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Amex is offering new cardholders 3 more months to earn welcome bonus

American Express is extending the time new cardholders need to earn their welcome offer bonus points due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here's who qualifies.

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If you've recently opened a new American Express card and are unable to meet the welcome offer requirements within the typical three-month time frame, there's good news. Amex is doubling the amount of time new cardholders have to earn the bonus from three months to six months, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here's what the Amex website states:

"Due to the impact of COVID-19, for eligible card accounts approved from December 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020 for which you are eligible for a welcome offer, the period to make eligible purchases to earn your welcome bonus will be extended for an additional 3 months. Eligible cards are U.S. consumer and business cards issued by American Express National Bank to a basic card member."

If you opened your account on December 1, 2019, you'd typically have until March 1, 2020. But now you have an additional three months to meet the spending requirements, through May 1, 2020.

The spending requirements for Amex welcome offer bonuses vary, but can be upwards of $3,000. For instance, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases on your new card within the first six months from account opening.

Meanwhile, the American Express® Gold Card offers 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first six months from account opening.

If you're able to meet the spending requirements during the now-six-month period, consider using the rewards to offset the cost of essential expenses related to the coronavirus, such as statement credit redemptions for grocery purchases, gift cards or food delivery.

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