Amex is continuing to tighten up the welcome offer restrictions associated with some of its cards. In recent months we’ve seen new restrictions on the Amex Gold Card and the Amex EveryDay Card, and now we’re seeing new restrictions added to the Amex Green Card, as flagged by Frequent Miler.
Amex adds limits on Green Card welcome offer
The American Express® Green Card (review) is a a lucrative card, and one of the best cards for earning Membership Rewards points.
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 Green Card as long as you don’t have (or haven’t had) that exact card. 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 Green Card now state the following:
You may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer if you have or have had this Card, the Platinum Card, the Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley, the Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Charles Schwab, the American Express Gold Card or previous versions of these Cards.
Ouch. So now if you have or have had any version of The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) or the American Express® Gold Card (review), you’re no longer eligible for the welcome offer on the Amex Green 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 Green 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 Green 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.
Meanwhile now you’re not eligible for the welcome offer on this card if you have or have had the Amex Platinum Card or Amex Gold Card. We’re continuing to see these restrictions added to more Amex cards, and I suspect Amex isn’t done yet…
What do you make of these changes to the Amex Green Card welcome offer language?