Answered: Amex will tell you in advance if you’re not eligible for welcome bonus

Last week, it was widely reported that Amex had added 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 they have opened and closed and their history with bonus offers. We wondered whether you would have any way to know your eligibility status before meeting the minimum spending requirements (and Greg wrote his analysis: Estimating risk in Amex’s new rule). We now have an answer: Amex will tell you that you are not eligible for the welcome bonus before you finish submitting the application. JT Genter at The Points Guy reports applying for the Platinum card, which he has had in the past, and receiving a pop-up with the following language:

John, because you have or have had The Platinum Card, you are not eligible to receive the welcome offer.

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

There are then buttons to either continue with the application or cancel the application. The option to cancel is said to withdraw the application, though JT reports still receiving an email from Amex stating that his application was under review (despite the fact that he had canceled it). It is possible that the system is not yet perfected.

A similar pop-up is being reported for those who have opened “too many” Amex cards. If that is the case and Amex intends to deny the welcome offer, the following text appears in the pop-up:

[Name], based on your history with American Express welcome offers, or the number of cards you have opened and closed, you are not elgibile to receive this welcome offer.

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

We still don’t know how many is too many, but this new tool should provide much-needed clarity in terms of knowing where you stand before you even submit your application. That’s a welcome change compared to the thought of applying and spending on the card while wondering whether or not the expected welcome bonus would arrive.

Further, this should add concrete clarity when applying for targeted offers absent the lifetime language and/or when you aren’t sure if you have had a card before or are applying after not having a particular card for many years — you should now know whether or not Amex’s computer identifies you as being eligible for the welcome bonus or not based on whether or not you receicve this pop-up.

It will be interesting to see how reliably this pop-up works and how widely applied the “based on your history with American Express” pop-up is reported. Hopefully, we can piece together rough guidelines based on who sees the new pop-up about having opened and closed too many cards. If you receive the second pop-up (about not being eligible due to your history with American Express), feel free to add your data point in the comments. I’d suggest including the number of Amex cards you have opened and closed in the past year as a starting point in trying to determine a rule.

H/T: The Points Guy

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.

More articles by Nick Reyes »

Regarding comments: Comments posted at the bottom of Frequent Miler pages and posts are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

7 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
4 Comment authors
PFenskeEricCaveDwellerPlayerx Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Notify of

This could actually good for churners. Just keep trying different sign up links until you get a sign up that doesn’t show the non-eligibility notice, and keep proof (screenshots, videos) to show that you were not shown an ineligibility notice, as proof to argue with AMEX for the welcome bonus later if needed.


That’s good they changed their Rubbish .About 6 months ago I called they looked never had this card before 2 months later I called . Where are my points I spent enough u had this card before we DON”T CARE U CALLED . It’s in the fine print that covers everything .
Lots of Banks out there and very hard to spend on that high fee card..


[…] tool that pops up to let you know when you are not eligible to earn the welcome bonus (See: Answered: Amex will tell you in advance if you’re not eligible for welcome bonus), reports are that this tool is only working for consumer cards, not yet for business cards like […]


[…] I accidentally applied for the SPG card.  A reader had asked about the new feature where Amex will warn you if you’ve had a card before and are not eligible for the bonus.  I had never seen the warning myself except as posted on other blogs, so I picked a card that […]


[…] Amex will now warn you during the application process if you’re not eligible for the welcome b….  This is key because it means that there is no risk to trying.  If you cancelled your Surpass card before it turned into the Ascend card, you might have a shot at the welcome bonus. […]


I recently applied and was approved for the AMEX Starwood Preferred guest luxury card with the $450 annual fee and one free 50k night each anniversary. I have never had this card before so I thought I would apply. I called before the application and was told I have would be eligible and applied. I was approve instantly. After I received my card and was again told if I spend $5k in three months I would receive the 100,000 point bonus offer. I after spending $5k in 3 months I called and asked when I could expect the 100,000 bonus points I was told it would be after 90 days. After 90 days I called again and was told I would not be receiving my 100,000 point bonus. AMEX stated they exercised there new clause that could decline anyone for any reason. WOW…. Have a hard time believing your posts that say AMEX is the easiest place to get a new card….


Denied the 60K bonus on a pre-qualified Amex Platinum offer for “too many”. Had cancelled an Ameriprise Platinum in 2016 as well as SPG Biz. Last Amex opened was Everyday in 2016 to preserve Membership Awards points. Have kept SimplyCash Biz and SPG/Bonvoy personal open for many years. Excellent FICO. Too Many???