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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
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
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.
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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