American Express Referral Sign Up Bonus Increases

Finally some good news coming out of American Express. It does not completely make up for changing the rule to once-in-a-life-time sign up bonus and decreasing the number of credit cards that qualify for a referral bonus, but it does take some sting out of the hit.

There are 2 charged cards that are affected by this change, which all offer Membership Rewards points. Basically, when you normally sign up for the following credit cards, you will earn a certain amount of sign up bonus. But if you have a friend who referred the charged card to you, you will actually qualify for an even higher sign up bonus.

American Express Platinum Card

American Express Refer a Friend (1)

Increases from 60,000 to 75,000 sign up bonus points when referred by a friend. Otherwise, it is 50,000 sign up bonus points if you applied on your own. This new sign up bonus really helps justified the $699 annual fee the first year.

UPDATED- On another sweet note, thanks to Jean-Maximilien, from Milesopedia, for pointing this out in the comment section below, the referral bonus has increased from 15,000 to 25,000.

American Express Business Platinum Card

American Express Refer a Friend (2)

Increases from 40,000 to 75,000 sign up bonus points when referred by a friend. Otherwise, it is 40,000 sign up bonus points if you applied on your own. This new sign up bonus really makes the $399 annual fee very easy to swallow.

Gold Cards Remain the Same

If you are curious, the sign up bonus points for the remaining 2 charged cards that allow you to earn Membership Rewards stays the same.

The American Express Gold Rewards Card remains unchanged at 25,000 sign up bonus points regardless of whether you are referred or not.

The American Express Business Gold Card also remains unchanged where you get 30,000 sign up bonus points when you apply on your own and 40,000 sign up bonus when referred by a friend.


I am still fairly bitter about all the negative changes that happened over the last 12 months with American Express. There was just so much negative momentum. I am so glad to see a positive change. Even if this is not a sign of changing direction, at the very least they put a halt to devaluations for the time being.


  1. Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for the great update.

    Both the American Express Platinum Card & American Express Business Platinum Card, can we self refer via either Business Gold Card or just the Gold card? OR does it need to be referred by an actual American Express Business Platinum Card holder?

    1. I had the exact same question. I remember reading somewhere a few months ago that you could refer yourself for another AmEx card when you already had another AmEx and get referral bonuses this way. Is this true?

      1. Oh and in the same vein, if I currently have both gold cards, could I refer a friend for a Plantinum card if I don’t currently have it?

        1. No. Since a few days, you need to own the card, making the self-referral dead. You can refer Plat to Plat (25k), Biz Plat to Biz Plat (25k), Gold Biz to Gold Biz (10k). Gold to Gold don’t give you anything.

          1. Thanks for chiming it. Exactly, no self-referrals, but you can refer other credit cards or charged cards within the same family.

        2. Hey guys, so the official word from AMEX is that you can refer a credit card within the same family (i.e. earning the same points). So if you have an MR card, you can refer to any of the other MR cards. If you have an Aeroplan card, you can refer to any of the other Aeroplan affiliated cards. Unfortunately you cannot self-refer.

          1. Does this mean that as a personal Plat holder I can refer the business Plat card. Don’t see that as an option. They are both MR points.

          2. Yes, that should be an option. When you go to the referral page, at the bottom left hand corner (where it says “Apply for a different card that is part of the referral program”), you should be able to switch between credit cards for the referral.

  2. In regards to this offer : can the holder of the AMEX platinum refer a friend to get the Gold card ? That would make the deal worth it. Also, can you elaborate on the “200$” annual travel credit ? How does one use this credit and how does it differ from the flex option ? The answers might tip my decision.


    1. In terms of the referral, I answered it in the response above. The short answer is yes!

      The flex option is that you can redeem your MR points at a 1 to 1 ratio. So 1 point is worth 1 cent. So if you have $100 of travel expenses, you can redeem 10,000 points to credit that expenses.

      The $200 Annual Travel Credit can only be redeemed through Platinum Card Travel Service at time of booking.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out Jean-Maximilien, I am going to update the post right now to include that information.

  3. Just so I’m clear. I currently have Gold and can or cannot refer myself to Platinum? If I can, would I get 75k for being referred? Would I get anything for referring?


      1. Thanks. This whole thing has been rather confusing. My next question is do I love these bloggers who are you talking about this card use their own personal referral links or do they have a special one as an affiliate? If it’s a personal link does AMEX get after them for not referring only “known friends”?

        1. If you have a close friend or family member who already has the Platinum card, I would recommend that you let them earn the bonus points by referring you to the card!

          1. I don’t. That’s ehy I’m trying t figure out if bloggers are using an affiliate link or their own personal referral link. If it’s the latter, does Amex get upset at the lack of real friendship vs blog reader status?

          2. Here is the wording from the referral page by AMEX: “Your friend has recommended American Express. If you did not receive this from your friend, please close this page. American Express is not responsible for monitoring the accuracy of information you received from your friend.”

  4. Matthew, care to clear up a few things since you seem to have contacted AMEX regarding various issues?

    1) Is the 6 months waiting period + applying via referral rule (as indicated by your earlier entries) still valid for obtaining a repeat bonus for the regular AMEX Plat/Gold cards?

    2) If I have the business plat card, and referred it to a friend, and the friend applied for a different product (let’s say Biz gold), would I still be eligible for referral bonus? I have seen on FT threads that the friend has to apply for the exact product, whereas some others say as long as it is a MR product (not aeroplan, not spg, etc), it is still ok. What is AMEX’s verdict on this?

    3) Have AMEX closed out self refers via system updates, or have they merely kept the wording that is has to be a friend for referrals and you’re just pointing that out?

    1. Hi Tony,

      1) The 6 month rule doesn’t apply anymore because the new rule is one in a life time sign up bonus.

      2) The word from AMEX is that you can refer people within the same family of credit cards. Though certain credit cards no longer qualify for a referral bonus, you can still refer friends.

      3) Self referrals seems to be a hit and miss in reality, but the official word from AMEX is that we are not allowed to self refer.

    1. There is no timeline, so unfortunately it can end at any moment without notice. If you are contemplating your application, I would do it ASAP.

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