Awesome: Cross-brand Amex referrals now possible

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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 business 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.

Personal cards are even better. Believe it or not, it looks like you can now even use a personal card to refer people to business offers. 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, though it now appears that you can cross-refer from personal to business at least.

As this development is very new, we don’t know exactly how these referral offers will credit. The system clearly shows each offer as a referral offer and says that your friend will get referral credit if you are approved. However, it remains to be seen how they will be credited. For instance, if I use my Business Platinum referral link to refer you to a Hilton Business card, what will I earn for a bonus? I would expect that I’d earn 15K Membership Rewards points, the standard referral offer from the Business Platinum card. That bonus is significantly more valuable than the 20K Hilton points bonus for referring someone from a Hilton card to a Hilton card — so it would make more sense for me to share my Business Platinum link.

It might take some time for those with a large portfolio of Amex cards to wrap their minds around the best strategy, but there is 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.

There is a lot of testing to be done yet to determine how this will work practically, but at the moment it sure looks awesome.

H/T: Doctor of Credit

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