Published on January 6th, 2017 | by Chuck13
Can you get a Signup Bonus if you Previously had the Card without a Bonus?
A question comes up periodically with someone who had a credit card but didn’t get the signup bonus. Can they now sign up again and get the bonus? Or will they need to wait the standard reset time before being able to get the bonus on a second application?
- You got the card but missed meeting the minimum spend requirement
- You got the card when it didn’t have a bonus and now it does have one
- You downgraded to a card which isn’t eligible for a bonus and now you want to apply for it directly with a bonus
Amex’s churning rule is that you can only have a bonus once in a lifetime.
Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.
Multiple data points indicate that if you got a card without getting the bonus, the system will not give the bonus the second time you get the card (1, 2). The language of the terms suggests the same. I can also confirm (10/7/18) attempting an application for the Amex Gold card and getting the Amex ineligibility popup which clearly stated that I’m not eligible for the bonus due to have the card in the past, despite never having gotten a bonus on the card.
In the past, I had heard that Amex does give the bonus the second time as a matter of policy – even giving a partial bonus if the new bonus is higher than the one you got last time – but apparently that’s no longer the case.
Others say you do get the bonus the second time, provided the first card is no longer open. I’m not sure if that is outdated information or if it’s a YMMV thing.
Chase’s churning rule is that you can get a second bonus if you don’t currently have the card and you haven’t gotten a bonus within 24-months.
This product is available to you if you don’t have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.
The language is pretty clear that so long as you did not get the bonus within 24-months you are eligible to get it. However, there is one data point to the contrary.
Citi’s churning rule is that you can get a second bonus on a card provided that you haven’t opened or closed the card within 24-months. (It’s actually a bit more complex – please see this post for details.)
Bonus points are not available if you have had these cards opened or closed in the past 24 months.
We haven’t found any real data points on this, but the language suggests that you will not get the bonus within 24-months, irrespective of whether you got it the first time.
So for example, if you signup for an American Airlines card and miss the bonus spend requirement, then you signup for another AA card a few months later and meet the spend requirement, you will not get the bonus. To get the bonus, you’ll have to wait 24 months without opening or closing any AA cards before applying again.
I’m fairly confident that this is how it will actually play out; being that Citi resets the clock with account closure, they clearly base themselves on the card account, not on the previous bonus, and thus you won’t be eligible for the bonus on a second card without waiting the required time.
BoA, Barclay, Cap1, USBank
Barclay, Capital One, and U.S. Bank do not have a rule against getting a bonus twice. Even if you did receive the bonus once, you’ll be eligible again when getting the card a second time.
From what we can tell, Amex and Citi will not let you get the bonus on the second card (without waiting the required time, in the case of Citi), while Chase will give the bonus on the second card since you didn’t get it on round one.
Please let us know if you have any data points on this.