Unless you have unique superpowers…getting approved for credit cards is a bigger challenge than it used to be. With American Express, a big part of the annoyance has been the growing number of “once in a lifetime” bonuses.
This trend sucks, but it’s the reality of our situation now. And it (hopefully) brings up the same question for all of us…what does Amex consider a lifetime to be?
Yes, multiple readers have gotten repeat bonuses that are supposed to be “once in a lifetime.” The unofficial length of time between “lifetimes” on an Amex card is 7 years. You have a card, close it, wait 7 years, and a new “lifetime” begins. It isn’t written in stone, but after 7 years, it’s certainly possible that you’ll be able to get another bonus on that same type of card.
But, here’s a thought…
Even if you have an accurate spreadsheet keeping track of dates…why not just ask?
Instead of looking at that 7-year mark as brick wall that stands between you and another bonus…why not spend ten minutes on the phone? Pretty simple question – what cards have I had with you guys in my lifetime? I asked it on the phone recently and then repeated the question the next day via online chat.
The answer was interesting.
3 Amex cards I’ve had within the last five years weren’t in my history. I have no clue why they aren’t showing up in the system…but they’re not there.
Do I think this answer from a customer service rep is an “official” recap of my history? Does it guarantee me future bonuses on those 3 cards?
But, worst case, I’ve got a screenshot from my chat that says I never had those cards. It gives me some ammunition if I need to fight for a “once in a lifetime” bonus down the road.