How Earning AMEX Welcome Bonuses on Different Cards Can Get You Big Travel!

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A Million Mile Secrets reader emailed:

Can you clarify the American Express once per lifetime welcome bonus rule?  I currently have the Hilton Honors Card from American Express and Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.  Does the AMEX rule mean I can NOT earn the welcome bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express?

The AMEX welcome bonus rules restrict you from earning a welcome bonus on the SAME card more than once.

So in this reader’s case, he or she is eligible to earn the AMEX Starwood welcome bonus.  Because the cards they already have are considered different card products.  This is good news because earning welcome bonuses with multiple cards is the easiest and quickest way to get Big Travel with Small Money!

And remember, if there’s a personal and small business version of an AMEX card, you can earn the welcome bonus on both.

I’ll remind y’all about the AMEX welcome bonus rules!

What You Should Know About the AMEX Welcome Bonus Rules

Link:   AMEX Restricts Welcome Bonuses to Once Per Lifetime

Link:   Can You Earn More Than One Welcome Bonus With the Same AMEX Business Card?

With AMEX personal and small business cards, you can only earn the welcome bonus once per card per lifetime.  This rule is card specific.  So it’s possible to earn multiple welcome bonuses by applying for different types of AMEX cards.

For example, Million Mile Secrets team member Keith has earned the welcome bonus for all these AMEX cards:

There are benefits to getting multiple cards that earn similar types of points.  For example, Keith used the flexible AMEX Membership Rewards points he earned on the Business Platinum  to book Business Class award flights for an upcoming trip to New Zealand!

AMEX Sign Up Bonus Rules
You Can Earn Flexible AMEX Membership Rewards Points With Multiple Cards! Then Transfer Points to Airline Partners Like Delta for Business Class Award Tickets

Many other team members have also earned welcome bonuses from a variety of other AMEX cards.

And those of us on the team who qualify for small business cards are eager to take advantage of great AMEX business card offers when they come around.  Because these cards don’t appear on your personal credit report.  This means they don’t count toward Chase card limits!

That’s one of the reasons I got the AMEX Business Platinum and Emily got the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card last year.

AMEX Sign Up Bonus Rules
Emily Got the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card to Earn Flexible AMEX Membership Rewards Points. And It Doesn’t Appear on Her Personal Credit Report!

Just remember, folks with multiple businesses can NOT earn the welcome bonus on the same card.  Even if you apply using different company information.

Keep in mind, there are lots AMEX cards with similar names.  But it’s possible to earn the welcome bonus on each of them!  Here are some examples.

1.   AMEX Platinum

There are many AMEX Platinum card versions, including:

Technically, it’s possible to earn the welcome bonus on all of them.  So run the numbers to see if the rewards and perks makes it worth getting more than one version.

2.   AMEX Starwood

Folks who collect Starwood points are eligible to earn the welcome bonus on each of these cards:

Personal and small business versions of certain AMEX cards are considered different card products.

Are There Exceptions?

There are reports of folks getting a welcome bonus on the same AMEX card more than once.

Keep in mind, the language in the AMEX credit card offers say:

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

Another exception is for folks who receive targeted offers from AMEX to apply or upgrade. 

Bottom Line

With American Express, you can only earn a welcome once per card per lifetime.

Instead of getting a welcome bonus on the same card more than once, you can earn multiple welcome bonuses by applying for different AMEX card products.  

For example, you can boost your Starwood points balance by earning the welcome bonuses on the AMEX Starwood personal AND small business cards.

Remember, if you qualify for AMEX small business cards, they do NOT appear on your personal credit report.  This means they don’t count toward Chase card limits!

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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