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Get More Points with Referral Programs - American Express Member Get Member Bonus

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Last updated on June 20, 2019 Views: 547 Comments: 4

There are lots of ways to save money by exploiting your credit card’s assets to their fullest: Price protection, travel insurance, rental car discounts and other thrifty features can add up to a nice chunk of change over time. But even the most avid Canadian bargain hunters often fail to take advantage of a very lucrative and easy-to-use credit card perk: the ‘refer a friend’ program.

What Is a Credit Card Referral Program?

You’ve likely referred a friend before for a job position or for a special consumer promotion, and a credit card refer a friend program is a similar concept. Essentially it works by giving you extra bonus rewards points every time a friend or family member successfully applies for a credit card you recommended. In order for you to receive the referral bonus, the applicant must use a special email or link code to apply for the card and the application must be approved by the card’s issuer. It’s probably the most passive way to receive a bunch of bonus points.

The bad news is that, unlike in the USA where referral programs are relatively popular, Canada presently only has one credit card company that offers a refer a friend bonus. The good news is that the one program available to Canadians is a very good one with impressively generous referral bonuses!

American Express Member Referral Program

Currently, American Express is the only credit card issuer that offers Canadians a refer a friend bonus, but they make it very simple to access the benefit:

  1. Cardholders log in to a special American Express refer a friend Canada website.
  2. Once you’re logged in, you select which specific card you want to refer.
  3. The website then provides you with a special personal link that can be sent out via email (or cut and pasted to send out via text) to give to select friends and family to whom you want to refer the card. You will then receive the referral bonus points as long as your friend uses the specified link and their application is approved.

An important note of caution: Be careful about whom you refer. In the fine print, Amex clearly states that you can’t send out the link willy-nilly in hopes of getting as many bonus referral points as possible. Amex notes, “If this is a personal or family referral, you agree to only make recommendations to known friends and family members with whom you have a relationship and who have confirmed to you that they want to receive this communication. If this is a referral in the context of your business, you agree to only make recommendations to business contacts whom you know and have consented to receive this recommendation from you. You must not send recommendations to people you do not know.”

If you breach these rules, Amex reserves the right to cancel your own card. But as long as you follow the guidelines, it’s a classic win-win situation: Your friend gets a great, rewards-rich card and you get a nice pot of extra points. For privacy reasons, Amex will not contact you to let you know who has applied and if they’ve been successful. It can take between 8 to 10 weeks for the referral bonus to be applied to your account.

Not all Amex cards are eligible for the benefit, though many of the most popular cards do feature it. Check the list below to see if your Amex has the referral feature.

5K Points Per Referral/Up to 75K Points Annually

American Express Gold Rewards CardThe American Express® Gold Rewards Card

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: 
– Min personal income required: $0
– Annual fees: $150

The referral offer for the Amex Gold Card grants 5,000 Membership Rewards points for every approved referral to an annual maximum of 75,000 points. If you’re not quite sure what those points are worth in real-world terms, check out GreedyRates’ helpful Loyalty Program Bible.

Aside from that, the card offers a sign-up bonus of 25000 points with a minimum spend of $1500 in the first 3 months. You’ll earn 2 points per $1 on eligible expenses (like travel, gas and groceries) and 1 per $1 for everything else. Another major perk is that points can be transferred to Aeroplan at a ratio of 1:1.

Click here to apply for the American Express® Gold Rewards Card

7K Points Per Referral/Up to 75K Points Annually

American Express CobaltAmerican Express CobaltTM

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: 
– Min personal income required: $
– Annual fees: $120

The refer a friend bonus for the CobaltTM card gives 7,000 points for every approved referral to an annual maximum of 75,000 points every calendar year.

The CobaltTM is one of the most popular cards in Canada, particularly for those who love dining out. The card offers up to 30000 bonus points in the first 12 months—2,500 Membership Rewards points for each month you charge at least $500 in purchases on the card. You also earn 5 points per $1 spent on eligible dining and drinks, including restaurants, bars, and food delivery; points per $1 spent on eligible travel and transit (e.g. airfare, hotels, ground transit, and gas); and 1 point per $1 on everything else.

Click here to learn more about American Express CobaltTM card

10K Points Per Referral/Up to 150K Points Annually

The Marriott Bonvoy American Express CardMarriott Bonvoy American Express

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: 
– Min personal income required: N/A
– Annual fees: $120

The impressive Marriott Bonvoy card offers one of the biggest Amex referral bonuses for introducing friends to the popular hotel rewards card: 10,000 Bonvoy points per referral, with a best-in-class maximum of 150,000 points annually. It helps that this card is easy to recommend; it being one of the best travel cards available in Canada.

Also notable is the 50,000 Bonvoy points offered to new cardholders who spend just $1,500 in their first 3 months—which is enough for 3 nights. With this introductory bonus, your referral points, the card’s Free Annual Night Award, and the ability to earn 5 points per $1 spent at Bonvoy properties (2 points per $1 elsewhere) you’ll find yourself enjoying many free nights. Extra perks like Silver Elite Status, travel insurance, and 15 Elite Night Credits are just the cherry on top.

Click here to learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy card from American Express

$150 Cash Back/Up to $2250 Annually

The NEW SimplyCash Card from American ExpressThe SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: 
– Min personal income required: $0
– Annual fees: $99

The refer a friend program with the Amex SimplyCash Preferred nets an impressive $150 each time you successfully refer a friend or family member (up to a maximum of $2250 yearly). Please note the program is slightly different for the American Express SimplyCash card, where you earn a lower bonus of $100 cash back for each approved referral up to a maximum bonus of $1,500 per year.

The Preferred card has a very enticing 6-month welcome period where you’ll earn 5% cash back on every single purchase in the first 6 months (capped at $300 cash back). Afterwards, when the welcome rate ends, you receive 2% cash back with no limits to the amount you can earn.

Click here to learn more about the SimplyCash Preferred card from American Express

A Win-Win Perk

The refer a friend perk is one of the easiest credit card bonuses to take advantage of. If you like having a credit card with a multifaceted and generous rewards/cashback program, your friends and family might like it to.

*American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply link.

**This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.

Article comments

Salman says:

Hi, Very information article. I got the referral from a gold card holder (mywife). But when I click on the link, Platinum card is not one of the options to chose from. Any advice? Thanks,

GreedyRates says:

Hi Salman, thanks for your question. If your wife referred you to become a cardholder of the Amex Gold Rewards card, then you’ll only be able to apply for that card or others in the same tier, and not cards that have stricter requirements and greater perks. If she was a Platinum cardholder, then the referral she sent you would invite you to sign up for the Platinum card, for example. We suggest calling Amex and asking if this is intentional, because it sounds like this obstacle is preventing you from becoming a customer. Report the issue to customer service (Amex representatives are usually very friendly and easy to work with) and they’ll help you get the result you want.

GreedyRates Staff

Salman says:

Thank you, I will try that and update here as well.

Salman says:

Hi, I did call them and they told me that there is no way to override what it shown. So for Platinum Card it has to be a new application and referral bonus will not be applicable. Thanks!