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Earlier this year American Express made a series of unwelcome changes to how card sign up bonuses work. For many readers, the changes meant that accruing large amounts of points/miles via Amex was substantially more difficult. Therefore, any possibility of free and easy points is welcome news and something to be shared…
I recently got a new Amex Platinum and added two family members as supplementary cardholders so that they could share the benefits. To be absolutely clear, I added them both AFTER I received my card – not when I applied (I’m not sure if this makes a difference but it might). Shortly afterwards (2-3 days) I noticed that my account had 10,000 more Amex Membership Rewards Points in it than I was expecting!
I quickly checked the “My Points” page on my account so see why they had been credited and found the following:
As you can see, there are two “1st Platinum Supp bonus” items listed and each one netted me 5,000 bonus points.
There are a few interesting things to note about this though:
- There was no mention anywhere on my account that I would receive any bonus points for adding a supplementary cardholder.
- How can there be two “1st” Platinum Supp bonuses?
- Only one of the supplementary cards was actually Platinum – the other was Gold.
This could just be a glitch specific to particular accounts, but I doubt it. 10,000 free and unexpected Amex Points is great, but given that the Gold also seemed to trigger the bonus, it might well be possible to get even more. Remember that Platinum cardholders can add 1 free Platinum and 4 free Golds, so there’s the potential for 25,000 bonus points here!
Amex does have a web page highlighting bonuses for adding a supplementary cardholder, but it states the bonus is only for the first supplementary card you add – which is clearly untrue, in practice, in at least some cases.
If it is consistently possible to get 25,000 bonus points purely by adding supplementary cardholders, that changes the value proposition of the Platinum Card substantially.