Previously we reported how American Express were clawing back points for users that were self referring. For those not in the loop, American Express sometimes offers a better sign up bonus for those that apply through a referral link. Although American Express never blocked the ability from referring yourself, they retroactively went back and clawed back points from accounts. It seems like that wasn’t the last step in this story.
For those users that have self referred, whether losing points in a claw back or not, you will no longer be able to refer at all. The following is a quote directly from American Express:
“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”
There is no time frame set for this ban, so we don’t have any idea if this a permanent lock out or not.
While I understand that self referring may not have been very “sportsman like”, it wasn’t explicitly against American Express’ rules. They have made no effect to stop you from doing so. Additionally, this has been going on for years! So it’s weird that American Express is taking such a stand like this. I can understand taking the loss on everything, and then taking action against accounts that do this moving forward. But what can you do.
If anything, this makes more sense to me then the clawing back of points. However, With no end date on this ban, I’m curious if people will every be able to refer again. If I had to take a guess, I would assume it’ll be similar to including them in a bankruptcy, so 10+ years. And that’s IF they let you back. Only time will tell on this.
Have you self referred and gotten banned from referring? Let us know your experience with American Express since down in the comment section below.