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. 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

  2. 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).

  3. Garyn says:

    Thanks Rob

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