It goes without saying that American Express’s referral program is a fantastic card member benefit which can earn you 200,000 rewards points per year (increased to 400,000 during the promotion period (18/07/18 – 15/08/18). To help you get started referring the best cards we’ve compiled a list of our favourite offers. Naturally, the more premium cards attract a bigger referral bonus while the intro level Amex cards have a lower ‘bounty’.

Premium Amex Cards

American Express Platinum Edge

I’ve held this card since 2013, and it’s been my favourite ever since! I’m happy to pay the $195 annual fee each year since the card comes with a $200 travel credit. This is the card that started me out on my points journey and has earned me many business class flights!

Reward Program: American Express Membership Rewards Ascent

Earn Rate Per $: 3MR points at major supermarkets, 2 points at major petrol station and 1 point elsewhere with a few exceptions such as ATO & Utilities which only earns 0.5 points per dollar.

Redemption Rate: 1MR Point = 1 Frequent Flyer Point when it comes to the most important partners which are: Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Virgin Velocity and Etihad Guest.

Annual Fee: $195 Bonus: $200 travel credit Bonus Points: 10,000

Referral Bonus: 15,000 points 30,000 points (until August 15) – Click here to refer a friend

Click to learn more or apply

American Express Explorer

The Explorer has been out for about a year now, and it’s become my go-to card for everyday use. Just like the Platinum Edge, it’s one that I will keep in my wallet for as long as the benefits are there. Its earn rates on everyday purchases are simply unbeatable.

Reward Program: American Express Membership Rewards Gateway

Earn Rate Per $: 2MRG points on pretty much everything except ATO spend. This Amex card is unique since it also earns points on utilities.

Redemption Rate: 2MRG = 1.5 frequent flyer points for all the most useful transfer partners which are: Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Virgin Velocity and Etihad Guest.

Annual Fee: $395 Bonus: 60,000 bonus points & $400 travel credit.

Referral Bonus: 30,000 points 60,000 points (until August 15) – Click here to refer a friend

Click to learn more or apply

American Express Platinum Velocity

The Velocity Platinum card is another one that I keep in my wallet. Simply because it offers a free return flight each year with Virgin Australia. Living in Perth, that’s incredible value when used to fly to the East Coast. On top of that this card now also gives you status points if you’re a high spender which is a great benefit. The card also comes with 2 Virgin lounge passes which are electronically assigned to your Velocity account.

Reward Program: Virgin Velocity Frequent Flyer

Earn Rate Per $: 1.5 Velocity points per dollar on almost every category with the exception of ATO and utilities which only earns 0.5 points per dollar. On travel purchases with Virgin you will earn 1 extra points bringing the total up to 2.5 Velocity points per dollar.

Redemption Rate: Velocity points are automatically transferred to your account each month at a 1:1 ratio

Annual Fee: $375 Bonus: 60,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer points & 1 free Virgin domestic return flight.

Referral Bonus: 30,000 points 60,000 points (until August 15) – Click here to refer a friend

Click to learn more or apply

American Express Qantas Ultimate

This has been one of the most popular cards this year with many Flight Hacks readers and for good reasons. It’s the highest Qantas earning credit card on the market right now and comes with a healthy 65,000 bonus (that’s 10,000 more than the regular offer!) points and $450 worth of Qantas travel credit. On top of that you will also receive 2 Qantas lounge passes and 2 Amex Lounge passes each year.

Reward Program: Qantas Frequent Flyer

Earn Rate Per $: 1.5 Qantas points per dollar spend on pretty much everything with the exception of the ATO and utilities which will earn you 0.5 Qantas frequent flyer points per dollar. Purchasing Qantas flights and services will see you earn a bonus point brining the total up to 2.5 Qantas points per dollar.

Redemption Rate: Qantas points are automatically transferred to your account each month at a 1:1 ratio

Annual Fee: $450 Bonus: 65,000 Qantas Points & $450 travel credit.

Referral Bonus: 30,000 points 60,000 points (until August 15) – Click here to refer a friend

Click to learn more or apply

American Express Platinum Card

I’ve recently signed up for this card with a whopping annual fee of $1200. For those in the know, it’s one of the best cards to hold in your wallet. The features alone pay for the annual fee, and that doesn’t even factor in the bonus points earned when signing up for this card. You can check out the full review of this card here and my reasoning behind dropping $1200 to have this as part of my “stack”.

Reward Program: American Express Membership Rewards Premium

Earn Rate Per $: 3MRP points at restaurants, 2MRP points on travel and 1MRP everywhere else with the exception of the ATO and utilities.

Redemption Rate: Points are redeemed at 1:1 ratio for all the programs that really matter. MRP is also the only flexible points program which lets you convert points to Qantas and this is also at a 1:1 ratio.

Annual Fee: $1200 Bonus: 120,000 Bonus Points & $450 travel credit (until August 29)

Referral Bonus: 30,000 points 60,000 points (until August 15) – Click here to refer a friend

Click to learn more or apply

Low-Cost Cards To Consider

Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of low fee credit cards because they simply don’t have the same earning power as their premium siblings. However, what is great about these cards is the lower income requirements which allow younger flight hackers to join the fantastic world of frequent flyer miles. It’s the best way to learn and get started with collecting points!

American Express Qantas Discovery

This is the perfect starter card for a student or if you earn a combined household income of 35,000 or more. The earn rate is still 1 point per dollar, and the annual fee of $0 is really the winning factor here. It’s a great way to start earning points with no upfront cost.

Reward Program: Qantas Frequent Flyer

Earn Rate Per $: 1 Qantas Frequent Flyer points with the exception of the ATO and utilities which ear 0.5 points per dollar. 2 Qantas points per dollar can be earned when you use your card to book flights with Qantas.

Redemption Rate: Qantas points are automatically transferred to your account each month at a 1:1 ratio

Annual Fee: $0

Referral Bonus: 10,000 points 30,000 points (until August 15) – Click here to refer a friend

Click to learn more or apply

American Express Velocity Escape

Just like it’s Qantas sibling, this is a beginners card with no annual fee and a decent 1 Virgin points per dollar earn rate. The same low-income requirements are also present with this card offer which makes it ideal for people looking to get their first credit card.

Reward Program: Virgin Velocity Frequent Flyer

Earn Rate Per $: 1 Velocity points per dollar on almost every category with the exception of ATO and utilities which only earns 0.5 points per dollar. On travel purchases with Virgin you will earn 1 extra points bringing the total up to 2 Velocity points per dollar.

Redemption Rate: Velocity points are automatically transferred to your account each month at a 1:1 ratio

Annual Fee: $0

Referral Bonus: 15,000 points 30,000 points (until August 15) – Click here to refer a friend

Click to learn more or apply

American Express Essential

If I had to choose one low cost no fee credit card, this card comes with an interesting value proposition. Not only does it earn 1 Membership reward point per dollar spent, but it also comes with cellphone screen insurance covering the cost of 2 smashed displays per year!

Reward Program: American Express Membership Rewards Gateway

Earn Rate Per $: 1 MRG points on pretty much everything except ATO spend. This Amex card is unique since it also earns points on utilities.

Redemption Rate: 1MRG = 0.75 frequent flyer points for all the most useful transfer partners which are: Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Virgin Velocity and Etihad Guest.

Annual Fee: $0

Referral Bonus: 15,000 points 30,000 points (until August 15) – Click here to refer a friend

Click to learn more or apply

In conclusion

With so many great Amex cards on offer, there’s something for everyone. Whether you want to keep things simple and earn either Qantas or Velocity points or for those that truly understand the power a flexible points program like Amex MR holds, there’s an Amex that fits your needs.

Disclosure: Flight Hacks is an American Express partner. This post has been sponsored by American Express.