How we bypassed the dreaded American Express Pop Up Jail

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Updated: June 8, 2024

We’ve been planning on having Nancy apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. It’s a card she never had before. So we were confident she’d get approved easily.

The dreaded Amex Pop Up Jail

I got on my work computer and began the application process. Everything was going well, until I saw this message:
She’s never had trouble applying for an Amex card before (personal and biz), so this was new. I’ve heard of American Express Pop Up Jail before but to be honest with you, until it happened to us, I didn’t really pay much attention to it because we were never in Amex jail.

Prison break

Without looking up what others did to get out of jail, I simply decided to do the following to try and see if I could bypass the pop-up:
The pop-up appeared on my work PC’s Microsoft Edge browser.
  • I closed down MS Edge
  • Opened up Chrome
  • Selected Incognito or Private Window
  • Reapplied
  • The Amex pop-up jail message did not appear this time

But, she wasn’t instantly approved

Another shocker because we always get instantly approved with American Express.
We decided to call Amex last night to follow-up on her Aspire application. After the rep went through the security verification, within a minute….Nancy was APPROVED.

Make sure to verify the sign-up bonus offer

Since the approval happened over the phone vs. online, we wanted to make sure that there were no issues with getting the offer. Indeed, no issues. This was the offer.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card 

This offer was as of June 8, 2024 (subject to change). This offer ends July 31, 2024.

  • Earn 175,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points (up from 150,000)
  • Spend $6K in 6 months
  • Annual fee: $550 (grab your meds, breathe, chill)
  • Automatic Hilton Diamond status
  • Earn an annual free night reward in your first year of Card Membership and every year upon Card renewal.
  • $400 Hilton resort credit
  • $189 CLEAR Plus statement credit
  • $200 flight credit
  • $100 on property credit when you book with Hilton. In an annual free night reward
  • National Car Rental Emerald Status


Yes, the $550 annual fee for many of us is worth it. We know we will be using many of those credits and perks that come along with Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card.

Other ways to get out of jail

If you have other cards with American Express, make sure to put some spend on your other cards vs. leaving them with no activity. Perhaps try using your cards and use them to pay something on a regular basis such as streaming services.

Have you been in Amex Pop-Up Jail?

If you have, how did you get out of jail?

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Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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