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TPG reader Chris wants to open up a new American Express card, but is afraid he won’t qualify for the sign-up bonus because he already carries some other Amex cards:
“Under the American Express terms of sign up bonus offers it says that you may not be eligible if you are a current American Express customer, but what is that defined as? If I have a Costco American Express and Blue Cash Everyday American Express card, and I canceled my Premier Rewards Gold card a few months ago will I still be eligible for a new sign up bonus after a year or so?”
I would suggest first going to the actual application page of the card that you are looking to apply for. American Express is usually very good at explicitly stating what card you cannot already have in order to qualify for a certain sign up bonus.
As an example – the Delta Reserve card says: “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months or any other Consumer Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card account within the last 90 days.”
This means that you cannot have had the Delta Reserve card open within the last 12 months. If you did, you would have to close the card and wait a full 12 months until you would be eligible to receive the bonus again. You would also be ineligible if you have had any consumer Delta American Express cards, like the Delta Platinum or Delta Gold SkyMiles card, open in the last 90 days. As long as you have not had any active cards that match either of those terms, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting the 10,000 MQMs after your first purchase and the additional 30,000 MQMs after $60,000 spent on your Delta Reserve card within a calendar year.
When in doubt always call American Express to verify whether you are eligible for a sign up bonus. You don’t want to apply for a card, get the hard inquiry on your credit and then not even receive the sign-up bonus. On top of not getting the bonus, you’ll have to wait another year to be eligible.
While American Express does do a good job of saying who is eligible and who isn’t, you should always double check by calling. They’ve cracked down a lot in the past year or so and aren’t as lenient with people who email or call them asking for points after they’ve hit the minimum spend. If the representative doesn’t see your bonus in the system then American Express will consider you ineligible and you’ll have to fight tooth and nail to get the bonus points that you feel you deserve.
I hope that answered your question, but if not please comment below or tweet me @thepointsguy!