American Express Credit Card Flowchart

American Express offers by far the most generous signup bonuses here in Canada, as well as a lucrative refer-a-friend program. By maximizing both of these points-earning techniques, you can rack up a spectacular amount of points in a short time.

American Express Credit Card Families

The various Amex cards can be grouped into a few different “families”. The refer-a-friend program only allows you to refer from/to the specific cards within each family.

Below you’ll find a comprehensive flowchart showing you the optimal strategy for applying for, and referring to, the various Amex cards, based on the specific welcome bonus and referral bonus offers on each card.

American Express Credit Card Flowchart

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  1. Joanne

    The refer a friend option from my AMEX Gold does not appear in its own box….but down in the Offers section. It does not allow me the option to refer by P2 to the Cobalt, nor is there a box to click “other cards” All 3 of my current AMEX cards appear but it seems I can only refer that particular card, not any of the others in the “family” Am I missing something?

    1. Ricky

      Open the referral link in a new window/tab to access the “other cards” option.

  2. Norman

    Thanks Ricky! I’m trying to refer from my Business Platinum to get my Player Two a Business Gold. Amex has a link for me to refer the Platinum from the Platinum but not the Gold from the Platinum. Am I missing something?

    1. Josh

      Open your Business Platinum referral link and look for a button to “show other cards” at the top or bottom of the page.

  3. Chris

    Has the Business Amex cards’ referrals dropped to 15,000 recently? That’s what is showing from my Business Gold referral link. Flowchart might need an update unless it’s just me.

    1. Josh

      Business Gold is actually up from 5,000 MR. The flowchart recommends starting with and referring from the Business Platinum, for 20,000 MR per referral. Bonuses for the referrer are dependent on the card you refer from, and the best card has the best bonus.

  4. crystal Chabassol

    RIcky they wouldn’t let my husband get an Amex Business Gold card while holding the AMEX Platinum business card (we were using the 2 person chart with him using my referral). Is that normal? They said you couldn’t hold 2 business cards at once so made him get a personal gold card. Ultimately, it didn’t make sense to me as how do you normally transfer your points without having to assign them prior.

  5. Harjot

    In this flowchart, can player 2 be your spouse? In terms of the business cards, if we are owners of the same business, would that be considered a self referral?

    1. Ricky

      Yes, in fact most people consider their spouses to be their Player 2. No issues if you’re both owners of the same business, as the cards are tied to your personal credit profiles.

  6. Phil

    Is there one of these for American Amex cards?

    1. Josh

      US Amex cards aren’t as linear, as there are many more factors that go into which card you get next: once-in-a-lifetime bonuses and only applying for all-time high offers, targeted/incognito and frequently changing offers, hotel strategies, etc.

      MR cards can refer to any card, and co-branded cards can only refer to other cards that earn the same type of rewards. You’ll get bigger bonuses by referring from top-tier cards.

  7. Michelle F

    Is there still a one person flowchart?

    1. Ricky

      No, as the practice of using one’s own referral link to apply is now explicitly prohibited in the terms and conditions.

  8. Nick K

    Thanks for this Ricky!

    1. Nick K

      Q: If you add your spouse as a supplementary card holder, does it hault your ability to refer them for the same card in the future?

      1. Ricky


  9. Todd

    Hard to tell from the graphic, can the P1 Business Gold refer P2 to a Business Gold?

    1. Ricky

      Yes, although it isn’t optimal because the highest referral bonuses in the “family” are earned on the Business Platinum Card.

  10. Farzan Haq

    I think the Cobalt card may need to be updated to reflect the current offer 🙂

    1. Ricky

      Done 🙂

  11. Matthew Bradley

    Out of date. Where’s the Amex reserve card on here?

    1. Ricky

      The Amex Reserve doesn’t currently have a referral offer either to or from it. If it does in the future, it’ll be added.


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