The American Express Refer a Friend Program [Earn 50,000+ Points Every Year]

American Express Refer A Friend Program

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If you’re a frequent traveler, you probably have at least 1 or 2 great travel rewards credit cards in your wallet. You love the ability to earn valuable points that you can turn into flights and hotel stays — plus you love all the perks that can come with some credit cards.

It’s only natural that you tell your friends about the amazing benefits you get from this credit card, right? I bet some of your friends have even followed in your footsteps and applied for a card or 2 of their own.

Did you know the next time this happens, you can earn bonus points? The American Express Refer a Friend program rewards you each time a friend applies and is approved for a credit card through your link.

This post will go over everything you need to know: how to use the American Express Refer a Friend program, who you can refer, plus some other tips and tricks to help you maximize your referrals.

What Is Refer a Friend?

The American Express Refer a Friend program is a way for you to be rewarded for spreading the word about a particular credit card.

You will get a special link to share with your friends and family. When someone is approved for a credit card through that link, you will earn bonus points for your efforts!

Referring friends and family to your favorite credit cards is a great way to earn extra Membership Rewards points. Plus, these refer-a-friend bonuses are available on Amex’s co-branded cards too.

Amex Refer A Friend
Image Credit: American Express

Who Can You Refer?

These referral bonuses are intended for friends, family, and acquaintances only. The American Express website states that you “should not publish or distribute your referral links in locations where the audience is likely to include individuals you do not know or who may not be interested in an American Express Card.”

However, they also provide links to publish your referral links on your Facebook and Twitter pages.

When posting your referral link on third-party websites like social media, you are required to comply with that website’s terms of use, and you must disclose that you will receive a referral bonus for anyone who applies for and is approved for the card through your link.

Why You Might Not Get a Referral Bonus

There are some situations in which you won’t receive a referral bonus:

  • If the recipient has opted out of American Express emails and you have Amex send an email on your behalf. (In this case, you should copy your referral link and send it to them directly through a personal email or text.)
  • Your friend receives the link but does not apply through the link.
  • Your friend was not approved for the credit card they applied for.
  • Your account is past due — you won’t receive any referral bonuses if you aren’t up to date on your payments.
  • You have reached the maximum number of points you can receive through referrals.

Referral Bonuses Are Taxable

Yes, the points you receive from a referral bonus can be taxed. American Express may send you a 1099-MISC, which you are required to file with your taxes. The Membership Rewards points you earn through referral bonuses are valued at 1 cent per point for tax purposes.

How to Refer a Friend to an American Express Card [Step by Step]

There are a couple of ways to find the referral links for your American Express credit cards.

American Express Website

The most straightforward way to find your referral link is in your American Express online account.

  1. After logging in, select the card you want to refer in the upper right corner.
  2. Scroll down a bit until you see the referral section right above your recent transactions.
  3. Click on the Refer Now button.
  4. Refer A Friend from Amex Website
    Image Credit: American Express
  5. Here, you can enter in an email address and Amex will send a referral email on your behalf — or you can copy your personalized referral link to send out or post on your social media pages.

    Amex Refer A Friend through website
    Image Credit: American Express

American Express Refer a Friend Page

The Amex Refer a Friend landing page is a better option if you want more flexibility with your referrals, since you can easily see all of the referral opportunities you have.

You can automatically push your referral links out to Twitter and Facebook, plus you will be able to send referrals for credit cards you don’t personally have.

  1. Go to americanexpress.com/refer and log in to your account.
  2. Next you will see your American Express credit cards and the referral offers they come with. Scroll through all of your cards using the arrow to the right side of the screen.

    Amex Platinum Refer A Friend
    Image Credit: American Express
  3. Each card you have will list the referral bonus you can receive, plus the welcome bonus your friend can earn. (Keep in mind these bonuses may be different from the public offers available.)
  4. Once you see the card you want to send a referral for, scroll down to see your options. You can refer your friends in 3 ways: an Amex email, social media, or your personalized referral link.

    Ways to refer a friend to an amex credit card
    Image Credit: American Express
  5. Once your friend is approved for a credit card through your referral link, you should see your bonus points within 8-12 weeks.

Bottom Line: You can refer a friend to an American Express card through an Amex generated email, pre-set Facebook or Twitter links, or your personalized referral link.

How to Refer a Friend to an Amex Card You Don’t Have [Step by Step]

Here’s the cool thing about the American Express Refer a Friend program: you can earn a referral bonus for a credit card that you don’t have. This is a nice feature that’s different from the other major refer a friend program offered by Chase.

  1. Find your personalized referral link either through your American Express online account or through the Amex Refer a Friend website.
  2. Send your link to your friend or post it on social media.
  3. When your friend clicks on your link, have them select View all Cards with a Referral Offer at the top left of the screen.

    How to refer to a card you don't have
    Image Credit: American Express
  4. They will then see all of the other cards they can apply for using your referral code. As long as your friend sees Referral Offer by the credit card details, you are eligible for a referral bonus.
How to refer a friend to an amex card you don't have
Image Credit: American Express

Credit Card Families

When referring a friend to a credit card you don’t have, it still has to be in the same “family” of credit cards. So, what does that mean exactly?

Credit card families are groups of cards that generally earn the same type of points. So, all of the Hilton American Express cards are one family, and all of the Delta American Express cards are a separate family (and so on).

For example, if you have the Hilton Honors American Express card, you can refer someone to that card as well as any of the other Hilton Amex cards — including premium cards like the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card. But you couldn’t refer someone to the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, because it’s in a separate family.

Family of American Express Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards:

Family of American Express Hilton Honors Credit Cards:

Family of American Express Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards:

Family of American Express Cards:

If you are referring a friend to a Membership Rewards-earning credit card, you aren’t limited to only cards that earn Membership Rewards.

You will be able to refer someone to any of the Delta, Hilton, and Marriott American Express cards, plus the following other credit cards from American Express:

Bottom Line: You don’t have to have the specific card to refer a friend; you can refer a friend to any American Express card as long as you hold a card in that family of cards. 

Credit Cards With Refer a Friend Bonuses

Here are just some of the current Amex Refer a Friend bonus offers available now. These are subject to change and can vary by credit card, so be sure to check your specific offers online.

Platinum Card® from American Express

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards points each time a friend is approved for the American Express Everyday Card through your referral link.
  • Earn up to 55,000 points per calendar year.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Credit Card

There are also other Amex Cards that may come with a referral bonus.

Final Thoughts

It’s great to know you can be rewarded for sharing your favorite American Express credit cards with your friends. In addition to earning a referral bonus for the credit card you hold, you can also earn a bonus for any card in the same family of credit cards.

You can find your personalized referral link online, which you can send out to friends and family or share on social media sites.


Frequently asked questions

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

After a friend is approved for a credit card through your personalized referral link, you should see your bonus points post to your account within 8-12 weeks.

How do I refer a friend to Amex?

Referring a friend or family member to an American Express credit card is easy. You can find a link to your personalized referral code in your online Amex account right above your recent transactions. Or you can visit the Amex refer a friend website to see all of your referral links.

Can I refer a friend to an American Express credit card even if I don't have it?

Yes, as long as you have a card in the same family. Families of credit cards are typically cards that earn the same type of points. All American Express Delta cards are in the same family, for example. If you have a Delta American Express card, you can refer your friend to ANY Delta Amex card, not just the specific one you have.

Katie Seemann

About Katie Seemann

Katie is an Ohio native who caught the travel bug after spending a semester in college in Nottingham, England. In addition to exploring England, she visited Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands during that time and loved every minute of it (everything except the hostel in Scotland – that’s an experience she doesn’t intend on repeating!) In 2015, Katie discovered the world of points and miles, and since then she’s earned countless points and has an embarrassingly large number of credit cards in her wallet (which she needs a spreadsheet to keep track of!)

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17 comments

  1. Hello – Thanks for the great article. I have a question about these referrals – I’ve had AMEX cards for decades and have referred a number of family and friends for Delta Skymiles cards and have been able to offer them the same bonuses as periodic special offers that frequently occur; however, when I try to refer from my business platinum card (current PUBLIC offer is 100,000 points), it only offers 50,000 plus additional 25,000 points to the person I’m referring to (i.e., 75,000), rather than the public 100,000 points offer.

    Any ideas why this would be so? Is there any way to refer a friend and have them get the “public” limited time offer, either by calling AMEX or some other way?

    Reply

    • Hi FLN,

      Unfortunately, it is not possible to switch your referral offer to the current public offer. I would recommend you have your friend apply for the current public offer so that they don’t miss out on those extra points.

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  2. Does the referral also work for someone who has currently a partner card on my account? We have the blue cash preferred and spending way over $6000 at supermarkets. So instead of using a partner card we are thinking of opening a second CC account.

    Reply

  3. Do you know if I will still get the referral points if I product change my card after a friend’s application has been approved? What about before a friend even applies? I know with Chase it works in both cases since the referral is active for a month or two after the product change but I’m unsure about Amex. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Hi PK,

      I would wager that you will likely still receive the referral points if you product change your card after your friend is approved, but I don’t think it’s likely that you’ll receive a referral if you change it before they apply.

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply

      • Is the referral bonus tax just for membership points or also for statement credit such as the blue cash?

        Reply

        • Hi CS,

          Most data points people have shared seemed to center around receiving a 1099 if they earned referral points in the form of Amex Membership Rewards, Hilton points, or Delta Sky Miles.

          Reply

  4. I am a new Amex Blue Cash Everyday card holder. I have using this card for 15 days. When I try to refer Amex card for my friend, the link says, “You are not eligible to access this referral offer at this time.” When/How will I be able to refer?

    Reply

    • Hi Syed,

      I cannot say definitively why you are unable to generate a referral link. For assistance with this, I recommend you contact American Express directly.

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  5. Bartholomäus January 29, 2020

    Nice site.
    Had a question. I have an AMEX platinum that will be coming up for the annual fee. I see that referrals can take 12 weeks. If someone applies today through my referral link and I close the card, what will happen?
    They want a Delta card. Would I get MR or skymiles?
    My fee will probably be assessed this week. Thanks

    Reply

    • Hi Bartholomaus,

      As long as they apply and are approved before you close the card then you should still receive the referral bonus. If you send them the referral through your Amex Platinum card then you will receive Membership Reward points no matter which card they decide to sign up for.

      Reply

  6. Hi there,

    A friend was approved but realized they applied directly on the site instead of my referral link (the opened a new window to read benefits). What are the chances Amex will link their application and give me the referral bonus if I called?

    Reply

    • Katie Seemann January 31, 2020

      Hi John,
      The chances are pretty slim, but it’s worth a try. Good Luck, and let us know if you get them to give you the referral bonus!

      Reply

  7. I currently have a Gold Delta Amex and my father has the platinum version. He sent me a “Refer A Friend” link for the Platinum Delta Amex version, but when I click on the link the offer shown is for new customers who have never previously had a Delta Amex card. I know as an existing card holder the bonus to upgrade is much smaller than the brand new introductory bonus. I guess my question is, can I use his link to upgrade to the Platinum version and get a smaller sign up bonus while he receives refer a friend points too or is this not possible since I’m upgrading to a higher card as an existing Delta Amex card holder?

    Reply

    • Hi John,

      Are you receiving a pop up saying that you are not eligible for the sign-up bonus on the Delta Platinum card? This should not be the case, and you should still be able to receive the sign-up bonus on the Delta Platinum card since the Delta Gold and Delta Platinum cards are separate products.

      Reply

  8. ALEXANDRA E PETROVA March 26, 2020

    They have just reduced the reward to just 5,000 Membership Rewards® points for each approved referral.

    Reply

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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