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

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Old May 29, 17, 6:53 am   -   Wikipost
FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: Once-in-a-lifetime bonus policy now applies to both personal & BUSINESS cards [USA].
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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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Old Feb 19, 16, 9:23 am
  #1
Formerly known as fsa_ea
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Exclamation Once-in-a-lifetime bonus policy now applies to both personal & BUSINESS cards [USA].

I finally got around to applying for new DL Platinum AMEX Business cards today and got an unwelcome surprise. For every link I can find, the following language now appears:

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

This language had the 12-month exception a few days ago.

When did this go into effect, and can anyone point me to a link that will allow the bonus after a 12-month wait?
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Old Feb 19, 16, 9:48 am
  #2
mia
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Originally Posted by The Mileage Millionaire View Post
"Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product."
Both the Platinum and Gold Skymiles business cards contain that language. It could be a decision made by Delta and American Express, or it could be an editing error.

I spot checked three other business cards (Business Platinum, Business Rewards Gold, Starwood Business) and they still have the old language:

Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product within the last 12 months.
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Old Feb 19, 16, 11:21 am
  #3
Formerly known as fsa_ea
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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Thanks, Mia. Maybe getting a new Business Gold will make it all better...
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Old Feb 25, 16, 1:36 pm
  #4
 
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February 2016: Once-in-a-lifetime bonus policy now applies to Business cards.

Seems business cards are once per lifetime now also unless you get a targeted offer in the mail. They all say "Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product."
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Old Feb 25, 16, 2:27 pm
  #5
mia
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Originally Posted by The Mileage Millionaire View Post
...DL Platinum AMEX Business cards ...the following language now appears:

"Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product."
Originally Posted by yoshapman View Post
They all say "Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product."
I now see the once-in-a-lifetime language in offers for:

MEMBERSHIP REWARDS
Business Platinum
Business Gold Rewards
Business Green
Blue for Business

DELTA
Reserve Skymiles Business
Platinum Skymiles Business
Gold Skymiles Business


I still the more liberal "12 month" language for:

Starwood Business (...but the more restrictive language appears on the actual application.)

Bear in mind that American Express considered the INDIVIDUAL to be the applicant for bonus purposes. You cannot bypass the restriction by creating another company. You will get the card, but not the bonus.

Last edited by mia; Feb 25, 16 at 3:07 pm Reason: Amend SPG terms.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 2:39 pm
  #6
 
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
I now see the once-in-a-lifetime language in offers for:

MEMBERSHIP REWARDS
Business Platinum
Business Gold Rewards
Business Green
Blue for Business

DELTA
Reserve Skymiles Business
Platinum Skymiles Business
Gold Skymiles Business


But I still the more liberal "12 month" language for:

Starwood Business

Bear in mind that American Express considered the INDIVIDUAL to be the applicant for bonus purposes. You cannot bypass the restriction by creating another company. You will get the card, but not the bonus.
I see the same on the SPG card as well:

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.† Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 2:49 pm
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by mia View Post

But I still the more liberal "12 month" language for:

Starwood Business
It seems that if you're on the web page that displays all the Amex Business cards, clicking on the "Offer Terms" link for the SPG Business shows the old "12 month" language. However, once you click on the apply button, the new language shows up on both the application page and the "Offer Terms" link on the application page.

I had been holding off on re-applying for this card, so this got me concerned. I sent myself a SPG business card referral from my wife's account hoping that I would get lucky. Success! The referral application link shows the "12 month" language. I better go ahead and apply before it gets taken away, too.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 2:58 pm
  #8
mia
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Originally Posted by bombnthud View Post
...I better go ahead and apply before it gets taken away, too.
Agreed. If we take The Mileage Millionaire's report on the 19th as the beginning of a transition it would be only a matter of time before they cleanup the stragglers.

On the other hand, I have read several recent reports of targeted (personal card) offers without any exclusion language. It may be that American Express is entering a new marketing phase focused on targeting rather than market-wide offers.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 6:05 pm
  #9
 
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I read about this on doctor of credit, so I checked my current offers which were 75K for the Platinum Business and 75K for the Business Gold. Neither had the once in a lifetime language either in the initial offer or after I logged on to the application.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 7:32 pm
  #10
 
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I got an email on 2/24 offering 25K on the BRG (lame, I know), and it had the 12-month language. I already have this card, so hopefully that means their targeting algorithm isn't too restrictive.
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Old Feb 26, 16, 9:09 am
  #11
 
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Originally Posted by eajusa View Post
I read about this on doctor of credit, so I checked my current offers which were 75K for the Platinum Business and 75K for the Business Gold. Neither had the once in a lifetime language either in the initial offer or after I logged on to the application.
I also found the targeted 75K for the Platinum Business and 75K for the Business Gold which doesn't have the 12 month nor lifetime language. However, I just closed my Biz Gold account last month. Would like to know if the 12 month period is forced or not for the targeted offer.
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Old Feb 26, 16, 10:25 am
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Originally Posted by westlaker View Post
I also found the targeted 75K for the Platinum Business and 75K for the Business Gold which doesn't have the 12 month nor lifetime language. However, I just closed my Biz Gold account last month. Would like to know if the 12 month period is forced or not for the targeted offer.
Yes, 12 month limitation is enforced.
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Old Feb 26, 16, 10:37 am
  #13
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Originally Posted by maygarish View Post
Yes, 12 month limitation is enforced.
How do you know it's enforced for a targeted offers? Did you apply and NOT get the bonus pts? I think targeted offers are still an unknown until we see empirical evidence.
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Old Feb 26, 16, 10:59 am
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All, I brought over the wiki from the original (and now closed) thread on the lifetime(ish) limit on personal card bonuses. While I made a number of updates I thought appropriate, I'm sure there's still work to be done.
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Old Feb 26, 16, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by philemer View Post
How do you know it's enforced for a targeted offers? Did you apply and NOT get the bonus pts? I think targeted offers are still an unknown until we see empirical evidence.
We don't have enough data points on the targeted offer if a similar product is closed within the last 12 months I guess.
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