It looks like Amex is tightening up the welcome offer restrictions on some of its cards. Recently we saw new restrictions added to welcome offers on Delta Amex cards, and now we’re seeing new restrictions added on the Amex Gold Card, as flagged by Frequent Miler.
In this post:
Amex adds limits on Gold Card welcome offer
Card issuers have different policies when it comes to getting approved for and earning welcome offers on cards. Historically it has been possible to earn the welcome offer on the Amex Gold Card as long as you don’t have (or haven’t had) that exact card, or the Premier Rewards Gold Card (which is simply what the card used to be known as). This is in line with Amex’s “once in a lifetime” policy.
Well, that’s no longer the case. The terms of the welcome offer on the Amex Gold Card now state the following:
You may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer if you have or have had this Card, the Premier Rewards Gold Card, the Platinum Card, the Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Charles Schwab, the Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley or previous versions of these Cards.
So now if you have or have had any version of The Platinum Card® from American Express (review), you’re no longer eligible for the welcome offer on the Amex Gold Card. Note that you can still apply for and be approved for the card, you just can’t earn the welcome offer.
What’s the logic for this new restriction?
In general, credit card issuers add restrictions to credit card welcome offers in order to encourage profitable behavior, and avoid gaming.
The trend here from Amex seems to be that if you have (or have had) a more premium card, then you’re not eligible for the welcome offer on a less premium version of that card. I sort of get the logic of that for a Delta Amex Card — for example, if you have the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card (review), there’s almost no incremental value to having the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card (review). So if you choose to apply for it, the welcome offer might be a major motivation, rather than an intent to spend on the card in the long run.
However, you’d think it would be a bit different in this case. The Amex Platinum Card has strong perks but not a very compelling rewards structure, while the Amex Gold Card has an incredibly compelling rewards structure. The two cards are great complements to one another, and I think there’s a great case to be made for having both cards.
Amex seems to have a different perspective. I’m sure this is based on some data that we obviously don’t have access to, so I’d be fascinated to know what that is…
There are significant new restrictions for earning the welcome offer on the Amex Gold Card. Previously you were eligible for the welcome offer on this card as long as you don’t have or haven’t had the exact card (or the Premier Rewards Gold Card).
Meanwhile now you’re not eligible for the welcome offer on this card if you have or have had the Amex Platinum Card. This is a pretty major policy change from American Express, and I imagine we’re only going to see similar restrictions spread to more cards.
What do you make of these changes to the Amex Gold Card welcome offer language?