An interesting quirk in the new Amex sign-up rules we missed, and other updates

Links on Head for Points pay us an affiliate commission. A list of our partners is here.

There has been a lot to digest about the new American Express sign-up bonus rules in the last few days.  Apart from everything we have discussed so far – see here and here – there was something I missed.

For one group of people, getting a new American Express sign-up bonus just got easier.

These are people who currently have Amex Gold Business or Amex Platinum Business.

American Express Gold Business sign-up rules

Why is life easier for Amex Business cardholders?

Under the old rules, all of the cards which offered Membership Rewards points (Green, Gold, Platinum, Gold Business, Platinum Business, Amex Rewards) were lumped together.  If you had one of these cards, you couldn’t get a bonus on another one until you had cancelled it and waited six months.

Under the new rules, this family has been broken up.  Instead, two new families have been created between the personal American Express cards and the small business American Express cards.

Let me explain what this means.  Under the old rules, if you had a Gold Business or Platinum Business Amex card, you were blocked from getting the sign-up bonus on a personal Gold, Green, Platinum or Amex Rewards card.

This is no longer the case:

The rule for personal Gold, personal Green and Amex Rewards now says “I understand I will not be eligible for the Welcome Bonus award if I hold or have held any personal American Express Card in the past 24 months”.  There is no mention of small business cards.

Similarly, the rule for personal Platinum now says “I understand I will not be eligible for any Welcome Bonus award if I hold or have held any personal Membership Rewards-enrolled American Express Cards in the past 24 months”.  There is no mention of small business cards.

Amex Platinum Business sign up bonus

Which means in plain English …..

This means that if you have Amex Gold Business or Amex Platinum Business, you can now apply for Preferred Rewards Gold, The (personal) Platinum Card or the Amex Rewards Credit Card.  The only caveat is whatever other personal Amex cards you have had in the last 24 months.

If you are an Amex Gold Business or Amex Platinum Business cardholder who has not held any personal Amex cards in the last 24 months, you can literally apply for any personal Amex card you want – immediately, with no need to close your Business card – and get the sign-up bonus.  None of the bonus rules on personal cards make any reference to Small Business cards.

Note that this method does not work in reverse.  The rules for applying for the Amex Business cards remain unchanged:

if you have had a personal Green, Gold, Platinum or Amex Rewards card, or a Gold Business or Platinum business card, in the previous six months then you CANNOT get a sign-up bonus on Gold Business or Platinum Business

if you have NOT had a personal Green, Gold, Platinum or Amex Rewards card, or a Gold Business or Platinum business card, in the previous six months then you CAN get a sign-up bonus on Gold Business or Platinum Business

You can learn more about Amex Gold Business in this HFP article.  You can learn more about Amex Platinum Business in this article.

You obviously need to meet the American Express definitions of having a qualifying small business before you can apply, but these are relatively generous.

An update on our article yesterday

We ran article yesterday entitled “Should you leave American Express for 24 months until you can get a new sign-up bonus?“.

Readers picked up on a couple of other issues to consider.  I edited these into the main article early on Saturday morning but if you read it by email you will have missed them.

Here are the two points I added:

“And you need an Amex to pay the taxes on your 2-4-1 tickets ….

Remember that you need to pay the taxes when you redeem a British Airways 2-4-1 voucher using an American Express card.  Despite what the rules say, it doesn’t need to be a BA Amex and it doesn’t need to be in your name (Amex does not check names as part of its card verification) but you WILL need access to an American Express.”


“Finally, do the Amex cashback offers have value to you?

Most of us have save £100+ per year via the cashback offers added to our Amex card statements.  You should factor the loss of those savings into your calculations.”

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Why you shouldn’t waste Avios on Club Europe redemptions from London City
How to use 'Part Pay With Avios' on BA, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus - Avios Redemption University - Lesson 9
Click here to join the 13,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. Matthew says:

    Can one be referred and refer others for an Amex IDC or Euro equivalent? I used to have the IDC but cancelled it some time ago. Wondering whether to get the Plat version of that…


  2. Could someone please confirm that I can get a personal gold if I hold personal plat? There won’t be a sign up bonus obviously.
    What I’m trying to judge is whether the plat is working for me long term and i think it might come down to continued availability of (self) referral. Gold can become a card I keep for a full year (spending 15k).
    Thanks for help.

    • Shoestring says:

      the old rules said no, you can’t hold Gold & Plat at the same time – I don’t think Amex have published any changes in this respect but you could always phone them up to be certain

      Would probably be enough to cancel Plat and take out Gold the next day – I can definitely still go from my Gold charge card to Plat from one day to another.

      • I have a Gold credit card and just got a Platinum card without a problem. Might be different if you still have the Gold charge card.

        • Thanks both. I have plat but not gold currently. Looks like now the gold is a credit card it is possible to hold both. I’m thinking gold for spend, plat for referrals going forward.

  3. Appreciate the advice Rob, card now cancelled

  4. Is the supplementary bonus for adding an extra card on platinum always applied or do you have to wait for the offer to appear?

  5. Shoestring says:

    A naked man has reportedly been arrested in Moscow after trying to board a plane while shouting about how clothes made him less agile and aerodynamic.
    Eyewitnesses said the would-be passenger passed through checks at Domodedovo Airport before suddenly taking off all his clothes and running on to the jet bridge, which connects airport terminals to planes.
    “He shouted that he was naked because clothing impairs the aerodynamics of the body. He flies with more agility when undressed,” a witness told Russian channel REN TV.
    Airport staff prevented the man from boarding his flight to Crimea and he was later detained by police officers.
    Fellow passengers told Ren TV the man did not appear drunk.

    • If this you seeking inspiration for the next flight back from your place in the sun, Harry? 😀

    • On the contrary, I would have thought his projectile would likely increase drag!

  6. sprout7 says:

    Sorry O/T – I have a lloyds upgrade voucher but I think my avios account has now been closed. Is it possible to see the voucher on my ba exec account or any other way of checking it’s expiry date?

    • You can’t see it on your BAEC a/c. I can still see mine on my account (which has stayed open due to Aer Club). Actually spent it today, agent transferred points from my BAEC account whilst on the call – then the bloody Lloyds Avios card blocked the taxes transaction so she kindly held whilst I went through Lloyds security to lift the block!

      • Lloyds security are very twitchy today. They blocked my transaction for £5 because I had not used it recently.

        • Yeah, I find they’re the twitchiest by far of any of my cards. Used to be good and just send a text you could reply to confirming the transaction though (and then reattempt), this time had to go through the whole rigmarole. When I bought a laptop recently they texted me a code, verified fine and order completed, only to get a text 10 min later asking me to confirm transaction and saying I wouldn’t be charged and would have to make it again! Thankfully ignored it and all went through fine.

          They also said I should have a new card – I pointed out they hadn’t sent them out yet!

  7. Reeferman says:

    Are the fees pro-rata refundable if you cancel during the course of the 12 months – with the Gold and Platinum Business Amex cards?

    • I’d imagine so, Rob said pro rata refunds are global practice for amex.

    • RIccatti says:

      No pro-rata fee refunds for AMEX USA.

      You have one month (statement cycle?) after renewal to decide to cancel card or not. After that AMEX USA does not refund the fee.

      • Reeferman says:

        Thanks, but am looking at Amex Business cards in UK – can’t find anything on-line one way or the other.

  8. One thing worth considering for some people is that the only Credit Card accepted at CostCo is AmEx. Otherwise you’ve got to use debit cards.

    • A-Mahdi says:

      Not for long time, Amex lost their contract with Costco 2 years ago in the USA and the new contract was awarded to Visa , the contract in the UK is I think for another 2 years so after that Costco may move to Visa in the UK as well

      • William Squires says:

        Are you certain that’s the case? They are still pushing the Amex pretty hard in store.

        The cynic in me wonders who else is going to give them a better deal over here. The prospects of moving to a NewDay or Creation backed card are pretty grim, but I guess Amex are unlikely to prop up a card which loses at least 0.7% up to 2.7% either.

        Brilliant product while it lasts though.

  9. the crazy thing is/was the AMEX referral bonus which is based on the card you are referring FROM

  10. I have been trying to get my head round this, as I have a LTD company I am going to try and churn the gold card. Does the BA amex counts as a rewards card when I apply for my business gold in six times. The question is do I need to be clean of all my other amex cards, if I want to get a business gold card? Couldn’t work it out. Thank you for the help.

  11. I am uhhming and ahhing about cancelling,as I expect to be able to earn one more Lloyds upgrade voucher this year, but I have minimal Avios at the moment and it’s obviously not valid long enough for cancelling now and earning sign-up bonuses in 24 months to be worthwhile. So I think at the moment I am better off hanging on to the PRG and trying to earn referral points, to get up to a worthwhile balance.

    I should probably cancel the free BA Amex, though.

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.