Better offer: 50K after $2K via referral from a friend w/ new 4x benefits


We reported very early this morning about the new American Express Gold Card, featuring the previously-rumored benefits like 4x at US Restaurants, 4x at US Supermarkets (on up to $25K in purchases, then 1x), up to $10 per month in statement credits for participating restaurant/food delivery merchants, etc. Two major downsides included a newly increased annual fee of $250 that is not waived in the first year and a relatively weak welcome offer of just 25,000 points after $2,000 in purchases in the first three months. However, readers were quick to point out that you can get a better offer via a referral from a friend.

The Offer

  • When referred by a friend for the new American Express Gold Card, you can earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months plus get 20% back as a statement credit (up to $100) for dining purchases at US Restaurants in the first 3 months (Offer expires 1/9/19)

Key Card Details

  • Annual fee of $250 is not waived
  • Earn 4x at US Restaurants
  • Earn 4x at US Supermarkets (on up to $25K per year, then 1x)
  • Earn 3x flights booked directly with airlines or via
  • $120 dining credit: $10 per month credit for spend at GrubHub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and Participating Shake Shack locations
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit (unchanged benefit)

Quick Thoughts

The smart play was applying before today as the previous offer waived the annual fee for the first year. Even if we consider the restaurant statement credit at full face value, that makes this offer $150 more expensive. Furthermore, as Greg noted earlier, existing cardholders (i.e. those who opened the card before today) will keep 2x at gas stations through October 4, 2019 on top of the new benefits (See: Current Premier Rewards Gold cardholders keep 2X Gas and $195 into 2019). Those who opened the card before today are the clear winners.

However, if you share with me a nagging sense of regret and have not yet found a slick deal on a Delorean (O’Reily Auto Parts has you covered if you do find the car), you can take some solace in the referral offer if you have a friend who has the card. You’ll still be on the hook for the $250 annual fee as it still isn’t waived the first year, but you’ll qualify for up to a hundred bucks back from restaurants (20% back as a statement credit, up to $100 back, on dining purchases at US Restaurants in the first 3 months) and pick up 50K bonus points when you meet the spend. Coupled with 4x at US restaurants and 4x at US Supermarkets (on up to $25K per year, then 1x), and the monthly credits worth up to $10 for select dining merchants, it should ease the sting.

Like the public offer, the referral shows an expiration date of 1/9/19, so you do have some time to think it over and wait out a better offer if you’d like. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to make new friends, head over to the Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group to find and share referral links with your good friends and fellow readers. Find the dedicated thread and read and follow the directions (links posted without following directions will be deleted). Please do not post your referral link here — it will get caught in the spam filter and will not post. Thanks for your understanding!

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