Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

REMINDER: Share up to 74,000 points per card referring your friends to American Express

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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.

74,000 points would require a Platinum cardholder to refer someone for the same card. 42,000 Avios would require a British Airways Premium Plus cardholder to refer someone for the same card.

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 site or the Amex app and you should see a box.

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 travel cards which are on offer until 12th May 2021.

You will only receive the bonus if your friend applies and is approved by this date. You should apply 24-48 hours earlier than the deadline if you can just in case Amex needs more time to consider the application.

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 three months

For British Airways cards:

What can I do if I want to apply but don’t know anyone with an American Express card?

Don’t worry. Drop us an email at and we will sort you out with a link. You will benefit from a bigger bonus that if you applied directly.

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. As long as your friend is accepted, you will receive your part of the bonus.

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

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 …..

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – February 2024 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit 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 with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

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

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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.

Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points 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:

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

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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

2% cashback on all your business spend for 3 months (1% thereafter) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (60)

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

  • Yolo says:

    Exactly haha!

    “ apology to Rob by email would be appropriate.”

    Not enough, make sure you send some flowers, chocolates and a very good wine too 🤦

  • Rob says:

    You can have Platinum, not Gold.

  • Geoggy says:

    I asked on the last article on this and didn’t get a definitive answer so will try again.

    If you have a BAPP, can you be referred for a Platinum card if you haven’t held an MR card for over 2 years and be eligible for the bonus?

  • Stuart Evans says:

    I referred my wife for a PRG last month – successfully got the referral bonus and she is well on the way to get the signup bonus. If I now refer her for a BAPP (a) will I get another referral bonus and (b) will she also get a signup bonus? Apologies for a dumeb question but its so hard to track the rules!!

    • Steve says:

      As long as she’s not held any of the BA Amexs in the past 2 years she’ll get the bonus. Either way you will get the bonus for referring her, even if she doesn’t get the sign up bonus.

  • Swifty says:

    Great article. To clear up that confusion I got myself in yesterday about which order to do it. So I can refer my son (over 18) from my blue amex to either gold amex or nectar? for about the same mr/nectar/avios reward for him, and a bonus for myself, and also add both sprogs for supplemental on my business card as well as myself. I tried last year for a gold amex myself but was rejected, had it before don’t know why they said no to me. I had BAPP at time but now I don’t really need the extra companion ticket as a single traveller (unless theres a way of earning by selling it, which seems unlikely) so all I want these cards for is gaining as many avios as possible to use my 3 BA companion vouchers up.

    • Swifty says:

      Ah right, thanks. I do have the free blue ba card. He is supplemental on that but has nothing in his own right yet but a good salary. Looking through your article on the best cards, Gold MR amex, and also the amex nectar look good for what we can spend realistically,on top of the possible 5k for the dubious extra bonus from the recent amex business sign up (anyone actually get the extra who applied on the 11th april, they sent me an email saying 20k point in 3 months for 3k spend, not the better offer that possibly finished at 12pm?) . I dont have either (I have gold business amex) so thinking I refer him to Gold amex personal, then he refers me to nectar amex, then add all the supplemental in if time for the bonus without anymore credit check on file.

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    I’ve given up trying to explain to people that Amex credit cards benefit you and that you can get £250 of free shopping at Sainsbury with amex gold.

    Anyone want a referral? Lol 😆

  • Jotaele says:

    What are my intra-couple referring options if I have an Amex gold and my wife a blue BA?

    • Rob says:

      Only bonus you could get is BAPP, only bonus your wife could get is Platinum.

      • jotaele says:

        I understand this would only apply if we have not had those cards as primary cardholders in the last 24 months?

  • bumpmad says:

    Guidance please. I hold BA Premium AMEX (many years) wife has never held an AMEX. I was just going to refer her for a BA Premium AMEX too, then hit the spend limit – BUT it seems like maybe I shouldn’t do this? do an different amex first?

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

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