How to Use Credit Card Referral Links to Earn Extra Points, Miles, and Cash | Military Money Manual Podcast Episode 26

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Learn everything there is to know about travel hacking the military in my Ultimate Military Credit Cards Course. Besides welcome bonuses, credit card referral links are the easiest and fastest way to earn thousands or even millions of credit card points, miles, and cash.

Spencer and Jamie break down the easiest way to earn lots of point and miles with your Chase and Amex cards.

Military Money Manual Podcast Episode 26 Links

Military Money Manual Podcast Episode 26 Transcript

[00:00:00] Spencer: Welcome to the Military Money Manual Podcast.

[00:00:10] Jamie: Hi, I'm Jamie. I'm with Spencer, the founder of MilitaryMoneyManual.com and the author of the new book, The Military Money Manual. Thanks for joining us again this week as we talk about how to refer different cards to your friends and family members and earn extra points. Specifically, we'll be talking about Chase and Amex referral bonuses for Refer A Friend.

Before we jump into that, though, just want to give you a quick reminder that both Apple and Spotify or wherever you listen to the podcast on, if you could review a five star review would be great. We'd appreciate helping spread the news and helping other military members find personal finance, military travel, hacking podcasts and all the goodness that we talk about here.

So Spencer referring, I mentioned that you can get a lot of extra points from both Chase and Amex cards. You want to talk a little bit about the overview of what we're going to, of what you can do with referring.

[00:01:02] Spencer: So yeah, thanks Jamie. After welcome bonuses, I think the thing that has generated me the most points over my military travel hacking career, which really started, I think in 2017 when I really started going hard on it and in earnest has been referral bonuses.

Welcome bonuses are great, but a lot of times you're only eligible to get those once per card. And even if you open up 29 or 30 cards like I have or if you open up a bunch and your spouse opens up a bunch, there's a lot of points being made in referral bonuses.

So after welcome bonuses, I think it's time to, to turn around and spread the gospel of military travel hacking to your friends and family gently, of course you don't need to, don't need to turn this into a MLM scheme. But yeah, referral links are a great way to make a lot of extra points and we'll talk today about American Express and Chase.

Both of them have pretty robust referral programs. I guess one thing that we should note before we dive in here is that companies change the links all the time. They change the offers. They change whether you're eligible for links. So I know we checked both of our accounts today and I have an Amex Platinum referral link and Jamie doesn't.

And that just seems to be random. And then probably in a week or two, he'll get his links back and I might lose mine. So there's no real rhyme or reason to it. Always, if you're going to go open up a card and you've got a spouse, have them refer you for a link. We'll get into the details here.

If you don't have a referral link. To offer someone, then find a friend who can offer them a referral link and share the love. And oftentimes we'll get, like I said, we'll get into this, but oftentimes the welcome bonuses you can earn from the referral links are better than the public offers.

So yeah, let's just dive into it. You can refer from your card. So that's each one of your individual cards. So for instance, I've got over, I think eight, I think it's eight Amex Platinums right now, seven, one for my wife. So I can refer from each of those accounts and it's not just per.

Yeah. Not just you. Exactly. So that can go to my friends and family. So if I've got, let's say just for simplicity's sake, I've got two Amex Platinum cards and I can, that means I'll have two separate referral links and sometimes it's a little tricky to figure out which card you're referring from if you have multiples of the same card.

So Jamie, I don't know what you do, but usually what I do is I'll log into the American express. com desktop site. And I can get the on the kind of on the card homepage there at the bottom, you can generate a referral link and, it's for that specific card, ending in that five digit number.

Sometimes the app works as well. I don't know if you've used that to generate referral links.

[00:03:52] Jamie: Yeah, I always double check and I'd recommend checking every once in a while you'll find that the desktop site and the app do not have the same referral bonus. So what the referral bonus will look like, by the way, it'll say something like you will get 15 or 30,000 Amex points and your friend that you refer and that uses your link once they're approved, they'll get 150,000 points or 60,000 points, whatever card it is applicable to. And so they have to meet the specific terms like using your link and not clicking on another website and then applying for the card and forgetting that they were, they're no longer at your link. They have to obviously be approved for the card and things like that.

It's not as easy as just posting it on your Facebook page and everyone's going to click on it. Cause one, they have to be interested in it. They have to choose to use your link, but if you have any other spouses or family members that are using it, I highly recommend checking both the desktop site and the app, and you can use the incognito mode on your browser to verify what the link looks like.

And it'll tell you when you copy the link to what the offer is going to be. But I always like to double check on the incognito link and see what their side looks like as well.

[00:05:04] Spencer: Yeah, two things I'd like to add a little bit more color to are the spouse. We talked about the spouse using links.

So that's completely authorized. It's completely allowed. You are two separate people. A lot of times people email me. Yeah. A lot of times people email me and they're like, can I refer my wife? She's her, she's her own person. Or can I refer my husband? Yes. Like he is his own person.

So you might be married filing jointly, but you're still two separate social security numbers and two separate individuals. So if you think about it from the American Express or Chase's perspective, they're gaining a new customer and that's what they want to do. That's why they have referral links and they're gaining a customer.

They offered you a referral link to invite people that you know. So probably there's some demographic research there as well of Hey, this person pays their bills on time and they don't run off a lot of money. Yeah. They don't run up credit card fraud. So we want the kind of people that know this person to open up more of our accounts and become our customer and make it without that will allow them to make more money off of the exchange fees like we talked about in other episodes.

So yeah, if your spouse is ready for a new card or in some relationships, one person manages the travel hacking side, obviously with the permission of the other spouse. But you might hear that referred to as player one, player two in the game, but yeah, so just make sure you have the permission and use, if you're, if your wife wants to open up a card, take one of your referral links, send it to send it to her.

And then, she can open up, apply for an Amex Gold card, Amex Platinum card, whatever it is through your referral link. And then you'll gain some bonus points and then they'll gain some bonus points. So welcome bonuses once they meet the welcome bonus requirements. And then the other thing I wanted to mention was there's usually a limit per calendar year.

So Chase usually limits anywhere between depending on the card you're transferring for you're referring from maybe 50,000 to a hundred thousand points per year. And for Amex, it's usually somewhere around a cash value of $550. So if you're referring from say, the Schwab Platinum card, that one's a little bit interesting because they actually just give you a statement credit of a hundred dollars per referral.

Whereas from the Amex Platinum card, it might be 10,000 points per referral up to 55,000 points. And so in that case, they're valuing Amex points at a penny per point. So yeah, usually the referral links do have an annual limit. It's usually a calendar year. So it runs from January 1st, December 31st.

So you might see now that the calendar year is rolled around. Maybe you'll see more referral links popping up in your Facebook feed of people trying to squeeze the Golden goose and get some more points out of it. It's always funny when

[00:07:47] Jamie: There's a new person who shows up at work and everyone's Hey, you have Platinum yet?

You want my referral link? And then everyone's swarms them.

[00:07:54] Spencer: Yeah. And of course,

[00:07:55] Jamie: I should at least mention, Spencer that if you don't have a family or friend that has any referrals left for the year, you feel free to find the best and most recent offer on the military money manual.com. And that does help support Spencer a little bit and all the work he does for us and all the goodness he shares. But, and he'll say it too, if you can find from your spouse or a friend, take the referral from them, but if not, he's always there as well.

[00:08:19] Spencer: Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Thanks.

Jamie. Yeah. Militarymoneymanual.com. I got the best public offers. I will caveat that they are public offers. And like I said, like sometimes the referral link is just a better offer and the person referring you is going to get a bonus as well. I will always say if any friend ever asked me for a referral link, I always say, ask somebody else if they have a referral link, but if I, if they really want it from me, yeah, I'm sure I'm happy to send them my referral link, but share, share the love and pay it forward is what I want to.

The point I want to make there. The other thing is a couple of other things for American express. They usually are a lot, it's a lot easier to find referral links on at least in my experience. And I think this is true for most people. Yeah. American express.com. It seems like Amex is really, they must have a big referral budget because they are almost always allowing referral links from almost all their cards all the time. Whereas by contrast Chase, a lot of times you'll put in, so the way to go there is Chase.com/referafriend. And once you're there, you'll need to put your last name, your zip code, and the last four digits of your card.

I guess that's enough information right there for them to narrow down who you are and then it will check to see if you're eligible to send referral links i've gone years where i've put in all my cards and I never have Chase referral links I checked just the other day now that we're in 2022 and I do have a bunch of referral links now for Chase Ink business cards and Chase Freedom cards.

I think even the Chase sapphire Preferred. I can refer from that one as well. But a lot of times I'll get on there and I'll check it. I'll, I won't have any, I'll put in all my Chase cards. I won't have any links.

[00:10:07] Jamie: Yeah. A lot of times when we check the Southwest card tends to be always available for referrals, but I've never referred anyone to that card.

And the IHG has been on there for us as well as the Freedom Flex, but yeah, I think the Freedom Flex is a hundred bucks or something. It's not terrible, but I'd much rather get 30,000 Amex points if I could.

[00:10:30] Spencer: Yeah. The other thing we'll mention too, if you go to Americanexpress.com it's on the bottom of the page under the column links, you may like, there's a refer a friend link right there, or you can just always just Google Amex refer a friend and the page should pop up there. And then you usually, if you log in and it'll show you the cards that you're eligible to refer from, I guess one thing that we should mention since we're talking about referring from cards is there's a unique benefit that American express has where if you, let's say you have an Amex Platinum referral link, but your friend is looking for an Amex Gold card, you can actually send them your Amex Platinum referral link.

And then at the top of the screen on the top left hand, if you're on the desktop or just in the top middle of the screen, if you're on a mobile app or mobile browser, you can click “view all cards with offers”. And if you click on that, it'll drop down and it'll show you all the Amex personal cards that your friend can apply from your link.

So they want an Amex Gold card. You only have an Amex Platinum link. But they can still apply for an Amex Gold card and you can still get the referral bonus like you referred them for an Amex Platinum card. So I think that's really cool. And I don't think a lot of people know about them or about that.

And you can actually, if you open up your own referral link, just open it in a browser. You're not using it to apply for anything. And I guess we should also mention it here. Never use your own referral link to apply for cards. That'll get you banned really quick from Amex and Chase. And yeah, so just never do that.

Never self refer. But if you have that link, you can put it into a browser and you can open it up and then you can, let's say they want a Gold card link. You can browse yourself to the Gold card. And then the URL that pops up is actually unique. So you can copy that and you can check it, open up an incognito browser, paste that link into there, and then you can open it up and you can see that it does in fact go to the Gold link and it'll have a little pop up that says spencer referred you for an Amex Gold card. Yep. And then it'll say learn more and you click that and then they can apply for an Amex Gold card right on that page and you'll get the referral bonus like you referred them for an Amex Platinum card, but they open, they apply for and they open up an Amex Gold card.

[00:12:39] Jamie: Yeah, so on Amex there's You'll have a whole list. When you get to the refer a friend page, you'll have a whole list of your cards. If you have multiple and each one is you click it, it'll tell you the offer. So for example, like you said, I pulled up my Schwab today. It’s earn a hundred dollars.

That's up to $550 per calendar year. Like you said, if I go over to my Amex Green card, it's 12,500 and that's a max of 55,000 points per calendar year. So you still get that bonus based off of what I selected to start my link from and then I can send the link to go directly to whatever card I want to direct them to.

Like you were saying in your example, the Gold card, right?

[00:13:19] Spencer: And so that only works for the Amex membership reward. Cards such as Amex Platinum, Amex Gold, Amex Green, have very flexible referral links. If you want to refer somebody from your Hilton Honors Aspire card, they have to open up a card that's in the Hilton family.

Same thing for Marriott. Marriott, you can only refer to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant and Delta. You can only refer to other Delta cards. I'm not sure why they have that limitation, but that's how it works there. And you can also refer to business

[00:13:47] Jamie: I wonder if Delta pays for some of that referral bonus instead of it coming out of Amex's pocket.

Maybe or something. Sorry to interrupt.

[00:13:56] Spencer: No, it could, that could be it. Yeah. And then the other thing too is even if you only have a personal referral link, like to the personal Amex Platinum, somebody, you can send that to someone and they can apply for a business Amex Platinum.

[00:14:07] Jamie: Can you do the same thing with Chase? We're getting a different card other than what someone's direct link was.

[00:14:14] Spencer: I think Chase, the only thing that you can do is if you apply, yeah, it has to be within the family. So you can send someone a Chase Freedom Flex link, and they can apply it for Freedom Unlimited or Freedom Flex, and you'll still get the bonus.

Or you can send them a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve link, and they can apply for a Preferred or Reserve and you still get the bonus, but it has to be within the family. Okay. Of cards. Same thing with Southwest and IHG. Hyatt. So it has to be within that family.

[00:14:43] Jamie: So a little bit of public math here, Spencer, the Amex Platinum like you said before, is the most popular card.

If I earn 55, 000 extra Amex membership rewards points in a year, what's that worth to me?

[00:14:56] Spencer: Oh Two cents per point is pretty standard. So about $1,100 per year. Yeah, I'll take it. You actually, yeah. And, but get this, you'll actually get a 1099 from 1099 miscellaneous from Amex the next year. Saying, hey, if you refer cards and you get, let's say 55,000 points, they'll value it a penny per point.

So you actually have to pay taxes on that referral. The $550 of income. But if you're getting two cents of value for the point, it's like you're paying taxes on half of what you actually earned. So it can actually be a pretty good deal there. This again, this isn't tax advice.

I'm not a CPA.

[00:15:34] Jamie: It's a really good, really good point to mention the 1099 because a lot of people, when they first started doing that, I think a couple of years ago, maybe three or four, and people were freaking out, like what's going on. But they're paying you, right? So it makes sense.

And it's a minor tax burden, but is definitely worth it still. So again, to summarize Amex, you can do it very nicely from the bottom of your account login page. Pay attention to which card you're selecting to send your link from each card, not person has Offers available, but they come and go sometimes.

So you gotta watch that as well. And then you can also select which card the link is opening to by navigating. Once you open the link, your own link navigate to the card you want and then copy that link, send it to your friend, and it'll go directly to the card you want them to look at. So that's a summary of Amex.

[00:16:23] Spencer: Yeah. And then for a Chase, you want to go to Chase.com/referafriend. You have to put your last name, your zip code, and then the last four digits of your card in there, and it'll show you what you're eligible for. Not as flexible as American express. There's an annual limit on the number of referrals you can do.

It's usually up to about $500 worth of value. But yeah, it's a great way to make some extra points, especially if you have a lot of cards open and what you're doing in the military travel hack and game. If you can come alongside somebody and help them. And, demonstrate to them how much value there is in military travel hacking and getting all of these top tier ultimate luxury travel rewards cards for no annual fee.

If you can show them that value and then say, Oh, no, by the way, here's my referral link. People will, people usually want to reward people who help them. Yeah. So yeah, I hope you learned a little bit about how to make some extra credit card reward points by referring your cards.And if you have, please leave us a five star review on Spotify or Apple podcasts. We'd love that. And we'll see you again next week on the military money manual podcast.

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