Earn Miles and Discounts for Referring Friends

I was poking around the interwebs this weekend and found a new site, Referaound, that shares information on referral programs.

For example, American Express will let existing cardmembers refer people to the Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards and earn 5,000 bonus Starpoints for each successful referral (log into your account and look for an ad in the lower right corner). You can do the same with the Premier Rewards Gold card. Chase has its own portal for referring people to the Freedom or Sapphire Preferred cards. About the only requirement with such programs is that you must already be a customer.

What I didn’t know is that you could also get points for referring people to cards like the Alaska Airlines Visa. Sure, it’s only 25,000 bonus miles for the person who applies, and offers for this card range from 25,000 to 50,000 miles. But I haven’t yet identified a clear pattern, so 25,000 may be the best available anyway. (Note that this offer doesn’t seem to be working at the moment, but I didn’t know it was ever an option. I still recommend creating a “fake” booking and applying on the last step of the reservation process to see the best offer, which usually waives the first year’s annual fee.)

This site isn’t just about credit cards, either. Other referral offers include bonus points for getting people to sign up for a loyalty program or after their first few stays.

Here are some of the travel-related programs I identified. The Marriott bonus is well known, but the other two are new to me. A few others were advertised on Refaround but don’t seem to be currently available. The site may still be worth bookmarking in case new offers appear in the future.

  • Earn 500 bonus points after your friend completes their first trip after signing up for Amtrak Rewards

About 

Scott created Hack My Trip while traveling on a budget during graduate school and continues to share his thoughts on better travel. He maintains elite status with American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hyatt, and Starwood.
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  • FlyFlyer

    Don’t forget the Choice sign-up bonus, too. 500 points for you and a friend after sign up and first stay: http://www.choicehotels.com/ires/en-US/html/ReferAFriend

  • misty

    Ameircan Express states I am not eligible for that program when I logged on to my acct.

    • Scottrick

      For which card? I can check what my account says, but I do know the offers tends to come and go.

  • misty

    American Express Gold.
    I have other A/E cards.. I guess I can try those?

    • Scottrick

      I’m not aware of a referral offer for the standard Gold card. I see offers in my account for the SPG and Premier Rewards Gold cards.

      • rajnish

        Does it work for SPG Amex business too? I could not see one.

  • misty

    Went on the SPG site to ask about the referral program.. emailed …and was told to go to the A/E site.

    • Scottrick

      Correct, American Express is the card issuer and runs the referral program.

  • Kyle Duren

    The chase referral portal appears to be a targeted thing:

    This Promotion is currently being tested and only eligible customers will be able to get through the authentication screen to refer a friend. Make sure you entered your information exactly as it appears on your account. If you feel you’ve received this message in error please call the number on the back of your card for assistance.

    • Scottrick

      Yeah, it was never targeted to me even when I *knew* it was working for some, so it’s a hard thing for me to test if/when it’s ongoing. Since the website is still up, I figured it’s worth showing.

  • Teri Ross

    I got the same message Kyle did on the Chase referral program:
    This Promotion is currently being tested and only eligible customers will be able to get through the authentication screen to refer a friend. Make sure you entered your information exactly as it appears on your account. If you feel you’ve received this message in error please call the number on the back of your card for assistance.

  • Fanfoot

    Obvious comment… check what the best option is before you do this. With the BofA Alaska Airlines card for example, you get 2,500 miles for your spouse signing up, and they get 25,000 miles. But if you look on FlyerTalk there is an active 30,000 mile signup bonus that is available, and they can’t use that link if you want your 2,500 miles. They have to use your link. So while this might be a good idea in some cases (I think the best offer is the one you would send a link for with the Amex SPG for example), in others it isn’t. So YMMV.