Doctor of Credit (H/T) has reported today that American Express is extending sign-up bonus spending periods by three months for certain cardholders. Cardholders who were approved for an Amex card between December 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020 are eligible for the extension.

There is a pop-up on Amex’s website that says the following:

Due to the impact of COVID-19, for eligible Card accounts approved from December 31, 2019 through May 31, 2020 for which you are eligible for a welcome offer, the period to make eligible purchases to earn your welcome bonus will be extended for an additional 3 months. Eligible Cards are U.S. Consumer and Business Cards issued by American Express National Bank to a Basic Card Member.


What’s Going On?

Eligible new cardholders now have six months to hit minimum spend requirements. But they must be approved for their card before May 31, 2020. Fortunately, the window for the extension has not elapsed. Therefore, April or May 2020 might be a good time to get a new Amex card. You can always hold onto the Membership Rewards (MR) points for future travel plans, if applicable. They do not expire, unlike some airline and hotel points.

Which Cards Are Eligible?

All personal and business American Express cards are eligible for the extension. The date of approval matters more than which card you are approved for.

Second Chance Points

Furthermore, the extension also applies to cardholders whose sign-up bonus period already elapsed and they did hit the minimum spend.

For example, Bob was approved for the American Express Gold Card on December 15, 2019. But he only spent a total of $3,000 on his card within the first three months. Bob was $1,000 short of the minimum spend requirement after three months. And now he has a second chance to earn the Gold Card’s sign-up bonus with this extension.

What About Upgrade Offers?

Doctor of Credit has multiple mixed reports about the extension applying to upgrade offers. It appears that the extension applies to sign-up bonuses only based on the pop-up.


Final Draw

American Express’ sign-up bonus extension is a great way for them to help new cardholders. This is especially true because people are generally spending less because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, this window also presents a great opportunity to get a new Amex card for future travel plans. Having an extra three months to meet minimum spend requirements is nice because it can make hitting a larger requirement easier.

However, this extension does not help existing Amex cardholders in any way. I hope that American Express does something else to help certain cardholders, especially those with premium cards.