Credit Cards

American Express Has Added A “Bonus Eligibility” Feature for Applicants

airline credit cards
Written by Charlie

Now, you can find out if you are eligible for an Amex bonus before they check your credit. This is a great addition to the application process to help us to know whether we meet the more stringent Amex eligibility criteria.

I have been pretty hard on Amex about some of their changes over the last couple of years. It seems to be fairly obvious (at least to me!) that they want to shy/run away from the kinds of customers that apply for cards just to get bonuses.

But, I also like to recognize when a card issuer does something that is helpful for customers. This week, American Express has made one such helpful move (even if they still have negative rules in place) to help customers know if they are eligible for a card’s bonus – before they actually have a credit pull done.

What Is This “Bonus Eligibility” Feature?

Apparently, as of now, when you apply for an American Express card, you will see a message pop up if you are not eligible for the bonus provided by the card. In fact, it should tell you exactly why Amex deems you ineligible for the card.

You do not have to do anything to get this bonus eligibility check, it happens automatically when you submit your application. Here are some of the messages customers have seen so far (according to TPG):

Because you have or have had The Platinum Card, you are not eligible to receive the welcome offer.

We have not yet performed a credit check. Would you still like to proceed?

Another version that pops up says:

Based on your history with American Express welcome offers, introductory APR offers, or the number of cards you have opened and closed, you are not eligible to receive this welcome offer.

We have not yet performed a credit check. Would you still like to proceed?

Good News?

Apparently, there are still some bugs on the Amex response side as the TPG writer received an e-mail that they were reviewing the application – in spite of the fact that he chose not to proceed.

This leads me to wonder if this was done quickly in response to the backlash from blogs and customers last week over the insertion of their new language. Or, maybe that was just part of this new rollout?

At any rate, now you will know before you have a credit pull done by American Express if you are eligible for the bonus. If you do not see the pop up message, you can assume you are eligible and you will go about business-as-usual while Amex processes the application.

I am a bit surprised that Amex has had this information at the digital fingertips since, apparently, their own reps cannot tell you sometimes if you are really eligible or not. It’s ok – baby steps, baby steps.

Thanks, Amex, for at least letting us know now! 🙂


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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.