American Express

Amex looks to clamp down on churners

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Some mildly alarming news about American Express “Welcome Bonuses” comes out of Doctor of Credit (via US Credit Card Guide) today.

Specifically, they have added the following new language to some new card offer pages:

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.

Currently, the deal with Amex bonuses is two-fold:

  • One new bonus per cardmember per card product per lifetime (thought to be repeatable after 7+ years after cancellation)
  • A limit of 5 (sometimes 6) Amex cards total between personal and small business credit cards (charge cards like Gold/Plat excluded)

Other issuers have various policies about signup bonuses. Chase has the widely known 5/24 fule while Citi uses a 1/24 policy per card but currently has no wide-reaching rule.

Regarding Amex and this new language, I think it’s clear that it’s unclear.

Meaning that they aren’t saying they have a new 5/24 type policy nor are they saying they aren’t developing one or if this new language is a warning shot or indicating some sort of new policy they aren’t or haven’t disclosed yet.

They also make it very vague with regards to what happens if you exceed their criteria for new cards. I’m quite sure they can’t simply give you the card and later tell you that you weren’t eligible for the bonus. So I suspect this will mean denials with “too many new accounts” as the reason.

I looked up some cards on the American Express website and Small Business cards do also have this new language. It seems unilateral.

Please let us know if you get a denial stating too many new cards or anything else related to a new Amex card app.

Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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