Finally some good news coming out of American Express. It does not completely make up for changing the rule to once-in-a-life-time sign up bonus and decreasing the number of credit cards that qualify for a referral bonus, but it does take some sting out of the hit.
There are 2 charged cards that are affected by this change, which all offer Membership Rewards points. Basically, when you normally sign up for the following credit cards, you will earn a certain amount of sign up bonus. But if you have a friend who referred the charged card to you, you will actually qualify for an even higher sign up bonus.
Increases from 60,000 to 75,000 sign up bonus points when referred by a friend. Otherwise, it is 50,000 sign up bonus points if you applied on your own. This new sign up bonus really helps justified the $699 annual fee the first year.
UPDATED- On another sweet note, thanks to Jean-Maximilien, from Milesopedia, for pointing this out in the comment section below, the referral bonus has increased from 15,000 to 25,000.
Increases from 40,000 to 75,000 sign up bonus points when referred by a friend. Otherwise, it is 40,000 sign up bonus points if you applied on your own. This new sign up bonus really makes the $399 annual fee very easy to swallow.
Gold Cards Remain the Same
If you are curious, the sign up bonus points for the remaining 2 charged cards that allow you to earn Membership Rewards stays the same.
The American Express Gold Rewards Card remains unchanged at 25,000 sign up bonus points regardless of whether you are referred or not.
The American Express Business Gold Card also remains unchanged where you get 30,000 sign up bonus points when you apply on your own and 40,000 sign up bonus when referred by a friend.
I am still fairly bitter about all the negative changes that happened over the last 12 months with American Express. There was just so much negative momentum. I am so glad to see a positive change. Even if this is not a sign of changing direction, at the very least they put a halt to devaluations for the time being.