How to get targeted for the best Amex welcome bonuses.

5/3/19: Added link to check for business card offers online (h/t DoC)
best Amex welcome bonuses

An easy way to find the best Amex welcome bonuses is to visit Frequent Miler’s Best Offers page.  But, that page focuses on the best publicly available offers.  This post details a number of ways to get targeted offers that may be even better.  American Express usually doesn’t offer welcome bonuses to those who have had the same card before, so it is especially important with Amex to sign up only for the very best offers.

Another advantage to seeking targeted offers is that some of these offers do allow you to get a bonus even if you’ve had the card before.  Double and triple check the fine print.  If your targeted offer does not say something like “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product” then you can get the bonus again!

Refer-a-Friend

Often, friend referrals have bigger welcome bonuses than direct offers.  In those cases, we display those refer-a-friend offers on our site instead of affiliate offers.  But you can do even better by having a family member (or even yourself) refer you to the card you want.  All you or your family member needs to make the referral is another Amex card — it doesn’t have to be the same kind as the card you want to apply for.  By doing it this way, you get the best welcome bonus plus a referral bonus.

For more details, see: Maximizing value from Amex multi-referrals.

Call Amex

130K phone call

If you’re an existing Amex customer it’s worth calling Amex to ask if you qualify for any special welcome bonus offers.  If you’re aware of good targeted offers, ask specifically about those as well.  This simple technique often works surprisingly well.

Check for pre-qualified offers online

To check for business cards, fill out the form found here.  For personal cards, follow these instructions:

Browse to AmericanExpress.com, click “Cards”, then click “Check for Pre-qualified Credit Card Offers”.  Unless Amex remembers your previous browsing sessions, you should then see a screen like this:

Fill out the form and see what happens.

Try a fresh or different browser

Amex signup bonus offers

Sometimes you’ll see different offers for the same Amex card by viewing the offers in different browsers.  It may be necessary to clear your browser’s cache beforehand or use other methods to avoid having the cache change your results. Even after doing so, I’ve sometimes seen a better offer when viewed through Firefox than Chrome (or vice versa).

CardMatch Tool

Via the CardMatch Tool some have found 100K offers for the Amex Platinum Card.

Try the CardMatch Tool to see if you are targeted for any good offers.  People often report finding offers of up to 100,000 points this way.  For example, my wife once signed up for a 100,000 point Amex Platinum offer that she found through this tool.

Enroll in Loyalty Programs

Amex partners with brands such as Delta, Marriott, and Hilton.  You may be able to find a better offer for their co-branded cards by signing up for their loyalty program.  After signing up online, you may see offers directly in your account or you may receive them through email or snail mail.

Offers by mail

Often, the best American Express offers are delivered via regular mail:

Upgrade instead of applying new

Amex often offers bonuses for upgrading from one version of a card to another.  While these offers aren’t always as good as new welcome bonuses, they have some advantages: 1) You keep your existing account number; 2) There is no new account on your credit report; and 3) There is no credit inquiry involved in upgrading.

Sometimes you’ll receive upgrade offers by mail or email.  And sometimes they can be found online.  Read more here: How to find Amex upgrade offers online.

Don’t expect to bump the bonus

With some card issuers, such as Chase or Citi, you can apply for an inferior offer and then call or send a secure message to ask to be bumped up to a better offer.  Unfortunately, Amex will not match higher welcome bonuses.  If you’re lucky, though, you might get a supervisor to offer you some courtesy points instead.

Last updated on December 9th, 2019

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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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.

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[…] Another advantage to seeking targeted offers is that some of these offers do allow you to get a bonus even if you’ve had the card before. Double and triple check the fine print. If your targeted offer does not say something like “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product” then you can get the bonus again!LEARN MORE! […]

Gabe
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Gabe

I never get Amex targeted offers via the CardMatch tool, just Chase and Capital One. I’ve been having my communication preferences set to receive anything from Amex but they never send anything about signing up for a new card.

Matthew Harlan
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Matthew Harlan

Same problem. I so wish I could figure this out. Read from others have the same situation and never seen a data point for finding a solution.

zagguru
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zagguru

Got an offer to upgrade from gold to platinum and get 60k MR. Never had the card before. Am I able to apply for a new card first, and then also upgrade my gold as well? Having two platinums

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[…] How to get targeted for the best Amex welcome bonuses. […]

DaninMCI
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DaninMCI

This is all great information but I struggle with confirming if I actually have the best offer. Say I find an AMEX 80,000 point offer how do I know that is the absolute best publicly available. I assume there is no way to really know 100% for any credit card not just AMEX.

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[…] How to get targeted for the best Amex welcome bonuses […]

Chuck
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Chuck

Hi Greg, where is your Amex Gold referral address?

Chuck
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Chuck

Just got the PAM’s referral. Thanks!