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Can Current Amex Cardholders Receive a Bonus on Another Product?
I received an email from a reader yesterday who had a question regarding the Premier Rewards Gold card. He said:
Amex chat told me that since I already have an everyday card that I cant get the bonus on the premier rewards gold (never had the prg card before), do they enforce this?
My first reaction was the chat agent is wrong. It isn’t uncommon for a chat rep to tell customers something that is completely false. It has actually happened to me a lot. Before I responded, I decided to dig a little further.
Digging A Little Deeper
The first thing I did was go to visit the application page for the Premier Rewards Gold card. Immediately I noticed something very odd. It wasn’t showing a sign-up bonus. Instead I got the following message:
“You have been identified as a current American Express Card Member. You may have seen an offer advertised for this product previously, but the offer is not available to current American Express Card Members.”
I visited this page through both Google and an affiliate link to see if there was a difference. In each of the cases I received the same message. Of course, the website is using a cookie to identify me as a customer, but what if I use incognito/private mode?
Success! In incognito mode the normal offer of 25,000 points comes up. (Sometimes it will show 50,000 points.) So next lets look at the offer terms. Immediately I noticed this wording:
“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 this product.”
Uh-oh. This is bad! Or is it? Actually this wording appears on the offer terms for all of the American Express personal cards. For example here it is for the personal Platinum card:
“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.”
Similar wording is found on the Everyday, SPG, Hilton & Delta cards.
Is This New?
This language is actually not new, but the removal of the bonus offer on the PRG seems to be. The language itself was added during the change last year which limited everyone to one bonus per product in their lifetime on personal cards. As far as I know, it has never been enforced.
What Does This Mean?
While all cards have the language as shown above in the “Offer Terms” section, the only one that removes the bonus offer when trying to apply is the Premier Rewards Gold. The offer pages for all of the other Amex personal cards still show the bonus.
I’m still not sure if the chat agent is right, but according to the terms and the website, current Amex cardholders aren’t eligible for a bonus on any Amex personal card. Perhaps this new website behavior with the Premier Rewards Gold is their first step in actually enforcing this?
I have done a lot of research on this topic and have not been able to find a case where a current Amex cardholder of a different product was denied the bonus on a new product because of this language. Hopefully it stays this way.
Since this development with the Premier Rewards Gold card seems to be new, I thought I would put it out for you guys to chime in with your experiences. Has anyone been denied a bonus on a personal Amex card because they currently hold a different card? Has anyone with another Amex card recently been approved for the Premier Rewards Gold card with the bonus?
Thanks in advance for sharing!
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.