Posted by Chuck on August 4, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on August 4th, 2018 | by Chuck


American Express Adds Signup Bonus Eligibility-Check during the Credit Card Application Process

Update 08/04/18: This pop up is now showing up on business cards. Previously it was only showing up on personal cards.

We reported last week that American Express has added wording to the credit card application process whereby vague, unknown factors affect whether you are eligible for the signup bonus. Interesting news came in now from Thepointsguy that Amex has added a qualification-check into the credit card application process.

After you submit your application, Amex will give you a pop-up telling you clearly that you are not eligible for the bonus, and asking you whether you want to proceed with the application anyway.

There are even two separate pop-ups: one for someone who has already gotten the bonus (Amex’s ‘lifetime limit’ rule), and a separate pop-up language for someone who has never gotten the bonus but is ineligible for the bonus due to having applied for too many cards or whatever other factors Amex considers.

In other words, they’ve added clarity to the application process so that you’ll know for certain whether or not you are eligible for the bonus: if you don’t get a pop-up, that seems to be a confirmation that you are eligible, and that should mean Amex will not deny you at a later stage. Also nice that they give this pop-up before doing any credit check.

The downside, of course, is that Amex is actually enforcing their arbitrary rules about who is eligible for a new bonus. Maybe we’ll even be able to eventually crack the code on what the Amex criteria are, similar to how it became known Chase’s 5/24 rule.

Below are images of the two pop-ups, as shown on TPG:

Let us know if you try it out and get the same results – it’s possible the system is in trial mode.

Tangentially, if this really ends up working, it’ll add clarity to the Amex lifetime rule which is said to reset after around 7 years. It’ll also save us from having to pore over spreadsheets to check our card history with Amex since they’ll do the work and tell us if we are eligible. Let’s see how this develops.

Leave a Reply


newest oldest
Notify of

i think it would be very helpful for new applicants for sure..


TIL: it is PORE over…not pour over… Cool, lol!

guy bucktastik
guy bucktastik

I like pour over coffee.

Daniel G Gordon
Daniel G Gordon

I sometimes pore my thoughts over coffee that has been poured into my cup…

this is great tho I’m disappointed I would not be able to get the bonus due to number of cards opened. I’ll try in a week when I’m ready for the Amex Hilton biz.

Hopefully, not getting the pop up is indeed confirmation that we are eligible for the bonus.

As much as the policy sucks, this clarity is very welcomed, especially before a HP is done.

The Value Traveler
The Value Traveler

Agreed; clarity is better than blurriness

I prefer opaqueness personally

Dark matter

The pop up should be other way round. If you are eligible they should tell you that so you can take a screenshot

Screenshots are pretty irrelevant, they are incredibly easy for even the most non-technical user to fake.

Example 1:

Example 2:

So what happens if there is no popup, but they later don’t pay out the bonus, perhaps due to some system error? I foresee it being difficult to appeal anything, because you know their system is infallible, and it must have been user error.

Yeah that’s true. Then you’d have to try and prove a negative. I like the idea above of a popup when you are eligible, but clearly Amex prefers this method unfortunately.

After opening the card you can chat with a representative to confirm you’re eligible for the sign-up bonus. Keep a screenshot of the confirmation in case you need to appeal later. You get the confirmation after the credit pull, but it’s still before you meet the min spend.

While a positive development from before, this is certainly a signal that the end is near. AMEX version of 5/24 in bound

Even worse, really, since at least with 5/24 you could normally be certain of where you stand. With the broadness of Amex’s “factors” you may not know until you click to apply. Though I agree it’s better to be told upfront in any case.

Though remember that 5/24 isn’t stated anywhere by Chase (it was, very briefly, on the Reserve online application, and then taken down). So they have the same broadness, officially; until 5/24 was figured out, there was no certainty.

At least Amex gives you the option of getting the card again without the bonus, which Chase does not, though that doesn’t do much for most of us.

Excellent enhancement. Makes me more likely to apply w/out worry I’ll be wasting my time or being frustrated if they refuse to give a bonus after doing the min spend.


But there are other reports of people getting denied the bonus after meeting spend…
I’m not sure this is mutually exclusive.

That example is from “a few months ago”

This popup is new.

I wonder how this works when applying over the phone.

I guess they just tell you

Why would anyone apply over the phone when they can do it online?


That is a good news. No more bait-and-switch

its funny to see all these positive comments just because there is solid clarity around a restriction. this game exists because of no clarity. would chase giving clear guidelines for 5/24 or shutdown make anyone happy? no. this just means the game has drastically changed and theres too many people playing in the sandbox.

1. This is not necessarily “solid” clarity.
2. This “game” does not exist because of no clarity. Do you apply for cards with no clue?
3 Chase giving guidelines on 5/24 and shutdowns would make many of us happy. I would have liked to have known before I was s/d (although I was later reinstated).

I think most of us do not prefer living in the nebula.


lol i think everybody would be happy if chase provided clarity on shutdowns. its still one of the great mysteries of churning

I may be in the minority here but I feel this is worse than the vague wording alone… at least until we get a few data points which I’m sure will be flooding in soon. If they have hard coded something reasonable from their perspective, even less stringent than 5/24, many of us may be ineligible for quite some time. Silver lining would be forcing me to cool down and getting under 5/24 might no longer be a fairy tale.

We haven’t see many people get the pop up yet, so it’s unlikely it’s restrictive as 5/24

I think this popup only applies to Amex card opening and closing history, not other banks, because the pop says that a credit check has not yet been done. Chase’s 5/24 requires pulling a credit report.

as such, it may be more similar to BofA’s 2/3/4 policy perhaps than Chase’s 5/24 policy.

i got the american express gold business card a little over 2 yrs ago, and just signed up for the card again today and nothing popped up and got approved…will i still get the 50k bonus?

Nobody here is clairvoyant and nobody here knows the terms of the offer you signed up for.

If the terms have the “once per lifetime” language, you almost certainly won’t get the bonus.

I wonder if it’s because it’s a business card you applied for. Try apply

Hmmm…it all depends on how they use this. If you get a targeted sign-up offer with no lifetime language, but then the little box comes up and shoots you down, that would really suck.

Back to Top ↑