Amex Denying 3-Month Spending Extension Based on Approval Date
American Express has been generous in recent months, adding new limited time benefits and offers during the pandemic. One of those has been an extra three months for new cardholders to to complete their spending for welcome bonuses. This extension was for applications between December 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020 for which you are eligible for a welcome offer. In the terms, the following was clearly stated, even though it said “approved by” in some of the advertisements:
- You’ll receive the extension if you applied for Card by May 31, 2020 and were approved at a subsequent date. See terms here.
But some people that applied close to that May 31 deadline are finding out that they don’t get the extra three months they were promised to complete their spending. It looks like American Express is actually going by the approval date, and not the application date. Wiivile reported on reddit his interaction with Amex reps. He was told that the approval date was what mattered, regardless when the application was done. This is strange, and clearly wrong based on the images above. Applicants do not have any control over how long it takes for an application to be approved.
Having an extra three months to complete spending was crucial during the pandemic. Some welcome bonuses require a large amount of spend and that was more difficult than usual to achieve. Many businesses are still closed and people were self isolating, trying to avoid any uneccesary trips to stores. So the extra three months that American Express provided to complete spending requirements for welcome bonuses, probably convinced more people to apply for new cards.
But now, the issuer is going against its clearly stated terms. Amex reps are saying that the extension is only given to those who were approved for a new card by May 31. The fine print says that you just needed to apply by that date, but could be approved at a subsequent date. I would think that American Express will probably do right by cardholders on this. Hopefully that happens, so people don’t need to fight Amex to get their welcome bonuses. If you have multiple Amex cards, you don’t want to get on their bad side and give them reason to start looking through your accounts.
Let me know if you have experienced similar issues with this spending extension from American Express.