In late 2018, Greg wrote about Maximizing value from Amex multi-referrals. That year, American Express debuted the ability to generate a referral link that enables you to earn referral credit while enabling your friend(s) to choose the card that is best for them (see that post for more detail on how it works). That post was written to help you determine which of your cards you should use to generate referral links (since, for example, a referral bonus that awards you 15K Membership Rewards points is more valuable than one that offers you $75 in cash). However, over the past few months, we’ve seen Amex target some cardholders for higher referral bonuses on some cards. Currently, some Amex Gold cardholders are reporting a referral bonus (the bonus you receive when referring someone else who uses your link and is approved) of as many as 20,000 Membership Rewards points per successful referral. The annual cap is still 55K points from referrals, but this means that those targeted will max that out with only three referrals. That’s a nice win for those targeted.
- Amex is targeting some Gold Card holders for a bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points per successful referral
- No direct link: log in to your Amex account and check your referral offer to see if you are targeted
This won’t be available to everyone, but it could be very useful for those who have it. Remember that Amex clawed back points earned from self-referrals last year for some people (and then gave them back to some later on). I would advise against using your own referral link to open an account, but referring a friend, brother, sister, parent, spouse, etc should be fine.
Also keep in mind that Amex does now send out 1099-MISC forms for referral bonuses. They value Membership Rewards points at $0.01 each, so if you reach the maximum of 55,000 points from referrals, expect a 1099 for $550.
H/T: Doctor of Credit