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.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2023 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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:
SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 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.