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A New Credit Card for Your Friend, A Bonus for You

Credit Card Basics, Credit Cards
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credit cards refer a friend

Friendship has its rewards, including with credit cards. If you think your favorite credit card would benefit your buddies as well, you may be able to get a bonus for recommending it to them. American Express, Discover and Chase all offer referral bonuses on eligible credit cards.

American Express’s Refer-a-Friend program

AmEx cardholders with eligible American Express credit cards can refer their friends for bonuses that vary from card to card. Go to the refer a friend page and either enter your online account login information or your card information to get offer details. And keep in mind that there will be a cap on how many referrals you can get bonuses for within a calendar year. Your referral offer will have the details.

You can expect your referral bonus within eight weeks of your friend’s application approval, according to American Express.

Discover’s Refer-a-Friend program

If you’re a Discover cardholder and refer a friend to get a Discover credit card, you’ll both receive a cash-back bonus of $50. The limit is 10 referrals, for a total cash bonus of $500. Make sure that your referral makes a purchase within the first three months; otherwise he or she won’t get the cash-back bonus.

Not all Discover cardholders can participate. As of February 2015, you aren’t eligible for the refer-a-friend program if you have the Discover® Business card or Discover® Business Miles card, Essential by Discover® card, Escape by Discover® card, Miles by Discover® card or Discover it® Miles – Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card card.

You can expect your cash-back referral bonus to post to your account within five weeks, according to Discover.

Chase’s Refer-A-Friend program

Eligible Chase cardholders can refer friends to get a bonus that varies by Chase credit card. You’ll go to the refer-a-friend page and enter your last name, ZIP code and the last four digits of your Chase card to get details on the amount of the bonus and the referral cap, which is 50,000 points per calendar year. Despite the cap, you can send up to 25 email referral invites per 24-hour period.

You can expect your referral bonuses to post within six to eight weeks of your referral’s first purchase on the new card, according to Chase.

» MORE: How to apply for a credit card so you’ll get approved

Bottom line: Help your friends and yourself by making a credit card recommendation they’d love through one of the refer-a-friend programs. And don’t forget to make sure they apply through your application link so you get the bonus rewards.

Erin El Issa is a staff writer covering personal finance for NerdWallet. Follow her on Twitter @Erin_Lindsay17 and on Google+.


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