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

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Katie Seemann
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Katie Seemann

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Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...
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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 to tell your friends about the amazing benefits you get from this credit card, right? We bet some of your friends have even followed in your footsteps and applied for a card or 2 of their own.

Did you know you can earn bonus points the next time this happens? 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 unique 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 referral links for your Amex 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 until you see the referral section above your recent transactions.
  3. Click on the Refer Now button.Refer A Friend from Amex Website
  4. Here, you can enter an email address, and Amex will send a referral email on your behalf — or you can copy your personalized referral link to send out.

    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 your referral opportunities.

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/en-us/referral 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 Refer Friend Business Platinum
    Offer captured on April 25, 2022, and may not be available to all applicants. 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 2 ways: an Amex email or your personalized referral link.

    Amex Refer Friend
    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 to 12 weeks.

Bottom Line: You can refer a friend to an American Express card through an Amex-generated email 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 through your American Express online account or the Amex Refer a Friend website.
  2. Send your link to your friend.
  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.

    Amex Refer Friend Other Cards
    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.

    Amex Refer Friend Referral Other Cards
    Offer captured on April 25, 2022, and may not be available to all applicants. Image Credit: American Express

Credit Card Families

When referring a friend to a co-branded 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 co-branded cards, like the Delta, Hilton, and Marriott American Express cards, plus the following other credit cards from American Express:

*All information about these cards has been collected independently by Upgraded Points.

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.

Amex Platinum Card

  • Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points each time a friend applies and is approved for the Amex Platinum card through your referral link.
  • Earn up 55,000 points per calendar year.

Amex EveryDay Card

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards points each time a friend is approved for the Amex EveryDay card through your referral link.
  • Earn up to 55,000 points per calendar year.

Hilton Honors Card

  • Earn 20,000 Hilton Honors points each time a friend is approved using your Hilton Honors card referral.
  • Earn up to 80,000 points per calendar year.

Marriott Bonvoy Business Card

  • Earn 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points each time a friend is approved using your Marriott Bonvoy Business card referral.
  • Earn up to 55,000 points per calendar year.

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.

The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the American Express Cash Magnet® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information for The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees for The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Plum Card® from American Express, click here.

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 to 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 Amex account online, 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 Amex 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.

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About Katie Seemann

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

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