It is well known that, AmEx has a “once per lifetime” policy for its sign-up bonuses. The exact term is: “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.” But if you dig deep in the credit card game, you should know the concept that: the most important thing is now what the term says; instead, it’s how the code is actually written. We can only know it by actual data points. Ever since the “once per lifetime” policy is implemented, lots and lots of data points have shown that, if you have applied for a AmEx card, you won’t get the bonus if you apply again. But there’s a special case that needs further discussion: what if you obtained an AmEx card by **product changing**, not by **applying**, are you still eligible for the sign-up bonus?
In order to answer this question, I did a test last year to get a valid data point. Before this test, I had AmEx ED, and had never had AmEx EDP. Then I upgraded my ED to EDP, and of course there’s no sign-up bonus from this upgrade. Then after one or two months when a statement is generated, I downgraded the EDP back to ED. At that time, I had had EDP by product changing, but had never got the sign-up bonus. And then I applied for the EDP, and then made the required amount of purchases. In the end, I got the 30k sign-up bonus! This data point shows that, the answer to the question in the title is: Yes!
Apart from my own data point above, our reader CL said that this is also true for Delta cards.
Some points to be noted:
- First, if you obtained an AmEx card by product changing, and apply for the same card when it is sill open, you won’t get the sign-up bonus! This is shown by a data point on reddit. Therefore, before you apply for the new card, please make sure to close or product change the previous one.
- Second, if you applied for an AmEx card, but didn’t get the sign-up bonus because you didn’t finish the spending requirement, you won’t get the bonus even if you close it and apply for this card again! AmEx will only give you the chance to obtain the sign-up bonus once. This case is very different from the case to obtain the card by product changing.
The reason why I emphasize this specific AmEx policy is that, in the near future Citi Hilton cards will be automatically converted to AmEx Hilton cards. If the above discussion can be successfully extrapolated, then you are still eligible for the sign-up bonus for the new AmEx Hilton cards even if you got them by the automatic product changing. As long as you apply for the card after closing or product change the previous one.
More data points are welcomed!