Published on December 6th, 2018 | by Chuck79
American Express Denies Some Signup Bonuses Against Pop-Up Indicator
A handful of reports indicate that American Express may deny your signup bonus, even if you did not get the pop-up warning.
By way of background, American Express added a pop-up box to tell you when you are not eligible for the signup bonus due to your history. They’ll even give the pop-up if you have too many recent cards. There are ways around it, such as putting spend on your cards or possibly using a special type of preapproved offer.
One commonly asked question we get is: if I did NOT see a pop-up, does that mean I’ll certainly get the bonus? Until a few weeks ago, I assumed the answer was the affirmative – if Amex went to the trouble of creating the pop-up system, presumably it always works.
However, there have been numerous data points indicating that this is, unfortunately, not the case. Multiple data points from readers (1, 2) and on Reddit (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) tell of people who did not get any pop-up warning, yet, they still got a signup bonus denial for eligibility reasons, e.g. “misuse of rewards program”.
I’m honestly perplexed by this: if they have coded in their system some sort of restrictions to limit signup bonuses, why wouldn’t those parameters be added to the pop-up programming? I can think of two possibilities. (1) Maybe they updated their denial algorithm but failed to carry over the update to the pop-up box. (2) Perhaps it’s only when there are eyes on the account manually deciding to withhold a signup bonus from a given individual that this issue occurs, e.g. they were reviewing your account for some other reason and they added a flag to deny the signup bonus. (One report states that initially they got confirmation of the signup bonus being attached to the account – that would sound more like theory #2, not theory #1.)
It’s still a fair bet to assume that if you don’t get a pop-up then you’ll get the signup bonus, it’s just not an absolute sure thing. I think this is legit CFPB claim territory (with the added note that since you didn’t get the pop-up, the bonus is confirmed). Not sure it’ll actually work, but at least it’ll force a reply from Amex.
- American Express Adds Signup Bonus Eligibility-Check during the Credit Card Application Process
- Amex RAT Intensifies their Signup Bonus Popup Denials
- Putting Spend on your American Express Cards can Make you Eligible for Signup Bonuses Again
- American Express Pre-Approval Referral Offers (No Lifetime Language)