Posted by William Charles on April 10, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on April 10th, 2018 | by William Charles


Worrying Datapoint Regarding American Express Platinum Card (Vanilla & Ameriprise)

There’s a worrying datapoint regarding the American Express Platinum and the Ameriprise variation. On April 1st saranwrapnation applied for the Ameriprise Platinum while holding the vanilla Platinum, they were denied for the card and upon calling in were told that a memo has been sent out stating the Ameriprise Platinum & Vanilla Platinum were considered the same product and it’s not possible to hold both cards at the same time. They were then granted an exception but have just received a denial letter saying the exception has been revoked (this letter can be viewed here).

This leaves us with more questions than answers, for example:

  • If you’ve had the Ameriprise card before, can you get the sign up bonus on the vanilla card?
  • Does this extend to other variations of the Platinum?

Before the American Express Mercedes-Benz was axed they added language that stated: This offer is not valid for existing Platinum Card Members from American Express. I think it’s clear that American Express plans to treat all variations of the Platinum product as the same product for sign up bonuses purposes, it’s more just a matter of time when those rules will be introduced and enforced. As always please share your own experiences and data points in the comments below.

Update: Another datapoint of somebody being denied but then approved after it was sent to underwriting.

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Well…..writing on the wall have been there for some time now.
Days of churning as we know it are over,
However, once the number of applications dwindle all these issuers will realize that in order to catch the fish they have to cast the net.

My worry is that we start sliding into a bear market and issuers will panic and start reeling all the nets in.

This hobby largely arose out of the post-crisis boom, and I don’t think the points smorgasbord will continue through a recession.

It’s largely been going on much longer than that.

way longer than that….

Yeah, there’s a PBS documentary about credit cards from the early 2000s that showed Ben Stein was a churner! Nobody used the word, but he was holding like 50 credit cards talking about all the free shit they were giving him.

I think it goes the opposite way. It’s been so easy for issuers to find people who are good credit risks, and make tons of money off of them, that they can be picky via rules like 5/24. Once the economy turns, fewer customers will be high-quality (i.e. low risk, high revenue) and they’ll have to be more accepting. That will lead to the loosening of many churning rules.

For example, you could imagine Amex thinking, “darn, all the best customers are off-limits because of once-per-lifetime… let’s loosen that up a bit to get them back.”

But Amerprise usually doesn’t have a bonus MR for sign up.

Ugh, I’ve yet to have the vanilla flavor yet… Hope my Amerprise and Benz (once I cancel em) doesn’t affect the bonus MR on the vanilla

waiting to triple dip is becoming too risky… I say apply now for any varieties you did not have yet.

Yup. With Amex it’s a sprint now, the marathon is long over.

If I have had the Amex Platinum Ameriprise personal card in the past with no signup bonus, can I get the same card again with no sign up bonus or will they outright deny me for having had the card before? I want the $200 airline credits & lounge access again.

I would say you’re fine as long as you don’t currently hold any version of the Platinum.

Hope I still get the sign-up bonus for the Benz card. As of a week ago, people who already have Vanilla Plat were getting sign-up bonus on Benz Plat, but who knows when/if that will change

no kidding…otherwise, spend $5k but get no sign-up bonus

It’s a risk we took. You would have no recourse.

Def. Wouldn’t be the end of the world since I effectively break even just on the double-dipped airline credit and Uber credits, so I don’t really lose anything. But it would be a shame to not have that extra 60k MR

Hi Carter do you plan on getting MB bonus first & then cancel your Vanilla or cancel Vanilla first? Thanks!

We’ll need data points for those who applied for the MB getting the bonus or not if they currently hold a another platinum or have had another platinum. I won’t meet msr until June. I’ve had the vanilla.

I got the MB while holding Amerprise (2nd time) (and after the “new” language came out about how one cannot hold both), and I got the bonus after meeting spend, prior to close of statement.

I haven’t had the vanilla.

I’ve had the vanilla, but not Ameriprise.
But even the MB will probably become vanilla since it’s been discontinued so it’s a bit worrying.

I’ve had the vanilla platinum before and was closed about a year ago. I applied for the MB platinum on March 31st, right before the applications were pulled. Met the $5,000 minimum spend in first week in April and the 60,000 bonus points posted a couple of days later.

That’s great to know. Thanks

just recd a Benz card…if changing mind not to activate & cancel the acct, wonder if he/she will or may get the sign-up bonus from a personal plat in future? or not at all b/c it’s viewed as the same product? anyone had experience or knowledge of this? Thx

The Benz is probably going to be converted to a personal platinum (vanilla) since it’s being discontinued. If they are being treated as different, this will disqualify you for getting a bonus for the vanilla later on if you don’t cancel before it gets converted to the vanilla. If they are being treated as the same, then not activating and canceling now is probably not going to make any difference and you still won’t get the bonus on the vanilla later.

it’s still uncertain, but based on DOC data posted here seems that likely good idea to keep it…better to get 60k pts than nothing down the road
or, cancel it now & hope to get a 100k pts later this yr before the Benz get converted to the vanilla? decisions…decisions…

What is the Vanilla Platinum?

personal plat card

I’ve never heard the “Vanilla Platinum” term before. Where does that nickname come from?!?

In colloquial ventricular “vanilla” means “plain.”

adjective informal
adjective: vanilla; adjective: plain vanilla

1. having no special or extra features; ordinary or standard.
“choosing plain vanilla technology wherever you can will save you money

Just realized that vernacular got autocorrected to ventricular… those aren’t the same thing… 🙁

was planning on vanilla platinum & bonus, followed by Schwab platinum & bonus, & ability to cash out MRs.

I never had an Amex Platinum Card before.
In light of this should I wait for a better offer ?

you missed out on MB plat which sucks.

the thing to do is go for a 100k vanilla plat offer if you can get one (card match or amex pre-qualified offers, etc.) and hope that they don’t start blocking the remaining platinums from counting (ameriprise and schwab are the 2 ones open to us normal folk).

I purposely did not sign up for MB Plat as I thought this might happen. I don’t really travel much so Amex Platinum cards are of not much use to me anyway. If they offer 100,000 points on vanilla then I’ll probably sign up. I also has CSR which is much more useful to me as I can actually use it’s travel credit.

Travel credit is pretty easy to monetize at 80% of its value if you can’t use it for travel incidentals.. Buy two $100 American Airlines e-gift cards and then sell them 3 days later for $80-85 each to websites which buy/sell cards. Do it in two calendar years and you have made back $320 of the annual fee.

With Schwab Amex, MR can be cashed out at 1.25c/MR into a Schwab brokerage account (then ACH out wherever you want).

Shoot! Got the Benz, and was planning to get the vanilla in late December!

JB from San Diego
JB from San Diego

WoW…this is very bad news and maybe a game changer, to say the least!! Before the announcement of the MB kill, you would be able to get Vanilla (100K) + MB (60K) + Charles Schwab (60K). Not anymore! I got MB late last month while holding the vanilla. I may not hit the $5K until another month or so, but I am confident I will get the 60K with the MB…thanks DOC for the heads up!!

It is not worrying at all. I believe the policy has been there for a long time. Just hope people do not get too worried about this. Overreacting will in turn kill deals and alert banks.

Basically, it is advised that people get personal Platinum first then Ameriprise. I got a similar letter before. It is just a second rejection after you submit a reconsideration request. The template has been there for a long time. Also, remember for new accounts team they are based in India. They give irresponsible explanations and reasons all the time. The results were given by their system and they just need to find some reason to qualify.

I held the personal Platinum last December and decided to apply for the Ameriprise. Got turned down (“canceled” rather than “declined”).

There is also a rumored rule that one person cannot hold three personal Platinum cards at the same time.

I would rather sacrifice third airline credit and make sure I get the bonus now, than wait until Amex decides that all Plats are the same product and fuck you we aint giving you points.

Canceled means they logistically can’t give you the card.. Which would only be the case if there’s a rule against it. So you’re actually agreeing with his DP.

I think another thing Amex will do is limit bonuses to card families like Citi and chase Sapphire. I can imagine this happening with Delta cards and Hilton cards. For this reason I’ve been hitting Amex as hard as possible the past 18 months. More restrictions are coming. Honestly though, I’m ready for a break. Even with three trips planned for wife and I next three years, including three three-week monsters, I think we have enough points to do it all with near free flights and lodging. I’ll probably keep hitting it but not at the pace I’ve been at past 18 months. I’ve already gotten 16 cards this year, think about 8 for wife. So it’s been a grind.

Anybody have word if non-Arrival cards are still free from 6/24 with Barclay? I saw some concerning datapoints on Aviator applications a couple weeks ago.

6/24? whats that mean? My rule with barclays is to wait at least 6 months between new card apps and that seems to be successful to date

You applied for 16 cc’s in 2018 alone!!?? Haha good for you, if they keep approving you why stop now..

Since you already got 16 new CC this year, it’s going to be very difficult to get approved for Barclays… they are very new accounts and inquires sensitive.

that’s actually not quite right Bob.

BC just doesn’t like the most recent 2 months. They were fine with me making a phonebook of a CR in the previous 2 years as long as I was clean for 2months.

I just said they are sensitive to new accounts/HPs and it’s hard to get approved with them compared to like Amex or Chase (non 5/24 cards). You can still get approved of course

We all know BC cares about new inquiries and accounts just like citi. Don’t misguide other people to waste HPs. Anyone can get approved for a card as long as there are no hard rules like 5/24. But in general, one should exercise cautions and decide if they have higher chances to get approved

I’ve never gotten denied from BC. I’m 25ish/24 and got the Uber & Wyndham no problem. Instantly approved for both. I live in TN & it seems like everything hits Transunion here too.

Chaseaholic is right below. I got three cards from Barclays this year and my TU is littered with inquiries and accounts. Only one was instantly approved but if you pull the right people on recon, it’s not a problem to get the others approved.

That said I suspect 6/24 has been applied to their other cards. We don’t see enough datapoints on Barclays. But if 6/24 is applied beyond the Arrival, then obviously I’m done with them and most here are.

Yeah, I am getting stonewalled for recon for Aviator at 6/24. Even escalated to manager but said its a hard rule. I am hoping that I was unlucky and got the wrong reps but seems unlikely.

My previous card with them was Arrival+ 7 months back

Yep, I think it has been applied to the Aviator but I don’t know about the other cards.

Hmm…decisions decisions. So I currently hold the vanilla platinum and I just got the MB platinum and have almost met the spend requirement there. Wondering if I should go ahead and apply for Schwab now, which I have not had before. I didn’t really want to get stuck with 3 high AFs, but if the tide is turning, then I don’t want to lose out. I think the PRG and the Biz Platinum are the only other Amex charge cards I haven’t had that carry MR bonuses.

In pretty much the same boat, thinking the same thing. Although I have prg and bus plat. None of the smaller ones though: ED, EDP, Green, etc.

Since I know that people sometimes come to these threads late and look for updates, figured I’d go ahead and update this. Again, I have the personal (vanilla) plat and the Mercedes Benz plat. Applied for the Schwab Plat (all of my retirement stuff is through Schwab) and was instantly approved. I assume I’m not going to have any issues getting the bonus (as a side note I have never MSed with Amex). Not thrilled about holding three plats, but the truth is I was going to apply for the Schwab plat sooner or later.

So for those worried, I would say for now, don’t be. It appears this thread might be a bit of a false alarm. That said, anything can change at any moment in this hobby. Probably best to get your bonuses when you can.

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