Get 20K points per referral on Gold card (YMMV)

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.

The Deal

  • 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

Quick Thoughts

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

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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I’ve never gotten a 1099 for 55k in bonuses. My P2 however, has gone over 55k in referrals twice (referring from multiple cards), and has gotten 1099s for something roughly equivalent to how much they went over 60k/$600 by.


It seems like most that saw the increase yesterday morning reported that it was back to 10k by afternoon so may have just been a glitch yesterday.


I’m seeing 15000 on my gold card and 10000 on my green card again. Probably not a glitch.