American Express Lifetime Rule


American Express Credit Cards have a “once per lifetime” rule. That means that “usually” you can only get one of their signup bonuses once in a lifetime per card. This makes it really important to apply for one of their cards when the signup bonus is at an all-time high.

We love Membership Rewards, the bonus points that you get with American Express credit cards like the Gold Card, Platinum Card, Green Card, and EveryDay Cards. They are transferable points which means they can be transferred to the airlines and hotels that Amex partners with. These include:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air France
  • KLM
  • Alitalia,
  • ANA
  • Cathay Pacific
  • British Airways
  • Delta
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • Hawaiian,
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Singapore
  • Virgin America
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Hilton
  • Choice
  • Marriott


Exceptions to Lifetime Rule

Occasionally, you might get an offer to an Amex credit card that doesn’t have the lifetime rule in its terms and conditions. This doesn’t happen that often, but it does happen. I’ve been looking for one for some time and finally got one. I have the Platinum Business credit card with my personal small business. Earlier this year, I was offered that card again. I totally expected to see the popup bubble that would say I wouldn’t get the bonus signup when I applied but I didn’t.

This offer came to my email and I thought it was a mistake since I already had the card. I read on other sites that people were getting it again so I decided to apply.


Screenshot of AMEX Credit Card Application


150,000 Membership Rewards is a great bonus. This equals at least 165,000 Membership Rewards after meeting minimum spend and I can use that towards an around the world ticket on ANA. I was immediately approved for the card. That was a big minimum spend, but we were able to use it to pay my husband’s estimated taxes (he’s self-employed) which worked out great.

Reportedly, after about 7 or so years, the lifetime rule ends. I guess it really isn’t a lifetime rule but more of a 7+year rule. There are some people who say Amex “forgets” that you had the card about 7 years after you cancel it. If you give this a try and aren’t eligible you’ll get a pop-up that will let you know. From there you can cancel the application. Some have even had success with this before the 7 years.


Bottom Line

In the meantime, make sure you sign up for Amex cards when they have a great bonus and keep a lookout for American Express signup offers that don’t have the lifetime rule. You may get lucky, as I did, and get the signup bonus again! Have you ever gotten an AMEX bonus more than once?

Beach and ocean

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to know the most popular card for beginners? 

click here

Affiliate Disclosure: Travel Mom Squad uses affiliate links. We may receive compensation if you use our links when applying for a credit card at no extra cost to you. This compensation does not impact how or where products appear on this site. We have not reviewed all available credit card offers on this site. Thank you so much if you use our links!

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this site is not provided by credit card issuer. All opinions, reviews, and recommendations are expressed by the author, not the credit card issuer.