This morning, I wrote about the Chase policy of 5/24 moving to really cover all Chase cards by sometime in April. That is really going to strap a lot of people who enjoy applying for these cards for the bonuses and for the benefits they provide. Some may say that Amex’s policy of a bonus once per lifetime on personal cards is worse, but here are two things that make the Chase policy worse than Amex’s policy.
2 Ways That The Chase Policy Is Worse Than Amex’s Policy
The Chase Policy
Very quick, here is the Chase policy as it pertains to card “churners” – the people (like us) who get cards for the bonuses, and do it again (and again, and again). If you have had 5 or more new accounts in the last 24 months, you are unable to get a new Chase card. You will be declined.
The Amex Policy
The Amex policy is that if you have ever held a particular Amex personal card before, you are not eligible to get the bonus – ever (though maybe they are going to be walking it back?).
Denial vs No Bonus
The first thing that makes the Chase policy worse than Amex’s policy is that Chase will outright deny you if you have surpassed their 5/24 rule. So, if you have had 6 new accounts in the previous 24 months and apply for, say, the United card, you will be denied. It is not that you will not receive the bonus – you will not even get the card.
With Amex, you can sign-up for any card as often as you want. But, you will not get the bonus on the personal card if you ever had the card before. The reason this still works for some people is that it means you can sign-up again for the American Express Platinum, for example, to get the benefits like the $200 in airline incidentals per year, the Global Entry reimbursement, the elite status with cars and hotels. For some, that is worth paying the annual fee on every couple of years since they can get it back with the $200 reimbursements.
Another example is getting the SPG card. That card carries with it 2 elite stays and 5 elite nights towards elite qualification. That can be hugely valuable to someone that might otherwise need to pay for those nights or use points on a stay.
No Cards vs Personal
The Chase policy will soon apply for all cards – co-branded, personal, and business. That means that you cannot get any of those cards if you have stepped over the 5/24 rule.
With the Amex policy, you can still get the bonuses on any of the business cards, as long as it has been 12 months or more since you last held that particular card. That is great because it means you can still churn these cards to some extent since the business card offers match the personal ones pretty closely.
Neither policy is a good one and they are both detrimental to our desires to get and use more points. Of course, it is preferred to be able to get cards again (like you can with Chase) but most of us are probably looking at 24 months starting from now before we would be clear of the multiple new accounts we have opened. That means being very stingy with our applications for the next two years. At least with American Express and their policy, there is still wiggle room to get benefits and get bonuses.
Hopefully, these two banks will realize in the next couple of years that neither policy is rewarding them like they may have thought it would.