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Earlier this week, I decided to apply for a new credit card. I have a couple of large expenses coming up, including a new laptop I want to buy for writing. My last credit card application was back in January for the Citi Premier.
Since some of these upcoming purchases are business-related and I’m considering dropping below 5/24 for future Chase card applications, it made sense to look at small business cards. My top three choices were the Capital One Spark Miles for Business (50k bonus), Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex (100k bonus) and the Hilton Honors Amex Business (125k bonus).
I eliminated the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card because it will show up on my personal credit report and affect my 5/24 status. Between the other two cards, I decided to apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex card. I never had the Amex SPG business card, so I was eligible for the bonus. Plus, I could use the Marriott points for either hotel stays or AA flights.
Once I made my choice, I filled out the application. After I hit submit, I got the dreaded Amex pop-up box. Oh, no!
What Is the Amex Pop-up Box?
Last summer, Amex started warning customers with a pop-up message if they were ineligible for a sign-up bonus because of Amex’s once-per-lifetime bonus rule. Very handy, right? I would want to know before I waste a credit inquiry if I wasn’t going to get the bonus.
Amex then added a second pop-up box to warn other folks that they were also ineligible for the sign-up bonus due to abusing the award system or opening too many cards. It looks like this:
I can hardly blame Amex for doing this. I’m not a profitable customer for Amex or any credit card company. I always pay my balance off every month, so I don’t pay interest or fees. Plus, I cancel some cards after a year or two if they don’t make sense to have as “keeper” cards.
The frustrating thing about this second pop-up box message is that, unlike Chase’s 5/24 rule, nobody has figured out the exact number of credit card openings that trigger Amex’s denial message. Some people report that putting spending on existing Amex credit cards helps prevent the pop-up box. I had put some recent spending on a current Amex card, but it wasn’t enough.
Today’s miles and points credit card atmosphere is so different from just a few years ago. I still remember the days of reading miles and points blogs when bloggers would apply for several cards on the same day, and then repeat that every three months. Those days are long gone!
Other Business Credit Cards to Consider
Amex isn’t the only business credit card gig in town. I have other options. Sort-of.
Obviously, Chase business cards are out since I can’t get approved since I’m over 5/24. I am avoiding Capital One business cards since they will show up on my personal credit report and hurt my progress on getting under 5/24. I’m not eligible to get the bonus on the CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard because I just had it last year. Too bad, because the public bonus is now 70,000 miles!
I could apply for the Alaska Airlines Business Visa credit card. It currently has a bonus of 40,000 miles and comes with a $99 companion certificate. I’ve never had either of the Alaska Airlines cards. However, I’ve read several accounts of sole proprietorships having difficulty getting approved due to some strict business paperwork requirements.
Another card I would consider due to the high sign-up bonus is the Radisson Rewards Business Visa Card (non-affiliate link) by US Bank. It comes with 85,000 bonus points after spending $2500 in the first 90 days, annual fee of $60. However, I don’t have a use for these points in the next year.
Not counting business cards, I’m at 11/24. Most of those cards are from 2017 and the first half of 2018. If I can wait until June of next year, I could get under 5/24 and be eligible for Chase cards again. I am strongly considering this path and sticking with business cards over the next year.
For now, I’m going to put a little more daily spend on my Amex cards and see if I can get that Amex pop-up box to disappear next month. I’m also going to keep looking at business card sign-up bonus offers to see if any others compel me to apply.
How are your credit card apps going? Have you been the victim of Amex’s pop-up box on a new card application?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.