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Update: Many details for The Platinum Card® from American Express have changed as of 3/30/17. The links below are expired, but you can learn more about the new offer and card benefits here!
Update: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has exciting new benefits, and a great new limited time offer. Learn more about the current offer here.
All the major credit card issuers take different approaches to sign-up bonuses on their cards. I’d say my overall impressions of the current state of sign-up bonuses at Chase, Citi, and American Express are as follows:
- Chase is consistently generous with big sign-up bonuses, clearly still trying to gain market share
- Citi can be extremely generous with sign-up bonuses, though largely does so for specific products; that’s why we frequently see the offers on some cards change, and why some cards don’t even have any sign-up bonus anymore
- American Express seems heavily focused on retaining their existing customers; they consistently offer sign-up bonuses on cards, though aside from promotional offers, they’re not over the top; Amex also frequently sends out increased targeted offers, which can be the most generous in the industry
Ford is looking at applying for a couple more credit cards, so I was putting some thought into which cards he should apply for. Late last week I sat down with him (on his computer) to look at applications for different cards, including the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express and Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card. The sign-up bonuses on those two cards are ordinarily 25,000 and 15,000 points upon completing minimum spend, respectively.
I was surprised when we pulled up both applications and saw very different offers. The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express had a special sign-up bonus of 50,000 points upon completing minimum spend…
…while the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card has a special sign-up bonus of 30,000 points upon completing minimum spend.
He wasn’t logged into his Amex account or anything, so it’s fascinating that Amex seems to be offering different targeted offers to different IPs. I pulled up the offers on my computer, and didn’t see them. I figured that perhaps they’re targeting people in certain regions of the country, so maybe it was related to the ISP or location the IP indicated he was in.
The thing to note is that if you see the offer, it’s only valid for that web session. If you close the browser and go back later, the offer could very well be gone. That was the case for Ford, as he decided to think about it, and then later went back to apply, only to find the normal bonus.
I was in Toronto this weekend and was pulling up the applications on my laptop, and oddly saw the offers as well. That seems a bit backwards, given that presumably they’re not targeting potential cardmembers with Canadian IPs, since the cards can’t even be issued there.
The moral of the story is that if you’re considering applying for an American Express card, it pays to actually pull up the credit card application and see what the offer is, as it could be different than the standard offer. I don’t think there’s any way to get yourself targeted for these offers, but based on my experience so far, this seems to be somewhat random, and the offer you’re presented could change day to day or even minute to minute.
The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express and Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card are the two cards where I saw the increased offers, though it probably also makes sense to check other Membership Rewards earning cards, like the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express, and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.
Have you ever seen one of these seemingly targeted offers when pulling up an Amex credit card application?
Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the AmEx Everyday Preferred has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.