Nice Move: American Express Extends Welcome Offer Earning Periods

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With a lot of the world currently being asked to stay at home and with many businesses temporarily shut down, people’s spending has dropped significantly over recent weeks and anyone who has recently received a new credit card is almost certainly finding it tougher to meet the spending criteria for their welcome bonus. For these people, Amex has a plan.

American Express has announced that anyone eligible for a welcome offer on its credit/charge cards will have their welcome offer earning period extended by 3 months for accounts approved between 1 December 2019 and 31 May 2020.

A message that’s appearing in many people’s Amex accounts – click to enlarge

Most American Express cards offer a welcome bonus for cardholders who meet set spending targets within the first three months of opening their new accounts, so a lot of people will now have twice the usual amount of time in which to earn their welcome bonuses.

This extension also applies to anyone working towards an upgrade bonus.

I’m in the process of working my way to a bonus of 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points courtesy of an Amex upgrade offer that I was targeted for back in the middle of February, and I used the chat function in my online Amex account to confirm that the three month period that I was initially given to meet the upgrade spending target would be increased to 6 months.

This is very good news as the 3-month extension means that I can now stop using my Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card (review) for every single transaction I make (as I attempt to hit the spending target within my 3-month window) and go back to using the cards that earn me the best rate of return on each transaction – I’ll go back to using my Bonvoy card on purchases that don’t earn me a bonus with any other card I hold and on any Marriott spending I may make (although that latter option doesn’t seem all that likely right now).

Bottom Line

This is both a nice and smart move by Amex. It’s nice because it takes the pressure off cardholders working their way to a welcome bonus at a time when their spending has almost certainly dropped off significantly, and it’s smart because it may well now encourage people to apply for American Express cards (before 31 May) because they know that they’ll have a 6-month window in which to earn the welcome bonus.

I may have to look around and see if there are any Amex cards I’d like to pick up 🙂


  1. Any idea how Citi is treating this? I just got the Citi AA Mastercard and haven’t heard anything from them. Even after a message to their customer service.

    • No news from Citi so far but with Chase offering partial annual fee rebates on at least one of its cards (the Sapphire Reserve) and now with Amex making this move, I expect Citi to do something at some point….i just don’t know when.

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