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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.

  • Sandgrounder says:

    Had anyone managed to hang on to their ‘member since’ date after the 2 year gap?

    • Genghis says:

      I’ve not always held an Amex (a number of times) since my date

    • mark2 says:

      My cards say ‘Member since 18’ but is should be ‘Member since 77’

  • Triath5 says:

    Correction (though probably doesn’t matter) to the first bullet. Mr Triath5 doesn’t have a BAPP but rather the free BA card instead…

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Triath5 I’m almost sure its not how many credit cards you have that affects your credit score.
      But your payments of those credit cards (although I could be wrong)
      I have a few credit cards (did have 6/7 at one time)
      My balance on all of them is always nil without fail,
      a few sit in a drawer unused
      I believe maybe Rob or someone in banking can correct me if its not correct ?
      If your balance is nil 4/5 days before your statements are due your credit score rises.
      I Once had a lousy credit score, was told by my Bank manager it was because i always used and payed cash (this was a very long while ago)
      Nothing untoward was just that i kept a lot of cash, and payed everything in cash, bought everything with cash.
      Soon as i got a credit card strangely my credit score went through the roof.
      Always kept to the same habit, buy something soon as it goes from pending I pay it off. my credit score never dipped. don’t even bother to check it last few years no need
      I have a £40 overdraft (yes that’s right £40) had it 50 years never been in it.
      Used to get asked every time i went into Lloyds do i want to increase it
      Don’t see point myself of even having it, just to idle to cancel it.
      They used to pester me to move my money to better accounts not saying they was wrong, but they was in the accounts i wanted them in
      What they would have said if they knew i had 8k under the mattress at the time lol but we are talking 50odd years ago

  • Joe says:

    I think the answer to your question is that it would work, but with two problems: credit score (as you identify), and taking the proverbial (so it depends on how much you value the relationship with Amex).

  • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

    Mrs Trotter and I have referred each other for something like 8 cards over the last year to take advantage of the platinum bonus etc. I have monitored credit ratings via Experian and only occasionally had a dip below ‘excellent’ down to the ‘good’ level, which is then recovered in a month or two of keeping up payments and not making any new applications. Not sure if Amex frown on this behaviour but they certainly don’t seem to actively discourage it – after all, it is in-line with their T&Cs (it is NOT self-referral) and they are the ones who approve the applications, so I say go for it!

    • Aston100 says:

      I think Triath5 is wishing to do two more referrals, for a total of three referrals within a 4 to 5 week period, to the same person.

      • Triath5 says:

        That’s correct. I’ve also referred between Player 2 and myself over multiple years. My specific question would be over the next month or so that this offer is valid for.

        In this current cycle I’ve done 1 referral which was accepted today. That leaves 2 more over ~4 weeks. The 3 cards I’ve identified don’t seem to have an annual fee, so I’m happy for Player 2 to hold for 12 months before cancelling.

        Would this still be risky?

        • The cyclist says:

          Potentially risky, wouldn’t do it if applying for a mortgage in the near future, your credit rating could take a hit, also depends on whether the referees are real people or made up relatives as well.

  • Reney says:

    How long is it taking between applying for a new card and it arriving in people’s home at the moment?

  • Ryan says:

    Is this offer not available to amex nectar customer?

    • Rob says:


      • Joe says:

        But you can refer from a non-Nectar card, and if the person referred gets a Nectar Amex, the person referring gets their bonus right?

        • Rob says:

          That’s a good question. Would you get the standard referral rate or the higher one, given that the Nectar card is not in the promo?

          • Joe says:

            I had thought (perhaps incorrectly), that the bonus applied to the card held by the person referring, and the increased referral rate was to encourage me (as a Platinum holder), to refer others to Amex…but perhaps not!

          • 108 says:

            24k received today for Plat>Nectar

          • Rob says:


  • John says:

    Amex, like all credit card companies, uses its own scoring system which is a trade secret and whatever experian et al think your random credit number is, is not what any card company thinks. For multiple applications like you plan, amex may not even credit search you but rely on internal data.

    • MattB says:

      In general I agree, I work in credit cards and cringe every time I hear the words ‘credit score’.

      However one time I purchased a car across our cards and accidentally let my wife’s (non amex) card cycle at almost full utilisation. When checking Amex eligibility a few weeks later using the soft checks she went down to a 2/10 having never been anything other than 9 or 9.5 whatever the max is. Other card providers had a similar story so they do share its just important to know Expedia data makes up only a small part any decision making.

  • Benilyn says:

    Business cards holders (the referrer) do not have enhanced referral bonus, but the person who signs up is seeing the enhanced sign up bonus for personal cards (e.g. Plat 50k). That is what I see, just want to check that is correct / not a glitch?

    • Hotelier says:

      Correct – Thought about getting the Platinum due to 24k MR but having Business Plat at the moment with the 18k MR I believe not worth it (at least in my case).

      • Benilyn says:

        Well worth it maybe if you can hit the spend bonus on the plat personal (if eligible) 🙂

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