Changes to American Express cards referral offers
Referring a friend, a family member or a co-worker for an American Express card has always been an excellent opportunity to earn bonus points.
We have a page explaining how the referral system works and what are the current offers. In recent weeks, there have been several changes to the Amex referral system.
Prohibition of self-referral and public links sharing
On March 12, American Express strengthened its referral terms to avoid abuse:
- Self-referral is now prohibited (referring yourself for another American Express card)
- Sharing referral links on forums or blogs is prohibited as well
As a reminder, milesopedia is an American Express partner, and all links posted on the website are official offers from American Express (affiliated links) and not referral links.
May 13, 2020 modifications
On May 13, 2020, two popular Cards for referral had their offer changed:
- Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Platinum Card®
The Business Platinum Card
Previously, a Business Platinum Cardmember was able to earn 25,000 Membership Rewards points for each referral (up to 225,000 Membership Rewards points per year). And each referred person could earn 75,000 points as a welcome bonus after $7,000 in Card purchases.
As of May 13, 2020, it is now possible to only get 5,000 points per referral. And the referred person will earn 45,000 points as a welcome bonus after $7,000 in Card purchases.
This is a marked decrease for both.
The Platinum Card
Previously, a Platinum Cardmember was able to earn 15,000 Membership Rewards Points per referral (up to 225,000 Membership Rewards points per year). And each referred person could earn 70,000 points as a welcome bonus after $5,000 in Card purchases.
As of May 13, 2020, it is now possible to only get 5,000 points per referral. And the referred person will earn 25,000 points as a welcome bonus after $2,000 in Card purchases.
The Platinum Card® is particularly attractive at the moment thanks to its offer doubling the value of points. So it’s understandable that American Express would like to reserve this for current Cardmembers, rather than new applicants who would like to take advantage of this.
By doing so, American Express discourages application for these two Cards. Hopefully it’s for a limited time.
American Express, like many businesses, is facing challenges, notably because the volume of purchases made with American Express cards in retail stores, restaurants and online businesses has declined.
Like all businesses, the Marketing budget has melted away. But it’s probably also an opportunity for American Express to rethink its strategy: targeting a net acquisition of new customers rather than seeing existing customers applying for new Amex cards.
Also, American Express prefers to satisfy existing customers by multiplying offers in their direction (such as this offer for Platinum Cardmembers or this offer for Cobalt Cardmembers) rather than promoting promotional offers.
This means cuts in certain costs such as referrals or affiliation.