Credit card issuers often provide incentives for new cardholders, and in many cases, those benefits can extend to existing cardholders who refer their friends and family members to apply for a credit card. If you have a credit card you love, check to see if your card offers a referral bonus before recommending it to others.
What Is a Credit Card Referral Bonus?
A credit card referral bonus is a reward that credit card issuers offer to existing cardholders who invite friends and family members to apply for a specific credit card. To receive the bonus, you typically need to provide a unique referral link or code, and the person you refer must be approved for the card.
Depending on the card, you may be able to get anywhere between $50 and $500 in value in the form of cash back, points or miles. There’s typically a limit on how much you can earn in referral bonuses each year. That said, it’s not uncommon for card issuers to periodically adjust their referral bonuses and allow you to earn more during promotional periods.
Current Referral Bonuses
Here’s a list of the current referral bonuses you can expect from the major credit card issuers, broken down by each card.
Most American Express referral bonuses require you to log in to your account. Once you’re logged in, navigate to the card’s home page and your referral offer for that card should be at the top of your other Amex Offers. Annual limits are occasionally raised for targeted cardholders.
Bank of America
Bank of America does not offer referral bonuses to its credit cardholders.
Capital One also requires login to see referral offers. Once you’re logged in you should see a link on your home page to a referral page.
Citi doesn’t have a standing referral bonus program but may, at times, send offers to select cardholders.
Discover offers a referral bonus of $50 to $100 on all of its credit cards in the form of a statement credit, except for the Discover it® Secured Credit Card and the Discover it® Business Card. The card issuer requires you to log in to see which bonus you’re eligible to receive. You can earn up to $500 in referral bonuses per year.
U.S. Bank does not currently offer a public referral bonus program.
Wells Fargo does not currently offer a public referral bonus program.
Referral Bonus History
Credit card issuers may update their referral bonuses from time to time or provide limited-time offers that you can take advantage of. While there’s no way of knowing if and when a referral bonus will increase, taking a look at the history of referral bonuses can give you a clue of what you might be able to expect.
In the past, Citi has sent targeted referral bonus offers on the following credit cards:
In the past, Discover matched referral bonuses cardholders received during their first year as part of its cashback match program. While its referral bonus was $50 with an annual limit of $500, cardholders were able to get $100 per referral and up to $1,000 in total during their first year. However, that ended in 2018.
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