Credit Cards

Now, I Have Effectively Been Shut Out From Amex Bonuses

best SPG card
Written by Charlie

Amex has changed the rules for card churners with their business cards now and, in the process, has shut me out from any of their bonuses as a result. How about you?

With the news yesterday that Amex has copied and pasted their language from the personal cards to their business cards in regards to never getting a bonus again, I took an inventory and did not like what I found out.

Now, I Have Effectively Been Shut Out From Amex Bonuses

Amex Shut

No more Amex bonuses for me!

The time has come – when American Express has become completely card churning-unfriendly. We saw in January that they have already coined our term for one avenue of point earning (manufacturing spending) so it is no surprise that they are not only very aware of what so many of us enjoy with cards and bonuses but also doing their best to shut us down.

Shut Out From Bonuses!

Well, they succeeded with me (and that includes Bluebird)! After I wrote last night’s post, I began going through the list of Amex cards that I have had, both personal and business (that still exist today) and here is what I found. I have had every single Amex card available today. Well, almost every single card…

Amex Shut

The only current Amex card I have never had!

That means, until Amex realizes that this policy cannot last forever, I am shut out from getting anymore Amex bonuses. Certainly not a good feeling! My personal favorite has always been the SPG card (which I still have) and knowing how difficult it normally is to rack up those points (because of no category bonuses), they will become even more valuable to me.

Where Do I Go From Here?

There are a couple of things with Amex that are not all bad, especially in light of this new policy. And they are things that I will be using until this policy gets changed.

Product Changes

I wrote before how I upgraded to the Hilton Surpass card a few times while they had that backdoor open. While that is no longer available, the data points from that were that I was able to convert co-branded cards (Delta, etc) to Hilton co-branded cards without a problem. So, if there is a certain card you need and you do not want to take the credit hit, consider trying a product change (like going from Delta to SPG).

Amex shut

I have a few Hilton cards I can convert at some point…

I have a few Hilton Surpass cards that I will need to dump so I will certainly be checking my options.

Cards Without Bonuses

The Amex Platinum is a card that I enjoy and get a lot of use out of. But, I am not normally getting enough to clearly make the $450 annual fee worth it. Thankfully, that card is one that is valuable even without the sign-up bonuses (for things like the $200 per year airline reimbursement, Global Entry reimbursement, the lounge access, hotel status, etc). And, if you apply for the Ameriprise Amex Platinum card, it is fee-free the first year so you can skip the $450 altogether!

Just because you cannot get the bonus anymore does not mean you cannot get the card anymore. There are a couple cards that I would value for their use and benefits so I may consider this over time as well.


Our game/hobby of miles and points is certainly changing and this year has been especially brutal. But, things change and the players adapt. I know that I still have a lot of cheap travel that is available to me even if Amex bonuses are not right now.

What Amex cards are you still eligible to get?

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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.


  • Why do you think the policy can not last forever? Do you believe there have been fundamental changes in loyalty programs?

    • Amex needs customers and customers that will use the cards. With this new policy, they have just alienated a bunch of their most vocal customers and also hamstrung many others who have had the card in the past. Rather than outright rejecting applications, they will approve an application and then deny the bonus after spend is met. For someone who forgot that they once held a card (many years ago), this is a very customer unfriendly move. This is likely an attempt to clear the deck to assess the kind of business churners bring to them and to start fresh. I foresee them opening it up again at some point but with higher spending requirements or stretched out minimums (think the old Citi Premier offers).