Know This AMEX Rule to Avoid Missing Out on a Big Bonus

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American Express has a once per lifetime rule regarding welcome bonuses.  And it can be confusing for folks in the miles & points hobby who are trying to formulate a credit card application strategy.

Million Mile Secrets reader Frank asked:

If I received the welcome bonus on the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, can I get the bonus on the The Platinum Card® from American Express card, too?  Or would I be disqualified from receiving that bonus?

Know This AMEX Rule To Avoid Missing Out On A Big Sign Up Bonus
Knowing Each Bank’s Credit Card Application Rules Is Important When Deciding Which Card You’re Going to Sign Up for Next!

Great question, Frank!

AMEX Application Rules

With American Express, you can only earn a bonus once per card per lifetime.  But because the AMEX Delta Platinum card and AMEX Platinum card are considered different card productsFrank IS eligible to earn the bonus from both cards!

That’s great news, because earning bonuses with multiple cards is the easiest and quickest way to get Big Travel with Small Money!

Lots of folks misinterpret the once per lifetime rule to mean you can only earn 1 American Express card bonus (period!) during your lifetime.  In fact, it’s once per card.

And not only are bonuses once per lifetime with each card, but the opportunity to earn each bonus is once per lifetime, too!  So you can NOT receive the bonus if you’ve ever HAD the card, even if you didn’t earn the bonus on it.

In Frank’s example, it’s easy to see why these rules could be hard to understand.  Because both cards are “platinum” cards.

Know This AMEX Rule To Avoid Missing Out On A Big Sign Up Bonus
It Can Be Difficult to Distinguish Credit Cards With Similar Names!

Card issuers often put out cards with names that sound the same!  So if you’re confused about all of the cards with similar names, here’s a chart with popular credit cards that are easily mistaken with one another.  With each card’s benefits listed side-by-side!

And don’t forget, while there’s NO official limit to the number of AMEX credit cards or charge cards you can have at once, the decision to approve you or not is still ultimately up to the bank.

AMEX Cards to Consider

If Frank is targeted for the 100,000 AMEX Membership Rewards point bonus on the AMEX Platinum card, he should jump on it.  Because with AMEX’s application rules, it’s best to get AMEX bonuses when they’re at their highest-ever.

Plus, Frank (and everyone else!) will soon have the chance to apply for the  AMEX Hilton cards that will be available later this month!

It’s also important to remember that AMEX small business cards do NOT appear on your personal credit report.  So they won’t hurt your chances of being approved for any great Chase cards in the future.

So cards like The Business Platinum® Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express are worth considering, too.

Our Hot Deals page always shows an up-to-date list of the best credit card offers.

Bottom Line

The AMEX bonus rules restrict you from earning a bonus on the SAME card more than once.  But you can earn multiple bonuses by applying for different AMEX card products.  

So, for example, you can earn the bonus on the AMEX Platinum card even if you’ve had the AMEX Delta Platinum card in the past.

Thanks again to reader Frank for the great question!

Million Mile Secrets is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

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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