How you can earn bonus points or cash back on home renovations as an existing Amex cardmember

Mar 22, 2021

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available.

Sharing referral links from card issuers is a great way to increase your rewards balances, and earlier this month, American Express introduced a limited-time incentive to refer your friends and family members to your favorite Amex card. This new offer not only includes a standard referral bonus; it also gives you extra rewards if you’re looking to spruce up your living quarters this spring.

If you’re like many Americans, you probably found yourself with some extra time at home over the last 12 months, and you may have thought about (or even started) some projects around the house. The bonus from this promotion might be just the motivation you need to stop putting those off and finally finish your to-do list.

Read on for some additional details on the new offer — and some examples of just how lucrative it can be.

Related: How TPG loungers are maximizing home makeovers with credit cards

From now through May 5, 2021, you can earn an additional 4% back, 4x points or 4x bonus miles per dollar spent at select home furnishing stores — up to $25,000 in combined purchases — whenever anyone is approved through your referral link for eligible American Express cards. You can earn those additional rewards for three months after the applicant is approved, giving you a nice window of time to use it.

Here are the participating merchants where you can earn more with this offer:

  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s
  • The Container Store
  • Crate & Barrel (including Crate&Kids)
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Anthropologie
  • Terrain
  • CB2

Two of those merchants might be particularly appealing for current cardholders of The Platinum Card® from American Express — many of whom were targeted for offers from the Home Depot and The Container Store earlier this year. If you haven’t yet utilized those offers, this latest limited-time promotion should push you to do so — as you may be able to earn statement credits and bonus points.

Related: How Amex Offers helped me outfit my entire house with LED bulbs — for just $6.02 out of pocket

Even better? You’ll not only earn the extra points, miles or cash back at these merchants. You can also earn the normal referral bonus, boosting your rewards balances even higher — and setting you up perfectly for that first, post-pandemic trip.

How can you make the most of this referral offer?

Under normal circumstances, most American Express cards offer just 1% cash back, 1 point or 1 mile per dollar spent at the aforementioned merchants. However, that earning rate jumps to 5% or 5x if you refer someone by May 5 and they are approved. This is a solid earning rate for any card but can be especially valuable for those that earn Membership Rewards points.

Let’s say that you’re looking at some home renovations in the neighborhood of $10,000, and you’re aiming to refer the American Express® Gold Card — maybe even the Rose Gold version. If a new cardmember is approved through your referral link, you’ll earn 30,000 points with the standard referral bonus. Then, if you make those $10,000 in purchases on your Gold Card at a participating store during the first three months after the referral, you can earn 5x points per dollar spent — for another 50,000 points.

All told, this referral and spending activity could bring you 80,000 Membership Rewards points — worth a whopping $1,600 based on TPG’s most recent valuations.

However, you can easily get even more value for your Membership Rewards points, especially by booking premium-class flights through Amex’s various partners. Transferable point currencies are some of the most valuable you can earn, and Andrew Kunesh has a guide with 9 great ways to redeem American Express points. This includes booking a business-class award on the world’s longest flight from New York to Singapore when you transfer points to Singapore KrisFlyer or working towards a round-the-world ticket booked through ANA Mileage Club.

How far could your bonus points take you? The Torres del Paine mountains, Patagonia, Chile. (Photo by MBPROJEKT_Maciej_Bledowski / Getty Images)

Even using points to book travel directly through the Amex travel portal could be a good option if you find a great price for a flight and want to jump on it.

One other way to make the most of this offer is by leveraging an online shopping portal. By starting at these sites, you can earn even more rewards on your purchases. And many of the above stores are offering bonuses across several popular sites — including Rakuten, which allows you to earn either cash back or Membership Rewards points for your online purchases.

However, these rates can change often, so be sure to use a shopping portal aggregator to compare sites and select the best option for you.

Related: My top 5 American Express Membership Rewards redemptions of all time

How can you refer your friends and family members?

To get started, navigate to this link and log in to your American Express account. Select the card you want to refer and review the offer details, then choose how you want to share your referral.

Note that referral links from Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy cobranded credit cards are excluded from this offer. However, there are plenty of other personal American Express cards that are eligible:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • American Express® Gold Card
  • American Express® Green Card
  • The Amex EveryDay Preferred® Credit Card
  • The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
  • The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
  • The Blue Cash EveryDay® Card from American Express
  • American Express Cash Magnet® Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

The information for the Amex Cash Magnet, Amex Green Card, Amex EveryDay Preferred, Amex Everyday has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.          

Note that, in addition to your own bonus rewards, a new cardmember can enjoy the standard welcome offer plus up to $200 in statement credits at the same home-furnishing stores listed above. However, they must apply through your referral link by May 5 for the bonus to apply. Sharing the above links will not trigger the bonus.

Bear in mind too that you may receive a higher referral bonus depending on which card you use. As a result, if you have more than one of the cards listed above, it makes sense to compare your offers. For example, if your Amex Delta Reserve gives you 15,000 bonus miles per referral but your Amex Gold Card gives you 30,000 points per referral, you might want to refer your friends and family to the latter — remember that they can select any eligible American Express, and you’ll receive the bonus on the card you initially referred (up to the published yearly limit on referrals).

Your card account’s eligibility to participate in the Refer a Friend program is based on your creditworthiness and other factors including your account history with American Express.

Bottom line

Many of us are not sure when we will travel again, but it’s great to know that we can still get so much value out of our travel credit cards. With this latest promotion from American Express, we can share that value with our friends and family when they apply (and are approved) for a card through a referral link. And with an additional 4% back, 4 points or 4 miles per dollar spent at select home-furnishing stores for three months, you can put yourself that much closer to incredible travel redemptions in the future.

Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy

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