American Express has previously allowed you to get the sign up bonus on each card once per lifetime with the following language in the fine print:
Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card.
Today they have added new language stating:
Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.
It’s hard to know how bad this additional language will be, because it’s not a hard rule and is exceptionally vague. It’s obviously not good news though, if anybody gets denied the sign up bonus due to this language then please share your stats in the comments (e.g how many open cards you have, how many American Express cards you’ve had opened in the past etc). My gut feeling is that American Express was already doing this (e.g sometimes people wouldn’t get the bonus on offers without the lifetime language even though they should have been eligible) and this addition in the terms is a legal protection for those cases. That being said even if that’s the case now American Express will surely expand on this rule and start denying bonuses in other cases as well.
It will be interesting to see how this is enforced as well, will people just be denied? Will people be told they won’t receive the sign up bonus after signing up? Will they not be told at all and no sign up bonus will post? It would be very misleading for American Express to only tell consumers they aren’t eligible after meeting the minimum spend requirements for example.
Hat tip to US Credit Card Guide