How to Earn Extra Credit Card Rewards Through Referral Bonuses

by Lyle Daly | Updated Aug. 12, 2021 - First published on June 20, 2021

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Two men standing on a sunny street, one holding a tablet, the other holding a phone and credit card.

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Know anyone interested in a new rewards card? Send them your referral link and you could score a bonus.

There are plenty of ways to maximize your credit card rewards. One to keep in mind is if your friends or family are thinking of applying for a rewards card, then you could get a referral bonus.

This can be a win-win for you and the person you refer. They get a recommendation for a credit card, and if their application is approved, you get bonus rewards. You can do this multiple times per year, so it's possible to earn quite a bit in rewards. And it's a quick, simple process for you and your referral.

How to get a credit card referral bonus

Here how to get referral bonuses with your credit cards:

  1. Go to the referrals page for your card issuer to get your referral link.
  2. Send your referral link to the person who's interested in opening a credit card.
  3. Wait for the person you referred to apply. If the card issuer approves them, you'll receive your referral bonus.

Remember that your referral must apply through the credit card referral link you send them. If they don't, you don't get the bonus.

Credit card companies limit how many referral bonuses you can receive per year. Five referrals is a common cap, but you can find the exact limit for your card on its referral page. Another common rule is that your account must be in good standing for you to be eligible for referral bonuses.

The exact referral process depends on the credit card company. You can find more details on how to get a referral bonus with the major card issuers below.

American Express referral bonuses

To start the referral process, log in to your American Express account. Scroll down below your account summary to see if your card has a referral offer available. If you have multiple American Express cards, check each one -- not all cards are eligible for referral offers.

If there's an offer available, click "Refer Now." You can either enter your referral's first name and email address to have American Express send the offer, or you can copy the referral link and send it yourself.

Capital One referral bonuses

Visit the Capital One Refer a Friend page. Log in to your Capital One account to get your referral link. Copy the link and share it with anyone you want to refer.

Chase referral bonuses

Visit the Chase Refer a Friend page. Find your Chase credit card on the list and click "Refer friends now" (or "Refer businesses now" if it's a business credit card). Enter your last name, zip code, and the last four digits of your Chase card. If your card is eligible for a referral offer, Chase will provide you with a referral link. Copy the link and share it with anyone you want to refer.

Discover referral bonuses

Visit the Discover Refer a Friend page. Log in to your Discover account to get your referral link. Copy the link and share it with anyone you want to refer.

Referral bonus tips

A credit card referral should benefit both you and your referral. Here are a few tips so you can get as many referrals as possible without stepping on anyone's toes:

  • Be upfront about how you benefit from the referral offer. This way, the person you refer won't think you held back information. It could also help avoid their applying without using your link because they didn't realize it was important.
  • If you're in a relationship, you and your partner can refer each other to credit cards. It's a great way for married couples to maximize rewards.
  • Consider sharing your referral link on social media. Make sure to mention that you earn some extra rewards when people sign up through your link.
  • Prioritize finding the right credit card for your friend or family member, even if it's not the card that gets you a bonus.

With rewards credit cards, it's smart to take advantage of every bonus opportunity. Every cardholder should know about referral bonuses. At a minimum, they can earn you rewards if someone you know wants a new credit card. If you have a large friends group, family, or social media presence, referral bonuses could help you collect a lot more in rewards every year.

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