Update: This offer for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
Well this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.
Amex’s new welcome bonus eligibility tool
Last week I wrote about how Amex added a new welcome bonus eligibility tool. Most American Express credit cards have a “once in a lifetime” policy, where you can’t earn the welcome bonus on a card if you’ve had the card before. For example, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express ($450 annual fee) has the following terms on the application page:
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.
Essentially if you apply for a card and won’t be eligible for the welcome bonus, Amex will tell you in the form of a pop-up at the time you apply for a card. In theory this should account for those who aren’t eligible because they’ve had the card in the past, and those who aren’t eligible because of “other factors” (which is language that was also recently added to applications).
My experience applying for an Amex card
I decided to submit an application for The Business Platinum® Card from American Express. Based on looking at my online Amex profile, this is a card I’ve had before.
I don’t know exactly when I had the card in the past, though I think it goes back several years. And the other interesting wrinkle is that I think I didn’t apply for the card directly. Rather if I recall correctly, I had applied for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN ($175 annual fee, waived for the first 12 months), and then accepted an upgrade offer to this card. At least that’s what I recall, though I could be mistaken.
I’ve had the card before, but I’m not 100% sure if eligibility is generally based on having had the card before, or having received a welcome bonus on the card before (and I certainly did receive some points when I upgraded to the card).
I submitted my application, and was expecting a pop-up saying that I wasn’t eligible because I had the card before. To my surprise, the application was submitted, and I got a “pending review” message. I phoned up the number they asked me to call, and they said a decision would be made within a couple of days. I’m not sure why that is, but I suspect it’s unrelated to anything regarding the welcome bonus eligibility.
This makes me wonder if I am in fact eligible for the bonus, and if so, whether it’s because:
- I initially signed up for the Business Gold Rewards Card more than seven years ago (at least I think that’s the case)
- I never received the full welcome bonus on the Business Platinum Card, but rather only received an upgrade offer
- There’s just a glitch with this new feature, and it should be showing a message but isn’t
Why the Amex Business Platinum Card is compelling
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 within the first three months
- Earn a further 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending an additional $15,000 within the first three months
The card comes with all kinds of great perks, including:
- A $200 annual airline fee credit
- Access to Amex Centurion Lounges
- Access to Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta same day
- A Priority Pass membership
- Free Hilton Honors and Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status
- Access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts
- Access to the Amex International Airline Program, which can save you a ton on premium airfare
- A TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry free credit, once every four years
- 10 Gogo wifi passes each calendar year
I also have The Platinum Card® from American Express, so some of those benefits are redundant. The way I view it, the $200 annual airline fee credit and 10 Gogo wifi passes per year (which are exclusively on the business version of the card) nearly justify the annual fee, so what I really want from this card is the ability to get a 35% refund on select Pay With Points transactions.
For someone who doesn’t have either version of the Platinum Card, this is especially lucrative though.
I’m not really sure what to make of this. I’ve had the Amex Business Platinum Card before, and if I recall correctly I got it as part of an upgrade offer from the Business Gold Rewards Card. I was expecting that I’d apply and receive a message saying that I’m not eligible, but that’s not what happened.
Anyone have a guess of what’s going on? Have you applied for a card since Amex added these “alerts” to their applications, and if so, what was your experience like?