Can You Get A ‘Secret’ Additional Amex Bonus?

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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:

  1. There was no mention anywhere on my account that I would receive any bonus points for adding a supplementary cardholder.
  2. How can there be two “1st” Platinum Supp bonuses?
  3. 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!

Bottom line

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.


  1. Sam says

    You receive 5000 bonus points upon being approved for the first supplementary card, this is a published promotion and is no secret. A quick google search will lead you to the landing page of the promo. The second 5000 points should be added by mistake however.

    And no, I doubt you’ll get 25,000 points just by adding more cards because this is not how it works.

      • Sharat says

        Hi Joe
        Interesting discovery, may well work!
        I have another question for you – why did you choose to add another card – Platinum, with already having a Gold- why not just upgrade or give up the Gold. One doesn’t get MR points anymore for another MR card?

  2. Tilly71 says

    Hi Joe,
    OT: The 4k RocketMiles bonus for AA, I’m New RM user so do I get the 4k bonus on any booking or is it specific hotels asbo cannot find how to search out the hotels which will include the AA bonus Miles.

    • Joe Deeney says

      Yeah the RM site can be awkward to navigate with these sort of bonuses. I’m pretty sure this particular bonus is only on certain hotels (usually to do with some sort of spend algorithm, rather than pure price). Finding them is therefore trial and error unfortunately, because a hotel which has the bonus for one date might not on another. The good news is that it should be fairly easy to see whether the bonus is applied or not on the main search screen – or that’s what it’s normally like anyway!

  3. Dog lover says

    Do they do any checks on additional card holders?
    So if someone decided that their dog needed a gold card would this work?

  4. Colin Thames says

    Wondering if this incentive applies to Gold Business Charge Card or (Platinum for Business) for the first supplementary cardholder?

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