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Is American Express Limiting Sign-Up Bonuses?

Is American Express Limiting Sign-Up Bonuses?

Million Mile SecretsIs American Express Limiting Sign-Up Bonuses?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Readers have been asking if American Express will let you get the sign-up bonus only ONCE per card from May 1, 2014.

What’s Going On?

I’ve done some digging and I’m reasonable certain that from May 1, 2014, American Express will try to let folks get the sign-up bonus only once per credit card for personal card.  And after that, American Express is likely going to try to restrict folks to only 1 sign-up bonus per business card as well!

Banks want you to use their cards, and not to cancel the card after getting the sign-up bonus. So it is reasonable for banks to have restrictions to prevent folks from repeatedly getting the sign-up bonus after very short periods of time.  American Express believes that there is a very small number of folks (fewer than those who read this blog!) who are repeatedly getting sign-up bonuses for certain cards.

Chase usually doesn’t give you the sign-up bonus for the SAME card unless you haven’t had the card for at least 2 years or if the card has changed (for example, the Ink Plus & (no longer offered) Ink Bold are now Visa cards instead of MasterCards).

Barclays used to let you get the bonus multiple times, but now will let you get only ~2 cards in a year (assuming you’ve been spending on your existing Barclays card and don’t have a lot of recent inquiries).

American Express ALREADY had restrictions in place to prevent folks from getting the sign-up bonus again if they had a particular card within the last 12 months.  So I’m not sure why we need a restriction over the entire LIFE of a person!  I can understand restricting folks from getting the sign-up bonus for a few years, but over the entire LIFE of a person seems a bit unreasonable to me.

That said, we don’t know how (and if) this will be implemented until May 1, 2014.

What Should I Do?

It is unclear if American Express will apply the “new rules” from May 1, 2014.

If you suspect that the sign-up bonuses will increase after May 1, 2014, you can wait until then to apply for new American Express cards.

On the other hand, you could apply for any American Express cards you don’t currently have before May 1, 2014.

Here’s a list of popular American Express cards.

1.   Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

You can get a sign-up bonus of up to 25,000 bonus points after you complete the $3,000 minimum spending on the Starwood Preferred Guest (personal) card within the first 3 months.

25,000 bonus points is enough for 2 nights at a Category 4 hotel like the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa.

Is American Express Limiting Sign-Up Bonuses
You Could Spend the Weekend in Sunny Southern California

The $65 annual fee is waived the 1st year.

2.   Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express

Link:   Hilton Honors™ Surpass Card from American Express 

You can get 60,000 bonus points from the American Express Hilton Honors Surpass card after completing the $3,000 minimum spending within 3 months.

You also get Hilton Gold elite status which gives you free internet & breakfast.

G
Because Free Food is Always a Plus!

But the $75 annual fee is not waived the 1st year.

3.   Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Link:   Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

You can get 25,000 Membership Rewards points after you complete the $2,000 minimum spending in the 1st 3 months on the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card.

Cancel United Card Lose Miles
You Earn 3X Points on Airline Tickets

The $175 $195 annual fee is waived the 1st year.

4.   American Express Mercedes-Benz Platinum

Link:   The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz

You can get 50,000 Membership Rewards points from the American Express Mercedes-Benz Platinum card after completing the $3,000 minimum spending within 3 months.

American Express Platinum Cardholders Will Lose Lounge Access
American Express Platinum Cardholders Have Access to Centurion Lounges

The $475 annual fee is not waived.

5.   Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Link:   Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

You can get 30,000 bonus miles from the Gold Delta SkyMiles card after you complete the $1,000 minimum spending in the 1st 3 months.

You may be able to get a higher offer via a targeted offer from Delta or from the CardMatch tool.

Kansas City to Chicago
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Card Let Us Check This Bag of Care Packages for Free!

The $95 annual fee is waived the 1st year.

6   American Express Delta Platinum

Link:   American Express Delta Platinum

You can get 35,000 bonus miles (5,000 are elite qualifying miles) after you complete the $1,000 minimum spending on the American Express Delta Platinum card within 3 months.

Delta Flight from Punta Cana
Priority Boarding With the American Express Delta Platinum Card = Shorter Lines

The $150 annual fee (annual fee increases to $195 on May 1, 2014) is not waived the 1st year.

7.   Hilton Honors Card from American Express

Link:   Hilton Honors Card from American Express

You get 50,000 points after you complete the $750 minimum spending on the American Express Hilton Honors card within 3 months.

Note:  50,000 point offer expires March 31, 2014.  On April 1, 2014, the offer goes down to 40,000 points.

Vanilla Reloads Family Fare
You Get 5X Hilton Points at Grocery Stores, Some Sell Vanilla Reloads

If you spend $20,000 in a calendar year, you get Hilton Gold elite status which gives you free internet and breakfast.

There is no annual fee so this is a great card to keep to build your credit history.

8.   The Platinum Card® from American Express

Link:   The Platinum Card® from American Express

You can get 40,000 Membership Rewards points after you complete the $3,000 minimum spending in the 1st 3 months on the Platinum Card from American Express (personal).

The $450 annual fee is not waived.

7 American Express Business Cards Worth Another Look

1.   Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

You can get a sign-up bonus of up to 25,000 bonus points after you complete the $5,000 minimum spending within the first 3 months on the Starwood Preferred Guest (business) card.

You can transfer Starwood points to airline miles.  So 25,000 Starwood points becomes 30,000 airline miles.

The $65 annual fee is waived the 1st year.

2.   American Express Simply Cash

Link:   American Express Simply Cash

You can get a $250 statement credit from the American Express Simply Cash card after you complete the $3,000 minimum spending within 3 months.

3.   The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

Link:   The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

You can get 40,000 Membership Rewards points from the Platinum Card from American Express (business) after you complete the $5,000 minimum spending in 3 months.

Is American Express Limiting Sign-Up Bonuses
You Get Free Starwood Gold Elite Status

The $450 annual fee is not waived.

4.   The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

Link:   The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

You can get 25,000 Membership Rewards points after you complete the $5,000 minimum spending in 3 months on The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN .

Is American Express Limiting Sign-Up Bonuses
Shipping Gifts Earns You 2X Membership Rewards

The $175 annual fee is waived for the 1st year.

5.  Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Link:   Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

You can get 30,000 miles with the Gold Delta Skymiles (business) card after you complete the $1,000 minimum spending in 3 months.

Delta Flight from Punta Cana
Hungry?  You’ll Save 20% When You Buy In-Flight Snacks

The $95 annual fee is waived for the 1st year.

6.   The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express

Link:   The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express

You can get 10,000 Membership Rewards points from the American Express Blue for Business card after you make your 1st purchase.

There is no annual fee on the American Express Blue for Business card.

7.   American Express Delta Platinum

Link:   American Express Delta Platinum

You can get 35,000 miles (5,000 are elite qualifying miles) after you complete the $1,000 minimum spending on the American Express Delta Platinum business card within 3 months.

Delta Check In ID
Bring a Friend for Free!

The $195 Annual fee is not waived.  ($150 if application is received before May 1, 2014).

8.   American Express Delta Reserve

Link:   American Express Delta Reserve

You can get 10,000 elite qualifying miles with the American Express Delta Reserve business card after your 1st purchase as well as Delta lounge access.

Is American Express Limiting Sign-Up Bonuses
Relax Before Your Flight in the Delta Lounge

The $450 annual fee is not waived.

Bottom Line

American Express may be restricting you to only 1 sign-up bonus per card from May 1, 2014.  We don’t know how this will be implemented, so you could apply for your favorite American Express card before then.

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I got the American Express Blue Sky card about 6 months ago and I had got 30,000 points promotion after spending $500 within 3 months of receiving the card? I would like to eventually get an American Express Premier Gold Card. Since I already have an American Express card, does that meant I am ineligible to receive a promotion offer for another American Express card?

I applied for the Starwood Amex after having one 3 years ago using the 30000 points offer link. I was refused bonus points after spending over $3000 on the card, I should have recieved 10000 points after $1000. I asked to the phone agen when I activated the card what the terms of my bonus offer were and was quoted the 30000 points offer terms. I consider it fraudulent to tell me at activation I would get the points and then refuse the bonus (for holding the card years ago). Which regulator will be the appropriate one to complain about fraudulent marketing by AMEX?

What is the latest regarding American Express restricted to only one sign-up per card which was to start on May 1, 2014?

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Yankeesfan – They may have different targeting criteria based on whether you are an AMEX customer or not.

@Chris Bassford – It has been implemented.

Like others posted but didn’t get an answer.. 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 got this message after clicking on the link for the Amex Membership Rewards card..

I have had Amex HH and SPG at the same time and now I have JetBlue Amex.. so why this warning?

William Wadsworth

I currently have a Delta Amex Gold Card. If I were to get a PRG at some point, would I still be eligible for the signup bonus? I would think I should be because the former is a credit card while the latter is a charge card. Are they tightening it up so much that each person can only ever get ONE signup bonus from Amex? I haven’t been able to find a definitive answer to this question.

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