Big Changes to Amex Small Business Cards

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Yesterday some seemingly inevitable bad news came out regarding American Express Small Business Cards, especially if you like to potentially get the same credit card (and sign-up bonus) more than once in your lifetime. For a good while now American Express personal cards have largely contained some language in the terms and conditions that says something to the tune of “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.”

This meant that if you got a card like the Amex Everyday Preferred Card and the sign-up bonus points then closed it for some reason and wanted it again down the road, that you could “never” get that sign-up bonus again. There seemed to be some exceptions to this rule, especially if you received a targeted offer, but it was the general rule.

However, the various Amex small business credit cards did not carry this language, and instead usually said something like “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product within the last 12 months.” This meant you potentially could get the small business cards and their bonuses more than once, if you so desired. At least until the last day or two when the small business cards now carry the same language as the personal cards indicating that the welcome bonus offer is not available to applicants who have or have had the product.

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express does not seem to have the new terms written into its terms on the landing page as of this writing on 2/26/16 at about 9:30A Central on the landing page, though the application page does seem to have the new terms, so wouldn’t really count on getting in under the wire with that one.

SPG Business Amex.jpg

These things come in cycles, so just because these are the terms now doesn’t mean it will necessarily always be this way forever, but it is important to make note of the new terms if you are considering a card you have had in the past. Also note that business and personal versions of the same cards are treated as different products, so if you had the SPG Personal Card, you could still get the SPG Business Card and sign-up bonus at some point.

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Big yawn! AMEX has no cards left worth churning.

    Most of us here avoid Delta. Hilton 75k bonus is nearly worthless. The MR points are ever harder to redeem due to loss of most useful transfer partners. SPG was only good card and they’re soon losing that too. Anything else can be taken care of with cards from other banks.

    AMEX are idiots if they think cutting off a small batch of churners will suddenly solve their problems. They’re an also-ran who painted themselves into a corner with their exorbitant merchant fees and their inability to do debit makes them useless to “underbanked” hence the imminent demise of Serve and BB.

  2. I am about to start a second small business and will be looking for card to go with that. If Amex are saying I’ll not get a bonus for that second card then that will go into the mix in deciding who to go for. It’s not the big part of the decision but it is in there.

    • And btw Amex, its not just me but perhaps several people I will have billing through whichever biz card I choose. Anyway…

  3. I’m a bit disappointed with AMEX over this but I will live. I just opened a new business and was looking forward to a couple of new cards but now that I will not receive a bonus I think I will default back to a couple of existing favorites that are not AMEX cards. Sad thing is I actually spend well in excess of the “minimum spend for points” level. On my business Reserve I charged nearly $100K last year before I realized I was well past the point of extra MQM at $30k and $60K. I closed that card in late November with the plan to reapply for it under the new business in December of this year. How about a targeted offer that gets the signup bonus for another Reserve card AMEX? That’s about the only way you will get my spend on a Delta card again.

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