Amex business cards now once per lifetime

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In 2014, Amex added this restriction to their personal card offers:

Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.

Suddenly, it had become impossible to sign up for the same Amex cards over and over for additional bonuses.  However, their business cards kept the old language:

Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product within the last 12 months

So, it was possible to signup for business cards over and over, as long as you waited 12 months after cancelling.  Now, though, As reported by Miles To Memories, Amex has changed the terms on most of their business card offers to match the personal card restrictions:

Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.

Amex business once per lifetime

I checked a number of business card offers found on my Best Offers page and found the new language on all of the business cards except the SPG Business card which still has the old 12 month language.  The SPG business card shows the old 12 month language on the offer terms on the landing page, but on the application page the SPG business card also has the lifetime language (HT: FYI via comments below)

What to do

  1. If eligible, based on the 12 month language, consider signing up for the SPG business card right away.  Chances are good that it will be updated very soon.
  2. Look for targeted offers (for both personal and business cards) and examine the fine print.  If the fine print does not have the language stating “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product,” then you can get the bonus by signing up again.
  3. Wait for the best of the best offers for cards you haven’t had before.  You may only one chance to get a signup bonus with each card, so make the most of it.

Is this forever?

Not necessarily.  My understanding is that Amex had similar terms in the past but reversed them.  Will that happen again?

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24 Comments
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[…] Delta Platinum Business card before, I not only wanted another one, but I also wanted to see if the Amex “once per lifetime rule” applied per person or per business.  That is, if I apply under a different business will I qualify […]

[…] credit cards) has stopped letting people get signup bonuses for cards more than once (see: Amex business cards now once per lifetime).  So, it has become more important than ever before that people sign up for Amex cards only when […]

Joe S

Is there a way to check if my home address has been targeted for offers that I threw out? I’ve gotten a couple recently but didn’t even look at them.

[…] And they’ve extended the one bonus per card product per lifetime to include small business cards. […]

iahphx

With AMEX, is there a way to determine whether they think you’ve ever had the card before, and therefore whether you’ll get the sign-up bonus if you apply?

Nit

My guess is that Amex will retain the record for at least 7 years after account closing. So you will be able to apply after 7 years since account closing. Again, this is just a guess.

Mark O

I went into chat once and asked them if I had ever had a particular blue cash card since I had one in college 15 years ago and wasn’t sure which one and they said I had never had it so I was good.

mike

Since one generally has to provide their social security number (in addition to a Fed Tax ID) when applying for a business card, is it safe to assume that even if one has multiple businesses , the bonus for a business credit card is limited to once per individual’s lifetime?

wowwee

sounds right.

Frank

What about for my second business?

Jonathan

Any update on this?

poorstudentblog

I applied for SPG Business Card last month through my friend’s referral link. I just rechecked the link and found that the link is still working with 12 months term (even after click Apply now).

Glenn

Okay, here’s a question…

So I can’t get the bonus more than once. How about the waived annual fee? Could I pick up a new SPG Biz and get 5 stay night credits for no fee for that year anyway? How about the no-fee Platinum card? Can I get that again with no fee first year? Use it for Centurion Lounge access, get the $200 airline fee credit etc etc? Even though I’ve had it before? Its just the bonus we’re talking about here right?

Glenn

Oh well, just cancelled my current SPG Biz thinking I’d apply again in a year if the card still existed and there was a good offer. But whatever, the Hyatt 5% OPEN savings are gone, I don’t need the extra benefits of this card as an SPG Platinum and the card won’t exist at some point soon anyway. Too bad.

wowwee

yup. thats good for amex. why would they give you points when you dont even use the card? it is like giving free money.

good job amex. now pls translate that to more benefit for the REAL customers.

YES!!

FYI

SPG Business –> Learn More –> Price Term –> “still has the old 12 month language” –> Click Apply –> Price Term –> “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.”