Amex Refer a Friend: Earn more points

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The Amex refer a friend program is arguably one of the best features that many American Express cards offer, and most people don’t even know about it. Essentially, it allows the person making a referral, as well as the one receiving the referral, to earn extra bonus points or cash.

It doesn’t matter if you’re referring friends or family members. Anyone can get referral points when signing up for a new card. Keep reading this post now to lear how to refer a friend to Amex.

What is American Express refer a friend?

The Amex refer a friend friend program is an exclusive program to American Express. If you currently have an Amex card, you can generate a referral offer from your Amex account. The benefit of the referral program is that the personal making the referral usually gets compensation in the form of extra points. The person accepting the referral will usually get a bonus too (it depends on the card).

For example, if you sign up for the Amex Gold Card with a referral link, the referrer and referee both get 5,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. The referral link is always better than the public offers, so you should always sign up with an Amex referral link.

In most cases, the person accepting the referral link will get an additional 5,000 – 10,000 points. These points are in addition to any points you’d earn from the welcome bonus after meeting the minimum spend requirement on eligible purchases. 

How cardholders decide to refer people is up to them, but many people use social media such as Facebook and Twitter. That said, the terms and conditions say you can on refer friends and family, so you can’t spam your link wherever you feel like it. In fact, American Express has shut down accounts where the referral bonuses have been abused.

Recommendations and referrals don’t guarantee card approval. Standard eligibility requirements still apply. No other card issuers have a referral program.

How does Amex refer a friend work?

Just about everyone has access to the American Express refer a friend program, but a few users have reported it’s not available to them. To find out if you can refer a friend, log in to your American Express account and click one of your cards. You’ll see your current balance, and how many points/cash back you’ve earned. Directly below that, you should see a line that says “Refer friends. Get Rewarded.” Along with a button. Click “Refer now.”

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Once clicked, you’ll see the details of the offer. In this example, when I refer the American Express Cobalt Card, I get 5,000 points. Unfortunately, the Cobalt Card doesn’t give the person using my referral link any additional points since the regular welcome bonus is worth up to 30,000 points. 

Click “I have read and agree to the Referral Program Terms and click the “Get Your Referral Link” button.

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You’ll now have access to your referral link. You can copy it and share it right away or send it to someone via email.

refer a friend american express 3

You can tell you have the right link by pasting it into a browser. You’ll see a pop up window that says “X thinks you’ll like the X card.” When signing up with this link, the American Express refer a friend program will apply.

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The Refer a friend to Amex program has a special feature that not many people are aware of. You can refer friends to different cards, even if you don’t have them. If you paste your referral link into a browser, you’ll be taken to the application landing page. However, if you scroll down on the page, you’ll see an option that says “Explore Other Cards.” Click on “View Our Other Cards.”

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On this page, you’ll see all the other American Express credit cards you can refer people to. In the case of the American Express Cobalt Card, I can refer people to the Gold Rewards Card and Platinum Card. Just clock on “view card details.” Once you’re redirected, copy the link in the URL. That’s your referral link for the specific card.

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American Expres refer a friend limit

As you can imagine, the Amex refer a friend bonuses are very popular. To prevent abuse, American Express caps the number of earnings you can get from referrals. Generally, speaking, the maximum number of points you can earn per calendar year is as follows:

  • Basic card – 75,000 points
  • Premium card – 150,000 – 225,000 points
  • Cash back – $1,500

With basic cards, the person making the referral usually gets 5000 points for each approved sign up. With a limit of 75,000 points, that’s 15 referrals you can make a year.

Some premium cards, such as the Business Platinum Card, give the referrer 20,000 points. Since the cap is 225,000 points, it would take 12 referrals to max out your annual limit. Of course, the last referral would only be worth 5,000 points since there’s that cap in place.

The card product you refer doesn’t matter, but you would obviously get your points in the same currency. For example, if you refer someone to the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Card, you would get Marriott Bonvoy points as your bonus. 

It’s worth mentioning that American Express card members may see the refer a friend Amex program change. Occasionally, the points you’ll earn from making a referral will increase or decrease. For example, recently, American Express doubled the number of points you’d earn from referrals.

The best refer a friend American Express credit cards

There’s no real point in arguing over what the best refer a friend American Express credit cards are since you’ll be limited to what credit cards you have and what other referral links you can generate. It’s also worth mentioning that the number of points the referrer and referee get can change at any given time. 

Overall, I would say the following cards are ideal if you’re looking to maximize the American Amex refer a friend program.

American Express Platinum Card

  • $799 annual fee
  • Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points when spending $10,000 in the first 3 months
  • 30,000 additional points when making any purchase in months 14 – 17
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on dining and travel, and 1 point on all other purchases
  • $200 annual travel credit
  • $200 annual dining credit (per calendar year)
  • Unlimited airport lounge access
  • Hotel status upgrades

The Amex Platinum Card is the perfect refer a friend Amex card since it normally gives each person 10,000 extra points. The welcome bonus is often worth about 90,000 points+, so the additional 10,000 points can be huge. This is especially effective for people who are looking to earn a lot of Aeroplan points fast since you can transfer your Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan on a 1:1 basis. Admittedly, some people may not like the idea of paying $699 annually for a credit card, but the welcome bonus, when factoring in the referral bonus, is often worth more than $2,000. In addition, with this card, you can refer to the Platinum Business Card, Gold Rewards Card, and Business Edge Card.

American Express Cobalt Card

  • $12.99 Monthly fee ($155.88 yearly)
  • 1,250 monthly Membership Rewards points after charging $750 in purchases each month for a year (15,000 points total)
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on eats and drinks
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on streaming services
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Even though the American Express Cobalt Card doesn’t give the person signing up any extra points, it’s arguably the best Amex refer a friend credit card since it has such a high earn rate. You’ll get 5 points per $1 spent on eats and drinks, 3 points on streaming services, 2 points on travel, and 1 point on everything else. This is easily the best everyday card available, which makes it an easy sell to friends and family that are looking for a new credit card. Once you have this credit card, you can also refer friends to the American Express Gold Rewards Card.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

  • $120 annual fee
  • 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you charge $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 5 Marriott Bonvoy points per $1 spent at participating Marriott properties
  • Earn 3 Marriott Bonvoy points per $1 spent at gas and travel purchases for the first 6 months (up to 15,000 points) – Offer ends May 6, 2024
  • Earn 2 Marriott Bonvoy points for per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual free night certificate worth up to 35,000 points

The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Card is good since both the referrer and referee get 5,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when signing up for the card with a referral link. Admittedly, Marriott Bonvoy has been devalued over the years, but Marriott is still the largest hotel chain in the world, so you’ll have no problem using your points.

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

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