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 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 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? – June 2023 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points. Apply here.

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

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus (to 13th June) 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:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus 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

1% cashback 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.

  • Petr Laube says:

    I’m trying to receive Amex card many years. But here in Czech Republic it’s very big problem. If will be helpful referring like a friend, I’m ready.

    • Rob says:

      Hi Petr. Unfortunately cross-border referrals are not possible, sorry.

  • Stuart H says:

    Hi all,

    I currently have a amex bonvoy card and a business platinum card, i’ve not held any other amex cards for over 24 months.

    Will i be entitled to the 32k points for the Preferred Rewards Gold Card.


  • Matt says:

    I refer my girlfriend and got the point.

    She got a letter to prove her identity, if she refuse, will AE take my point away?

  • Matt says:

    But she already got the card and used it once. Isn’t the application already approved???

  • Johnny says:

    Can I refer the same person for multiple card and still get referral bonus for each card?

  • Max says:

    Is self-referral still working?

    • Rob says:

      Very strongly not recommended as those who were hit by the US clampdown (which looked back 2-3 years) will tell you.

  • KK says:

    can i get referred by different people to 2 different cards (Plat and BAPP) and get both sets of referral offers?

  • Ben says:

    According to Robs strategy page the first card to get is the Amex Nectar card. Is this included in the referral bonus uplift? If so I may go for it as my wife is just past her 24 month anniversary

    • Rob says:

      No. Which means you might want a different strategy, because you could just go straight to Platinum whilst it is 50k.

      • Ben says:

        Thanks Rob. So basically skip Nectar altogether?

        • Rob says:

          You need to run the numbers, based on the higher referral bonuses until the 12th.

          • Ben says:

            I make it 16,250 more Avios when including Nectar at the normal rates 😊

          • Ben says:

            Rob I actually did decide to go straight to Platinum to save faffing around with 2 more cards for the sake of 16k

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

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