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UPDATED: Amex changed the bonus rules when you are referred for an Amex Gold card – but this morning changed them back!

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EDIT:  Amex is clearly reading our articles.  The refer a friend rules for American Express Preferred Rewards Gold have been changed back this morning.  

They now say, as they used to:

“Please note, bonus points will appear in two instalments of 2,000 and 20,000 and can take up to four weeks to be awarded to your Account.”

The Gold Business card has NOT changed back.  It still says: “Please note, bonus points will appear in two instalments of 2,000 and 20,000. You will receive 2,000 points when you reach £1,000 spend – these points will appear on your fifth statement.”

It isn’t clear what is happening here.  Did someone at Amex make a mistake, or was a change rolled out early by mistake?

 

For the last couple of months, the American Express call centre has been occasionally warning people who ring up to cancel their cards that changes are coming to the rules regarding when you can re-apply.  You can read more about that here.

At present, you can re-apply for a card from the same card family (I explain ‘card families’ here) six months after cancelling your previous card.

The grapevine has gone a little quiet recently, although I am still getting occasional emails from readers who are being told – conflicting – stories by the call centre in Brighton.  A couple of weeks ago Amex emailed cardholders encouraging them to ‘refer a friend’ and said clearly in that email that anyone who has not had a card for six months was OK, so it would be odd if any changes were made in the short term.

One change may have gone through though.

Here are the rules for referring friends to American Express Preferred Rewards Gold.   You can see the rules here on the Amex website (click).

The bonus if you are referred is 22,000 Membership Rewards points compared to the standard bonus of 20,000 points.  If you are applying for Amex Gold – or any other Amex – and want a referral link sending across, drop me an email at rob [at] headforpoints.co.uk.

1. Offer only available to new Cardmembers. The 22,000 Membership Rewards® bonus points will be awarded onto your Account once you have been approved and you have spent a minimum of £2,000 on goods and services purchased and charged to your Account within three months of Account opening. The annual fee is £140. With this offer, you will receive the first year of Cardmembership complimentary. From year two of your membership, a £140 annual fee will automatically be charged to your Account on or after the anniversary of your Account opening date. You must apply via the button on the previous page to ensure you both receive your bonus. Applicants must be UK residents aged 18 years old or over. If you have already applied for the Preferred Rewards Gold Card without using this referral, you will not be eligible for the bonus points. All introductory offers are subject to change, can be withdrawn at any time and are not available if you have held any other Membership Rewards enrolled American Express Cards in the past six months. Please note, bonus points will appear in two instalments of 2,000 and 20,000. You will receive 2,000 points when you reach £1,000 spend. You will receive the additional 20,000 points when you reach £2,000 spend – these points will appear on your fifth statement.

I am not certain if this last line is new or not.  The wording implies that you will need to wait for five months to receive the majority of your 22,000 Membership Rewards points.  They would usually appear as soon as you hit the £2,000 target.

If you apply for the card directly and so forgo the extra 2,000 referral points, this clause does not appear.

It could be a mistake, or a rule which is not enforced

The summary terms (as opposed to the full terms and conditions quoted above) for American Express Preferred Rewards Gold still say this:

Please note, bonus points will appear in two instalments of 2,000 and 20,000 and can take up to four weeks to be awarded to your Account.

There is no mention of waiting until your 5th statement.

The American Express Gold Business card has changed too

The American Express Gold Business card says, for referred cardholders:

Please note, bonus points will appear in two instalments of 2,000 and 20,000. You will receive 2,000 points when you reach £1,000 spend. You will receive the additional 20,000 points when you reach £3,000 spend – these points will appear on your fifth statement.

Amex Gold referral bonus

No other cards have got this wording

The American Express Platinum charge card says, for referred cardholders:

Please note, bonus points will appear in two instalments of 5,000 and 30,000 and can take up to four weeks to be awarded to your Account.

The American Express Platinum Business charge card says, for referred cardholders:

Please note, bonus points will appear in two instalments of 5,000 and 40,000 and can take up to four weeks to be awarded to your account.

The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card says, for referred cardholders:

Please note, bonus points will appear in two instalments of 1,000 and 10,000 and can take up to 4 weeks to be awarded to your Account.

The free British Airways American Express card says, for referred cardholders:

Please note, bonus Avios will appear in two instalments of 1,000 and 5,000 and can take up to four weeks to be awarded to your Account.

The British Airways American Express Premium Plus card says, for referred cardholders:

Please note, bonus Avios will appear in two instalments of 1,000 and 25,000 and can take up to four weeks to be awarded to your Account.

The Nectar American Express card says, for referred cardholders:

Please note, bonus points will appear in two instalments of 1,000 and 20,000 and can take up to 4 weeks to be awarded to your Account.

Conclusion

If you are applying for an American Express Preferred Rewards Gold charge card (and this is why I think Amex Gold is your best choice for your first miles and points card) via a referral then be aware of this change to how the bonus is awarded.

As the card is free for the first year, you’re not losing out financially if you do have to wait five months to get the bulk of the sign-up bonus.

Whilst you should clearly take the T&C’s as gospel, let’s wait a few weeks to see if this is really being imposed.  My wife applied for a Gold this week so, if accepted (she was not immediately accepted), she will be a good test case.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. OT but on a similar vein to the replies above. I currently have the free BA card only, but am within a few thousand pounds of hitting the £10k trigger for a 2-4-1. I also have a few large purchases lined up so will likely be able to hit £10k within a fortnight if I upgraded to the Premium BA card.

    Can I confirm- do I just go into chat and ask to be upgraded to the BA plus, spend the money to get me over the £10k limit (and get the 2-4-1 voucher I’m assuming fairly quickly), then ask to just be downgraded back to the free card? I feel I am overthinking a simple set of actions but want to make sure I am not doing anything silly! Thanks.

    • Yes

      • Genghis says:

        Though they may ask you to apply online and you just put in your existing BA Blue / BAPP number

    • luckyjim says:

      You can’t do it via chat. You apply for the new card either on line or by phone. Online is quicker because you don’t have to listen to somebody reading out all the Ts and Cs. As you can only hold one BA card the new card replaces the old. Same process when you downgrade to blue.

      Having said all that, with anything like this I always get somebody on chat to confirm that I won’t lose my balance etc. and keep a screen dump in case something goes wrong.

  2. We have BAPP and are thinking of an additional Amex – can I refer myself, and if so, would it need to be a different email address?

    • JamesB says:

      Yes you can and no it doesn’t. However, you referred to ‘we’ so why not get referred instead of running the risk that they ditch self-referral at any moment.

  3. Crafty says:

    Think I may have messed up today by cancelling my card too soon. If I refer my partner, then cancel my card before receiving the referral points, what happens to the points?

    • JamesB says:

      I guess you will not get them, but nothing to lose by calling and asking if they can do anything to help.

      • Crafty says:

        Thanks. Nothing in the terms to say I need to continue to hold the card to get the reward. Looks like another fun multi month saga with their customer service department…

        • JamesB says:

          The problem is that your MR account closes unless you have another MR card. It mughg help your case to remibd them that pending transfers out, e.g. to SPG, still go ahead after cancellation therefore why nog pending transfers in? A long shit, but always something.

        • JamesB says:

          *shot.

          Sorry 🙂

  4. I confirmed I would report back on applying for gold charge and upgrading to plat when ARCC was already held. As expected the 20,000 upgrade bonus was awarded after £1k spend hit. No card fees charged in the first 6 weeks. Plat never previously held.

  5. Anyone else had issues getting the 5000 bonus points on the Gold Companion card? I didn’t receive them any apparently you have to be invited to apply otherwise you don’t get them. It doesn’t mention this on the website.

    • I am also waiting for mine on Platinum.
      Still waiting after nearly a month of platinum supplementary card

    • James M says:

      I had the same issue (although mine was for Platinum); phoned them earlier today to find out what was going on.

      When the companion card was added, a separate membership rewards account was created; I requested that these were merged. When you merge accounts, the system “forgets” what bonuses you might be eligible for (basically it’s attached to the “new” account that they close).

      They managed to figure out what happened and added them manually pretty quickly so probably best to call in.

    • What's the Point says:

      I have been told recently that I am not eligible for the 5,000 points due to previous card opening and closing patterns!
      Just some waffle about them not wanting to give me 5,000 points because I have had the Gold charge and credit card maybe too many times in the past.
      Just debating to write a complaint letter into Amex

  6. OT: I have a gold card and have very vaguely been contemplating getting platinum. A friend is after a referral from me. I think I get more points from referring from Platinum so maybe I should upgrade first. Can anyone clarify the difference in referral points and do I get any points for upgrading from Gold to Platinum?

  7. wobblywings says:

    On an unrelated matter; I need to post a 200 odd charge today to an AMEX. Is there anything that i should be thinking about that is: a) fully refundable if necessary, b) immediately charged to the card so that it is included in the statement ending today?

    Thanks!

    • Immediate charge won’t happen, it is usually 3 days. Easiest option is to nip to your local supermarket and buy £200 of gift cards for future groceries.

  8. I applied for a Gold charge card last week but was not immediately accepted. Just phoned to check status and was told that there is a technical issue so delay is expected. Anyone got accepted for a gold recently?

  9. Garyn says:

    Hi
    Wonder if anyone could offer some advice. I want to refer my wife for my Plat referral bonus, but don’t want to affect her Gold sign up bonus which she will be eligible again for in 2 months. Is there a card of a different ‘family’ that I she could apply for and I would still get the referral bonus?
    Thanks

  10. Garyn says:

    Thanks very much for the info.

    If I were refer myself for the business Gold/ Plat would I be right there’d be no bonus miles unless it was 6 months after the personal Plat was cancelled? Or are the business cards treated differently?
    Thanks

    • Correct, no bonus. MR accounts can only be held by people, not companies, so the account for the Business card would actually be in your name, and you already have one (or recently had one).

  11. Garyn says:

    Thanks Rob

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