Questions About The Awesome New American Express Referral Program 


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New American Express Referral Program 

Questions About The Awesome New American Express Referral Program

American Express has a new referral system where you can refer a family member or friend to pretty much any Amex card.  Some people have even been able to refer themselves.  You no longer have to carry the card or even the same family of card to refer someone.  If you only have a cash back card your friend can still get a Membership Rewards earning card etc.

If you haven’t read how to do it yet Nick at FM did a good how to guide.  This all sounds great but it leaves me with a few questions.

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New American Express Referral Program 

New American Express Referral Program Questions

This looks like it could be something amazing and a way to rack up even more valuable Membership Rewards, Hilton points, or Delta miles etc.  But there are still some unknowns that we need to figure out over the coming weeks.

Is This Intentional or a Glitch?

With American Express you never know these days.  I think the chances are likely that this is intentional but it may be a beta test and could be pulled sometime in the near future.  So you should get going while the going is good I guess.

Will Abusers Be Punished?

Another question is will American Express take retroactive action against gamers?  They did with Amex Offers, although it took years.  The referrals are capped so that shouldn’t be an issue.  But if you are sending valuable Membership Rewards referrals for people to sign up for less lucrative cash back or Hilton cards will they get upset?  Will the Amex RAT team be looking for patterns?

Should You Refer Yourself?

This goes along with the abusers question.  If you have a 2 party system then this isn’t really necessary. If you don’t have a two party system then you could double dip so to speak.  I could see American Express look at this as gaming down the road or refuse to pay the bonus on self referral sign ups.

What Referral Will You Get? 

This is the most important question and the one I am most curious about.  If I refer you to a Hilton card but you sign up for a Membership Rewards card which referral would I get?  I have to imagine it would be the Hilton points because there is a chance I don’t have a MR earning card etc.  We should see reports of this over the next few weeks with all of the Amex Gold Card referrals.


This is a great development for Amex cardholders and one that can be very lucrative.  With anything new there are questions that still need to be answered.  I plan on testing it out over the next few weeks with mine and my wife’s accounts.

Let me know your thoughts or share any data points you get as they come available in the comments section.



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  1. I just got off a chat with an Amex rep and asked specifically about this.

    Was told in no uncertain terms that: You have to hold the card to be able to refer the card.

    • Interesting Mojo. There is a chance that the rep has bad info since this is newer but it wouldn’t surprise me for Amex to refuse the bonuses on these referrals.

    • Not the case with their previous cross-overs from the Hilton cards. I referred with my Hilton Ascend and got the bonus when someone got the Aspire and someone else got the no-fee. I would imagine this to be the same for the Membership Reward earning cards, business/personal crossovers would be an interesting data point, though.

      • Business/Personal and non MR to MR cards etc. We should know something in a week or two I would think.


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