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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Dave CherryCBS 5 Advocate Dave Cherry works to resolve your consumer problems and protect your money. If he can't help, he'll do his best to point you in the right direction.

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Dave Cherry
CBS 5 Advocate

Dave was born and raised in Philadelphia and considers himself one of the biggest Philly sports fans. At 6-feet, 5-inches, he's probably right! Dave started on a different career path before fulfilling his lifelong dream of reporting the news and helping consumers. Dave graduated from Philadelphia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting; he later earned an MBA degree in Finance from Temple University in Philadelphia. Dave also spent ten years as Vice President and Director of Sales and Marketing for two of America's leading real estate franchise companies. Dave started his 21-year news career at WHP in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as news anchor and reporter, then moved to KOLD in Tucson, as the morning news anchor. From Tucson, he went to KRON in San Francisco as a freelance news reporter before moving east to COMCAST in Philadelphia as a general assignment reporter. In the fall of 2003, Dave moved west and joined KPNX in Phoenix and spent nine years as the station Call for Action Consumer Reporter. Through his on-air advocacy work in 2011, Dave and his team were able to help consumers save more than $1 million. Dave joined CBS 5 News as our CBS 5 Advocate in December 2012. Dave is a vegan and likes to eat the amazing vegan food prepared by his lovely wife, Carmen. Dave's also a big Bruce Springsteen fan (he's seen more than 70 shows!), the man who inspired him to learn the guitar. Besides playing many of the boss' songs, Dave writes and sings his own songs and recorded a CD of original music.

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