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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? – June 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our June 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. Here are the other top current deals:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 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 – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 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.

Amex American Express Business Gold card

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

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending 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

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