Can You Get Amex Bonus Even If You Receive Pop-Up?
Update (Jul. 31, 2021) – One Amex Platinum cardholder reports that his welcome bonus was clawed back by American Express. The reason given in a chat conversation, was the pop-up during the application process for the Schwab Amex Platinum Card. While the applicant doesn’t recall seeing the pop-up, chat rep says it was shown. And since the applicant agreed to proceed, without being eligible for the welcome offer, Amex clawed back the bonus.
American Express introduced a tool back in mid 2018 that will let you know whether you are eligible for a welcome bonus for an Amex card before your application is processed. A pop-up will give you a reason why you are not eligible for a bonus. It then asks you if you want to proceed or not with the application. Just because you are not eligible for a bonus, does not mean that you will not be approved. But conventional wisdom is that you do not proceed with the application, unless you really really want that Amex card. Getting the card without a welcome bonus disqualifies you from getting the bonus again.
But one redditor says he was brave enough to pull the trigger on an Amex Platinum Card application, even though he received the pop-up saying he would not be eligible for the big 100K Membership Rewards points bonus. The message said “based on your history with credit card balance transfers, American Express welcome offers, introductory APR offers, or the number of Cards you have opened and closed, you are not eligible to receive the welcome offer.” At this point if you don’t continue with the application, there’s no inquiry in your credit report. But he went ahead with it.
Then, strangely enough, he was told that the 100K offer was attached to the account when he called in. And today the same person reports that the bonus actually posted. This is the first time I hear of this happening, so it could be a very rare instance. But if true, it does prove something interesting. Just because you get the pop-up when applying, you are not automatically disqualified from earning the welcome bonus. The pop-up probably just means that there is a very high chance that you will not get it. But a good point was also made in the comments, that knowing Amex, that bonus can easily be clawed back.
Just because someone was successful in getting a welcome bonus after receiving the pop-up during the application process, doesn’t mean that you should do the same. This is a big gamble that I wouldn’t suggest, and wouldn’t do myself either. That’s especially true when it comes to a card like Amex Platinum that comes with a huge
$550 $695 annual fee. Missing out on a 100K points bonus, paying $695 and then being ineligible for the bonus for at least another 7 years it’s a bad deal. Also, it’s not a good idea to keep trying to apply after you get a pop-up. Then there’s the risk of a clawback as well, which Amex is known for.
Let me know if this has happened to you. Or, if there’s any reason you would go ahead with an application when you’re told you will not get the bonus. Are there any Amex cards you really want that badly?