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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.
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.
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:
- American Express® Gold Card: 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: 6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: 6X at U.S. supermarkets
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.
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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