As reported by Doctor of Credit, there has been a major change in the way that Amex referrals work, and it is awesome. In the past, one was only able to refer others to a card that you carried — that is to say that if you had a Blue Cash Preferred card, you could refer people to open the Blue Cash Preferred and earn a bonus for that referral only if they opened a Blue Cash Preferred card. However, Amex has opened the flood gates and as a Blue Cash Preferred Cardholder (just for one example), you can refer people to nearly any card in the Amex portfolio. This is amazing because it means that you can hold a less desirable card, yet pick up referral credits for referring people to a more desirable card. This makes having multiple Amex cards extra awesome.
As an example, when I log in to my Business Platinum account, I can generate a referral link that is good for nearly any card in the Amex portfolio. After clicking my link, my friend just needs to click where it says “View all cards with a Referral Offer”.
They can then look at all of the various categories and use my referral to open an airline card, a hotel card, a Membership Rewards card, etc.
You can even refer from a business card to a personal card or vice versa. As an example, the link below is from an Everyday Preferred card. As you can see, I could use it to refer someone to a Hilton card, a Gold card, a Platinum card — or my friend could click “looking for a business card?” and see business card referral offers. I could refer someone to nearly any card in the Amex portfolio.
Unfortunately, those with a co-brand card are still limited to referring within the co-brand family (which is to say that a Delta card can only generate referrals to other Delta cards), though it now appears that you can cross-refer from personal to business at least.
The best part of this is that when you refer others, you receive the referral bonus based on the card from which you generate the referral link. For instance, my wife’s Amex Gold card has an offer for her to earn 30,000 points for each approved referral.
She can share that referral link with me and I can choose the card I want and she gets 30,000 Membership Rewards points (even if I choose a Hilton card or a cash back card). That’s a great deal that juices up the opportunity to score a lot of points in 2-player mode.
How to share a direct link to the card they want
If you’re doing this with a spouse, you can easily walk them through the process above for picking the card they want. However, if you’re sending your link to a friend or family member, you may wonder whether they’ll “get it right” and you’ll get credit for the referral. If you’re worried that the person using your link will get confused and mess something up, you can make it easier by giving them a link directly to the card they want.
For instance, if I click through my Amex Gold referral link, this is what I see at the time of writing:
If I click “view all Cards with a Referral Offer” at the top, I can then choose (for example) “All Personal Cards”
Let’s say that my friend wants to apply for the Delta Platinum card. I can find that offer and click the card name.
That will bring me to a landing page for the Delta Platinum offer. I can then copy the URL from the address bar and send that directly to my friend. When they click that link, it will bring them directly to the Delta Platinum offer and I’ll get the 30K Membership Rewards points referral credit on my Gold card when they are approved.
This cross-referral capability creates the potential to generate a lot of points if you have friends/family interested in bonuses and/or you’re playing in 2-player mode with a spouse/partner. You can pick up a terrific bonus for yourself while also referring your friend or family member to the best possible new cardmember offer. Keep in mind that Amex has clawed back points for self-referrals, so make sure you aren’t using your own link to apply for a new card. However, sharing your link with a spouse or other friend or family member is fine and a great way for both sides to get rewarded.
H/T: Doctor of Credit