I always suggest keeping track of all your credit card applications, with opening/closing dates etc. But many people have had credit cards even before they started churning them, so it’s not always clear if you previously had a specific cards.
If you have a long credit history, then it might be difficult to remember every American Express card that you’ve had in the past. But to make sure that you receive a signup bonus, you need to make sure that you’ve never had that Amex card previously.
How to Check
How can you check this? The answer is simple. Just ask.
I’ve never needed this for myself, but while helping a family member apply for an Amex card, I wanted to make sure that she didn’t have the card previously and she couldn’t tell me for sure if she did.
She didn’t want to go through the trouble of calling, so using the Chat feature on her Amex account she asked for a list of all American Express cards that she currently has and has had in the past. And voila, the CSR send her a list in the chat after a few question for verification purposes.
American Express considers “lifetime” to be 7 years, so the list you get will not include cards that you’ve had more than 7 years ago.
Another benefit of this, is that it is always useful to have something in writing if problems do arise after the application.