as if American Express is somehow making a mistake by leaving this language off of the applications. I am almost certain that isn’t happening. Many people have confirmed receiving offers that still have the language, so this isn’t a case of a line of text getting deleted from the terms accidentally.

This offer came in the mail less than 12 months after my wife cancelled her Gold card. My guess is these types of offers are designed to winback high value customers. American Express may have chosen to target people who they want back whether or not it has been 12 months. In other words, they don’t want to give everyone a bonus within 12 months, but it may be worthwhile to give some people the bonus.

Conclusion

It always pays to read the fine print. Just because a company has a set of rules for the public, doesn’t mean they won’t break them to earn your business. In this case American Express is clearly targeting certain former cardholders and is willing to provide a bonus in order to get them back on board! 75K Membership Rewards point sure do sound nice.


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6 COMMENTS

  1. Great to know, thanks for the info!

    I’m looking to pick up an Amex business card soon, before the September 21st deadline for the $250 bonus on the SimplyCash. Out of curiosity, do you know if $250 is near the highest bonus offer for card?

  2. Yeah, about a month ago I got a targeted snail-mail from Amex for the Business PRG 75k offer. I also poured over the T&C and didn’t find anything at all about the previous cardholder time limit. It had been about 14 months since I cancelled, so I was really just trying to make sure the offer was still 12 months (and that they didn’t raise it), but I couldn’t find anything at all…

    I was holding out hoping to get one of the 150k platinum targeted offers… but I’ve kinda given up on that. Hopefully if/when I do get that, it won’t have the restriction for current gold card holders.

      • You might be correct now… I just checked the current terms and found:

        “If we identify you as currently having an American Express® Card account, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer. This offer is also not available to applicants who have or have had a Platinum Card® account enrolled in the Membership Rewards® program.”

        Not sure what the first line means, I have other cards.

        But the second line used to explicitly exclude you if you’ve had a gold card (personal or business) within the past 90 days, and if you’d had a platinum card within the past year. Looks like that’s changed to just exclude platinum.

        • Yeah that changed when they went to once per lifetime on personal cards and once per 12 months or business cards. The language is standard now across all applications.

          As for the first line, it says that on all online applications for all cards. Quite strange, but it is never enforced.

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