New Feature: AMEX Will Tell You Up Front If They’re Not Going to Give You a Welcome Offer

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American Express has recently added language to their credit card terms that give them the right to withhold welcome offers from folks they think are only interested in the intro bonus.

Want to Use an AMEX Welcome Bonus to Get Big Travel?  This New Tool Will Tell You If You Qualify

The new terms say:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

Now, American Express has added a new element to their application page, to forewarn you if you’re not eligible for the welcome bonus!

AMEX Welcome Bonus Eligibility Tool

When you apply for an AMEX card and click “submit“, the American Express website will pop up with a warning if you are not eligible for the welcome bonus.  So you can abandon the application before AMEX pulls your credit score!

I tried applying for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.  Because I already have the card, I am NOT eligible for the welcome offer.  Because AMEX only allows folks to earn the bonus on each card ONCE per lifetime.

Sure enough, when I submitted my application, AMEX warned me that I’m not eligible for the welcome offer.  And I canceled my application!

The AMEX Welcome Bonus Tool Will Save a Lot of Folks an Unpleasant Surprise Later

You can also be denied the intro bonus if AMEX thinks you regularly open and close cards just to earn the welcome bonus.  They won’t necessarily decline your application, but you won’t be eligible for the intro bonus.

If AMEX thinks you fall under this category, you’ll get this message:

Based on your history with American Express welcome offers, introductory APR offers, or the number of cards you have opened and closed, you are not eligible to receive this welcome offer.

We have not yet performed a credit check. Would you still like to proceed?

Bottom Line

While it’s discouraging the direction AMEX is taking with their welcome bonus rules, the new element they’ve added to their application page is a big help to folks in the miles & points community.

Most of us have lots of cards, and it’s courteous for AMEX to let us know ahead of time if they’re going to withhold an intro bonus from us.  We can now apply for cards without spending months wondering if we’ll receive bonus miles & points!

What do you think about this new tool?

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals. He has also authored and edited for The Points Guy.

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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