Certain credit card spending categories have taken a hit due to the coronavirus outbreak, limiting cardholders’ ability to earn an introductory bonus. To offer more flexibility to customers, American Express is extending its welcome offer period for an additional three months.
Many issuers have encouraged cardholders to contact them to work out possible solutions to ease their financial struggle. Others, like Apple and Capital One, have allowed some customers to skip payments without accruing interest.
American Express provides relief to its cardholders on a case-by-case basis, offering flexibility in paying bills or directing them to the financial hardship program, among other measures. Now, the credit card issuer is offering new members more time to earn a welcome bonus.
On April 2, American Express announced that due to the impact of COVID-19, it will extend the period to make purchases and earn a welcome bonus for an additional three months for eligible cardholders.
Which accounts are eligible for the extension?
According to American Express, you can take advantage of this offer if your card account is eligible for a welcome offer and you’ve been approved between Dec. 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020. Eligible cards include both consumer and business cards.
As you can see in the table below, Amex normally gives new cardholders three months to earn the intro bonus. With the extension, cardholders will get an additional three months, meaning they will have up to six months in total to meet the spend requirements.
American Express card introductory bonuses
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||Limited Time Offer: $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in first 6 months. Offer Expires 12/10/2020.|
|American Express® Green Card||30,000 points after you spend $2,000 in first 3 months|
|Business Green Rewards Card from American Express||15,000 points after you spend $3,000 in first 3 months|
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||$200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in first 3 months|
|American Express Cash Magnet® Card||$150 after you spend $1,000 in first 3 months|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in first 3 months|
|The Business Platinum® Card from American Express||75,000 points after you spend $15,000 in first 3 months|
|American Express® Gold Card||60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in first 6 months|
|American Express® Business Gold Card||35,000 points after you spend $5,000 in first 3 months|
Managing credit cards during the pandemic
A welcome offer is a great opportunity to make the most out of a credit card. Considering credit card usage tendencies may have changed for many – with categories like travel and dining taking the biggest hit – this relief offer can be helpful for Amex customers looking to earn the bonus.
As Amex and other card issuers offer more and more relief options and flexibility, it’s recommended that consumers reach out to their credit card issuer if they experience any issues using and managing credit cards. While new offers keep coming up aimed to help cardholders, it’s also possible to find a way to resolve concerns by contacting a credit card company directly. In these unprecedented times, it may be difficult to adjust financially, so it’s essential to seek help as soon as a problem arises.
Should you take advantage of the extended welcome offer period?
If you have recently applied for an Amex card or been planning to, you might be understandably worried about meeting spend requirements. An introductory bonus is often the best opportunity a cardholder gets to earn a generous amount of rewards all at once. With the new Amex offer, you can rest easy knowing you have three extra months to meet the spend requirements.
If you can, it might still be worthwhile, though, to hit the bonus as soon as possible. If you’re looking for ways to get more cash, a bonus can be an excellent option to get a few extra bucks or points in your pocket during this challenging time.