Thanks to updates they made in 2018, the Amex referral program is the best in the credit card space.
What’s great about them is that:
- Most of the offers are as good as it gets (you don’t have to choose between the best offer and the referral bonus)
- You can refer friends for cards you don’t even have (so long as you have at least one Amex card)
- The referral bonus is based on the card you refer from (rather than the card you’re referring to)
- You can refer your spouse (or friends and family over 18)
- You can even refer yourself (though we wouldn’t recommend doing so)
Today I’d like to go over scenarios where it makes sense to use Amex referrals, even if you don’t want to pester friends to “click my links!”.
I’ll also cover the process step-by-step with screen shots. The approach is totally above-board, but can be a confusing given how Amex has set it up.
Step 1: Go to the Amex referral site
You can either log in and go to the bottom of the or go directly to:
Once you’re there, log in.
Step 2: Select the card you have that you want to refer *from*
You have to have at least one Amex card to be able to generate referral links. There are probably some discontinued Amex cards out there that you can’t refer from, but for the most part if you have an Amex card you can generate referral links for most Amex cards.
An exception to this rule applies to co-branded cards like Delta, Hilton, and SPG. If you have one of these cards, you can refer for other cards within that family, but you cannot refer to Membership Reward/Cashback cards, and you cannot refer for other co-branded cards outside the family.
If you don’t have any Amex cards, consider partnering up with a friend who does. You could do them a favor by applying through their link. Or you might come to terms on some arrangement to split the referral bonus. It’s not possible to track who used your referral link however so be aware of that if striking a deal with an online acquaintance.
If you have multiple Amex cards, you’ll want to refer from the one with the most lucrative signup bonus. The signup bonus is determined by which card you refer from, not the card your friend ends up applying for.
Once you’ve picked which card you want to refer from, scroll down to find your personalized referral link.
When you “Copy” the link it actually populates some text like:
Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you’re approved! http://refer.amex.us/ROBErD1GyQ?xl=cp27
You’ll want to copy just the link (ie http://refer.amex.us/ROBErD1GyQ?xl=cp27) to generate a referral link for a specific card.
Step 3: Select the card you want to refer *to*
Your friend could in theory visit your referral link and explore all of cards Amex has to offer.
But in practice, you probably want to give them a deep link for the specific card you want them to sign up for.
To generate a deep link for a specific card, click on your own referral link (ie, the one formed like http://refer.amex.us/ROBErD1GyQ?xl=cp27).
It should take you to a page with a pop-up like this:
Click Continue then scroll down to the bottom of the page.
There you should see links for “All Personal Cards” or “All Business Cards” (depending on whether you referred from a personal or business card).
If you want to generate a link for a Business Card from a Personal Card (and vice versa) you can do so by clicking “Looking for a Business/Personal Card?”.
Step 4: Generate a personal referral link for the card you want to refer *to*
Once you “Explore Other Cards” you should see many other Amex cards you can refer from.
As of this writing I see 17 Personal Cards and 12 Business Cards available for referral in my account.
To generate a deep link referral for a specific card Right Click on “Continue to Card Details” and Copy Link Address.
This should capture a referral link that starts with mgmee.americanexpress…
It’s worth noting that these deep links vary depending on which card you generated the referral from. This is how Amex determines the amount of the referral bonus.
An Amex Personal Gold 50,000 link generated from an Amex Business Platinum (a 15,000 point referral):
An Amex Personal Gold 50,000 link generated from Personal Gold (a 10,000 point referral):
Notice how the links are different.
Both links are for 50,000 points. But the first link gets a 15,000 point referral bonus beceause it came from the Amex Business Platinum. The second link gets a 10,000 point referal because it came from an Amex Personal Gold.
Keep this in mind while generating links: You always want to generate a link starting from the card with the highest referral bonus.
Summing it up
Hopefully that shows how to generate Amex referral links for specific cards.
The way Amex has designed this, it rarely makes sense to use an affiliate link or someone else’s referral link. The exception would be if this is your very first Amex card -or- you don’t have a spouse/friend with the ability to generate Amex referral links.
If that’s you we’ve got some referral links to get you started: http://milenomics.com/referral-links/
But once you have at least one Amex card in your family/circle of friends you should refer each other. Though possible, I’d avoid self-referral. It just seems to prone to Amex clawing back a bonus once they realize you referred yourself for a card.
This aspect of Amex’s program is one reason why I think it’s been a great year for Amex.
We talk more about how to maximize this aspect of their program, especially as we’re coming towards the end of 2018 in the latest Milenomics² Podcast.
If you’ve got questions on this, or want to bat around ideas on how to play it in your situation – drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.