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Amex (USA) restricts bonus based on number of accounts opened/closed (June 2018)

Amex (USA) restricts bonus based on number of accounts opened/closed (June 2018)

Old Jun 8, 18, 12:15 pm
  #16  
mia
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Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
Lifetime language has been a thing with AmEx for quite a while now.
Correct, but American Express offers so many similar cards that alone it doesn't prevent accumulating a substantial amount of rewards in a way that is unprofitable for them. Churn is a problem in every service business. This is just another gambit which is important, as much for what it communicates to other issuers, as for what it may actually mean for consumers.
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Old Jun 9, 18, 12:02 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by mikesyr18 View Post
Seems like overly broad language to me.

The funny thing is AMEX is the one who approves all of these cards within a short period of time, and then turns around and complains that certain customers are eating away at their profits by collecting multiple bonuses in a short period of time.

Raise your underwriting criteria to not allow more than one approval every six months and not more than one bonus in a lifetime. Problem solved.
But following through on this line of action may very well alienate profitable customers. The types of customers that Amex probably wants are the type that need the flexibility of multiple products within a short period of time. I think the language is not intended to avoid giving bonuses to most applicants, but rather as a safety valve for the limited instances in which they do deny a bonus. After all, if they start getting a reputation of denying bonuses left and right that would probably hurt their bottom line a lot more than a few churners.
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Old Jun 9, 18, 5:43 am
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by halamadrid View Post
But following through on this line of action may very well alienate profitable customers. The types of customers that Amex probably wants are the type that need the flexibility of multiple products within a short period of time. .
I don't see how limiting approvals to twice a year (once every six months) will hurt their bottom line. Most people don't apply for more than a card or two per year, if that. That same group of people most likely carry balances and aren't like you and I.

If AMEX is worried about losing business card customers, they can limit the approvals to 2 business and 2 personal cards a year, and only one per six months and then exclude charge cards from the rule.
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Old Jun 11, 18, 1:24 am
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by mikesyr18 View Post
I don't see how limiting approvals to twice a year (once every six months) will hurt their bottom line. Most people don't apply for more than a card or two per year, if that. That same group of people most likely carry balances and aren't like you and I.

If AMEX is worried about losing business card customers, they can limit the approvals to 2 business and 2 personal cards a year, and only one per six months and then exclude charge cards from the rule.
Because they offer a multitude of products with partners attached to them. Delta, SPG (Marriott), and others don't care that Amex already gave a customer a Gold card and an Everyday card for the year. If they are spenders, those third parties probably want them and want that customer to have multiple flavors of their card. Amex also probably believes in cornering every spend area for a given customer, and 2 cards in a year will not do that. You are probably right in terms of peoples behavior, but if someone already has 2 cards with Amex and their spending changes and has to move to another card they probably never come back to Amex. Amex already has a reputation for not having as wide an acceptance network as other cards so they probably don't want to add more to that reputation.
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Old Jun 11, 18, 5:12 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by mikesyr18 View Post
The funny thing is AMEX is the one who approves all of these cards within a short period of time, and then turns around and complains that certain customers are eating away at their profits by collecting multiple bonuses in a short period of time.
You're thinking like an FTer. But Amex doesn't necessarily think that way. They probably assume that people who apply for several cards in a short time aren't planing to go after the spend required for the signup bonuses on all of those cards.

You wouldn't believe how many "ordinary people" apply for a card and then don't even try for the bonus necessarily (they wanted the card for some other reason). It's just that you pretty much never find those kinds of people on FT. (Though sometimes you do: There were multiple FTers applying to upgrade their lower Hilton Honors card to the new Aspire card that gives Diamond status, even though there has been no bonus offer for such an upgrade yet. They were so interested in the benefits of the card that they passed up on getting a signup bonus.)
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Old Jun 13, 18, 6:31 am
  #21  
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It seems Amex is adding a popup warning or two when an applicant is ineligible based on lifetime language and/or the bonus "factors":

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/ameri...ation-process/

After you submit your application, Amex will give you a pop-up telling you clearly that you are not eligible for the bonus, and asking you whether you want to proceed with the application anyway.

There are even two separate pop-ups: one for someone who has already gotten the bonus (Amex’s ‘lifetime limit’ rule), and a separate pop-up language for someone who has never gotten the bonus but is ineligible for the bonus due to having applied for too many cards or whatever other factors Amex considers.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 6:50 am
  #22  
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Originally Posted by 84fiero View Post
It seems Amex is adding a popup warning or two....
I suppose now we will have a wave of bonuses denied for people whose browser blocked the popups .
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Old Jun 13, 18, 11:10 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by halamadrid View Post
I think everyone should be worried. The "as well as other factors" means that they can deny you the bonus for whatever reason they choose. It also means that there is no way for you to argue that you are entitled to the bonus. My guess is that this language is meant to combat the CFPB complaints that some applicants have made in order to get Amex to issue the bonus or get some sort of compensation. I for one don't think I've done anything to warrant them withholding a bonus in the future and it gives me pause. If for whatever reason (glitch or mistake) you don't get a bonus they can just reply with that open-ended language as the justification for not fixing the glitch or mistake.
Well, as I said before, you should be fine if you don't get too greedy with how are you opening/closing the accounts and stick to the known rules (e.g. organic spend only for min spend, close your card only after first year). Even as someone who has had close to 10 amex cards opened in the past two years and closed about half of them after one year, I don't think this blanket language is going to change the game at all. It's just to cover themselves in an extreme scenario.

I have kept the Plat card for the past two years, which I use occasionally for doing daily spend and taking advantage of amex offers. In the end, they value long term relationship and those who contribute to their bottom line in ways other than just churning those bonuses, even through means of MS that many FTers here are doing 10s of thousands per month without issue.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 10:48 am
  #24  
 
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I think this new development deserves its own thread.

I also am wondering if the triggers for the warning do not necessarily correlate 100% with the triggers for failed bonus.

I.e. are there bonuses that can slip through the cracks?

Not willing to burn an inquiry to test this though.

Need Moar Data Pointz!


Originally Posted by 84fiero View Post
It seems Amex is adding a popup warning or two when an applicant is ineligible based on lifetime language and/or the bonus "factors":

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/ameri...ation-process/
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Old Jun 14, 18, 10:49 am
  #25  
 
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I disagree 100% with you. I thought after your preface about 10 cards you were going to give a data point that you were approved. But you didn't. You just speculated.

I have also had a similar number of cards and kept them for a year or several years and I appear to be currently 86'd!

Originally Posted by Explorer789 View Post
Well, as I said before, you should be fine if you don't get too greedy with how are you opening/closing the accounts and stick to the known rules (e.g. organic spend only for min spend, close your card only after first year). Even as someone who has had close to 10 amex cards opened in the past two years and closed about half of them after one year, I don't think this blanket language is going to change the game at all. It's just to cover themselves in an extreme scenario.

I have kept the Plat card for the past two years, which I use occasionally for doing daily spend and taking advantage of amex offers. In the end, they value long term relationship and those who contribute to their bottom line in ways other than just churning those bonuses, even through means of MS that many FTers here are doing 10s of thousands per month without issue.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 10:54 am
  #26  
 
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I'm thinking that if this is the new normal ....that most of us will be unable to get new bonuses.

I wonder if the new way to get around it will be to cancel ALL amex cards completely, wait for targeted mailers (hopefully with no language about this or lifetime rule etc) and then apply BY PHONE and confirm the bonus.

However, I really think this may be the end of Amex for us. Except for mistakes... and when Amex swings the pendulum back to the 100k offers with 50% txfr bonuses like 10-15 years ago.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 11:25 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by aubreyfromwheaton View Post
I'm thinking that if this is the new normal ....that most of us will be unable to get new bonuses.

I wonder if the new way to get around it will be to cancel ALL amex cards completely, wait for targeted mailers (hopefully with no language about this or lifetime rule etc) and then apply BY PHONE and confirm the bonus.

However, I really think this may be the end of Amex for us. Except for mistakes... and when Amex swings the pendulum back to the 100k offers with 50% txfr bonuses like 10-15 years ago.
I value my Amex relationship since 2004. They've stood by me when I have had merchant issues, and repaired my espresso machine and my tablet. So it isn't the end of Amex for all of us.

Meanwhile, I do applaud Amex for coming up with an alert system. I'm sure you don't want to see that you're on Santa's Naughty List, but better than spending $5k and being denied, I guess.
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Old Jun 18, 18, 4:35 am
  #28  
 
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data point

yesterday my son tried to apply for the 25K offer on the green charge card and got the pop up saying he wouldn’t get the sign up bonus so he stopped the app before it went through

since October he has gotten three Amex cards (blue cash preferred, delta gold and gold biz) and done organic spend on them to get the bonus then basically sockdrawered them

last June he did the same with the gold Ameriprise

he currently has four credit (the above ones plus the no-fee Hilton which is his long-term keeper card) and one charge card with Amex

his member since date is ‘97

hope this helps
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Old Jun 18, 18, 5:55 am
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by Preacher7 View Post
data point

yesterday my son tried to apply for the 25K offer on the green charge card and got the pop up saying he wouldn’t get the sign up bonus so he stopped the app before it went through

since October he has gotten three Amex cards (blue cash preferred, delta gold and gold biz) and done organic spend on them to get the bonus then basically sockdrawered them

last June he did the same with the gold Ameriprise

he currently has four credit (the above ones plus the no-fee Hilton which is his long-term keeper card) and one charge card with Amex

his member since date is ‘97

hope this helps
Did the popup explain why they weren't going to honor the bonus? Did it explicitly mention that it was because of too many open cards or that they just didn't feel like giving him the bonus?
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Old Jun 18, 18, 10:50 am
  #30  
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Originally Posted by aubreyfromwheaton View Post
I'm thinking that if this is the new normal ....that most of us will be unable to get new bonuses.

I wonder if the new way to get around it will be to cancel ALL amex cards completely, wait for targeted mailers (hopefully with no language about this or lifetime rule etc) and then apply BY PHONE and confirm the bonus.

However, I really think this may be the end of Amex for us. Except for mistakes... and when Amex swings the pendulum back to the 100k offers with 50% txfr bonuses like 10-15 years ago.
I think it's way too early to conclude "most of us will be unable to get new bonuses" - why do you draw that conclusion at this point?

I'm not sure why a telephone application would necessarily sidestep any of this.

Seems a bit rash to cancel all your Amex cards just because of this, IMHO, but to each their own. Besides suddenly canceling all your Amex cards doesn't seem like it would necessarily help for future apps, depending on the particulars and what viewpoint Amex has in the future.
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