Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Credit, Debit and Prepaid Card Programs > American Express | Membership Rewards
Reload this Page >

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

Old Feb 26, 16, 9:28 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
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.
Print Wikipost

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

Old Apr 30, 16, 2:03 pm
  #91  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,765
Originally Posted by mia
Those were the terms of the SPG Business card. The personal card has stated This offer is also not available to applicants who have or have had this product....since 2014.
... which, of course, is the Very. First. Thing. in the wiki.
beltway is offline  
Old May 2, 16, 5:16 am
  #92  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,765
Rumors floating around on Reddit that Amex is rethinking its new super-strict policies. Will be interesting to see whether any new policy is explicit in T&C or hidden (as with current 7-year clock & Chase's unstated 5/24 policy).

h/t to mia, who noted this in another FT thread.
beltway is offline  
Old May 2, 16, 6:24 am
  #93  
mia
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend; Moderator: American Express, Capital One, Citi, Chase, Credit Card Programs, Diners Club, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami, Mpls & London
Programs: AA & Marriott Perpetual Platinum; DL & HH Gold
Posts: 47,198
The Reddit discussion was mentioned by wise2u. All I did was post the links.

It isn't clear from the first post if the change from a 7 year lookback period to a 4 year period would be a published change in terms, or merely an internal procedure change. The post seems to contain obsolete information about business cards, which makes me skeptical that this represents American Express's most recent thinking.

Last edited by mia; May 2, 16 at 6:43 am
mia is online now  
Old May 2, 16, 12:04 pm
  #94  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 2,567
Originally Posted by mia
Those were the terms of the SPG Business card. The personal card has stated This offer is also not available to applicants who have or have had this product....since 2014. Look carefully at what you printed to see if you can determine whether they are the terms for the business or personal version.
Well, it is a bit muddled. It is a personal card T & C. The new restriction is listed, but under the Basic Card Annual Fee paragraph is the following text:

"Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months or any other Consumer Delta Skymiles Credit Card account within the last 90 days." (followed by a lot of text about DELTA...)

Seem contradictary to me. Thoughts?
headinclouds is offline  
Old May 2, 16, 12:24 pm
  #95  
mia
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend; Moderator: American Express, Capital One, Citi, Chase, Credit Card Programs, Diners Club, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami, Mpls & London
Programs: AA & Marriott Perpetual Platinum; DL & HH Gold
Posts: 47,198
Originally Posted by headinclouds
"Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months or any other Consumer Delta Skymiles Credit Card account within the last 90 days." (followed by a lot of text about DELTA...)
If the terms mention both Starwood and Delta it sounds like a bungled cut and paste job while updating the offer terms. If the terms only mention Delta it sounds like the offer was linked to the terms from another card, which would hard to document now.

Either way, it's going to take some serious time and patience to persuade American Express to make an exception to the standard terms. The frontline customer service people do not have that authority. You need to get past them to someone who has the authority, and who will see the value in tracking back this type of mistake.
mia is online now  
Old May 2, 16, 9:33 pm
  #96  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Programs: AA, Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton
Posts: 497
Originally Posted by beltway
Rumors floating around on Reddit that Amex is rethinking its new super-strict policies. Will be interesting to see whether any new policy is explicit in T&C or hidden (as with current 7-year clock & Chase's unstated 5/24 policy).

h/t to mia, who noted this in another FT thread.
I talked with some Amex employees not too long ago. They were surprised to hear how archaic and draconian their matching policies were, especially when compared to Citi and Chase.
StatusChallenged is offline  
Old May 3, 16, 10:45 pm
  #97  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Programs: Hilton Diamond, Starwood Platinum, AA, SW, Delta
Posts: 839
so at the moment co-branded cards are still considered separate products? Like if i had a platinum charge card and i applied for the Mercedes I would still get the bonus for both
happyvoid is offline  
Old May 4, 16, 7:25 am
  #98  
mia
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend; Moderator: American Express, Capital One, Citi, Chase, Credit Card Programs, Diners Club, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami, Mpls & London
Programs: AA & Marriott Perpetual Platinum; DL & HH Gold
Posts: 47,198
Originally Posted by happyvoid
... if i had a platinum charge card and i applied for the Mercedes I would still get the bonus for both
The same question was just asked HERE, and answered in that thread. According to the terms of the Mercedes offer you are not eligible, but other people's experience is that you will receive the bonus. If you apply please report the result in that thread.
mia is online now  
Old May 5, 16, 6:26 am
  #99  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, IHG Platinum, SPG Gold
Posts: 88
My wife referred me to the SPG business card. I had this card previously and received bonus about three years ago. I applied anyway to see what would happen. Wife got 5k referral bonus. I chatted with the AMEX rep and they informed me if I spend 5k i'll get the 35,000 points....I guess i'll do the minumum spend to see if this is actually true.
BLTraveler is offline  
Old May 5, 16, 2:48 pm
  #100  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
Posts: 25,779
Originally Posted by yankees555
My wife referred me to the SPG business card. I had this card previously and received bonus about three years ago. I applied anyway to see what would happen. Wife got 5k referral bonus. I chatted with the AMEX rep and they informed me if I spend 5k i'll get the 35,000 points....I guess i'll do the minumum spend to see if this is actually true.
You might want to ask again (to other Amex reps) once or twice, before you get too far into the spend, to see if each of them gives the same answer. There've been cases before where people were told wrong information about this by one Amex rep.
sdsearch is offline  
Old May 5, 16, 7:02 pm
  #101  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NYC
Programs: UA Gold, Delta Gold, AA Plat
Posts: 1,269
I received an RSVP code from Amex by e-mail to apply for the Platinum. The terms had no language on once in a lifetime bonus. I had the same card before. I applied and was approved. Today I chatted with Amex and the rep told me that I would not be eligible for the offer if I had the card before. Any experience with those targeted offers without the once in a lifetime bonus language and actually getting the bonus?
flyinghigh77 is offline  
Old May 6, 16, 3:22 pm
  #102  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 823
For the once in a lifetime bonus, does this also include the no fee for first year on some cards, or is it only the bonus points that is restricted?

Thanks
exarkun is offline  
Old May 6, 16, 4:01 pm
  #103  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 41
Originally Posted by exarkun
For the once in a lifetime bonus, does this also include the no fee for first year on some cards, or is it only the bonus points that is restricted?

Thanks
Only points.
maygarish is offline  
Old May 6, 16, 5:13 pm
  #104  
mia
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend; Moderator: American Express, Capital One, Citi, Chase, Credit Card Programs, Diners Club, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami, Mpls & London
Programs: AA & Marriott Perpetual Platinum; DL & HH Gold
Posts: 47,198
Originally Posted by exarkun
...does this also include the no fee for first year on some cards,
Some reports in this thread that it applies to the fee waiver:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...-one-year.html
mia is online now  
Old May 7, 16, 3:33 pm
  #105  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 728
Originally Posted by flyinghigh77
I received an RSVP code from Amex by e-mail to apply for the Platinum. The terms had no language on once in a lifetime bonus. I had the same card before. I applied and was approved. Today I chatted with Amex and the rep told me that I would not be eligible for the offer if I had the card before. Any experience with those targeted offers without the once in a lifetime bonus language and actually getting the bonus?
Did you save a screenshot of the T & C? If so, you should be good but I have no direct experience with that same situation to confirm that. Unfortunately, the reps are often wrong. I have multiple screenshots of Citibank reps telling me things only to have Citibank tell me later that it doesn't matter.
g8trgr8t is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread