Has American Express Changed The Way Referral Bonuses Work?

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First of all – don’t panic! I am not suggesting that American Express has changed the number of points you can earn from referrals or anything that dramatic.

Rather, I think Amex has changed the system they use for processing referrals and that has led to it taking longer than normal for referral bonus points to post, for at least some cardholders.

Why do you think this?

I keep various referral links and other frequently requested info in a google doc, so that I can quickly and easily help readers when they email me requests. Back in November, it became apparent that my Amex links no longer actually went to the referral/apply page, but just to the Amex homepage.

When I signed into my account and generated a new referral link, it worked perfectly, but the web address was different to the old link.

I have since referred a couple of people (over 4 weeks ago) and haven’t received any bonus points yet. I’ve also heard from 3 different readers who have encountered the same situation. It used to be the case that the referral bonus points would show up in your account pretty much as soon as an application was approved – or at least within a day or two.

I contacted American Express, but was just given a generic answer that referral bonus points can take up to 10 weeks to be processed. When pressed if this was a new policy/system, the answer was vague and inconclusive.

Would the change matter?

Not massively, no – but it would still be worth being aware of.

You should still end up with the correct number of points eventually, but might well have to wait for them. In other words, don’t bank on receiving the bonus points in time for a short-term redemption.

I’m also not sure what would happen if you cancelled your card during the period between referring someone and the points being credited.

Bottom line

Let me know in the comments if your referrals are still working as they used to, or if it’s now taking longer for you to receive bonus points too.

It is worth noting that I have only tried referring people using my Amex Platinum recently, so it’s even possible that it might be a Platinum-specific issue?


  1. David S says

    Apparently there has been some glitch. My referral bonus from July did not post and after 3 chats and 2 phone calls, it got sorted 2 weeks ago, so monitor it.

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