Middle Age Miles

No-Lifetime-Language Amex Biz Platinum Offer [Targeted] – What Do We Do with This?

american express amex business platinum card biz plat card no lifetime language nll no once-per-lifetime limit offer sign-up bonus details strategy

The Offer

Yesterday, Philly received a targeted email from Amex with the subject line, “Give your business more power with another Business Platinum Card.” The email expressly recognizes that she already has a Business Platinum card and invites her to apply for another card, including this language:

  • “Power up with another Business Platinum Card”; and
  • “When it comes to the Business Platinum Card, more is definitely better. With a 2nd Platinum Card in your wallet, you’ll have more control over expense management, more opportunities to earn Membership Rewards points and more buying power.”

This Business Platinum card would have the regular $595 annual fee. It comes with a sign-up bonus offer to earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points:

  • Earn 50,000 MR points after you spend $10,000 within 3 months
  • Earn an extra 25,000 MR points if you spend an additional $10,000 within that same 3-month period

The offer is open until 3/16/2020.

And, in case you’re wondering, the offer terms clearly don’t contain any of Amex’s standard language about the bonus not being available if you’ve previously held a Business Platinum card. Here are the complete Offer Terms:

Quick Analysis of the Offer

For an annual fee of $595 plus meeting the spend requirement, Philly could get:

  • At least 95,000 MR points
    • 75,000 MR points from the sign-up bonus
    • At least 20,000 MR points from the $20k in spend
      • Could be more than 20k MR if part of the spend consists of purchases >$5,000, which earn 1.5x MR, or purchases of flights or prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, which earn 5x MR
    • Total value = at least $1,425 at our baseline value of 1.5 cents per MR point
    • If you assume an opportunity cost of 3% on this spend (the next-best alternative being to put the $20k in spend on a Blue Business Plus card at 2x MR), that comes out to $600
    • Net value of MR points = $1,425 – $600 = $825
      • At that point, you’re already ahead by $230 if you net out the $595 annual fee
  • Potential for $400 in airline fee credits
    • $200 in 2020 and $200 in early 2021
  • Potential for $300 in Dell credits
    • $100 for Jan-June 2020; $100 for July-Dec 2020; $100 for Jan-June 2021
  • The other benefits such as airport lounge access, hotel status, etc., wouldn’t be worth anything as they’d be duplicative
    • However, if getting a new card allowed you to cancel your “first” Biz Plat card, there would be some value attached to extending these benefits
      • This would be particularly true for the 35% pay-with-points rebate – extending the time period of that benefit could be very useful
    • But conservatively, for purposes of this analysis, let’s value these duplicative benefits at $0

Thus, even if you only value the airline fee & Dell credits at 60% of face value, the offer is squarely profitable:

  • $825 in net value of MR points in excess of opportunity cost
  • Something like $420 for the airline fee & Dell credits ($700 * 0.6)
  • Total value of benefits = roughly $1,245
  • Net value in excess of $595 annual fee = $1,245 – $595 = $650

In addition, this card won’t count toward 5/24, it almost certainly won’t result in a hard pull by Amex, and it won’t appear on your personal credit report. If you can meet the minimum spend, this is an offer worth doing.

Philly’s Unusual Situation with Respect to This Biz Plat NLL Offer

We were quite surprised for Philly to receive this targeted email. Why? Because Philly already got a “second” Business Platinum card.

Just before the end of 2019, Philly received a physical mailer from Amex with this exact same “2nd Business Platinum” targeted offer. She applied and was instantly approved.

For what it’s worth – and perhaps it’s very important now – she applied for the “2nd” Biz Plat card targeted offer with a different business than her “1st” Biz Plat card.

We met the first $10k in spend during January, and she received the 50k MR sign-up bonus points without incident. We’ve just met the second $10k in spend this week, and we anticipate that her additional 25k MR sign-up bonus points will also post without any issues.

So, should she apply for another Business Platinum card using this new targeted email offer? It’s nicely profitable, so it’s very tempting. We’d also love to start re-building her stash of MR points, as we just used a lot of them to purchase some plane tickets for our international travel later this year.

But would Amex see an additional Business Platinum application as “gaming”? Even though this offer clearly doesn’t contain any no-lifetime language (NLL), its terms do contain Amex’s usual anti-gaming language:

If we in our sole discretion determine that you have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with the welcome offer in any way or that you intend to do so (for example, if you applied for one or more new cards to obtain a welcome offer(s) that we did not intend for you, if you cancel or downgrade your account within 12 months after acquiring it, or if you cancel or return purchases you made to meet the Threshold Amount) we may not credit Membership Rewards points to, we may freeze Membership Rewards points credited to, or we may take away Membership Rewards points from your account. We may also cancel this Card account and other Card accounts you may have with us.

The case against “gaming” would seem to be strong here – Amex undoubtedly knew Philly’s card situation when they sent this offer, her application wouldn’t violate any express terms of the offer, she would actually pay the annual fee, meet the spend for the bonus with non-gaming purchases, etc. But even if you assume that she would ultimately come out ok, it really wouldn’t be worth the stress and effort associated with any Amex financial review or freeze. We’ll probably play this one on the super-conservative side and give this offer a pass.

Wrap-Up

If you’re targeted for this “2nd Business Platinum” card offer and you haven’t done one before/recently, then this is a good offer that you should seriously consider if you can meet the spend requirements. We’ve already put our money where our mouth is on this recommendation, as we previously got a “2nd” Business Platinum card for Philly.

If you have some other unusual circumstances, though, like Philly does, be sure to consider the pros and cons carefully in making your application decision.

Have you received this targeted offer from Amex? Did you apply? What do you think of the offer? Please let us and other Middle Age Miles readers hear from you in the Comments!


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7 thoughts on “No-Lifetime-Language Amex Biz Platinum Offer [Targeted] – What Do We Do with This?

  1. Docntx

    Excellent analysis. Received the same mailer, and I share your concerns and trepidation. Will easily meet spend requirements with taxes and insurance premiums approaching, but having pulled up the application, I keep getting cold feet.
    One more thing to ruminate at night. 🙂

    1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

      Many thanks, Docntx. If you’d just be getting a “2nd” Biz Plat, it seems like you’ll be ok. That’s exactly how the offer is targeted. And at least for our own personal DP, everything has worked fine with Philly’s “2nd” card. Beyond a “2nd” card, not sure the benefits juice is worth the anxiety squeeze. I really appreciate the comment and your thoughts. ~Craig

  2. Rob

    Have Philly’s two Biz Plats been open over 12-months? If so, why not cancel/downgrade one of the Biz Plats and apply for this offer? After cancel/product change, then technically Philly’s will only have one Biz Plat and thus apply for this offer for the second Plat.

    Is there an expiration date on this offer?

    1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

      Hi Rob – Very insightful questions, which will lead to a nuanced explanation (which I left out so as not to bog down the article even further). One of Philly’s Biz Plats is new (from the snail-mail “2nd Biz Plat” offer) but her other one is old. We’re actually going to downgrade it within the next few days, as soon as a Dell credit clears. That will leave her with 1 Biz Plat. But it will still leave her with having accepted the “2nd Biz Plat” offer once already and unsure whether accepting it another time would be viewed poorly by Amex.

      Expiration date on the offer is 3/16/2020.

      Very much appreciate your thought process here – good strategic thinking! Thanks for the comment. ~Craig

  3. JB SanDiego

    I would take the offer. No questions asked!

    Earlier this week, I just got off my ~4 month suspension (unable to transfer MRs, but was able to purchase and accumulate MRs across all my cards, including co-branded). During this period, I was approved for 2 Hilton cards and cancelled 5 cards. ~3 weeks before my suspension, I was approved for the vanilla Plat without the lifetime verbiage via friend referral per DoC (I had just cancelled this Plat last year). This was my 2nd Plat because I already had the Ameriprise Plat and I have both as of today. Just last year, I had the business Plat, Mercedes Benz Plat, Morgan Stanley Plat (got this one by setting up a MS account without funding it). Had them all at once.
    For business cards, they are more flexible because they want your business. They have called me offering me the business gold 2 month after I was just approved for it and I accepted the second business gold card.
    Gets even more interesting. A few weeks ago, I received an email to a link to the new Delta cards without the lifetime verbiage. My anniversary for 2 of my other cards are coming up soon and I will cancel and free up 2 slots for the 5 credit card Limit. I will then go for 2 Delta cards again (As of now, I don’t have any Delta cards and as of last November, I had canceled both my Reserve cards. I have had all of the Delta cards.).

    Hope this helps in making your decision?

  4. Larry

    I have a similar dilemma. We had a business plat but cancelled it when the annual fee came due in December. Got the offer to add a second card in the mail a few days later. So, can we get a “second” bus plat with no lifetime bar when we no longer have the first? I mean, anything can be “gaming” if you look hard enough. We have until 3/16 to decide.

    1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

      Hi Larry – Thanks for the comment and good question. Your situation seems far afield of gaming. I wouldn’t be seriously concerned about using that offer in your situation. But that said, I totally understand your concern. We’re all pretty jumpy these days! ~Craig

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