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American Express backtracks on changes to Preferred Rewards Gold referral bonuses

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Yesterday we wrote about apparent changes to the referral bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold and Gold Business charge cards.

Instead of receiving 22,000 Membership Rewards points on hitting the spend target, the rules had been changed to say that you had to wait five months to receive your bonus.

As soon as our story appeared, American Express changed their website.

The Preferred Rewards Gold referral rules (click here) 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 charge card has NOT changed back click here to see.  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?  Only time will tell.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – June 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge 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.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

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: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Amex Gold

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

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 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:

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

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 card

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

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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 (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (94)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Matt says:

    Hi would anyone be able to tell me if/how booking BA flights via Opodo affects status benefits i.e. free seat selection at time of booking, lounge access, bonus Avios etc. Your comments would be appreciated!

  • callum says:

    Sorry as this is a stupid point to pick up on, but why is it “amazing” that the plane continues from Perth to Melbourne? It’s what the plane would be doing anyway if it was still connecting in Dubai! And yes, it is available with Avios.

    • Rob says:

      Dubai gave it a break though. My logic was that after 17 hours – when the plane will be a tip and various minor maintenance issues will have popped up – they would want to leave it in Perth for a few hours.

      • callum says:

        The layover on QF1 is just as short though – I’d imagine that stuff can just wait until Melbourne. Remember it’s actually a LHR-MEL direct service with a stop in Perth, having a prolonged stay in Perth will take away a lot of the benefit for those flying from Melbourne. Not least because Perth airport isn’t the most fun place in the world to spend a few hours!

        (And do let me know if you have an issue with my comments – if it bothers you half as much as it seems to have bothered Geoff and JamesB I’ll happily stop making them!)

    • @mkcol says:

      If it is available with Avios I’d love to know where & how as I’ve searched extensively to find nought.

      • callum says:

        I only tried a couple of dates but the 23rd October has seats – just on

  • Michael says:

    Hoe many TP does LHR-PER direct earn. Doesn’t appear on the calculator yet

    • Genghis says:

      240 in J

    • Louise says:

      That’s what I was thinking. There’s no real TP benefit from a non-stop flight. IIRC, if you change at Dubai or Doha, you get 2 x long haul TP rates for outbound and return. And you get to have a bit of a break, depending on transfer times.

      • Adam says:

        Assuming you were going to syd this is actually better tier points wise than going via Middle East or Asia. Lhr – doh/dxb/hkg/nrt/sin/kul – syd would net 300tp each way. 140+160. Lhr-per-syd would net you 380tp each way, 240+140.

        Melbourne would be marginally less at 280 each way. 240+40.

  • Sandgrounder says:

    I found seats out 23/9 back 1/10. 100k Avois plus £576 for economy. Bit pricy for a journey which could be considered cruel and unusual punishment 🙂

    • Chris A says:

      Yes that is rather pricey: I flew economy to Perth with Emirates for £480.

    • The Original Nick says:

      In Y yes, but J or F, I would quite happily enjoy it.

      • Sandgrounder says:

        300k Avios and (I imagine) £600+ doesn’t sound like great value for business compared to some of the prices from the ME carriers over the last few years. It would certainly be an experience though.

        • Lady London says:

          Thai 16 hours even in Business from Bangkok to Paris nearly finished me off. I have no idea how the pax in Economy on that flight survived it. I just don’t think I could face 17 hours to Perth in whatever class. Even a change of aircraft/break in lounge at Doha at 2am has got to be better as at least it’s a break.

      • HAM76 says:

        Alas, the Qantas 787-9 doesn‘t have First…

    • Tracy says:

      How are you finding availability? I can’t see it…

  • AndyR says:

    OT but related to Amex Gold – anyone else had issues getting the 5000 welcome points for the Gold Companion card? I didn’t receive them, contacted Amex & they say you have to be invited to apply otherwise you don’t get them. It doesn’t mention this on the signup page?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Does the welcome page still show the 5k bonus offer when you click the link through the website? If so take a screenshot and ask them where it says you must be invited to receive the offer?

      I find calling gets far better responses than the chat

      • G says:

        Mine didn’t post either back in January. I was told to wait a month. Still nothing. Then they said they would post by the end of March and they have finally turned up.

        I just used the link without being invited for it but was never questioned on eligibility.

      • meta says:

        I had the same issue end of last year. I took a screenshot when applying. 5000 MR didn’t appear, so the chat agent said I have to be invited, but I said I have a screenshot of the application page. He then said it will post in 4 weeks. It didn’t, so I was back on chat. They then opened a case for me and said it will take 7-10 days to resolve. On the 11th day they still didn’t post, so I phoned in and they added manually then and there. Lesson learned – don’t use chat!

    • mark2 says:

      My 5,000 for uninvited companion card posted with the transaction taking spend over £500. There was never any mention of the progress (although it was only about a week). All of the points from the companion card have been added to the points on the main charge card account rather than on the companion card.

      • Sussex bantam says:

        Same for mine. One £502 transaction 5500 points. Thanks for the tip mark2 !

    • AndyR says:

      Thanks everyone. I have received the points ok for the purchases into my main Gold card account, it’s just the bonus points that didn’t appear when I hit £500.

      I was told that I didn’t qualify via chat so will try giving them a call. Fingers crossed.

  • jon says:

    From yesterdays chat it was posted that

    There’s an upgrade off for upgrading to Platinum.

    Is this really an offer?

    Thought it was standard for an upgrade?

    • G says:

      It does get pulled sometimes, so it’s not always guaranteed to be available

    • Rob says:

      It is not openly promoted.

    • Sparkzilla says:

      My wife is just about to apply for an AMEX, so i’m now thinking she should take gold, spend the 2k and then upgrade to plat (assuming the offer is still there).

      Could she take out gold and then immediately upgrade to plat and still receive the gold welcome 20,000 points and the platinum 20,000?

      • Lady London says:

        Why are you not referring her and getting a bonus yourself as well, the amount of which would be according to your own level of card, surely?

        • Sparkzilla says:

          I don’t currently hold an Amex, we go through cycles and this application starts the chain off.

      • mark2 says:

        She will need to spend £2,000 on gold to get 20,000 (or 22,000 with a referral e.g. Rob).

        • Sparkzilla says:

          Thanks all, I shall complete the gold through a referal before upgrading to platinum 🙂

  • Mark says:

    O/T, thinking of doing the 20k MR upgrade from Gold to Plat after hitting our sign up bonus target and wondered how easy it is to combine the Plat hotel status benefits with an existing hotel points account; do you have to sign up for each scheme separately to get the status and then contact each hotel chain to combine with any accounts you already have?

    • Paul says:

      You apply via the Amex platinum benefits page, enter your existing hotel membership number and your account gets upgraded to the relevant status shortly thereafter. No need to open new accounts, merge etc

      • MarkH says:

        Also if you already have an account in a particular scheme upgrading the status seems to be a lot quicker than if a new account has to be opened

    • Anna says:

      I’ve just enrolled for HH gold after upgrading to Platinum, there’s a box for your HH number so I’m assuming they marry it up with your current account. I’d think the other hotel schemes would be the same.

  • Kilburnflyer says:

    3,000 bonus MR for adding supplementary card to Amex Gold Account is now BACK.

    Message appeared when I logged in this morning.
    NB. This may be a targeted offer

    • Jack says:

      I feel like I should know this and I’m sure it’s been asked a million times: are supp applications a full credit check? For the supp or the cardholder?

    • Bach says:

      Just did it on my BAPP, was waiting for this. Thanks!

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