Amex Refer a Friend: How It Works & Ways To Maximize Your Bonuses

Earn extra rewards each year with the help of the Amex Refer a Friend program.
Last updated Oct 1, 2020 | By Miranda Marquit
maximizing bonus using AMEX refer a friend

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We all have products we love to gush about, including when we have the best credit cards. And with credit cards, there’s a chance you could see additional benefits when you share a great deal with your friends.

The Amex Refer a Friend program offers a way to earn extra rewards while introducing your friends and family to a solid credit card. Here’s what you need to know.

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How the Amex Refer a Friend program works

When you share an American Express card with a friend, you can potentially earn additional Membership Rewards points if they use your referral link to apply for a card.

As a member, you’re given a customized referral link designed to be shared with friends and family. American Express also provides you with links you can share on Twitter and Facebook, although it’s discouraged to share with people you don’t know. You’re also required to disclose that you may receive a referral bonus if you share your link on social media.

Once someone is approved for a card through your link, you can receive your referral bonus in the form of Membership Rewards points. It’s also worth noting that, in some cases, those you refer can get access to a higher welcome bonus than what they might receive through a public offer. This benefits both you and the person you refer.

Realize, too, that your referral bonus might be subject to taxes. Since you don’t have to spend money to earn these points, they could be considered income. If you assume that Amex points are valued at about one cent apiece, a referral bonus of 15,000 points would be worth about $150. That’s not going to add a huge amount to your tax bill.

American Express will send a 1099-MISC stating the taxable value of your points.

Amex cards offering referral bonuses

American Express occasionally changes the cards that are available for referral promotions, but you can see if your card is eligible by logging into the American Express referral portal. Double-check your account to see what’s available to you via the Amex Refer a Friend program; keep in mind that you might be limited in the amount of points you can earn per calendar year.

Eligible Amex cards Referral bonus Max. referral bonuses per year
Amex Platinum 15,000 55,000
Amex EveryDay 10,000 55,000
Hilton Honors Amex 20,000 80,000
Marriott Bonvoy Business 20,000 55,000

How to refer a friend to an Amex card

It’s fairly easy to use the Amex Refer a Friend program. Note that you must be an American Express cardholder in good standing if you want to begin referring friends.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Log into your Amex account using AmericanExpress.com/Refer.
  2. You’ll see all of your American Express cards listed — along with the available offers. If you have The Platinum Card from American Express, that will be shown. You can see it’s possible to earn 15,000 points for each person who uses your referral to get approved for the card. You’ll also see the type of offer your friend will receive.
  3. Choose a card and offer you want to share. You’ll be able to refer by email, get a personalized link, or share via social media.
  4. Once the recipient is approved for the card, you’ll receive your points.

Can you refer someone for an Amex card you don’t currently have yourself?

Recipients can also use your personalized link to apply for a card you don’t have. When your referral recipient clicks on your personalized link, they’ll see an additional option in the upper left. They can click on “View all Cards with a Referral Offer.”

These are the American Express credit cards you’ll get credit for, even if you don’t currently have them. This can be a good way to get a referral bonus, even if the recipient chooses a different card. However, be aware that not all American Express cards are eligible for referral bonuses.

In general, for you to earn the bonus, the card your referral recipient chooses must be in the same “family” of cards as the one you have, such as being a Bonvoy card like the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card or a Hilton card like the Hilton Honors American Express Card.

Can you refer yourself for an Amex card?

Technically, it’s possible to use your personalized referral link to choose a card you don’t have by using the “View all Cards with a Referral Offer” option on your own, but it’s wise to avoid using this strategy.

While you could potentially earn a referral bonus by referring yourself, American Express has engaged in clawbacks in the past, and this could be a reason for a clawback — or even the suspension of your account — if Amex feels you’re abusing the referral process. It’s best to avoid these issues by acting in good faith and just stick with referring other people.

FAQs

Can you refer your spouse for a credit card?

Yes, you can refer your spouse for an American Express card and qualify for bonus points. You can refer friends and family members by sending them your referral link. If they sign up, your bonus points will show up on your account within 8-12 weeks.

How long does it take for Amex referral points to post?

Don’t expect to see your referral points immediately. It can take between eight and 12 weeks for your points to post. Keep checking back to see when the points are credited to your account.

I didn’t earn my referral bonus — what gives?

In some cases, you might not receive your Amex Refer a Friend bonus. This can be for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Your friend didn’t use your link to apply for the card
  • Your referral recipient’s card application was denied
  • You’ve reached your referral maximum for the year
  • You’re behind on your payments

Also, if you’ve sent the referral to your recipient by email, you might want to follow up. The email might have gone to either the junk or promotions folder. In that case, you might be better off providing them with your personalized link.

How do I refer a friend to my Delta credit card?

To refer a friend for a Delta-branded credit card or any American Express card, visit the Refer-a-Friend website and log in to your account. Once you’re signed in, you can enter your friend’s email address and American Express will send them an automated email. Or you can generate a personalized referral link to share on social media. If your friends are interested, they can choose to apply for an American Express card. If they are approved, you’ll both receive an award.

How much are Amex points worth?

The value of your American Express Membership Rewards points depends on how you use them. Generally, they are worth between 0.5 and 1 cent each.

Using them to book flights or to upgrade your itinerary often gives you the best value; your points are worth 1 cent each with this redemption method. Other redemption methods, such as gift cards or shopping at select merchants, give you a value of just 0.5 to 0.7 cents each.

To find out how much your points are worth, use the Amex Membership Rewards Points calculator.

Bottom line

The Amex Refer a Friend program can be a way to earn up to 55,000 Membership Rewards points in a year — or more. That’s enough points to potentially redeem a free round-trip flight, depending on where you go and what airline you book with. An extra plane ticket during the year, just for suggesting that friends and family get a great credit card, can be well worth the effort — and save you money.

Generous welcome offer

Benefits

  • Limited Time Offer: 100,000 Bonvoy point welcome offer + Platinum Status
  • 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 4X points at U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations
  • Free Night Award every year
  • Terms apply