If you've been in the game for some time, you've probably experienced signing up for a credit card with a lucrative bonus, only to see that shortly after, the bank bumped up the bonus on a "limited time" special sign-up period. Recently, this happened to me when applying for the Chase Ink Plus card: Initially, I signed up for the 50,000 point sign-up bonus, had my application approved and was a bit disheartened to see that three days later, Chase had increased the bonus to 60,000 points.
Still, I wasn't disheartened for very long. I've encountered this before and I have a great strategy of getting switched over to these bonuses when they are sporadically increased. The strategy I have is very similar to calling reconsideration lines when my applications aren't approved immediately. Here are some tips on how to secure these increases in bonuses.
1. Send a Secure Message instead of calling in: I've found that online support is much more robust than calling in to request increases in bonuses. Several years ago, the AMEX SPG card's sign-up bonus suddenly increased from 25,000 to 30,000 SPG points. I called the number on the back of the card to ask for the difference in points but was stonewalled by the representative. Thinking "what the hell", I got off the call and immediately shot over a short secure message on americanexpress.com. I had the 5,000 additional points in my account later that day.
2. State that you want the higher bonus and include a link: It's always a good idea to show proof that there is a higher or better available deal than the one for which you applied. Including a link in the secure message gives them this evidence and is another advantage of doing this online via text. Imagine having to read the entire URL to a representative over the phone!
3. Remind them how much you like their products: To help grease the wheels a little bit, be sure to drop into conversation how long you've been a customer with them. Conversely, if you're a newbie, make sure you describe how much you like their products or anything that you think would help you get on the rep's good side.
Using these techniques, I've been able to get increased sign-up bonuses a half dozen times that resulted in tens of thousands of extra points and miles.