Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How you can get a generous reward from the American Express ‘refer a friend’ programme

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This article is sponsored by American Express

An easy way of earning a large bonus of Membership Rewards points or Avios is by sharing the benefits of your American Express Business or personal Card with friends and family.

You have probably already told people about the airport lounge access you got from the Priority Pass that came with your American Express® Business Platinum Card or the expensive hotel room you got for free by converting your Membership Rewards® points.

If they are sold on the benefits of getting a Card, you can BOTH benefit if you refer them.

How does American Express refer a friend work?

How does the American Express refer a friend programme work?

It’s very simple. This article focuses primarily on the American Express Cards for small businesses, although the process is the same for referring friends to the personal cards.

Log in to your online American Express Online Account and, on the home page, you should see this – the exact number varies depending on your Card and any promotions Amex may be running:

Click through and you see details of the offer – this is on Business Platinum:

The website allows you to generate a unique email link. You can pass it on to your friend and it will track your referral and allow American Express to award your bonus if they are approved.

How many points will my friend and I receive?

These are the usual referral bonuses, although they can change during promotional periods. You only receive the bonus if your friend applies and is accepted.

Small Business Cards:

Personal Cards (of those we regularly feature on Head for Points):

  • American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – you will receive at least 6,000* Membership Rewards points and your friend receives an enhanced bonus of 22,000 points, if they spend at least £3,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership
  • The Platinum Card®: you will receive at least 12,000* Membership Rewards points and your friend receives an enhanced bonus of 35,000 points if they spend at least £4,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership.
  • British Airways American Express: you will receive at least 4,000* Avios and your friend receives an enhanced bonus of 6,000 Avios if they spend at least £1,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership.
  • American Express Rewards: you will receive 4,000 Membership Rewards points and your friend receives an enhanced bonus of 6,000 points if they spend at least £2,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership.
  • Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express: you will receive 9,000 bonus points and your friend receives an enhanced bonus of 23,000 points if they spend at least £3,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership.

*Terms and Eligibility Apply. Log in to your American Express Account or American Express® App to see the latest referral offer available.

Offers are also available for the The American Express Card, The Nectar Credit Card and the two Platinum Cashback Cards.

How does American Express refer a friend work?

Do I still get the bonus if my friend fails to hit their qualifying spend, or does not qualify for a bonus?


Your bonus as the referrer is not dependent on either:

  • the person you referred being eligible to receive a sign-up bonus (due to other Amex products they have currently hold or recently held), or
  • the person you referred achieving the qualifying spend required to receive their own bonus

Your friend must, however, be accepted by American Express. You do not receive a bonus if their application is not approved.

Can I refer a family member?

Yes, as long as the person is over 18.

Can I refer someone who already has a Supplementary Card on my account?


If you have a friend or partner who has a Supplementary Card on your American Express Business or personal Account, why not see if they want to take out their own Card instead? You would receive a referral bonus and they would receive the higher sign-up bonus, subject to approval.

How does American Express refer a friend work?

Can I refer someone for a different Card to the one I own?


When you send them the referral link it will default to the Card you own, but your friend can toggle to any other Card via the ‘View our other Cards’ button.

This means, for example, that if you have American Express Business Platinum, your friend could apply for American Express Business Gold (or vice versa!).

If you do this:

  • you receive the reward shown in the list above for the Card you own, and
  • your friend receives the reward shown in the list above for the Card they apply for, if accepted

For example, if you have American Express Business Platinum and you successfully refer a friend for the American Express Business Gold Card, you receive 18,000 Membership Rewards points and your friend receives 22,000 Membership Rewards points.

What is the most I can earn from referral bonuses?

Each Card has its own limits.

For the American Express Business Platinum and Business Gold Cards, the annual limit is 90,000 Membership Rewards points per year.

The limits are per calendar year and reset on 1st January.


As you see, the American Express refer-a-friend programme is a good way of boosting your Membership Rewards points. Have a think about who you could invite …..

If you are eligible to participate in the Referral Programme, you may refer as many friends or family members as you wish but there are annual limits on the rewards you can earn through referrals. Please visit to find out more. Please only refer friends and family who are happy to receive information from American Express. You can earn up to a maximum of 90,000 bonus points or a maximum of £150 cashback per calendar year if you hold a cashback product. Your friend must apply via the link you share with them to ensure you both receive your bonus. All introductory offers are subject to change and can be withdrawn at any time. Your friend will receive rewards depending on the Card they choose and their spend on this Card. Your Card Account’s eligibility to participate in the Referral Programme is based on your overall credit rating and other factors including your Account history with American Express. If payments to your American Express® Card Account are not kept up to date, you could lose your bonus points.

Comments (43)

  • Alan says:

    Bonus when referring from Amex Plat has dropped form 18k to 12k, might be worth updating screenshot above.

  • Azlozi says:

    So referring myself for a BA premium Amex using my Amex gold is possible? As long as you use a different address?

  • Jonathan says:

    To maximize MR bonus points, assume i can hit the spend targets on business platinum and personal platinum charge cards, am i right in thinking to start with the business card as the terms state “Business Gold or Business Platinum Cardmembers who are enrolled or have been enrolled in the Membership Rewards programme in the last six months, are not eligible for the bonus.” and then cancel that and apply for the personal one as the terms state ” will not be eligible for any Welcome Bonus award if I hold or have held any personal Membership Rewards-enrolled American Express Cards in the past 24 months.”?

    • Colin JE says:

      My understanding was that you would not be eligible for a signup bonus on the personal MR card if you’d had the business MR less than 24 months before. So I’d apply the other way round and wait over 6 months after cancelling the personal MR card before opening the business MR card. But maybe I’ve got that wrong?
      Also, I’ve often found I had to ring CS to get my points if I’d waited for the correct period of time but only by days, not months.

      • Colin JE says:

        I think Amex create this misunderstanding by calling both personal and business cards ‘personal’, as opposed to Corporate cards, where you are named on the card but your company pays the bill and is technically the account holder. Similar to if you were a supplementary holder. Am I right, anyone?

        • Rob says:

          As I understand it, you have personal, business and corporate.

          • Colin JE says:

            Thanks for the correction Rob. So does that mean that Jonathan is correct and anyone would still get a bonus if they opened a personal card after having a business card? If those terms are correct then he wouldn’t even have to close the business card before opening the personal one. Or have Amex been sloppy with their T&Cs?

          • Rob says:

            The way I have always interpreted it on HfP – and Amex has never corrected me – is that personal cards only look at other personal cards, but the small business cards look across both personal and small business cards you’ve had.

            Therefore, yes, you will get the bonus on a personal card if all you’ve had in the previous 24 months are small business cards.

            We have often suggested churning the business cards, if you qualify, whilst sitting out the 24 month personal card gap.

        • kitten says:

          Be careful with corporate cards (from anyone). Often a clause that you are jointly personally liable with the company.

          It’s one way of being able to avoid having to take corporate card and being expected to put all your company expenses on that card instead of, say, one of your own, if you object to this clause.

          I might have read somewhere that as well as having nonjib in the Lehman’s collapse some employees may have still owed the company credit card.

  • Euan says:

    Does the bonus depend on which card you have or the card you are referring? Ie if I have a BA Free AMEX but refer a friend for the platinum which bonus will I receive?

  • Dan says:

    Hmm…I’m not sure that is actually allowed. There may be risks involved here if they find out.

    • Alex says:

      What isn’t allowed? Referring a friend?

      • Dan says:

        I was responding to a. comment regarding self-referrals. The comment I replied too has been deleted I think – but mine stayed 🙂

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    I got my mother (BA basic Amex) to refer me for a Plat Business card in December.

    My account now shows me with 40,000 points in it – but I haven’t spent anything.

    Has the spend £6,000 in three months been replaced with a straight 40,000 for signing up?

    • Rob says:

      No. A few readers have reported this, which appears to be a bug. You will get ANOTHER 40k when you hit the spending total.

      • Colin JE says:

        Best spend them quick, Colin, before Amex claw them back! 😉 Though my wife once got three sets of supplementary card bonuses on her card when there was a glitch with the website and Amex issued three cards all with the same name. Although Amex refunded the fee for the extra cards they never took back the points.

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