February 27, 2016

American Express Changes Rules Around Business Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

If you read other miles and points blogs, it would seem the sky is falling.

In 2014, American Express changed their terms to limit sign-up bonuses on most personal credit/charge cards to once per lifetime.  Well it seems that change has been extended to business cards as well.

One Mile at a Time's Coverage

The Points Guy's Coverage

Travel Codex's Coverage

Prior to the change, the language allowed for another sign-up bonus on the same card product as long as the applicant didn't have the card for the previous 12 months.  So it was possible to get the card, meet the minimum spend, receive the bonus, cancel the card, and get it again a year later.

Amex Business Card Terms Changes

On the surface, this might seem to be a drastic change for our little game.  I have probably had each Amex OPEN product 2-3 times over the past four years.  I promise the sky is not falling.  The more restrictive policy will most certainly impact business owners who rely on American Express for credit and who couldn't care less about rules, sign-up bonuses, or travel rewards.  It makes a ton of sense that a business would start with a card, cancel it, and then think about using the product again in the future.  That may be due to a business change, an increase in need for travel, insurance, etc...  So I think the use case of a business wanting to get a card again (and receive the bonus) is very real.

Amex is in a very tough spot as a business at the moment and it makes sense to me that they would do everything possible to try and reduce their marketing spend to acquire new customers.

Once they realize (and they will get their eventually) that they are impacting their customer experience, retention, etc... they will likely unwind the change.  In terms of the impact to us, this is all part of the process.  One door may shut but there are still dozens open.

A key note here is that the change likely doesn't impact targeted bonuses.  I've had luck receiving the sign-up bonus on personal cards that I've had before (post 2014 terms change) via targeted email/mail offers.  So keep an eye on your mailbox(es) as that is the most likely avenue for receiving multiple bonuses for the same card.

No comments:

Post a Comment