SPG Business Amex No “Once Per Lifetime” Language: Is it a Mistake? Should You Apply?!?

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SPG Business Amex 12 Month Language
View from the Sheraton Tokyo Bay near Disney.

Update: As of 11:13AM Pacific on 10/20, some people are now seeing the “once per lifetime” language reappear. I still see the “12 month language” in the browser I used earlier to find the offer, but in incognito mode I see the new language. Amex appears to be updating the offer to revert back to their “once per lifetime rule”.

SPG Business Amex 12 Month Language

For the past month or so American Express switched the offers on the SPG cards to a bonus of two free nights instead of the standard 25,000 points. Yesterday, that two free night offer ended and the bonus reverted back to the standard offer. Or did it?

Earlier this year American Express moved towards a “once per lifetime” rule for bonuses on all of their cards. An example of the terminology can be found on the application for the personal SPG Amex card:

Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.

This same exact language exists on all Amex cards both business and personal. Well, all except one. Today when the SPG Business Amex 25K offer resurfaced, it had reverted back to the previous rule which had a 12 month clock. As of the time this is published, the application says (under “Offer Terms”):

Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product within the last 12 months.

Mistake?

Is this American Express trying to open up the floodgates for applications before SPG goes away as program or just a mistake? Well, since we know SPG will be around for awhile longer, I think this is probably the case of someone copying old terms. I don’t know either way of course.

Should You Apply?

If you have had the SPG Business Amex before, but have not had it within the past 12 months, now might be the time to apply. With that said:

  • Be aware that you might have a hassle down the line with American Express in trying to get them to honor the bonus.
  • Screenshot everything to death (timestamps are good too) including the app showing the terms.
  • Know that American Express should be bound to honor their terms, but they have recently been going after people for MSing. I would make sure to meet all spending with legitimate spend and not with cash equivalents and then it might still be a fight.

If you decide to apply for the card, using this application link will help to support the site.

Conclusion

Both my wife and I currently have these cards or else I would be tempted to do an application. 25,000 SPG points are quite valuable, especially considering all of the new opportunities created by the integration with Marriott Rewards. With that said, it may not be smooth sailing and while you may be entitled (I am not a lawyer and can’t tell you the legal implications) to the bonus based on the app terms, that doesn’t mean Amex has to be nice about it.

Are you going to apply? What are your thoughts on this? Is it a mistake or simply Amex wanting to get more new accounts?

HT: Reddit


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6 COMMENTS

  1. I wish bloggers would vet things a bit more or maybe they don’t on purpose, as it is advantageous to them from a a click bait perspective.

    Folks, don’t click on this link – the Boardingarea bloggers seem to be spreading this like wildfire right now. If you noticed carefully, although the landing page does says in the last 12 months, once you actually enter the application process and look at the details further, you’ll see it is still the lifetime restriction.

    Bottom line? Classify this as click bait, as this has NOT been vetted properly.

    • It shows on the terms from the landing page, on the actual app page and on the terms when I click through from the app page. I have screenshots of all of these things. No clickbait here. Thanks for commenting though.

    • At this point I am thinking they must be updating it. I still see the 12 month language when I click your link. Perhaps I am being served a cached version since I had visited earlier.

      • Confirmed. I went into incognito and see the “once per lifetime” language. In my normal browser I still see the 12 month language. Must be a caching issue. It seems like they are updating it.

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