Million Mile Secret Agent Paul commented:
If you’ve had a credit card before, but did NOT receive the welcome bonus because you missed the minimum spending requirements, will you be able to get it the second time around?
Good question, Paul. The AMEX terms & conditions may give the impression that you are eligible to reapply for a card and earn the bonus if you failed to meet the minimum spending the first time around. So I asked a few AMEX representatives, just to make sure.
Here’s what I learned!
What Happens When You Miss AMEX Minimum Spending Deadlines?
American Express will only allow you to earn the sign-up bonus on each of their cards ONCE per lifetime. But what if you opened the card and did NOT earn the sign-up bonus? Will you get another chance to earn the miles or points you missed out on?
The actual offer terms of AMEX credit cards is:
Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.
The conditions that prevent you from earning a card’s sign-up bonus are NOT that you’ve earned it before. Just that you’ve had the card in the past.
I dug into this question last year with several banks. And decided to chat with some AMEX representatives to see if anything has changed.
After both calling and secure messaging American Express, all representatives had the same answer: You have one shot to earn the sign-up bonus on an American Express card.
So the AMEX terms & conditions are a bit stricter than you might realize! Even if you do NOT earn the sign-up bonus on an AMEX card, you’re NOT eligible to earn the bonus after your first window of opportunity closes.
Million Mile Secrets team member Harlan was in this situation a few years ago. He opened The Platinum Card® from American Express and did NOT meet the minimum spending requirements. After opening the card a second time, he met the spending requirements, but did NOT receive a bonus. This corroborates the information AMEX representatives gave me.
Meeting Minimum Spending Is Critical to a Successful Miles & Points Win!
The simple way to avoid missing out on Big Travel with AMEX cards is to complete minimum spending as soon as possible! It’s easy to lose track of the end date, and miss loads of bonus miles & points if you’re not diligent.
Make sure you can handle spend requirements BEFORE you apply for a credit card. Or you may lose your chance to earn that particular bonus forever. American Express will NOT give you another opportunity to earn a sign-up bonus. Which is heartbreaking, because most of the Big Travel we earn comes from sign-up bonuses!
Check out my post on 40+ powerful ways to complete minimum spending requirements for some ideas!
I called AMEX and chatted via secure message to find out if their “one sign-up bonus per lifetime” policy includes cards that folks opened but never earned the bonus on. And, disappointingly, it does!
When you open an AMEX credit card, you have one chance to earn the welcome bonus. Even if you fail to meet minimum spending, you can NOT try again for the bonus by opening the card a second time. So do NOT open a card unless you’re sure you can meet the spending requirements.
Do you have experience with failing to earn the sign-up bonus with AMEX or other banks? I’d love to hear how you handled it!