Amex launches a sneak attack in the war on gaming

Amex Platinum for Less

Amex has been tightening the rules of the game for the past year or two, and they are at it again with a new term added regarding eligibilty to earn a welcome offer on a new card. In addition to excluding those who have or have had a card before from earning a new welcome offer, Amex application pages now state:

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.

Ouch. Amex is effectively saying that they reserve the right to decide whether or not you are eligible for a welcome offer if they think you’re a little too greedy. If, in their estimation, you have earned one too many Amex intro offers, they could deny you the bonus you expected when you opened the card.

This is obviously a hugely negative change. Doctor of Credit points out that this isn’t necessarily a new policy per se as some people have applied for offers absent of the typical lifetime language and not seen their welcome offer post despite being approved and meeting spending requirements (I’m not aware of this being widespread, but it has happened to some). It’s possible that they added this term as legal cover for those situations where they feel like someone is abusing targeted offers.

That said, the addition of this sentence seems to give Amex broad leeway to deny a bonus, at least in terms of their stated exclusions.

It is far too early to know the implications of this change. We don’t yet know how they would apply this rule — whether it would mean denying applications from those users who have opened and closed “too many” accounts by their algoritm or whether it will be something subject to manual review after approval. Will they let you know before you meet the spending requirement? Will you only find out when points don’t post? Will they include this sentence and only enforce it in extremely isolated incidents? We don’t know the answers yet, but we know this much: the Amex war on gaming is still on. See these other posts for developments from last year:

The Amex war on gaming heats up
Amex fires another shot in the war on gaming

H/T: US Credit Card Guide

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Answered: Amex will tell you in advance if you're not eligible for welcome bonus - Frequent MilerCaveDwellerTKWwise2uEstimating risk in Amex's new rule - Frequent Miler Recent comment authors

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bob
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bob

Hmm had a personal platinum, then opened a mercedes…wondering if i will get the bonus

Alex
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Alex

Several data points suggesting you will

Frank
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Frank

I thought the MB version was gone.

Kalboz
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Kalboz

Maybe new written rule but they always had a limit of 5-6 cards.

Also, I have had the SPG AMEX card at least 5 times with sign up bonus in the last 8 years or so. And I still have the Biz SPG AMEX card. Recently, I applied again to the personal SPG card and got the $200 bonus after spending $1000 and staying at Marriott property. More importantly I got the 5 nights credit added to my SPG account that I needed to get the LT Gold status with the Marriott on August 1st.

Frozy
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Frozy

I would think it’s not an algorithm, it’s manually reviewed by the infamous “concerns department/RAT”

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[…] Nick reported yesterday in the post “Amex launches a sneak attack in the war on gaming,” Amex has added new terms to their credit card offers.  Previously almost all Amex signup […]

wise2u
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wise2u

once again the report says “the sky is falling, the sky is falling” until the data points come in, this is just fodder for worrywarts

CaveDweller
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CaveDweller

Yes ,” Book it Dano ” ..If u don’t get it Apply to another Bank . Toook me 20 years to figured that out I’m just a Blue Collar worker !!

CHEERs

TKW
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TKW

AMEX is pathetic in war. Right hand doesn’t know what the other is doing. They issue conflicting statements to supervisory authorities. It’s a skirmish at best.

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[…] more restrictive language to its applications regarding eligibility for the welcome bonus (See: Amex launches a sneak attack in the war on gaming), stating that an applicant may be denied the bonus based on the number of American Express cards […]