Amex adds once in a lifetime family language to Gold Card

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American Express has long had a rule that only allows customers to get a credit card welcome offer “once in a lifetime,” which in practice means once every 5-7 years. However, the various flavors of Amex Platinum cards were traditionally considered different products, thus allowing folks to get the welcome offers on each version of the card.

As of last month, that’s no longer the case. The consumer and Schwab Platinum cards now have terms which state that previous or current cardholders of any of the three Platinum cards are ineligible for a new cardmember bonus. Morgan Stanley applicants continue to be eligible for a welcome offer whether or not they have the consumer or Schwab Platinum cards.

Today, Amex expanded that “family rule” even further, extending it to the Gold card. You’re now ineligible to receive a welcome offer on a new Gold card if you’ve previously had the Gold, Platinum, Schwab Platinum OR Morgan Stanley Platinum cards. That’s a big family.

a close up of a credit card

What’s changed

The American Express Gold card now has the following language in its terms and conditions:

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® from American Express, American Express Platinum Card® by Charles Schwab, The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley or previous versions of these Cards.

It’s important to note that the terms for the various Platinum cards have not changed. You’re still eligible for welcome offers on any Platinum if you’ve already had, or currently have, a Gold card.

a graph drawn on a chalkboard
Chart showing the change over time in how many Amex consumer welcome offers you can get

Quick Thoughts

I gotta say, for me, this one came straight out of left field. The last card that I thought would have a “family” rule attached to it was the Gold card…primarily because there’s only one card in the family! Amex surprised us though, letting us know that it’s evidently a long-lost, distant relative of the Platinum cards.

The Gold card is very distinct from the Platinum cards and it’s strange that Amex is lumping them together. The $250 annual fee is less than half the Platinum’s $695 yearly tribute, and the card serves as a daily spending workhorse due to its 4x earning in both dining and supermarket categories. They’re such different (and potentially complimentary) products, that it seems odd to disincentivize Platinum cardholders from getting a Gold.

Amex has done a similar thing here as it did when it added family language to the Delta cards: getting a more “premium” card is encouraged, downgrading to a less-expensive card is not. For folks getting started, it’s still possible to earn three welcome offers from the familial quartet: start with the Gold card, then get either the Schwab or “vanilla” Platinum, then get the Morgan Stanley Platinum last. However, those Platinum cardholders who’ve never had the Gold are now left out in the cold.

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Rychardus

With great power comes great responsibility. AMEX isn’t for kids.

Andrew

Hello

David C

Thank you for the AMEX updates! Try not to be disheartened. There are still offers that have no lifetime languages that Amex offer from time to time, when you log into your account. I just applied to their business platinum 150K +50K business checking ( I did not apply to the business checking off…yet) and got just approved for my 3rd buisness Plat card today. However, I agree that there is a concerning trend with American Express with all these surprising change in application restrictions.

David C

Shout out: Sign on bonus for the business gold is now 120K with $10K spend, first three months. Have liftime language restrictions.

Jefffrey

This article is accurate. I just applied for the gold card and was informed I would not qualify for the signup bonus because I have a Platinum card. Crazy. Not sure which mental giant approved this policy, but it’s clearly time to disengage with AmEx.

Jamie Cannon

This is heartbreaking! I need am ex points and gold was next on my list. Oh well. Guess I waited too long.

jerry

Amex showed their hand during Covid. When this “bad recession” finally takes hold and people start cancelling their Plat and Gold cards, You’ll see Amex open ups the flood gates again and remove all this language from their cards.

Last edited 8 months ago by jerry
Mser

Amex rarely backs down from an idiotic decision. They’re pushing people to Chase in a big way.

JohnB

@jerry

I agree. Many CC lenders have tightened application rules, in the last 6 months. People with good credit may be the only applicants in the future. If someone can carry all these cards let them and pay their AFs, let them. On the other hand, Amex can identify churners and just not give those people SUBs. Which is what the pop-up window does.

John

This made me jump on the business gold today. Was planning on it anyway, but these “family” rules are coming quickly and out of nowhere. Yikes!

Kirk

If they continue with this pace, this is coming to the Amex Hilton cards, too, right? Might want to sign up for them soonish, though current offers are not as good as a few months ago with the free night certs.

Sandy Needham

Why would you want a Gold AND a Platinum card?

A frequent visitor to frequent miler

Because they have different bonus categories. With the Platinum you get 5x on flights booked directly with the airlines but only 1x on groceries and restaurants. But it gives you lounge access including Centurion lounges. The Gold gets 4x on restaurants and groceries. So if you want to a travel card the Platinum is great but it doesn’t help with your grocery and restaurant spend. That’s where the gold comes in.

dee

Got theAmex card 49 years ago with no bonus-There was no such thing in those days. Amex is getting uglier and uglier with the treatment of their card holders!!! ESP THE HORRENDOUS LIMIT ON VISITS THAT THEY ARE IMPLEMENTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Malik

So you better get the Gold before the Platinum if you ever plan to get the Gold otherwise it is not worth it. Wowzer.

TravelGeek

Probably too late for many.

JohnB

The better plan now is have P2 get the card that you don’t have.

[…] 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. […]

Jeff

Any good NLL offers right now?

David C

american express business plat 150K + business checking $50K

Mser

Where is a link that works?

David C

Sorry. I applied on my pop up link when I signed in and got approved. It’s no longer have that pop up after my approval, yesterday. This was my 3rd Amex business Platinum (I was approved for my 2nd business Platinum on May 2023). Log into American express from time to time and look out for those card sign up offers in between other Amex offers. Read the fine prints and see if they are NLL offers or not.

Nathan

All the new “family” language is turning me off from Amex.If I can’t get a sign up bonus for getting a card I’ve never had, then I won’t pay them an annual fee. I’ll send my business to Chase, Capital One, Citi, hell, even Wells Fargo.