How do American Express referrals work?

Every American Express cardholder can take advantage of the Refer a Friend feature and earn additional bonuses when someone applies via their referral link. The exact amount of the bonus varies depending on which card product is used to originate the referral.

American Express operates a Refer a Friend program that allows you to earn additional bonuses whenever someone applies for a new card through your referral link. Typically, referral bonuses will post to your account within 48 hours of the applicant being approved.

To generate a referral link, look for this section on your American Express dashboard:


Following the referral link will bring you to a landing page, which your friends and family would use to apply for the card.

More on American Express Referrals

The referral bonus that you receive depends on the card you’re referring FROM. They are listed below, grouped by “families” of cards:

You can refer someone TO the same card that you currently hold or a different card within the same family. So if you hold the Business Gold Card, your friend can use your referral link to apply for a Business Gold Card or a Business Platinum Card. If you hold a Platinum Card, your friend can only use your link to apply for another Platinum Card, etc.

To see the full picture for optimal American Express welcome bonuses and referral bonuses, check out the American Express Credit Card Flowchart.

Referral links will always direct the applicant to the same card product that the link itself originated from. To apply for a different card within the same family, the applicant needs to scroll down from the landing page until they see the option to choose a different card:

Lastly, whilst the terms and conditions of the referral program do state that it’s intended for “friends and family only”, most anecdotal reports indicate that “self-referrals” can be done as well – that is to say, for example, using your own Business Platinum referral link to apply for the Business Gold and obtaining a referral bonus as a result.

Last updated 15 April 2019. Any questions?
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