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American Express has introduced functionality that lets you know whether you are eligible for a welcome bonus 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 bonus 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 bonus. Crucially, this happens before Amex performs a credit check (hard pull).
If you're not eligible for a welcome bonus, you have two options: Continue with your application (knowing you will not receive any associated bonus), 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 bonus 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 bonus 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 bonuses; you are restricted to one bonus per card for life. As that stands, if you have had a card before and received a welcome bonus you will not receive it again regardless of the time between applications. This applies to all cards from The Platinum Card® from American Express, to The Business Platinum® Card from American Express.
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 bonus for a card for which you may show some interest.
Source: The Points Guy
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