You apply for a credit card with a signup bonus. The next day you see that the signup bonus has increased for that card. ‘Oh, no!’.
Will the card issuer give you the higher bonus upon request?
For the most part, there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules on this and it could vary widely depending on which CSR you speak to. We’ve tried to collect some data points as to which credit card issuers match the higher bonus.
Many of the reports come from comments on various blogs. People who had that ‘Oh, no!’ moment reported back on the blog as to what their outcome was. Share your own story in the comments below!
TravelSort reports that Amex used to match higher signup bonuses, but they no longer do so. While they don’t officially match higher bonuses, they will sometimes offer some sort of bonus upon request as a goodwill gesture. Often times, they’ll even match the entire amount to keep you happy.
- SPG – Some had success getting a full match by calling in (1, 2, 3), others got a smaller goodwill bonus (1, 2, 3) and others couldn’t get them to match at all (1).
See also How To Get ‘Matched’ To The 35,000 American Express SPG Offers for good tips on how to go about making this phone call for best chances of success.
Bank of America
It seems possible to get a match with BoA.
- Simon K had success getting a match on a 50,000 mile Alaska Airline offer.
- Elliot W had success once, but had a harder time when he tried doing the same for his wife’s card.
- BoA Travel Rewards: Reports of success matching the 20k bonus (1, 2). No success (1).
Barclaycard used to not match to a higher offer. In 2017 they changed to matching bonuses as long as it’s within 30 days of signing up for the card (1, 2). They’ll sometimes even match an annual fee waiver (1).
- Spark: no match (1).
The one card issuer who seems to match a higher offer as a matter of policy is Chase. So long as you applied within the past 90 days, Chase will match the higher offer on personal cards and business cards.
For example, if you applied for the Chase Freedom card with a $100 signup bonus on March 1, and on May 25 Chase makes public an offer of a $200 signup bonus, you should be able to get them to match the higher offer and give you the $200 bonus.
With Chase, the easiest way to do this is to simply send them a Secure Message (SM) through your online login, and they’ll send you back a message to confirm that you’ll get the higher bonus. Everyone seems to have success with the SM method, and you have the added advantage of having a written confirmation that you will receive the offer. Calling on the phone should work too.
A few points:
- Chase will only match a publicly available offer, not a targeted offer. If you got the targeted offer yourself, you should be able to get the match. Try uploading a picture of the offer via SM, or try calling in; they’ll need to validate that you received such an offer.
- It’s harder to get them to match an annual-fee-waiver; typically, the match in only on the bonus points.
- It’s not entirely clear whether the 90-days begins on the date of card approval or on the application date.
Citi will usually match a signup bonus within 90 days.
If the offer was targeted for you, there seems to be an official rule of matching the bonus. If it’s public offer they’ll usually match as well. Secure Message is the easiest way to get it done.
If you are having trouble getting a match, try asking for a supervisor who will hopefully agree to match for you, or at least offer some lower amount of points as a goodwill gesture.
- Prestige: Many had success with getting matched (1, 2, 3, 4)
- AAdvantage: Successful (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), Successful via chat (1, 2), Not successful (1)
- Unspecified card: Success (1)
- Doesn’t match: 1
Reader IZ says that they wouldn’t match them to a $150 offer when they signed up for a $100 offer.
- E had success getting a match on a US Bank FlexPerks card. (Another data point here.)
- Doesn’t match: 1
As you can see, there isn’t a hard-and-fast rule about getting a match. The exception oisChase who consistently matches better offers. It’s may be worth a phone call or sending a SM with all card issuers, but definitely with Citi, BoA, Discover, US Bank, and Amex.
We’s appreciate if readers could share their own success stories and failure stories of getting an offer-match in the comments below.