We’ve heard rumors about the Rewards Abuse Team at Amex and we’ve also seen crack downs with clawbacks on bonuses achieved through manufactured spending. So this article from Bloomberg yesterday about Amex targeting churners doesn’t come as a complete surprise.
The issue of credit-card gaming was brought up by Doug Buckminster, president of global consumer services, Wednesday at the firm’s investor day in New York. AmEx sees an “opportunity to use our analytics and technology to surgically remove gaming and reinvest in higher-quality, more loyal new customers,” he said.
“What will be interesting to see not just with Chase but with other competitors is what happens when the short-term incentives are dried up or what happens if people game” the offers, AmEx Chief Executive Office Ken Chenault said at the event.
Amex has really upped its sign-up bonuses lately with a few 100K offers on their Platinum cards, best ever offers on the Blue Cash cards, Blue for Business, SPG and Hilton/Hilton Surpass and more. They also added more perks to the Platinum cards, personal and business. But they also already have one of the stricter policies on churners, with the once per lifetime rule that only allows you to get once sign up bonus per card.
All these increased offers that Amex is sending out to attract customers, are obviously attracting churners as well. And apparently there’s enough there to create some kind of concern for Amex. I already suggest to readers to play it safe with Amex when it comes to manufactured spending and this just reinforces that idea. Getting a bonus and closing the card right away should also be avoided if you plan to have a long term fruitful relationship with American Express. We don’t really know what steps they might take, but there’s tons of things they can do to weed out churners it really starts affecting their bottom line.