AMEX Introduces Welcome Offer Eligibility Tool AMEX Introduces Welcome Offer Eligibility Tool

AMEX Introduces Welcome Offer Eligibility Tool

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American Express has introduced functionality that lets you know whether you are eligible for a welcome offer for a specific card as a part of the card application process. This function will alert you to your ineligibility before American Express pulls your credit.

How It Works

The welcome offer eligibility checker doesn't require any effort on your part — all you need to do is go through a standard application process and submit it. At that point, a pop-up window will appear indicating if you are not eligible for an associated welcome offer. Crucially, this happens before Amex performs a credit check (hard pull).

If you're not eligible for a welcome offer, you have two options: Continue with your application (knowing you will not earn any associated bonus points), or withdraw your application, and Amex won’t pull your credit, leaving your credit report untouched.

Needless to say, if you've collected a pile of cards with American Express your chances of getting a welcome offer could be diminished. That said, we don't know the exact criteria in effect when deciding if you're eligible, other than the once-in-a-lifetime language Amex states. However, this functionality provides you an easy way to see if you're eligible for a welcome offer on newer products like the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, and the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card — if you're eligible your application will go through. If not, you'll be prompted, so be sure to apply only if you want the card. Don't use this to “test out” if you're eligible or not.

Which Cards Are Affected By The Restriction?

All cards. American Express has a very restrictive policy when it comes to welcome offers; you are restricted to one welcome offer per card for life. As that stands, if you have had a card before and received a welcome offer you will not receive it again regardless of the time between applications. This applies to all Amex cards including The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

Our Take

If you have a diverse credit portfolio and you're not sure if you've ever had a particular card, this is a handy little function to figure out if you're eligible for an associated welcome offer for a card for which you may show some interest.

4 / 5 - (24 votes)
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  • I’ve never had surpass and ive only had one AMEX CC before. Why am I rejected for the welcome bonus? 🙁

    • I am having the SAME issue! One other card Platinum. Applying for Aspire and never had it and i was denied the bonus! Crazy! What can we do?!

  • So I just got the “too many cards opened and closed” message from Amex during the online application for an Aspire. I’m not happy, but not surprised either. This will make my 11th card from Amex. Anyway, I went ahead with the card since I’m taking a Hilton trip and want the perks (29x and Diamond is crazy cool!), but there’s a data point.

  • @Maryjane says: “I will definitely use this in the future and I will always take a screen shot when it tells me that I am eligible for the bonus. So there will be some evidence if the bonus subsequently does not appear in my account.”

    Agreed. Taking screenshots of any online offer, credit card or otherwise, is always best practice, for if you ever need to make your case.

  • Very easy tool!

  • Great tip. Just thought they would issue card not say anything about no bonus

  • This is a helpful tool. There are some Amex cards I want to try signing up for.

  • This is certainly an enhancement. It is annoying to receive mailings from American Express about cards with bonuses that you have received in the past and it would be quite a bit of work to call to doublé check. I will definitely use this in the future and I will always take a screen shot when it tells me that I am eligible for the bonus. So there will be some evidence if the bonus subsequently does not appear in my account.

  • This is great info for the consumer. I wonder how long it’ll take for someone to find a work around though?
    I wonder if this will help ease some restrictions? This way they won’t have a lot of people getting the bonus when they don’t qualify
    and frees up them to give more points other ways? I know I’m grasping as straws ;o) One good thing should follow another right?

  • Great feature, hope others follow

  • Excellent transparency. And good business practice. A new customer not getting their expected bonus is suddenly a very unhappy customer.

  • This is great! No ambiguity – it will work well!

  • I like the feature, am glad they implemented it!

  • I think this is good in a sense they are being upfront about the sign up bonus.

  • charles j says:

    Something actually useful. Maybe they were getting too many calls from people complaining that they didn’t get a bonus they were expecting.

  • Anyone have any dp as to how many cards would cause you to become ineligible for bonuses? I’m currently on my 3rd Amex of which one I had a long time ago which didn’t offer any bonuses.

  • Just got the platinum business card. Previously had it, but nothing came up saying I was not eligible. I plan on calling Amex as soon as the physical card arrives to make certain that I get the bonus.

  • This I like! Very customer friendly enhancement.

  • Hopefully this eliminates ugly phone calls that have transpired about “where is my bonus.”

  • I think that this will prove to be a useful tool. I can’t remember which Amex cards I have had over the years.

  • Kind of on the fence about this one… while I’m not enamored with the fact that AmEx is looking that closely at past histories of credit line openings, it is useful to know off the bat that one will be eligible to earn a particular bonus. Best case would be that being “pre-approved” for the sign-up bonus will mean no funny business about actually receiving it after reaching the appropriate hurdles.

  • Good point about not using it to test eligibility, but it brings up a good point. Why not have something to test eligibility without having to send an application first?

    • I’d say that would open them up to other potential risks. You really only want to tell someone if they’re eligible or not if they’re really going to apply for the card. I’d think they don’t want a tool out there for people to fish around and play with.

  • Barclaycard have been providing this for a while now, always good to know you will be accepted before a full,hard search is made on your file.

  • This is not true all the time for AMEX cards. I know, years ago, I applied for and got a Delta Gold card. I used it for a year or two, got the welcome bonus, and later closed the account. Just last fall, I applied for the same card after confirming with a customer service rep that I was eligible for the Bonus, met the spend and got the bonus. I think AMEX tracks the accounts back 5 or 7 years, then you drop off their system and you become eligible again.

    • The publicly accepted definition of “lifetime” and Amex’s operational implementation of it could be different in reality. That said, in your case, it was a win, but we can’t say that would be the case for everyone.

  • this is an AWESOME feature!!! Citi, Chase, and BOA need to get this

  • Appreciate the transparency. Both sides should always know what they are opting in for and their eligibility should be accurate and incontrovertible.

  • How do you withdraw an application after you’ve clicked submit?

    • When you’re prompted to indicate that you’re not eligible for the welcome bonus (after you’ve clicked submit), you’ll be able to cancel/withdraw the application with a click. Yes it is after an initial click of “submit” but before a credit check is performed.

  • Great feature! Hope others can follow.