SPG Refer A Friend: Bonus Paid…9 Months Later


The worst feeling is when someone who has criticized you for your points obsession unilaterally goes out there and applies for credit cards and gets the wrong ones. At this point, I’ve annoyed enough friends and family that they come to me first before taking the plunge. Although I do not have affiliate links, I do get the same referral bonus that anyone would receive for recommending a card.

Amex frequently has 5k referral bonuses for the SPG business and personal card. This year I recommended the card to a few people and received the bonus from some but not from others. From February on, I called Amex periodically to ask what happened to the bonus. Each time Amex opened a new case and then I would hear nothing. Yesterday, a manager took control of the situation. With some research she found out that the marketing team had denied my claim way back in August. They said that they could not find the referral link to the accounts mentioned.

Paranoid that this would happen, I always write down the name, email, and date of application for each entry. I told the manager that I had provided this information many times and she put me on hold while she relayed this to the marketing team. A few seconds later, she came back and said that my points will be reflected after my next billing statement closes.

In my experience, Amex and Chase are really good at matching offers, researching points issues, and making a customer feel important. Citi? Not so much.

Since this mix up, I have begun taking screenshots of the offer code and archiving the confirmation email that my referral has been sent.

How far do you go to ensure you get your points? How much is your time worth? For me, it is the principle. In the words of Jay-Z, “If you owe me ten dollars, you ain’t giving me nine.”

Any reader out there still without an SPG card? Referrals readily available.

Fight for your aloft points as long as it takes.
Fight for your aloft points as long as it takes.


  1. I had the same problem. I referred my cousin but they claim the referral link wasn’t used. this was about10 months ago and I’ve succumbed to the fact that nothing will be done after hours and hours of speaking to a ton of representatives… sucks (happened to only 1 application that I referred though so not the end of the world)

    • Try one more time. Insist on speaking to a manager. Have the manager contact the marketing team. Have the marketing team speak to an SPG liaison. 10 more minutes for two free nights at aloft bangkok. I don’t make $200/ten minutes so i said it’s worth it.

        • I think that’s the point. If you can show they closed the case and didn’t bother following up you have a strong argument. Why would anyone go through the misery of this if they were wrong? I walked the manager through the process of how I refer someone: send them the email, wait for them to get approved, they got the sign up bonus…

  2. I had no points awarded by AmEx for their Hilton Surpass. 15k points for referral, that I had my wife sign up… called many times.. nothing.. got a letter from AmEx asking me to submit it writing.
    I’m just going to cancel my Hilton Surpass and tell them that’s why..

    • It may be an extreme case and I’m not saying file an arbitration claim but if you sent an intent to file and gave the reasons, I’m betting you get a proper answer. Let me know if you need help, free of charge

  3. I haven’t found Amex to be much good on matching. I didn’t get matched to better terms on my Hilton card, and when I applied for business platinum card with a 100k offer that was mailed to me this Summer, I took it. Then a week later, I got a mailed a similar 150k offer. I called Amex, gave them the code for the 150k offered was approved for the higher amount. When I called back on something else a few weeks later, I inquired just to be sure, and was told that the higher amount would not be honored. Since then, I’ve been getting the runaround, with the supervisor I’ve been dealing with telling me that it’s still under review after months. Not sure what to do, but I’m pretty displeased.

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