New American Express Signup Bonus Tool, Find Out if You Qualify Before You Apply

I wrote last week about some new language in the terms of applications for American Express cards. The change gives American Express more power to deny bonuses, with vague language that could apply to many people. They can deny a bonus if you have too many Amex cards or because of “other factors”. Here’s what is says in the terms:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

 

Amex Signup Bonus Qualification Tool

Amex Signup Bonus Qualification Tool

Besides the uncertainty of whether you qualify for a bonus or not, this also didn’t make it clear how the new rules would be applied. But now we have some clarity. TPG reports that American Express has added a new tool to the credit card application process. It lets applicants know beforehand whether or not they are eligible for the welcome bonus. That’s before a hard inquiry on their credit report.

If you have already had the card you’re applying for you will see the following message:

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?

If you have never had the card you’re applying for, but could be affected by the new limitations of too many Amex cards or other factors, then you will see the following langauge:

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?

Guru’s Wrap-Up

This new tool is good and bad news at the same time. The bad news is that the new restrictions have already implemented. I was hoping that they would just add the language to the terms and then maybe use it occasionally when problems arise. But this seems like a new set policy. We could find out soon what too many cards mean. On the other hand, it does make this bad news a bit better. At least you are told ahead of time whether you qualify for a signup bonus so you don’t have to waste a hard pull or complete a spending requirement just to find out later that there’s no bonus.

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