Posted by William Charles on September 12, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on September 12th, 2016 | by William Charles

38

Everything You Want To Know About American Express Upgrade Offers

American Express frequently send out offers to upgrade your credit/charge card to another card with a higher annual fee. These targeted offers are typically an upgrade to American Express’ highest tier card (e.g Platinum) and show up on both personal and business cards. People always have a lot of questions about these offers, so I thought I’d answer those common questions in this post.

Is A Hard Pull/Credit Check Done?

No, the offers specifically state no hard pull is done.

Am I Eligible For The Bonus If I’ve Already Received The Bonus On The Card I’m Upgrading To?

Yes, if you’ve received a sign up bonus for a card previously and receive an upgrade offer to that same card you’re still eligible for that upgrade offer. For example, let’s say I received an upgrade offer of 50,000 points when I spend $10,000 within three months if I upgrade to the Business Platinum card – I can still get that bonus even if I’ve previously received a sign up bonus on the Business Platinum Card.

If I Receive A Bonus From An Upgrade Offer, But Haven’t Had That Card Before – Can I Get The Sign Up Bonus Again?

According to the fine print, this wouldn’t be allowed (Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product). But according to the following data points you can actually get the sign up bonus again:

These datapoints suggest otherwise:

What Happens To The Annual Fee On The Card I Currently Hold?

You’ll receive a prorated annual fee refund on the card you currently hold and be charged the new annual fee on the card you upgrade to.

Can I Cancel The Card I Am Upgrading To And Get A Prorated Annual Fee Refund?

Once you’ve upgraded to the new card, the normal rules apply to prorated annual fees for that card. That means you have 30 days to cancel the card to receive a refund. I wouldn’t recommend doing this as it’s a good way to get a financial review or your posts frozen with American Express.

Can I Downgrade The Card I Upgrade To & Receive A Prorated Annual Fee Refund?

As mentioned above, normal rules apply to the card after you’ve completed the upgrade meaning this is possible. More information here.

Our Verdict

Upgrade offers are fantastic if you’ve received the sign up bonus on the card you’re upgrading to before, if you haven’t then you’re usually better waiting for a higher sign up bonus on those cards as you won’t be able to get that bonus again and American Express Platinum cards frequently have targeted offers of 100,000-150,000 points, this is much better than the standard 50,000 upgrade offer.

If you have any additional questions then please ask them in the comments.



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Kevin P
Kevin P

I have the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card and I never received a sign up bonus for the card (missed spending requirements). Because I never received a bonus on that card, if I cancel the card sand reapply would I qualify for a signup bonus?

jf
jf

So does this mean its wiser to app for hhonors when its at 70k and surpass when its at 100k, and then still be able to upgrade and downgrade the original surpass?

Pluto
Pluto

I hold Amex Hilton surpass about one year ago. Recently, I just downgrade my surpass to non-annual fee version. So I am wondering if I can get the upgrade bonus? If I upgrade my Hilton card to surpass again, can I get the sign up bonus for the non-annual fee version later?

DaMoneyMan
DaMoneyMan

I’ve only had the HHonors Amex card. Never had surpass before. Got an upgrade offer to surpass for 75k. Better to hold off and apply fresh right?

David
David

Any insight on the travel credit? I received the $100 credit on my gold this year already, can I get another $200 this year if I upgrade?

Chuck

I’d assume so

Beck
Beck

A chat rep told me that I WOULD be eligible for the sign up bonus on a new Amex Plat Biz (I’ve never had it before) if I upgrade my Gold biz now for 50k. “You will be eligible for welcome bonus on AX Platinum Business if you have never had a new AX Platinum Business before.” And I did take a screen shot.

Do you have any confirmation of ineligibility? Per your remarks above:
“No, you wouldn’t be able to do this. For example, let’s say I received an upgrade offer of 50,000 points when I spend $10,000 within three months if I upgrade to the Business Platinum card. If I complete that offer and I’ve never received a sign up bonus on the Business Platinum card I wouldn’t be able to sign up and receive the sign up bonus on the Business Platinum card in the future.”

64bit
64bit

Any datapoints on receive both the sign up bonus and upgrade bonus at same time?

I just applied for the BCP, but have an offer to go BCE to BCP also. Think I can get both bonuses?

jay lee
jay lee

have you tried this? any luck

David Hanson
David Hanson

What if you get an upgrade offer to a card you *currently* hold?

My friend has a Biz Plat now, along with a BRG. The BRG keeps offering him the 50K MR points for upgrading–which would leave him with two Biz Plats. He’s OK with that if he can be assured of getting both bonuses–especially now with the new 75k upgrade bonus out there.

TIA for any data points or other guidance.

Miles Hustler
Miles Hustler

You’ve got to read the small print (offer terms) on the upgrade offer. Sometimes, they don’t but most times there is language that says that you will not get the upgrade business if you’ve ever had the card before. There was a time when AMEX didn’t enforce this rule, but with their new RAT (or whatever it is called) Team, they are clawing bonuses back–after you’ve met the spend requirements for the upgrade and been awarded the bonus, usually within 1-4 days of it posting

RedSun
RedSun

The info here is old. You can’t get both upgrade bonus and later apply for the new card and get the start new bonus. You can’t get the bonus twice. See below from AmEx:

As per the recent changes in the terms of the offer, if you upgrade your existing card to Blue cash Preferred and later apply for another Blue cash Preferred​​​​​​​ card, you will not be eligible for the bonus offer on new card application

If you wish to avoid a credit check, you can go with upgrade instead of applying for a new card.

If you are getting better offer on new card application and okay with a credit check, you can apply for a new card.

RedSun
RedSun

Well, if you’ve had BCP before and close the account. Now you start over again and get the BCE card and receive this upgrade offer, then you can get the new upgrade bonus. But the chance is slim.

Mike
Mike

I have an AMEx upgrade message from my Preferred Gold to Platinum. 25000 pst with $2000 in 3 months. A new Platnium application brings 60000 w $5000 in 3 months.
My concern is a ding on my credit if I choose a new Platinum and close the Gold. My credit is excellent and have have a 0 balance.
Thoughts? Comments?
Mike

Vic
Vic

Regarding this “If I Receive A Bonus From An Upgrade Offer, But Haven’t Had That Card Before – Can I Get The Sign Up Bonus Again?”

My first-hand data point:
06/02/2016 – Applied for PRG (50k / $2k)
05/20/2017 – Upgraded PRG to Platinum (60k / $5k)
06/03/2017 – 60k posted
06/24/2017 – canceled the upgraded Platinum
03/04/2018 – Applied for Platinum (100k / $5k, cardmatch + login)
03/18/2018 – met $5k spending requirements
04/06/2018 – no bonus so far, does not expect to see any.

Another person in the household also got cardmatch 100k platinum on the same date and met the requirement on the same day. 100k bonus posted on around 3/21/2018. This person never had regular platinum before.
William Charles Chuck

Justin
Justin

Any luck after your post on the 2nd Platinum bonus? Thanks.

sunny
sunny

when does the upgrade usually shows on your account? a year after you have PRG? i have gotten prg in august 2017 so in august of 2018 i should have an offer to upgrade?

Dom
Dom

Seems to be the best strategy to maximize bonuses for someone currently with a no-fee version is:
Apply for card having a fee and get that bonus, while keeping the no-fee card open
After earning the bonus on the new card, cancelling that card and waiting for an upgrade offer on the old no-fee card.

Aditya Shrivastava
Aditya Shrivastava

I just requested an upgrade and it was approved. If I make a purchase now, will it count towards the spend requirement or do I need to wait till I get the new card in the mail? (Or do I need to wait till my online account starts showing the new card?)

Celia
Celia

I have the same question. Did you ever find out or did you just wait until the card arrived?

Aditya Shrivastava
Aditya Shrivastava

I called then but you can confirm over chat as well. It takes about 1 or 2 days is what they said ad you don’t have to wait for the card. I believe it’s when the website starts showing the new card design.

Celia
Celia

Thank you so much.

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