American Express appears to have made a quiet change to its refer a friend scheme without telling anyone. This only impacts anyone who holds a Preferred Rewards Gold card.
Until recently, a Gold or Platinum charge card holder could refer a friend for:
Preferred Rewards Gold (and receive 9,000 Membership Rewards points)
Platinum (and receive 18,000 Membership Rewards points)
Green (and receive 5,000 Membership Rewards points)
Gold Business (and receive 9,000 Membership Rewards points)
Platinum Business (and receive 18,000 Membership Rewards points)
The person you refer will also receive a higher sign-up bonus than if they apply directly.
Some people don’t know that you can refer for ANY of these cards as long as you hold one of them already. The link you generate to give to your friend only takes you to the application page for the card you hold. However, if you scroll down the application form you will see that you can toggle it to the other four cards.
At some point in the last few weeks, Amex has changed the referral policy for Gold members. This has not been put down in writing anywhere.
This is now the new rule, it appears:
A Preferred Rewards Gold cardholder will only receive 9,000 Membership Rewards points per referral, irrespective of whether their friend applies for a Gold, Platinum, Gold Business or Platinum Business card.
The terms and conditions do, technically reflect this:
“You will receive 9,000 Membership Rewards points if your friend applies using the referral programme and is approved. However you will not receive any points if they are approved for the Basic [Green] Card.”
…. but they are not specifically clear that Platinum referrals only generate 9,000 points.
Nothing changes for Platinum cardholders. They will continue to receive 9,000 points for referring a new Gold member and a higher 18,000 points for referring a new Platinum member.
I don’t have a huge problem with what Amex has done here, to be honest, but not telling anyone – or making it clear during the link generation process for new referrals – isn’t so cool.
There has not been a similar change to the British Airways cards (so far?). Someone holding the free British Airways American Express still seems to receive 4,000 Avios for referring a friend for the free card but a higher 9,000 Avios for referring them for the Premium Plus card.