Trying to understand Amex referrals between partners

Discussion in 'Miles & points via credit cards' started by Aston100, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Aston100

    Aston100 New Member

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    Hello everyone.
    I am completely new to all this so I do apologise in advance for probably asking stuff that is common knowledge to you.

    I am looking to obtain Amex Gold Preferred Rewards cards for my wife and I in order to maximise the referral rewards points. I am hoping to collect enough points (through this and other spending) to eventually get a couple of business class long haul flights somewhere in a few years.
    I've only just signed up to BAEC and will be getting her to do so shortly.

    I have had a read through some articles on the internet but I am a little bit confused and unsure.
    I thought I would write down what I think is the correct process and was hoping you guys could advise if this is right, or (most likely) I've missed something or other.
    I'm sure I've got it wrong with the 6 month 'dead period' and perhaps there is a simpler way to do this whole process.

    If it helps, I would prefer not to pay any fees for other cards, but am happy to consider other cards inside the 'dead period' or any other suggestions.
    I may be able to stretch to 20k spending per annum through credit cards between my wife and I.

    Thanks very much for your patience.


    Section 1:
    I obtain a referral link for myself from someone here
    I signup and spend £2k within 3 months.
    I receive 22000 points and my referrer receives 9000 points
    At this point, around 3 months have passed.

    Section 2:
    I refer my wife
    She signs up and spends £2k within 3 months.
    She receives 22000 points and I receive 9000 points
    At this point, around of 6 months have now passed since the first step in section 1
    I now cancel my card (having held it for around 6 months) after transferring those points into BAEC family account

    Section 3:
    I wait 6 months. Neither my wife nor I need to use the Amex cards and this is a dead period.

    Section 4:
    My wife refers me
    I signup and spend £2k within 3 months
    I receive 22000 points and she receives 9000 points
    At this point, around 12 months have passed since the first step in section 1
    She now cancels her card (having held it for around 9 months) after transferring those points into BAEC family account

    Section 5:
    She waits 6 months. Neither my wife nor I need to use the Amex cards and this is a dead period.

    Repeat from Section 2 through to Section 5 over and over.
     
  2. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Hi Aston - welcome to InsideFlyer!

    Section 1:
    Here's my referral link: http://amex.co.uk/refer/xno1z?XLINK=MYCP

    You'll actually get 22,000 points as a signup bonus plus (at least) 2,000 points for the £2k spend.

    Section 2:

    You can refer your wife whenever you like (same day as getting your card if you like) - it's just a matter of not taking on more minimum spend than you can comfortably manage within the 3 months.

    You can also actually cancel your card as soon as your referral points for referring your wife have come through. So, say you referred your wife after 1 month and you'd also hit your min spend for the signup bonus on your card by then, you could transfer your points out and cancel the card.

    Section 3

    Yep, you have to wait 6 months after cancelling your card in order to get the sign up bonus again.

    Section 4

    As soon as the points for referring you hit your wife's account and she transfers them out, she can cancel it. This could be about ~7 months into the whole process from when you got your first card, depending on how quickly you can hit minimum spends.

    Section 5

    Yep - although earning 1 Amex Point per £1 of normal everyday spend is still worth using your card for, unless you've got an amazing cashback card or something.
     
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  3. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    That's the 'basic' approach - I'll provide a more advanced one in a few minutes.
     
  4. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Step 1:

    You use a referral link to get the Amex Gold, spend £2k as quickly as (comfortably) possible, refer your wife after a couple of weeks, transfer all points from your card (at least 31k in total) across, but keep card for now.

    Step 2:

    After ~3 months, your wife refers you for one of the BA Amex cards or the SPG/Marriott one. She receives 9k Amex points for the referral and you get whatever the signup bonus is on that card.

    You now cancel your first card

    Step 3:

    Once your wife has had her first card for about ~3 months, you use your new card to refer your wife for the same type of BA/Marriott card you've now got, therefore you get another referral bonus (which varies depending on what card you choose) and she gets the sign up bonus.

    Wife now cancels her first card.

    Step 4:

    Do the same again, but this time for the SPG/Marriott card if you got a BA one last time, or vice versa.

    Step 5:

    By this point it should be past the 6 month mark since you cancelled your original Gold, so have your wife refer you from her SPG/Marriott or BA card for another Gold card.

    Step 7

    Once it's 6 months since wife cancelled her Gold card, you refer her again.

    Step 8:

    Repeat.
     
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  5. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Important points to be aware of:

    The wait 6 months rule in order to get sign up bonuses only applies to each 'type' of card - so you can get a Gold, a BA card and the SPG/Marriott card within the same 6 months and get all the sign up bonuses. If you wanted the Platinum sign up bonus though, you'd have to wait 6 months after cancelling the Gold (as they both use Membership Rewards Points as their reward 'currency'), and it would be the same for the BA and BA Premium Plus cards.

    When you refer someone, you can actually refer them for any card type and the referral bonus you get is determined by the card you refer them from, not the card they are applying for. So, if you referred someone using a link generated from your Amex Gold account, you'd get 9k Amex MR Points for referring them, even if they just get the free BA card. They get the normal ( slightly boosted because they've used a referral link) signup bonus for the card they are applying for

    It might be worth thinking about paying for the Platinum and/or BAPP cards, not just because the signup bonuses are higher, but also because the referral bonuses are higher too (eg. 18k on the plat vs 9k from gold).

    Remember - you always get a pro rata refund with Amex when you cancel, so you'd likely only be paying a few months worth of the fee on each card (less if you want to be more aggressive - some people hit the min spend, get their referral points etc, all in the first month, then cancel ).

    How aggressive you want to be in terms of applying for cards depends on your circumstances/credit history/mortgage plans etc. Personally, I don't apply for a card more frequently than once every 3 months and have never been turned down. I also think it's sort of 'fairer' to keep a card open for at least a few months as I value my long term relationship with Amex, but that's just gut feeling with no real evidence behind it.
     
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  6. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    In terms of what you could theoretically get in a year, here you go:

    Amex Plat sign up bonus: 35k + 2k normal spend = 37k MR
    Refer wife: 18k MR
    Wife Plat Sign up bonus: 235k + 2k = 37k MR
    Wife refers you for BAPP: 18k MR
    BAPP Sign up bonus: 26k + 4.5k for normal spend = 30.5k Avios
    Refer wife for BAPP: 9k Avios
    Wife's BAPP sign up bonus: 26k + 4.5k for normal spend = 30.5k Avios
    Wife refers you from BAPP for SPG/Marriott card: 9k Avios
    SPG/Marriott signup bonus: 33k sign up bonus +3k normal spend = 36k Marriott Points ( can transfer to BA at 3:1, with a 25% bonus when you transfer 60k - which you could get by pooling with wife before transferring). I wouldn't normally recommend transferring Marriott Points to BA though as there are more valuable options.
    Refer wife for SPG/Marriott card: 9k Marriott Points
    SPG/Marriott signup bonus: 33k sign up bonus +3k normal spend = 36k Marriott Points
    Wife refers you from SPG/MArriott for Amex Plat: 9k Marriott Points
    Repeat, repeat, repeat

    In a year, a couple could quite easily earn 110k Amex MR Points + 79k Avios + 90k Marriott Points by following the above.

    This might be useful: https://insideflyer.co.uk/2018/05/how-to-get-much-bigger-american-express-sign-up-bonuses/

    The other big points I would look to be clear on before transferring anything are:

    1) Is Avios really the best place to transfer Amex/Marriott for the flights we want to take? There are lots of other options - which often work out better value.

    2) How would earning an Amex/BA 241 voucher impact that assessment, if you spent 10k on one of the BAPP cards to get it - info here: https://insideflyer.co.uk/2017/07/i-love-ba-amex-companion-voucher-get-one/
     
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  7. Aston100

    Aston100 New Member

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    Thank you so much for the detailed information.
    I must admit there is a lot for me to take in and I am going to read it all again a few times to let it digest properly.
    I will likely have a couple of questions no doubt once I've understood everything thoroughly.

    However, I do have one immediate question right now:
    I had assumed (wrongly?) that a referral bonus will only be paid out once the person that is referred hits the spending target (within the time limit), and then the card of the referrer needs to be still active to receive the referral points.
    In other words, I cannot cancel my card until after my wife (whom I have referred) spends £2k, after which I will receive the referral points, and only then can I cancel my card.
    Is this not the case? Hence why I'm a bit confused about where you mention:
    Step 2:
    After ~3 months, your wife refers you for one of the BA Amex cards or the SPG/Marriott one. She receives 9k Amex points for the referral and you get whatever the signup bonus is on that card.
    You now cancel your first card

    You seem to be saying here that she will get 9k points for referring me before I've even started spending on that new card.
    I'm probably confused!

    Thanks.

     
  8. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Haha, No worries at all! Getting started can definitely seem a bit complicated, but it's honestly fine once you get into the swing of it and the rewards are well worth it.

    Yep, wrong assumption I'm pleased to say ;) . The referrer usually receives the points for referring pretty much as soon as the person they refer's application is approved. In fact, when I refer family members, I normally know they have been approved before they do - as the points hit my account before the card gets to them in the post.

    The person who you referred does only gets their sign up bonus (inc the small extra bit for using a referral link) after hitting the minimum spend though, so that might be where the confusion comes from.
     
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  9. Aston100

    Aston100 New Member

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    Thank you, that helps with the confusion and assists me with the timeline.

    My target is to get enough Avios for a 241 companion voucher for a first class flight to probably Vancouver or somewhere like that that requires I believe 200k avios in very late July 2021.

    As I am new to all this, I am daunted by post number 6, even though it implies that I should be able to attain 200k Avios in time to still find availability for summer 2021.
    I guess my main concern is around the likely need to pay fees for premium credit cards and sticking to a regimented plan in order to achieve my goal. I am afterall completely new and post number 5 looks like dive directly into the deep end!
     
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  10. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Completely understandable. I would suggest starting with the Gold cards like you intended and then seeing how it goes from there - it really is all a lot easier in practice than it seems when you write it out.

    Keep an eye on blogs like InsideFlyer and you'll be a 'travel hacker' in no time!
     
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  11. VinoTYT

    VinoTYT New Member

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    If you'd like to avoid paying too much annual fees but still would like to earn the 2-4-1, you can apply the free BA first then call to upgrade once you spent £10k on it. The voucher will still last 2 years and won't be taken away even if you cancelled the card after.

    The signup bonus is 20k avios difference though.
     
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  12. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Also worth mentioning that despite what Amex say, you don't need to keep the BA card in order to use the 241 voucher - as long as you have any Amex when you book it's fine.
     
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  13. Aston100

    Aston100 New Member

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    I've just signed up for the card using your referral link.
    Thank you.

    One of your earlier comments has got me asking myself questions now.
    BA 241 versus flying with an airline with a decent premium cabin and ex AMS or ARN etc probably be far quicker for me to hit my goal using BA 241, but seems such a waste of my first opportunity to try an F product. As I understand it, the middle east airlines J product is at least as good as BA's F product and I think I'd rather fly in a QSuite somewhere else instead of BA first class (have not done either of them).
    That said, my goal is late July 2021. Doubt I'll be able to get enough points to go somewhere longhaul even in J with a decent carrier, so may as well resign myself to doing the BA companion 241 thing and head to Vancouver.
     
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  14. VinoTYT

    VinoTYT New Member

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    BA 241 would be the least amount of points required and best value out of all reward flights I think. Although their First products are not really comparable to even some of the Business seats out there, it's still a worthy experience I reckon.

    BA first wing should be a great experience as well!
     
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  15. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    For a first First, I reckon BA is actually a great option - particularly if you want to head West. I hate paying the surcharges and it isn't as jaw-droppingly ridiculous as some of the top carriers, but it's still a very stylish and genuinely lovely way to fly. Taking into account the 241 and the fact that Avios are a lot easier to get hold of than most other airline 'currencies' in the UK, it's a good plan.

    Some of the Biz Class products around these days are fantastic (leagues above BA Club World), but I'd still always pick BA First over them, all things being equal. I haven't had chance to try QSuites yet, but unless I was traveling with 2-3 other people maybe, I'm sure First would be a better experience.

    Also, starting with BA means that if/when you fly other First products in the years ahead, you'll still be amazed and delighted, rather than say starting with Singapore Airlines or whatever and then being slightly disappointed by future experiences!
     
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  16. Moz

    Moz New Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I would appreciate it if you could sign up using my referral link. You can use this on any AMEX card.

    By using this link you will also recieve enhanced bonus points. For example, with the gold card you will receive 35,000 points.

    I will also transfer you £20 in cash as a thank you.

    if you are interested please message me for my link.

    Thanks!
     
  17. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    35k for the Gold card???
     
  18. Moz

    Moz New Member

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    My mistake, 35k for Platinum card. 22k for Gold
     
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  19. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Shame - that would have been very exciting news! ;)
     
  20. johnbrowell

    johnbrowell Member

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    Joe, you have got my head in a spin. Thanks for all the detailed info. I'm at the stage of referring my wife for a gold card; will get that done and then look at other options like the BA free card to keep it simple for now.
     
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