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Limited time: American Express boosts referral bonuses for both you and your friends

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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 inviting your friends and family to take out an American Express® Card.

For a limited period, from 7th April to 12th May 2021, American Express has SUBSTANTIALLY increased the bonuses on their ‘invite a friend’ referral programme.

Not only will your friends receive an increased bonus if they’re approved by 12th May 2021, but you will receive an even bigger bonus for inviting them.

You and a friend could share up to 74,000 Membership Rewards points or 42,000 Avios between you from just ONE successful referral (depending on the Card they choose).

How does American Express refer a friend work?

How does the American Express invite a friend programme work?

It’s very simple.

Log in to the American Express Referral Hub or the American Express® App and you should see a box like this:

Amex referral bonus April 2021

The website and app allow you to generate your own unique referral 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 special referral bonuses on offer until 12th May 2021. You will only receive the bonus if your friend applies and is approved for an eligible Card by this date.

For Membership Rewards Cards:

  • The Platinum Card®: you will receive 24,000* Membership Rewards points and your friend receives an increased bonus of 50,000 points if they spend at least £4,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership.

For British Airways cards:

Whilst not part of our core card coverage on Head for Points, this offer is also running on the following cashback Cards:

  • Platinum Cashback Credit Card: you will receive £40 cashback and your friend receives an enhanced bonus of £35 cashback if they spend at least £1 on the Card.

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

There is NOT an enhanced bonus for referring from The American Express Card, The American Express Rewards Credit Card, The Nectar Credit Card, or the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card.

The offer does not apply to small business cards, although these cards do have their own refer-a-friend programme which you can read about here.

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 the person you referred achieving the qualifying spend required to receive their own bonus.

Your friend must, however, be accepted by American Express by 12th May to be eligible for this limited time offer, otherwise they will receive the standard amount for being referred. You will not receive a bonus if their application is declined.

Can I invite a family member?

Yes, as long as the person is over 18.

Can I invite 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 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.

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


When you send your friend 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 and choose the Card that best suits them.

This means, for example, that if you have The Platinum Card®, your friend could apply for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card, or vice versa.

If you do this:

  • you will 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 The Platinum Card and you successfully invite a friend to the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card, you receive 24,000 Membership Rewards points and your friend receives 32,000 Membership Rewards points as part of this limited time offer.

What is the most I can earn from referral bonuses?

Each Card has its own limits. These are, depending on the reward offered by your Card:

  • 90,000 Membership Rewards points, or
  • 90,000 Avios, or
  • £150 cashback

Here is an example of how it works.

If a holder of The Platinum Card® referred four people during this promotion, and had made no other referrals in 2021 so far, they would receive 24,000 Membership Rewards points for the first three successful referrals.

The fourth successful referral would earn 18,000 Membership Rewards points to reach the 90,000 points annual cap.

Subsequent successful referrals will not receive a bonus, although the recipient of the referral would still receive the higher bonus.

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


The American Express invite-a-friend programme was always a good way of boosting your Membership Rewards points or Avios.

This new offer is far more generous than anything we have seen before. Have a think about who you could invite by 12th May…..

Please note these offers are correct at the time of writing, and available to eligible American Express® Cardmembers for a limited time. From 7 April 2021 to 12 May 2021, Cardmembers holding select products will receive this limited time offer if their friend applies for an eligible American Express® Card and is approved by 12 May 2021. Cardmembers should allow up to 8 weeks to receive additional referral bonuses once their friend is approved.

Login to your American Express Account or American Express® App to read the full Terms and Conditions and see the latest referral offers available.

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 (110)

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

  • Matt says:

    The gold has had this going for a few months already?

    • Wally1976 says:

      There was a targeted increase for selected customers. Some were getting 9k points for referrals and others 12k I believe. It’s 12k for everyone now.

  • SwissJim says:

    Doesn’t that make Platinum effectively free for the first year? Remind me, if I hold BAPP I still qualify for the bonus? Tempted to apply then cancel BAPP (since already got 3x companion vouchers sitting in my account!). Platinum offers also seem very generous (though may of course not continue).

    • Genghis says:

      Yes, assuming no MR earning account in last 2 years.

      • Swiss Jim says:

        Thanks – yes, no MR card.

        Just thinking I should phone up to cancel BAPP, hope for an immediate points bribe to keep, then cancel anyway and apply for Platinum. Though might run the risk of being denied Platinum? Would hope not – but Amex holder for very long time with excellent credit history etc. Aggressive? Views?

        • Genghis says:

          It sounds like you’ll be fine in whatever you do. I like to apply for a card before I cancel one (and transfer limit if a credit card).

          • Harry T says:

            Why do you transfer the credit limit, @Genghis?

          • Genghis says:

            Useful to have a large limit card IMO.
            The second limit would never be as high as the first one, due to overall credit exposure limitation.

          • Harry T says:

            Useful for large purchases? I usually never get anywhere near my Amex credit limits, to be honest.

          • Genghis says:

            Everyone’s different. I’ve put a car on card before. I’ve paid for multiple weeks in hotel rooms for my team (£16k) before.

  • Jason says:

    My son is about to turn 18, any advice on getting him accepted for his first Amex. He is registered for the electoral role but will be in full time education ! Thanks

    • Jonathan says:

      I wouldn’t advise lying about income. People have run in to issues with Amex over this. Plenty of reports of students getting the basic cards eg. Standard BA or Nectar with low limits.

      Having some credit history from a young age is good. You could consider putting his name on one of your utility accounts if they report to a credit reference agency or him getting a contract mobile. Too late for this offer but will stand him in good stead in future.

    • Swiss Jim says:

      Oh how I long for my children to grow older so I can improve my points game with 2x more adults in the family…. 😁

    • The real John says:

      I was approved for Amex as a student – they asked for household income at the time so I didn’t lie. The main factor I think was that I had 2 student credit cards that came with my student accounts (zero rewards) and had been using them for about 9 months. Had a phone contract (expensive mistake, now spend about a tenth of that) but no utilities on credit report.

      Will he be moving out in September – if so you have to decide whether to keep his banking stuff registered at your address for now, or move it to where he actually is staying – stability looks better but obviously he will gradually become more independent

    • Keely says:

      I applied for a card for my son as soon as he was 18, got declined initially. Tried again a few months later and accepted. He is a student but does have a tiny part time job. (Closed it in Jan and will now reapply as there’s increased referral bonus…)

    • Gaz says:

      I was approved first time for Amex Gold, age 19 or 20 whilst a student. Just make sure he includes student loan and any monies you support him with under income (this is probably even within the rules). That should be about 15k I’d imagine.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Jason This might not reach you, late at night
      But when son applies put household income down example
      if he lives at home your full household income plus sons income.
      Very likely to slip through that way (prob if he lives away)

  • James says:

    Harrods – Spend £200 get £50 back on my Platinum Card. Not sure if this has been mentioned already?

    • Alan says:

      Yep, just checked and is on my card – although can’t see me making much use of it!

    • James says:

      Oops! I thought I was reading/posting on said page. My bad.

  • Geoggy says:

    I lost interest in these cards when the 2 year think kicked in and just kept BAPP card.

    So I’m now eligible for the bonus as not had an MR card for over 2 years right?

    Also is it not 1:1 Avios conversion any more?

    • Andrew says:

      It is still 1:1 MR to Avios conversion rate.

      • Geoggy says:

        Thanks. This part of the article confused me;

        “You and a friend could share up to 74,000 Membership Rewards points or 42,000 Avios between you from just ONE successful referral, depending on the Card they choose.”

        • Genghis says:

          Plat referral = 50k MR for referred and 24k MR for referor. Sharing 74k MRs
          BAPP referral = 30k avios and 12k avios. Sharing 42k avios

        • Rob says:

          Sorry, I see the confusion. 42k is what a BAPP gets for referring a BAPP, 74k is what a Plat gets for referring a Plat.

          • TGLoyalty says:


            54k is what a Plat gets for referring a BAPP

            62k is what a BAPP gets for referring a Plat


  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Are Amex card holders still referring themselves these days? I know about the U.S clamping down on self referrals but I’m sure its still going on in this country?

    • The real John says:

      Do it at your own peril

    • Harry T says:

      I stopped doing it a while again because Rob and others seemed to the ink Amex would eventually retaliate, as they have done in the states.

  • S says:

    The BA Premium Card had the 12,000 referral bonus for several months a while back (I think it started in autumn last year), though I don’t know whether the sign up bonus was also boosted. It wasn’t advertised, as far as I can remember – I stumbled across it by accident. It went down to 9000 again without notice, too – just as I wanted to use it!

  • Dannyrado says:


    So I’ve made a cats bottom of the backing business offer… (£150 off any single purchase over £1000)

    Firstly I’ve used a supplementary card by mistake. I can’t register the supplementary card for the offer, so am I correct in assuming that a spend on the supplementary card won’t trigger the credit?

    Secondly, the purchase is going through PayPal (to because they don’t take Amex. The terms say that the purchase has to be through the merchant directly. Does anyone have experience of getting the credit while using PayPal?

    • xcalx says:

      I did a PayPal transaction yesterday for over £1K , no email and not showing on account as yet. If this fails I have heard Billhop works.

      • Dannyrado says:

        Dang it. Thanks.

        • Rob says:

          Indeed. Although Billhop requires a formal bill if you’re using Amex, and it must be from an organisation – you can’t send them a bill for your kids piano lessons, as you can if you use Billhop with Visa / MC. I don’t have any £1k formal bills coming up either.

          Might need to be £1k of Amazon credit.

          Amusingly I got a quote for something HFP related the other day which I thought would be £1k and wasn’t. I got annoyed because I would have been better off if it had cost £1000, assuming I can’t use the credit othewise.

          • Dannyrado says:

            We’re all desperately looking for something to spend a grand on. Thought I’d cracked it. Now looks like I’ll just have to buy stock for work…

          • Anna says:

            You can pay via Billhop if the piano teacher has their own business. My cleaner is a one woman outfit but as she is registered as a business Amex seems happy to pay her!

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