TPG reader credit card question: Can I apply for the same credit card in two different countries?
Editor's note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
If you're new to the points and miles hobby, opening five credit cards in 24 months might seem like more accounts than you'd ever know what to do with. Those slots fill up quickly, though, and sooner or later most of us are left looking for creative ways to earn new welcome bonuses. TPGreader Jillian wants to know if she can leverage her dual citizenship to apply for new credit cards...
[pullquote source="TPG READER JILLIAN"]If I'm a dual citizen of the U.S. and UK, can I apply for The Platinum Card issued in each country and earn the welcome bonus on both?[/pullquote]
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U.S. citizens have an incredible advantage when it comes to travel rewards cards, as most of the best and most rewarding cards are only available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. However, there are a number of international cards, especially in the UK and Canada, that deserve some attention as well. One of these is the UK-issued version of The Platinum Card® from American Express -- with its $550 annual fee -- which offers a welcome bonus of 30,000 UK Membership Rewards points after spending 4,000 GBP (US$5,017) in your first three months.
Related reading: The different flavors of American Express Platinum — which one is right for you?
The terms and conditions of these cards make this question a little confusing, so I reached out to both the UK and U.S. Amex application teams for an answer.
If you have a UK-issued Platinum card and are looking to apply for the U.S.-issued Platinum Card, the answer is simple. Amex-U.S. treats these as separate products, so assuming your credit score is high enough for approval, having the UK version of the card won't count against you.
If you're moving in the other direction, from having a U.S.-issued Platinum card to applying for the UK version, it gets a little trickier. That's because the UK Platinum card has the following restriction on welcome bonus eligibility: "I understand I will not be eligible for any Welcome Bonus award if I hold or have held any personal Membership Rewards-enrolled American Express Cards in the past 24 months."
Note that this is significantly stricter than Amex's application restrictions for U.S.-issued cards, which generally allow you to earn the welcome bonus on a new card as long as you haven't had that specific card before. I was able to chat with an Amex agent in the UK who confirmed that this only applies to UK-issued cards; having U.S.-issued Membership Rewards cards won't count against you.
At the end of the day, holding an Amex Platinum card issued in one country won't stop you from applying for one issued in another country. Remember that you won't be able to combine points across these two cards, as Membership Rewards points in the UK have a different set of transfer partners for you to take advantage of. The 30,000-point welcome offer on the UK card also isn't the most exciting out there, so depending on what other cards she holds, Jillian might want to look for better American welcome bonuses instead. For example, she could get up to a 100,000-points welcome offer on the Amex Platinum Card if she uses the CardMatch tool (offer subject to change at anytime).
Thanks for the question, Jillian, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at email@example.com.