Amex Referral Bonus Limits Increased
I have some more good news coming out this Friday, the Amex referral bonus limits increased to a whopping 100,000 points per card. This appears to be targeted, but I have to imagine it will roll out to most accounts. I am still seeing 55,000 Amex referral bonus limits on my account for the time being. I would mind seeing the limit on some of my cards get almost doubled.
Announcement Email Details
Here is what the email says that went out to some members today:
Your referral bonus annual limit has been increased from 55,000 Membership Rewards® points to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points per calendar year. This means you can refer more friends each year and continue to earn points for eligible referrals, up to 100,000 points per calendar year. Terms apply.
Why This Is Great News
Anytime you can earn more points it is a good thing. Even if you have multiple American Express cards, all which have their own referral limits, this is really great news. In the past each Membership Rewards earning card was limited to a 55,000 points per card account. That seems like a lot already but when Amex is offering up to 25,000 – 35,000 points per referral that cap gets hit mighty quickly.
Sometimes your best refer a friend offer was maxed out after one use. That is because Amex will only give you the remaining points up to your cap. So if you had a 35K referral bonus you would only get 20K points for your second referral because of the cap limitations (35K + 20K = 55K cap). If that referral bonus is offered on a card with now increased limits then you could do it twice at the full amount and a 3rd time for 30K in points. That is a substantial improvement. If your best referral offer is a card with a 25K you can now use it 4 times instead of just 2 times before.
I also wonder if this was a pre-emptive move and that we may see even higher referral offers. One can hope at least!
You Can Refer Your Spouse But Not Yourself
How do you earn referral points? Make lots of friends, duh! Totally kidding, kind of. The easiest way is to refer your spouse or significant other. While it is technically possible to refer yourself, it is just an application link after all, this is not allowed per the Amex terms. People tried this early on, when the referral program was launched, and they all had their points clawed back and some accounts were even shut down. Refer another person, ALWAYS.
What If You Don't Have A Card The Other Person Wants?
The unique thing about American Express' referral program is that they are pretty flexible on their referrals. There is an option to select to view other cards, and even select to view personal or business cards (see the photo above from my Business Platinum referral). So if you have an Amex Business Platinum and they want a personal Amex Gold you can make that work. Even if you have an Amex Gold as well, pick the card that offers the best referral bonus points for you and for them. The offers across your Amex cards are not always the same, for you or them. You will get the points based on the card you refer, not regardless of what card they choose to sign up for.
There are some caveats here. The co-branded cards, like Hilton and Delta, can only refer within their brand. That is something to be aware of, but they don't usually offer the best referral bonuses anyway.
Amex Referral Bonus Limits Increased: ToP Thoughts
This is good news for us miles and points enthusiasts. Even if you only get a few referral offers a year with the Amex referral bonus limits increased it can help you earn the most points possible. No more taking a lesser referral bonus because you already maxed out your best earner, at least for most of us. This change gives you more potential referral bonus as well (I know, captain obvious over here).