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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.
Link: American Express Starwood Refer a Friend 5,000 Point Business & Personal Referral
Link: American Express Starwood 30,000 Point Personal Credit Card
Link: American Express Starwood 30,000 Point Business Credit Card
In yesterdays post, on why I’d still get the AMEX Starwood card even though it was overrated and not worth its annual fee to me, Shane wrote:
So are you saying this card can be had yearly AND you’ll get the SPG points?
We canceled my wife’s back in July of 2011…
I can refer her, get 5,000 points and when she’s approved and meets the spend she’ll get another 30,000?
I’m salivating right now! I hope this is how I’m reading this…
Historically, American Express wouldn’t give you the sign-up bonus on a new credit card again. But they would give you the difference if you applied for an offer with a better sign-up bonus.
For example, if you already had the American Express Starwood card with, say, a 10,000 point bonus, you wouldn’t get the full 15,000 points if you later applied for another Starwood card with a 15,000 point bonus. Instead, you’d get the difference in the sign-up bonus, so you’d get only 5,000 points (15,000 points from the new sign-up bonus – 10,000 points from the earlier sign-up bonus).
But in my experience and observation, some folks were getting the sign-up bonus again if they reapplied 2 years after cancelling their SPG card, or sometimes sooner if they submitted another application without their SPG number in it.
Other times, AMEX would not give you the bonus for the 1st purchase, but would give you the bonus points tied to the additional spending.
Current Restriction on Sign-up Bonuses is For 12 Months
A few months ago, American Express inserted language into their credit card offers which prevent you from getting the sign-up bonus, for the same card, if you have had the card in the previous 12 months.
To be clear – you can get the bonus for the personal card even if you currently have the business card or vice versa or are an authorized user on someone else’s account. But you may have to wait 12 months from when you cancelled the persona/business card to get the bonus on the personal card/business again.
For example, footnote 1 on the American Express Starwood personal and business credit card application says (bolding mine):
“Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months.“
I’m not a lawyer nor am I an English professor, but I interpret this to mean that I won’t get the sign-up bonus if I have had the Starwood SPG card within the last 12 months.
I also interpret this to mean that I *will* get the full sign-up bonus of 25,000 points (or the limited time offer of 30,000 points) if it has been more than 12 months from when I cancelled my last American Express Starwood personal or business credit card.
If American Express’ policy was to prohibit you from ever getting the bonus in future, why not just say “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product before?”
Inserting the words “…within the last 12 months,” leads me to believe that I will get the sign-up bonus if it is more than 12 months since I cancelled my American Express SPG card.
But again, I’m not a lawyer nor am I a skilled grammatician. I also don’t have any experience with these new changes, nor have I heard of readers experiences since the new terms were inserted. But please share your experience in the comments or via email!
If you do decide to apply again, please take a screenshot of the terms and conditions, in case you don’t get the sign-up bonus and need to support your claim later on.
Bottom Line: There’s no guarantee that you’ll get the bonus again, but the new terms on the American Express personal and business card seem to suggest that you may be able to get the bonus again 12 months after cancelling your card.If you do decide to do this, take lots of screenshots and keep good records of when you applied and cancelled cards.