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Once-in-a-lifetime bonus policy now applies to both personal & BUSINESS cards [USA].

Old Feb 26, 16, 9:28 am
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Last edit by: beltway
For earlier discussion of the restriction's application to personal cards, see Put a fork in it 5.1.2014: One bonus per personal card per person "lifetime" [USA].

It is essential to read the terms of the specific offer, but in general:

This offer is also not available to applicants who have or have had this product.
  • You can only earn one new account bonus for each card issued by American Express in the USA. We do not know precisely how far back American Express looks to see if you have previously held the same card, but there is anecdotal evidence that the Customer Service database looks back only seven years. This means that if you cancelled a card in 2007 or earlier, and have not held it since, you will probably qualify for a new account bonus in 2015.
  • Holding a related card does not disqualify earning a new account bonus. Examples: Green, Gold, and Platinum are each separate products. Delta Gold, Platinum and Reserve are each separate products. The Hilton credit card is a different product than Hilton Surpass.
  • Holding a Supplementary Card (authorized user) on someone else's account does not disqualify you from earning a new acount bonus if you open the same card type in your own name.
  • As of mid-February 2016, Amex appears to be adding the same restriction to its business card products.
  • If you receive a targeted offer, online or through the USPS, for a card which you have previously held you may, or may not, actually receive the bonus. Be certain to save a copy of the offer, and to read and save every screen which appears during the application process.
  • Upgrade offers are different from new account offers. You may be offered a bonus to upgrade (for example) a Gold Card to a Platinum Card, and you may be eligible for that bonus even if you previously held a Platinum card. It is still essential to read and save the terms of the offer.

If we identify you as currently having an American Express Card account, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer.
  • This language appeared in the Spring of 2013, a year before the once-in-a lifetime policy was announced. The key term is "may", which gives American Express discretion to award or withhold the bonus.
  • To reduce the risk that the automated system will deny a new account bonus, RIGHT click the application link and open the application in a Private or Incognito browser window. American Express will still know that you are a current cardholder, but the system will not flag your application.

Points will be credited to your Membership Rewards account within 6 - 8 weeks after the spend requirement has been reached.
  • In practice it is not possible to know when American Express's system will credit a bonus to your rewards account. It may happen immediately after you meet the target spend, or it may happen when the next statement (or the following statement) is generated, or it may take the full eight weeks.
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Once-in-a-lifetime bonus policy now applies to both personal & BUSINESS cards [USA].

Old Mar 25, 16, 8:19 pm
  #61  
mia
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Originally Posted by theplayer
Not for Bus Gold rewards card. Applied last week, no ss asked in app.
I am looking at the application online. It is on the second screen, and it is a mandatory field.
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Old Mar 26, 16, 5:19 am
  #62  
 
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Originally Posted by mia
I am looking at the application online. It is on the second screen, and it is a mandatory field.

hmmm...that's not the page I used. Personal info was on page 1 on the right side and did not include social. I followed a link a found on the net for 75k point bonus and I had to log into my AMEX account from that page. I assume because of the log in they already knew my social perhaps?
https://www262.americanexpress.com/b...104-1-CAPOBGRC

Last edited by theplayer; Mar 26, 16 at 5:33 am
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Old Mar 26, 16, 5:49 am
  #63  
mia
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Originally Posted by theplayer
... I had to log into my AMEX account from that page. I assume because of the log in they already knew my social perhaps?
If you were required to login it was a targeted offer. If you login you you are presented with a Short Form application which omits some fields because, as you say, they already know who you are.
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Old Mar 29, 16, 6:04 am
  #64  
 
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Since this is so new, do we even know how strict AMEX will be in applying this rule? Sometimes T&C are a CYA measure.

Also, the SPG business amex terms state the bonus isn't available to those "who have or have had this product." I had an SPG business amex a few years ago, but hey it was red and silver. This new product is purple after all so I should be good to go, right?
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Old Mar 29, 16, 7:08 am
  #65  
mia
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Originally Posted by rrgg
... This new product is purple after all so I should be good to go, right?
When SPG card changed from Platinum to Red/Silver it was considered a new product, but this change from Red/Silver to Purple is apparently not. Suggest you call and ask a CSR if you have had this card before and are eligible for another bonus.
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Old Mar 29, 16, 2:14 pm
  #66  
 
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I am in the same boat. Closed a Biz Gold account a few months ago. Now I get a targeted Biz Gold and Biz Plat 75K MR points both in Amex offer. There are no restrictions on those offer. It's tempting but I am afraid Amex may still deny the 75K based on closing the account within 12 months rule.



Originally Posted by jk2
I think I read about it somewhere but don't remember anyway.

I was browsing Amex offers on my personal cards and found an offer for opening a business gold amex for 75K MR points in 3 months. Reading T&C and I don't see any restrictions at all - either 12 months or one in lifetime. Did anybody have the same offer? I am afraid to pull a trigger (I closed mine 2 months ago), but if there is no restrictions for having this card in the past, I probably will pull a trigger (offer expires March 31).
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Old Mar 29, 16, 2:24 pm
  #67  
mia
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Originally Posted by westlaker
... I am afraid Amex may still deny the 75K based on closing the account within 12 months rule.
Why? There is no rule. If the restriction is not in the terms of your offer it does not apply.
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Old Mar 29, 16, 8:00 pm
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by mia
When SPG card changed from Platinum to Red/Silver it was considered a new product, but this change from Red/Silver to Purple is apparently not. Suggest you call and ask a CSR if you have had this card before and are eligible for another bonus.
My card was in 2012 which I'm pretty sure was Red/Silver. Not sure why the first switch was considered a new product and the second is not. The fees and benefits have all changed. I was thinking of taking a chance but CSR says I'm not eligible for the bonus as expected.
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Old Apr 14, 16, 8:44 am
  #69  
 
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Does anyone know if Amex looks at the time of application or the time you meet bonus requirements to determine whether you "have or have had this product?".

And also, despite the rule stating as such, but with many coverage touting getting bonus "once per lifetime". Do we know what happens if you have or had the product but never received bonus, and then apply new again with bonus in terms?


I might have shot my self in the foot here.

Story:
I applied for the 100k Surpass on Monday and was approved, never had card/bonus before, so thinking I should get it.

I do, however, do currently have the no-AF Hilton that is eligible to upgrade with 100k bonus as well. I wanted to do the upgrade as well but was afraid that once system sees that I have another (new) Surpass, upgrade offer would go away. [EDIT: upgrade offer has no "one-time" language]

So I accepted the upgrade offer yesterday, but after that I realized that [EDIT: on the new Surpass app], the "once-per-lifetime" terms actually says "Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product" instead of "Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had the bonus in the past" like I had in my head and like all the coverage about this rule implies.

I didn't want to cancel the upgrade as when I tried to do so, the rep said the card is already a Surpass and that she would be reverting back to no-AF and I was afraid that that would reset the wait cycle for upgrade so kept the upgrade for now.

If Amex uses the time of application to enforce the rule, then I should be ok and get the bonus on new Surpass, but if they look at it after I meet the requirements, I think by then they would see my upgraded Surpass and can deny me bonus based on "having" the product currently. Though even if they see that I hold the upgraded Surpass, I still have never received any bonus on any Surpass before, so maybe that makes me eligible?

All this interpretation of rules, anyone care to chime in? Thanks

Last edited by booyaa; Apr 14, 16 at 11:49 am Reason: clarification
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Old Apr 14, 16, 8:53 am
  #70  
 
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Originally Posted by mia
Neither. They look at when the card account was closed. It scrolls off the live database about seven years later, but we do not know if this happens daily, monthly or annually. It makes no difference if you earned a bonus, only if you held the card.
But surely they do more than that to check if you "have" this product that's not closed yet?
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Old Apr 14, 16, 9:07 am
  #71  
mia
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Originally Posted by booyaa
But surely they do more than that to check if you "have" this product that's not closed yet?
I removed my reply because I misread the focus of the question. They look to see if have had this product at anytime (including now). After it is closed it will scroll off the database in "about" seven years (I would allow an extra year). They do not look to see if you previously received a bonus.

I assume that they look at the time the application is processed, and the offer is then attached to the new card if eligible, but I do not recall any prior discussion of this specific circumstance where a member upgrades to the same card after an application has been approved.
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Old Apr 14, 16, 9:23 am
  #72  
 
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Originally Posted by booyaa
Does anyone know if Amex looks at the time of application or the time you meet bonus requirements to determine whether you "have or have had this product?".

And also, despite the rule stating as such, but with many coverage touting getting bonus "once per lifetime". Do we know what happens if you have or had the product but never received bonus, and then apply new again with bonus in terms?
Your situation is actually an interesting one. I'd think that time of approval is the most important, because at that point you have that account. My guess is you will receive bonus for the new Surpass that was approved on Monday, but not the converted yesterday one.

Whether or not you have received a bonus is irrelevant. I opened a PRG but got closed within 1 week due to Amex's stupidity, did not get bonus. Applied again, was not eligible.
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Old Apr 14, 16, 11:29 am
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by mia
I assume that they look at the time the application is processed, and the offer is then attached to the new card if eligible
That's what I'm hoping too.

Originally Posted by johnnie198x
Your situation is actually an interesting one. I'd think that time of approval is the most important, because at that point you have that account. My guess is you will receive bonus for the new Surpass that was approved on Monday, but not the converted yesterday one.

Whether or not you have received a bonus is irrelevant. I opened a PRG but got closed within 1 week due to Amex's stupidity, did not get bonus. Applied again, was not eligible.
Thanks for the "receiving bonus is irrelevant" datapoint. I actually think that if anything, I would get the upgrade bonus because that doesn't have any prior language "strings" attached, and won't get new Surpass bonus. We'll see. I'm hoping that if the points do post, they post in a few days after meeting spend instead of statement close, like they have for other members. If they don't, and they also don't when statement closes, reps may give me the 8 weeks runaround.
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Old Apr 14, 16, 11:45 am
  #74  
 
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Originally Posted by booyaa
I actually think that if anything, I would get the upgrade bonus because that doesn't have any prior language "strings" attached, and won't get new Surpass bonus.
Wait, I think I misread your post. I thought the upgrade also had the language. If the upgrade doesn't have the one-time language, then you should get the points.
You should also get the points for the new one, because as of the moment you were approved for that card, you had never had the card. That's what I think should happen. Keep us updated.
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Old Apr 14, 16, 11:48 am
  #75  
 
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Originally Posted by johnnie198x
Wait, I think I misread your post. I thought the upgrade also had the language. If the upgrade doesn't have the one-time language, then you should get the points.
You should also get the points for the new one, because as of the moment you were approved for that card, you had never had the card. That's what I think should happen. Keep us updated.
Correct, upgrade had no "one-time" language. Guess I wasn't clear about that in OP.

Yup, that would be best case scenario
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