Well, Amex continues to march on in their quest to limit card churners (or prevent almost entirely) from getting the bonuses on cards again and again. This move was first made almost 2 years ago for personal cards but business cards had still been exempt. That has now come to an end for business cards as well.
Amex Cuts Off Churners From Business Cards With Oncer Per Lifetime Bonus Terms
The Once Per Lifetime Bonus
In May of 2014, Amex first initiated the once per lifetime bonus terms for personal cards. Officially, it read that if you had had that product ever before, you were not eligible for the bonus again. That was a huge blow to card churners who had been used to following the previous terms, which were that you could only get the bonus if you had not had the card for 12 months. People were rotating between the business and personal cards year after year and reaping a lot of bonus miles and points. But, in 2014, personal cards became once per lifetime (or until they change that).
Business Cards Exempt – But Not Any More
The good part had been that business cards were exempt and, as long as you had not had the card for 12 months, you could get the card again and again. This was great for many and something that people certainly used to their advantage. Apparently, Amex has decided that they can do without card churners on the business products as well because they finally cut that off as well. They have now instituted the same language on their business cards as they have on the personal cards. It now reads “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.”
The good news is that their have been targeted offers sent out on the personal cards that have not had this language. This has likely been a test cast on the part of Amex to see how it works since their current policy is absolutely lousy, and not just for card churners. Hopefully, they will continue to send out targeted business card offers as well that will not include this new language. Besides, some of the best bonuses on business cards, like the Amex Business Platinum at 150K, have been targeted.
If there are business Amex cards you have not had, make sure you wait until those cards hit their high bonus marks before you apply. Once you get it, you will not be eligible for the bonus again and they have not been good about matching offers the last couple of years. Here are some benchmarks to look for when applying for the business cards:
- Amex Business SPG – 30,000 point bonus | comes around once per year, normally at the end of summer
- Amex Business Gold Rewards – 50,000 point bonus | comes around quite often, if possible, wait for a targeted 75,000 point offer
- Amex Business Platinum – 100,000 point bonus | this one is also a targeted one and a good one to wait for, otherwise watch for a 75,000 point offer
- Amex Business Delta Gold – 50,000 miles | this normally comes around once per year
- Amex Business Delta Platinum – 50,000 award miles & 15,000 elite miles | about every 14-18 months it seems
As I have said before, I definitely do not think this is a long term, sustainable policy by Amex. They stand to lose out on a lot of return customers, not churners, that had used their products years before but would like to give them a try again. Amex cannot afford to alienate what may be great customers at this point of their business. I do think that, like Chase, this is a way for Amex to clear the deck of card churners and get a good look at the landscape before putting some more useful policy in place. I would eventually foresee them doing something like only once every 24 months on bonuses. But, for now, the business cards have been cut off for card churners and that is bad news today.