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HURRY! AMEX putting an end to churning.

American Express cards are excellent for churning, earning lots of points quickly. One could easily get the same card over and over, and get the welcome bonus. However, American Express has just attached the following term to all of their Membership Rewards cards on normal applications:

This offer is only available to new American Express® Gold Rewards Cardmembers. For current or former American Express® Gold Rewards Cardmembers, we may approve your application, but you will not be eligible for the welcome bonus.

This really sucks, and looks like AMEX is putting an end to churning. However, this exclusion is not currently applied to credit cards applied through a referral link. Whether they will be attaching this exclusion to the referral applications soon, I don’t know, but it would make sense if their goal is to put an end to churning. If you want to churn an American Express card, do so now. It is quite possible that you won’t be eligible for the sign-up bonus ever again if you’ve previously had the card.

Here are my referral links. As always, I am very grateful whenever you apply for a card through me, supporting this blog:

American Express GOLD – 25,000 MR points (convertible 1:1 to Aeroplan and Avios, first year free).

American Express PLATINUM – 60,000 MR points, $200*2 travel credits, priority pass ($699 fee).


  1. How were you able to churn, AMEX implemented “once per lifetime per product” a while ago…

  2. I thought most Amex cards are not churnable?

    It sounds like you’re saying they’re churnable but are not going to be.

    Which is it because I read in other blogs something different. You confuse the heck out of us regular folks

      1. Thanks for the explanation. That’s too bad then. I didn’t know they had different rules for US and Canada!!

  3. I hope it’s going to be like Chase / Marriott card. I think I’ve read it here on DCTA or somewhere that although their policy states that bonuses are new customers only, churners reporting they keep receiving welcome points.

      1. I was able to get cat 1-4 certificate after calling customer service, My card was cancelled for 6 months before reapplying,

  4. Hi,

    I already had the gold card , applied for and received it in 2015, cancelled it in April. Am I able to get it again as well,as the sign up bonus using your link?

    Do you have any referrals for the spg card?

    Thank you

    1. If you use the referral link, as of right now, you should be able to get the bonus again.

      I am very grateful that you would like to support DCTA with our SPG Referral. Thank you.

  5. question about getting the last months points and not paying the annual fee.

    The clock with Amex seems to start the day they approve you and it can take a month till you get the card.

    Having a card, and not wanting to pay a renewal annual,fee (I am cancelling a card ), I would like to make large charges the twelfth month to get a lot of points.

    I believe if I cancel the card before the points post (and they post on the 12th month) I do not get the points. On the 12th month I also would see.the annual fee post. If I cancel the card after the fee posts but before it is due — do I get to keep the points from the 12th month?

    1. Typically (although I cannot provide any guarantees), AMEX will refund your annual fee if you cancel it within 30-60 days of the fee posting. So you should be OK.

  6. No more churning on referred applications either now.. The same wording has been added to referrals

    “This offer is only available to new American Express® Gold Rewards Cardmembers. We may approve your application, but you will not be eligible for the welcome bonus.”

  7. Referrals are still worth tapping for subsequent applications involving other family members (or friends). Subsequent applications are treated as new applications, so no fee. AMEX Gold Rewards is my favorite card for x2 category spending, so as long as FYF applies to subsequent applications and AMEX doesn’t end “referral churning,” I plan to keep applying for this card. Steps:
    1.Close AMEX Gold Rewards card after transfer of MR to Aeroplan.
    2. Spouse sends you referral link a few weeks later. Apply using referral link, get approved, referrer gets 10,000 on approval.
    3. Cancel spouse’s card after MR transfer to Aeroplan.
    4. Send spouse referral link.Spouse applies and if approved, you get 10,000 MRs.
    5. Repeat. Not as rich as the sign-up bonuses but a way for a household to keep those cards in play and earn 10,000 MRs x2. Plus AMEX has the best customer service of all the credit card providers.
    BTW, I love your blog.

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