American Express (US) & No Lifetime Language (NLL) Offers

american-express-no-lifetime-language-offers-two-business-platinum-cards

If you’ve gained the ability to get US credit cards as a Canadian, you most likely got your first credit card with American Express. American Express (US) offers a plethora of co-branded cards that earn miles and points in various loyalty programs, including Membership Rewards which can transfer to even more programs.

Many of the offers on these cards are outsized in value however American Express (US) has a strict once-per-lifetime rule when it comes to earning the welcome bonus on any of their credit products. But a small exception exists when it comes to American Express (US) welcome offers: no lifetime language offers.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about American Express’s no lifetime language offers, or NLL offers, in the United States.

The American Express (US) Once Per Lifetime Rule

American Express US has a strict “once-per-lifetime” rule for their credit products, meaning that you can earn the welcome offer on a new card once. While the rule is often talked about as a “lifetime rule”, many people estimate that what American Express considers a lifetime is about seven years in practice. It might be even shorter if you are lucky.

This means that when applying for American Express US credit cards, you need to be picky and ensure you are getting the best welcome offer possible since you only get one welcome offer per card for a significant period of time. That being said, even though there is a once-per-lifetime rule, no lifetime language offers exist that add an additional dimension to the miles and points game in the United States.

The American Express (US) Pop-Up

If you are applying for an American Express US credit card that you have held before, or if you haven’t been spending on your existing American Express credit cards, you might receive the below pop-up. This pop-up mentions ineligibility for the welcome offer, meaning you can still apply for and receive the card, but you won’t receive the welcome offer points associated with the application.

american express usa popup

If you do get the pop-up when you are applying for a card, you can simply cancel your application and it will have no impact on your credit score or credit report. This pop-up is quite helpful, as if you are applying for a new card, regardless of whether you have held it before, if you don’t receive a pop-up you can be certain that you will receive the welcome offer associated with that application.

What are American Express’s No Lifetime Language Offers?

American Express (US) no lifetime language offers are often not talked about and tend to be one of the lesser known tricks in the US miles and points scene. 

These offers do not have lifetime language in the offer terms, meaning you are eligible to receive the welcome offer even if you have held the card previously. It is easy to identify a no lifetime language offer once you understand what you are looking for in the offer terms.

When reviewing the offer terms before you apply for an American Express (US) credit card, always look for a clause about eligibility for the welcome bonus. Most often, it will be a bolded clause that states “Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this card.” This is what we call lifetime language, and means you will not be eligible to receive the welcome offer if you have held this card in your lifetime with American Express (US).

A sample of the “lifetime restricted” offer terms is below:

american express us lifetime language offer clause

There is another variation of this lifetime language that I would call “might be lifetime restricted” as the offer terms state that “You might not be eligible to receive a welcome offer…”. This is not as definitive as the above clause, and thus, if you apply for a card with these offer terms and do not get the pop-up, you will receive the welcome offer. While this isn’t a true no lifetime language offer, it can function the same way if you are lucky.

A sample of the “might be lifetime restricted” offer terms is below:

american express us maybe lifetime language offer clause

If both of the above clauses are absent from the offer terms, then that offer link would be considered a no lifetime language offer.

The Value of No Lifetime Language Offers

If it wasn’t already clear, the main value of these no lifetime language offers is that they allow cardholders to earn another welcome bonus on their favorite cards. This means they can be a great way to accrue miles and points in short order, provided you are being targeted for these offers or can find a working link.

Over the past year, no lifetime language offers have frequently been available for the series of Hilton credit cards, making it easy to earn enough Hilton Honors points for my next vacation. Not to mention, when combined with buying groups, holding a few of these Hilton credit cards makes it very easy to earn a tidy sum of Hilton Honors free night certificates by meeting spending thresholds. Keep these no lifetime language offer opportunities in mind when planning out your Hilton credit card strategy.

How to Find American Express (US) No Lifetime Language Offers

As with much of the deeper knowledge in the miles and points world, no lifetime language links are easier to find as you become more involved within the community. While links are sometimes shared on public websites and via newsletters (including Frugal Flyer’s newsletter), much of this information stays behind closed doors and is contained in private communications.

Similar to manufactured spending methods, no lifetime language links showcase the importance of building a community of miles and points enthusiasts and strengthening bonds with those who have a similar passion for this hobby. No lifetime language links are valuable and as a result, are treated exactly as such by members of the community.

Some customers may also be targeted via physical mailers or via pop-ups when logging into your American Express account. For example, while I already hold an American Express Business Platinum card (US), I currently have a targeted no lifetime language offer for another Business Platinum card in my American Express account.

american express us business platinum card no lifetime language targeted offer

Ultimately, no lifetime language offers have many different sources, so always be looking for the next opportunity. Outside of the Business Platinum, the most common cards that I have seen no lifetime language links for include the American Express Hilton Honors Surpass card (US), the American Express Hilton Honors Business card (US), and the American Express Business Gold card (US).

The Best Strategy for American Express (US) No Lifetime Language Offers

If you are interested in a new American Express US credit card and you have never held that specific card before, don’t worry about no lifetime language offers. Simply find the best welcome offer available for that card and apply. Even if you use a no lifetime language link for your first application for a specific card, that does still apply lifetime language to having held that card.

Once you have held a card once, that is when no lifetime language offers come into play as they are able to get around the restrictions from American Express (US). The best strategy depends on what links are available and what miles or points currency you are interested in accruing. No lifetime language links come and go frequently, and when they are around they might not last long, so act fast when you find one that fits your needs.

Once you do find a no lifetime language link and apply for the card, if you do not get the pop-up you will receive the welcome offer as described in the offer terms.

Conclusion

American Express’s no lifetime language offers in the United States provide miles and points enthusiasts with another way to increase their loyalty program balances. While American Express is very strict with their once-per-lifetime rule when it comes to their financial products, no lifetime language offers skirt that restriction and are a useful tool when you find a link that does not have the lifetime restriction.

Matt Astro

Matt Astro

Contributor at Frugal Flyer
Matt is a technophile and math nerd who discovered travel hacking in 2015. His favorite points-powered trip to date was visiting Estonia. Matt takes no shame in being far too frugal. In fact, he would probably go as far as calling himself cheap. Seriously, if there is a way to get something for free, Matt will find it and take advantage of it (and then maybe write about it here).

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