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Travel on Point(s) is an independent, advertising-supported website. This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites like Cardratings.com. This compensation does not impact how or where products appear on this site. Travel on Point(s) has not reviewed all available credit card offers on this site. Reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any partner entities.

Amex Referral Bonus

You have a friend that you talk up a credit card you love to and get them to sign up via your refer a friend link. A true win win, they are going to earn a juicy welcome offer and you are going to get a nice American Express refer a friend bonus for helping them out. Great! Then you drum your fingers, waiting for the points to hit your account. How long to get an Amex referral bonus anyway? They used to post within a few days, but that can fluctuate as we have been seeing these days. I'll share my recent Amex referral bonus timelines with you, and also some past experiences so you can know what to expect. I'll also go over the Amex refer a friend program a bit in case this is all new to you.

Update 5/21/24: I added in a data point from my most recent referral.

How Does The Amex Refer A Friend Program Work?

Before we get into how long it takes to get an Amex referral bonus we should go over how this entire system works. Many credit cards have refer a friend bonus offers attached to their accounts. These offers allow you to share your love of a particular product with others you now. In return for you acting as a liaison to the bank of sorts, you get a kick back if they sign up. This usually comes in the form of points or cash back.

There are nuances for each program though. Some banks only let you refer to a particular card, while others let you refer to a family of cards. Then there is the Amex referral program, the one atop the mountain. Their program allows you to refer a friend to most any card. Well, some of the time at least. If it is an Amex only product (non co-branded) then it can refer to most things. If it is a co-branded card, like Hilton or Marriott, then it can only refer within that co-branded family. American Express is the most flexible of all the banks when it comes to referrals.

You Earn What You Send Out

There is an important distinction with the Amex referral bonus program I want to make as well. You will receive the same refer a friend bonus no matter which card your friend or family member applies for. So, if you refer them to a Membership Rewards earning card, but they sign up for a Hilton card, you will still get the Membership Rewards bonus.

Now that we know the Amex referral bonus program is pretty great how do we go about using it? There are two ways to do this.

Look At Each Card When Logged In

First up, you can just log into your account and see what the Amex referral bonus offer is showing for each card in your account online. You do have to go through each card one by one on your account this way. That can be a pain in the butt if you have multiple American Express cards. That is why I prefer what is behind door number two.

Amex Referral Bonus

Amex Refer A Friend Catch All Page

The other, and better, option is to go to the Amex referral bonus catch all page. That can be found here. Once you click through they will have you log into your American Express account, if you're not logged in already. Once you log in you will see most / all of your Amex credit cards. You can then quickly cycle through them to see which offer is the best. Remember that some cards refer to any Amex card. Because of that you will want to check the highest referral offer for yourself first. You then click through that link to see if it gives your friend the best offer possible as well. This can take some work but the payoff is often worth it.

As you can see from the screenshot above there are two ways to send your referral link. You can email your friend or you can copy your personal link to send via a text or DM etc. Also notice the referral bonus caps listed in the details of each card. These reset each calendar year.

Why Are Some American Express Cards Missing As Referral Options?

Not all of my Amex referral bonus cards are listed in the screen shot above. Why is that? Amex likes to play games with referral links at times. They will remove them from some of your cards and no one really knows why. One way to get them back, at least for a bit, is to claim your card is lost or stolen so that you are issued a new card number. After that you should see it pop up back in your refer a friend options. It won't last forever though. After a few months the card will vanish once again. I have never found it to be worth the effort myself, since you can just refer from the other cards you have instead.

Amex Referral Bonus

How Long Does An Amex Referral Bonus Take To Post?

You now know how the Amex refer a friend system works, where to find your referral bonus link and everything in-between. Now it is time to figure out how long an Amex referral bonus takes to post. There is nothing worse than waiting for bonus points to show up in your account and not knowing when you should expect it. After a few days you start wondering if it didn't track properly, or if your friend messed up when applying. Hopefully this referral bonus timeline should help squash those fears.

My recent referral bonus timelines on my Amex Business Platinum for the 10x restaurants bonus:

  • The referral link was used in the evening of Friday May 17th.
    • Received the 10x referral email within a few minutes
    • Referral bonus was showing first thing on Monday May 20th
      • Total time 3 days

  • Friday March 22nd the refer a friend link was used
    • Received the 10x referral bonus email saying I was good to go March 23rd
    • Referral bonus posted Monday March 25th
      • Total time of 3 days

It looks like the referral bonuses have gotten back to the way they used to be, posting within a couple of days. At least for now that is.

Here are my most recent Amex referral bonus timelines on two different Business Gold cards:

  • January 19th refer a friend link was used
    • Referral bonus posted January 27th
      • Total time of 8 days
  • January 21st refer a friend link was used
    • Referral bonus posted January 30th
      • Total time of 9 days

I bet the extra weekend night extended the second example one out a day. In the past the bonus would post within a day or two of the referred being approved. I am not sure if this delay is the typical Amex slow down at the beginning of the year or not. A little over a week could just be the new normal as well. Share your personal data points over in the ToP Facebook Group.

Amex Referral Bonus: ToP Thoughts

You should now know exactly what an Amex referral bonus is, how to find yours and how long they take to show up in your account. Knowing all of those things can help you earn some additional points, without any extra anxiety or worry. I wouldn't worry about your refer a friend bonus points until at least two weeks have passed. Even then, Amex likely won't do anything until the 8 week window discussed in the terms has passed. Hopefully none of you have to get to that point though.

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