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American Express changes its refer a friend scheme without telling anyone

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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)

Amex Gold 350

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.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our September 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

The following offers will end soon:

  • 2,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard (ends 15th October)
  • 30,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard (ends 15th October)
  • 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express (ends 2nd November)
  • 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus (ends 2nd November)
  • 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express (ends 2nd November)
  • 30,000 points on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (ends 9th November)

Here are the top current deals:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers.

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending:

Barclaycard Select Cashback Credit Card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

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