Last Chance to Sign-Up for an American Express Card With an Extended Welcome Bonus Spending Period

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American Express has taken a bold step to help their cardmembers qualify for new welcome bonuses during this difficult time. If you've recently applied—or are planning to apply—for a new Amex consumer or small business credit card, you'll now have an additional three months to meet the minimum spending requirement.

Screenshot of Amex's website showing a banner that cardmembers an additional 3 months to earn your welcome bonus

Extended Spending Period

Given the current global health crisis, we've anticipated banks tightening approvals, limiting credit limits, and devaluing sign-up bonuses. However, Amex has decided to make an effort to help their cardmembers.

With the majority of the U.S. practicing home-isolation, a lot of people have found themselves unable to meet the minimum spending requirements on new accounts. People naturally aren't spending as much money right now as they normally do. With this in mind, Amex has decided to offer new cardholders three additional months to meet those spending requirements with these terms:

  • Eligible Cards are U.S. Consumer and Business Cards issued by American Express National Bank to a Basic Card Member.
  • This extension applies to all approvals—assuming the applicant is eligible for a welcome offer—dated between December 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020.

Opportunities Presented

The opportunity presented with this new policy is two-fold. For one, it tremendously helps those who had recently applied for a new card, but suddenly found themself stuck at home spending less than normal. Depending on the welcome bonus, three additional months should easily give you enough time to meet almost any minimum spending requirement.

Additionally, an extended spending period could make this an awesome time to grab a new Amex card. If you've been on the fence about whether you could meet a certain minimum spending requirement or not, consider now if it would be possible with an additional three months.

I could see this specifically applying to some of Amex's higher spending requirements, such as those for the The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express cards.

If the majority of your expenses are currently grocery-related, you could consider applying for one of the many Amex cards that reward cardmembers for grocery spend. Some of our favorites include the:

All of these cards typically only give new cardmembers three months to meet the spending requirement to earn the welcome bonus. That means that if you're approved before May 31st, you'll be allowed a total of six months to meet the spending requirement.

A Note on Overspending

With that said, it's worth reiterating that we always advise against overspending in an effort to earn credit card rewards. This is even more crucial now, when a lot of people may be facing financial difficulty while being stuck at home. If you're struggling to meet a minimum spend requirement—even with an additional three months—don't go out of your way to make purchases you wouldn't otherwise make.

Final Thoughts

This is a big move on Amex's part. It's a perfect way to balance assisting new customers who are struggling to meet spending requirements while simultaneously incentivizing new applicants. At a time when we were anticipating banks tightening restrictions, it's nice to see Amex making a move to benefit their customers.

Does this affect you or make you consider applying for an Amex card?

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  • It is regrettable that the promotion has not been extended.

  • Looks like a good offer. Unfortunately, it’s not offered in Canada. Amex Canada is not as generous despite a higher annual fee charged.

  • Well to be able to take advantage of this you do have to be approved for a bonus. So far Amex and done nothing but deny me for whatever reason I don’t know. I do like their MR program and earning Hilton points. The only points why I would even hold their cards. They have left a bad taste in my mouth and I don’t know if I’ll apply for any other cards.

  • I don’t have any immediate need for more points, but the extended window for minimum spend is tempting…

  • I would suggest extending for at least 6 months. It has already been 3 months of isolation where you got nowhere to fly/travel and thus spend money.

  • The extension to 6 months for meeting min spend is appreciated!

  • This is a good opportunity for those who can spend. For me, cash is king since we do not know how long the corona virus lockdown will last.

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    This will encourage me to sign up. I let my subscription expire so i’ll need to renew. In times like these of excessive panic, its good to have options.

  • Innovative move from American Express. It’s the least a card issuer should be doing understanding the market economics.

  • Thank you! Do you know if this applies to people living abroad?

  • I have also got the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and they have extended my spend period from 3 months to 6 months due to the corona virus. I think you have to ask them for it. I asked for it thru the mobile app by sending an email to customer service.

  • good way to grab new customers, now how about something for long time members?

    • This is a really good thing that AMEX has done. I can also report that my husband had just applied for a Chase Ink cash card and Chase agreed to extend the period within which he had to meet the threshold bonus by another 3 months — so 6 months total and that will make it really easy to earn the bonus.

      If you are contemplating signing up for the 100,000 mile bonus United credit cards that Chase presently offers right now, I would call them up after acceptance and see if they will extend the threshold bonus period by another 3 months — that will make it much easier to earn the bonus, especially with such a high dollar bonus threshold of I believe $10,000.00!!

    • They offer something like free online Yoga app for the long standing members LOL

    • There should be more rewards for loyalty.

  • This was very nice of American Express as we are limited in our ability to spend on credit cards during this lockdown period.

  • It doesn’t affect my decision to consider applying for a new Amex card, but it’s certainly a nice gesture and the first I’ve seen among credit card companies. This is nice especially considering that it seemed to be the opinion of many on this blog that banks would be tightening restrictions.

  • That’s a smart move on their part. In the present climate, it is a bit more challenging to meet minimum spends as people are having to stretch their incomes further with lost revenue and wages. Hope this enables both Amex and cardholders to have a win-win situation as surely both are finding it a challenging time.

  • I do not think that 3 additional months are sufficient due to the severity of the pandemic.

    • 3 months is a logical first step that mirrors current expectations of shelter in place orders. However, you could be right that they determine they need to extend restrictions longer. And, if you are, I would hope you see another extension by AmEx down the road.

    • They should extend it by 12 months.

    • I agree. I’ve charged two flights to my AmEx card and both of them were cancelled by the airlines at the last minute. Flights awards are tricky to earn and even trickier to redeem in the foreseeable future.

  • That’s crazy. We just need them to extend their fee credits now. Had a Hilton resort booked to use the $250 credit and can no longer use it.

  • I wish Chase would do the same. I have a welcome bonus that will expire because I am under house arrest and a lot of the stuff I am buying has been delayed due to shortages and lack of delivery trucks.

  • Phil Jones says:

    On the Amex GOLD card, we usually use our “free” $10 a month at Cheescake Factory. It is now closed.

    We checked on Deal Dash, etc., and by the time you add in their service fee and a tip to the driver, the cost of the food is over the top.

    How about AMEX giving US and extra 3 months. IE $20 per month credit for the 3 months we anticipate it might take us to eat out again at Cheesecake Factory??