CBS 5 Advocate

Confirm eligibility if you're a repeat rewards card customer

Posted: Updated:
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A number of credit cards offer huge mileage rewards for signing up but be careful if you apply for the same rewards card a second time.

Some people sign up for a reward card, get the miles, then cancel the card before the annual fee kicks in the following year. It's a smart consumer move. If enough time passes, you may actually be able to sign up for the same card a second time; just make sure you're eligible for the same benefits.

When Cheryl Meert wanted a new mileage reward credit card, she looked no further than the Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express card.  She already had the card a couple of years ago, got the award, then canceled it.  She contacted American Express to see if she could apply for it again.

"I actually had the old card number and I started giving it to the lady and she said 'oh, I found it here,'" Meert said.

The card still offered 50,000 Delta SkyMiles after making $2000 in charges on the card.  Since the mileage award is only for new customers, Meert wanted to be sure she was eligible before signing up.  She says the American Express phone rep told her no worries; she had closed her prior card far enough in the past.

"I'm sure I said, now you're sure we're going to get the 50,000 miles and she said 'oh yes,'" Meert said.

But months later, after Meert put the $2000 of charges on the card, she says American Express told her she wasn't eligible because she wasn't a new customer and she could forget about the miles.

"I held up my end of the deal and I expected them to hold up their end," Meert said.

Meert says if she had gotten an email confirmation of her eligibility, she could have put up a better fight with American Express.

"They got my money, and now they didn't give me the miles, and I don't think that's right," Meert said.

American Express told CBS 5 News they only offer bonuses to new customers; never to repeat customers. The company provided no further information. Meert says she is sure of what was said, but she won't be getting those miles.

Remember though, many other cards and banks do allow repeat customers if enough time passes, but don't forget to insist on an email confirming your eligibility for the bonus.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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