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I expect that many readers are interested in the
Amex SPG lmited time 35K offers for both personal and business cards. I know that I am. Unfortunately, the offer terms state “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.” Amex apparently keeps track of whether or not you’ve had the card in the past 7 years. If you have had the card, you’re not eligible for the new bonus, even if you never got a signup bonus for the card before. Of course if you’ve had only the personal SPG card before, you can still get the business SPG card, and vice versa.
I was pretty sure that I had both the personal and business card within the past 7 years, but my credit card tracking spreadsheet only showed the personal card. Was it possible that I never had the business card? That would be great! But I also knew that I wasn’t always good about keeping my credit card application spreadsheet up to date. It was likely that I had the card before but forgot to record it.
To find out for sure, I logged into my Amex account and initiated a chat…
I asked if I had ever had the SPG business card before…
Rats! I have had the card before and so I’m not eligible for the bonus for the same business. But, I’ve had luck in the past with other Amex cards when I’ve signed up under a second business, so I’ll try that.
UPDATE: If you’re also interested in applying under a second business (with a different EIN), I highly recommend waiting to see the results of my experiment. I’m going to rush things forward to try to get results way ahead of this offer’s 4/5 expiration date.
UPDATE 2: My experiment did NOT work. I applied for the SPG business card under a second business with a different EIN (business tax ID), and I spent $5,000 on the card. When my statement closed, I had earned just the 5,000 points from spend, but did not earn signup bonus points. The business card currently offers 25,000 points after $5K spend, then 10K additional points with $2K additional spend, so I would have earned 25,000 points if this experiment had been successful.
No more than 5 credit cards
Another rule to watch out for is that Amex will allow each person to have no more than 5 credit cards. This count includes both personal and business credit cards. It’s OK to have more charge cards, but only up to 5 credit cards.
Amex credit cards (which count towards your 5 card max) include:
- SPG cards
- Delta cards
- Hilton cards
- All “Blue” cards (Blue Cash, Blue Sky, Blue for Business, etc.)
- EveryDay cards
- Plenti card
- The Mercedes-Benz credit card (but not the Mercedes-Benz Platinum charge card)
- Lowes Business
And, again, charge cards do not count towards your total. So, if you have any of these, they do not count towards your 5 credit card limit:
- Platinum cards, including the Business Platinum card
- Premier Rewards Gold
- Business Gold Rewards
- Business Green Rewards
- Green card
- Gold card
- The Plum Card
Employee cards and authorized user cards also do not count towards your total.
I currently have 4 Amex credit cards: 3 Delta cards (but I plan to cancel one of them), and the Old Blue Cash card.
My next steps:
- I’ll cancel the Delta card that I no longer want (because why not)
- I’ll sign up for the SPG business card under a second business (I legitimately have several separate businesses)
- I’ll meet minimum spend without buying gift cards. See: How to avoid Amex Clawbacks.
- I’ll wait and hope that the 2nd business approach works*
* UPDATE: If you’re also interested in applying under a second business (with a different EIN), I highly recommend waiting to see the results of my experiment. I’m going to rush things forward to try to get results way ahead of this offer’s 4/5 expiration date.
Data Point: Warning! You can’t rely solely on what AmEx Chat tells you.
Even if customer service tells you you’ve never had this card before, you need to verify with the “New Accounts Team” at 800-952-7560 to see if you’re eligible for the bonus. I just found out I am being denied the bonus for previously having this card even though Chat told me I hadn’t.
Nevermind, possible false alarm. Spoke with the New Accounts Team and another Customer Service rep, who both verified I never had the SPG Biz card before. Still, a bit concerned as to why the first chat rep was so adamant about me being denied the bonus.
ehhh… I was reassured the bonus would post after a few billing cycles, but I followed up with AmEX Chat again today. Now they tell me the system says the account was ineligible for the bonus because of having a previous account of the same product type, even though Customer Service told me the account was eligible. Rep opened up internal investigation with the “Specialist Team” to look at chat & call records. Moral of the story so far: AmEx customer service reps may not always have accurate information at their fingertips.
Ugh. Thanks for keeping us up to date.
Welp, it’s official. They denied the bonus after investigation. I
Boo Amex. So it didn’t help that you spoke with “…the New Accounts Team and another Customer Service rep, who both verified I never had the SPG Biz card before.” ?
That’s not fair. Did you ask for courtesy points? Supervisors have some latitude with that, I think
Further experiment results:
I spend the additional $3K needed for the extra 10K bonus just in case that would work. It didn’t work. I earned only the expected 3K points
I applied for 2 business cards becuase I have 2 businesses. This was before I saw your experiment. When I called in to ask what my promotions were for each one, they told me I had the 35,000 promotion for each one of them. Do you think this is false? I called separately. I have not met the qualifying spend so I don’t know if it’s valid
If you applied for both at around the same time, I think you have a real chance of getting both bonuses. The restriction is against already having had the card at the time you apply. In your case, it sounds like you didn’t already have the card for either application.
This would be very interesting if it works for you. Please report back to let us know whether or not you get both bonuses!
Results are in: No dice. I did NOT earn a signup bonus for my second SPG Biz card in which I signed up under a second business.
It’s not looking good. When I logged into my Amex account this morning, it showed that I had earned just 5,000 starpoints. But when I log into the associated SPG account, I don’t see any points so I guess it is still in-process. Once the 5K points show up in my SPG account I’ll declare the experiment complete
Hi Greg, any further update on this?
I’m still waiting. My statement closed today, but I haven’t yet earned any points. Even if the signup bonus doesn’t work, I should earn 1 point per dollar for spend. So, I’m hoping/expecting to have results by tomorrow or the next day. Once the 5K spend points post, I’ll either declare victory (if I also get the signup bonus 25K) or defeat.
Update: Finally received card and spend $5K right away. $5K spend should result in 25K bonus. If so, I’ll then spend the additional $3K to get the extra 10K bonus.
1) Wait until $5K charge moves from pending to actual
2) If necessary, call Amex to move up the billing close date to try to force quicker results
Update: I still have not received the card! This has been a very long “2 business days”. Before going on vacation last week I did an online chat to try to get the card expedited but that was useless. Just now I called and the rep said she would overnight it to me. She had no idea why it was held up so long.
Looking forward to hearing your updates!
I’m still waiting for my new card to appear so that I can knock out the spend. In the meantime I’ll pass along a note from a friend who had tried duplicating my Delta Plat business card experiment. He reports that he did NOT earn the bonus even though he used a new EIN.
While I understand the experiment and discussion is related to the SPG business card, my experience from last month using a new EIN (on a second legitimate business) for an AmEx Platinum account did not yield me a second bonus. I filed a complaint but customer service manager was unmoved. Just adding a data point.
Greg & others,
What about other banks (Chase, Citi, etc), do you have any data points as far as applying for business credit cards with business1 + SSN as well as business2 + EIN? Are the banks treating them as separate business entities period, or is the business under SSN seen differently? What about bonuses for checking accounts?
[…] American Express only count cards within a specific time frame. We believe that time frame is seven years, the issue with that of course is that some people don’t keep very good records (shame on you – use this to make it easier). A solution I’ve seen mentioned recently is that you can ask American Express via chat what cards you have/haven’t had before (Frequent Miler goes into some more detail about this here, rather than asking about one card I’…). […]
[…] Delta Platinum: 1 […]
Subscribing. Have both personal card under my SSN and business card under EIN1. Would like to get another biz card under EIN2. Have seen reports of it going either way from multiple sources so, as Raj found out, it might still be YMMV. I guess I might as well wait for Greg’s results.
FOLLOWING! I tried this yesterday and pulled the plug on the 2nd card when they wanted my SSN and I couldn’t get definitive answers on whether I’d ever get it. Thank you!
I was instantly approved for the SPG biz card today. I will quickly meet the spend requirements then we’ll see whether I earn the signup bonus. Stay tuned.
I should have mentioned: the website said that I’ll receive the card within 2 business days
Definitely interested to hear given my experience!
Thanks for confirming the second business option and the 7 yesr rule. Very helpful.
All: I’m going to try to get my business app in today and then meet min send ASAP. I should be able to report success or failure with the 2nd biz card approach before the April 5 deadline. So please check back here for updates before trying it yourself.
I’ve previously held the SPG biz card w/ my own SSN as the business tax ID
I plan to try to get a new SPG biz card and bonus by applying under a different business name and different tax id (a new EIN)
I can transfer my MRs earned on Platinum to SPG correct? I need to get my airline credits for this year and close that Platinum so as not to pay the annual fee again. I have only old Blue cash and Delta. I loved that Platinum…
Well… you can do so, but the transfer ratio is 3 to 1. 3 MRs become 1 SPG. Another option is to sign up for a 2nd card that earns MR points. As long as you have any MR card open, your MR points will be preserved.
Here are a few good options (off the top of my head), assuming you don’t want business cards:
A different Platinum card: The Mercedes-Benz and Morgan Stanley Platinum cards have 50K bonuses to offset the first year annual fee. Or the Ameriprise Financial one offers the first year free (but no bonus). Either way, you could get the airline fee credits this year and next.
Either Amex Everyday card: The Preferred is a great card to keep if you spend a lot in its bonus categories. The no-fee card is great to keep primarily as a way to keep MR points alive forever
So I will get both the SPG and another card like the Amex everyday because they combine pulls right? Thanks very much.
I can’t promise that they’ll combine pulls: when signing up for two Amex credit cards on the same day, they usually throw the second one into a queue for later review and that sometimes causes a second pull. You might be able to get around that by calling in on the same day to try to speed up the review.
This offer is okay but in reference to a previous posting; the City National Bank Crystal Card is back with a 70k point offer. Went into the branch in San Francisco on Fremont St and they approved me without a bank account.
Congratulations! That’s a great card to get. We posted the offer but I haven’t written much about it because most people are not eligible. Make sure to get three AUs so that you can get $1000 in airline fee reimbursements each year
Can you tell us about that card?
Never heard of it…
Greg, when u say different business, do u mean a different TIN? I’ve only used my SSN on all of my biz cards.
Yes definitely different tax IDs
So you’re specifically saying we can try for a biz card bonus again but don’t use our SSN again, we should use a true EIN, correct?
Also – is it a bad idea to apply for a new biz card with an ein If I have a different biz with my SSN biz attached to it?
I’d recommend waiting until you hear the results of my experiment, but yes that’s the idea: to apply under a different business name and different tax ID (EIN).
“is it a bad idea to apply for a new biz card with an ein If I have a different biz with my SSN biz attached to it?”
That’s exactly what I’m testing. It worked for me last year with the Delta Platinum biz card, but I want to verify that it still works.
I’m curious. Do the Amex CHARGE cards count toward Chase’s 5/24 rule, since they are not CREDIT cards?
Yes, they count. They are personal accounts. The business accounts do not count.
To elaborate on Ken’s answer:
Yes, just like Amex credit cards, Amex personal charge cards count, but business charge cards do not count towards 5/24
I’m a big fan and have benefited greatly from this blog.
I’m wondering your source for Amex only keeping records for 7 years.
I chatted with AMEX, who has no record of my SPG biz which I product changed to a Simply Cash Biz in ’08 or ’09. Not worried about a credit pull, but would really hate to redirect all that spend for the next 6 months for nothing.
Thanks Christine B.
I’ve read the 7 year thing in multiple places, but I have yet to see hard proof. One source, example, is DoC, here: http://www.doctorofcredit.com/american-express-consider-lifetime/
If the Amex chat rep has no record of your card, you should be OK but hopefully you have screen shots just in case?
I signed up for SPG biz through your link. Instantly approved. Fortunately(?) I have enough legitimate spend to knock out the first $5K spend in short order. If the first 25K points post, I’ll do the additional spend for the remaining 10K points. Fingers crossed!
With no annual fee the first year and the opportunity for AMEX sync offers open only to Biz cards (and authorized users), I’m thinking this is a good option regardless.
And it won’t count toward 5/24 anyway, so no loss there.
Yes excellent points.
The entire cost of the experiment is in a hard inquiry (not a big deal) and in having to meet the spend requirement. Of course you’ll still earn 5K SPG points for your $5K spend so it can hardly be described as a waste.
And benefits include:
1) possibility of getting the bonus
2) Ability to save money with Amex Offers
3) free Sheraton lounge access while the card is open
4) Future ability to earn referral bonuses
There may be some benefit in having SPG cards if/when Marriott / SPG create a new merged program. What that benefit would be, though — I don’t know. Also I doubt that would happen within the next 12 months.
Just completed $7K spend in the past 2 months on my SPG biz card. Had SPG biz in the distant past, but apparently not in the past 7 years. Bonus 25K points just posted! Will finish off the remaining spend for the additional 10K points.
I now have 2 personal AMEX (Everyday and SPG) and 2 biz (Cash Back and SPG). I’ve had a personal SPG forever but now plan to cancel it when the annual fee is due unless they offer a nice retention bonus, since the biz version give me all the benefits I need.
I’m not even a SPG girl, but I love the Marriott Los Suenos Costa Rica and have my eyes on a few other family-friendly resort properties.
Please keep us updated on the multiple business approach to the SPG card. I also have multiple businesses and would like to have multiple SPG cards. I have different Amex cards for two of them (Blue for Biz & existing SPG Biz). However, they appear under my same Amex login. That leaves me 2 questions:
1. Will they approve a 2nd SPG Biz card for a different business?
2. Will the 2nd SPG Biz card earn the sign-up bonus?
I’ll report my results in the comments of this post as I go forward. For the record, I have had luck with other business cards (Delta Platinum, for example) where I was both approved for a 2nd card and earned the signup bonus all because I signed up with a different business
5K in organic spend is lot to blow through if they disallow the rewards for a 2nd business. Thanks for taking one for the team! 🙂
I tried this after reading about FM’s success last year with a different biz card. I never got the bonus 🙁
Raj: sorry to hear that! Which card did you apply for? Did you use a different EIN?
Greg – I applied for the SPG biz. After reading your success story, I applied using a separate EIN (I have a couple of legit businesses also). Bonus never posted so I’m curious to see if you get the bonus.
This makes me wonder if there is some other factor besides separate business name and EIN that is in play here? When I had success with the Delta card it was the first time I used this particular business with an Amex card so it’s possible that it has to be a new to Amex business. I’ll find out soon since I used the same business for my new SPG card.
Can you think of any other factors that might be in play? I find it hard to believe that it is random whether it works or not.
I’m curious about this as well.
Pump Baby Pump Pump Pump it up
While I do have affiliate links for the SPG cards, I would have written this same article regardless, just as I have done with many offers in the past for which I do not have affiliate links.