Over the last few weeks, card issuers have come up with elevated sign-up bonuses after a brief lull. We’ve seen the 80,000 points Chase Sapphire Preferred offer as well as elevated offer up to 60,000 Membership Rewards points on the Amex Gold Card. In previous posts, I’ve written how I’ve decided to tread carefully with Amex’s sign-up bonuses. Now, Amex is striking the hammer again and shutting down certain customer accounts.

Amex Shutting Down Accounts for certain Sign-up Offers

Doctor Of Credit shared this Reddit thread highlighting some of the recent data points. Apparently, Amex is shutting down accounts of people who signed up and got credit card sign-up bonus offers which did not contain the ‘no lifetime language’ restriction.

What’s going on?

As per Amex’s terms, you can only get one sign-up bonus per card product during your lifetime. However, every now and then, Amex targets customers with certain offers that bypass these restrictions. In this case, Amex is probably going after people who signed up for cards for a second time to get the bonus via links which were probably targeted for other customers, with the intent of getting the bonus for themselves. Amex’s terms and conditions for sign-up bonuses spell it out.

If we in our sole discretion determine that you have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with the welcome offer in any way or that you intend to do so (for example, if you applied for one or more cards to obtain a welcome offer(s) that we did not intend for you; if you cancel or downgrade your account within 12 months after acquiring it; or if you cancel or return purchases you made to meet the Threshold Amount), we may not credit the Membership Rewards points to, we may freeze the Membership Rewards points credited to, or we may take away the Membership Rewards points from your account. We may also cancel this Card account and other Card accounts you may have with us. If you have any questions regarding this offer, please call the number on the back of your Card.

The Pundit’s Mantra

If Amex shuts down your account for this reason, I doubt that you can do much as the terms and conditions are clearly on Amex’s side. Moving forward, it would be wise to read the fine print and follow the book as far as applying for any of Amex’s card products. If you want to play the miles and points game long term, then you wouldn’t want to be in the bad books of one of the biggest card issuers in the market.

Hat Tip to Doctor of Credit


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Disclosure: The Points Pundit receives NO compensation from credit card affiliate partnerships. Support the blog by applying for a card through my personal referral links. This article is meant for information purposes only and doesn’t constitute personal finance, health or investment advice. Please consult a licensed professional for advice pertaining to your situation.