We all know credit card sign-up bonuses are the easiest way to rack up points fast. You can go from 0 to 150,000 points in a month with some credit card issuers, which is fantastic. Unfortunately, this only really works in the US. In other countries, you’re lucky to get 15,000 points for signing up for a card and in most cases, there won’t be a sign-up bonus at all.
Given that I have access to credit cards as a US citizen, even though I live abroad, I’ve constantly overlooked Swedish cards in the past. However, in December our “American Express Gold Card” got a new 100,000 point sign-up bonus. That certainly caught my attention until I found out most transfers are at a 10:1 ratio.
When my relative recently signed up for an SAS co-branded American Express card, I began digging a little deeper. What I found was an incredibly rewarding referral scheme.
I’m not going to screenshot since everything is in Swedish, but I’ll give you an approximate translation of the terms here:
|Your card||Referral card||Referral bonus||Your friend’s sign-up bonus|
|SAS EuroBonus American Express Classic Card||6,000 SAS EuroBonus points||$0 annual fee + 6,000 SAS EuroBonus points|
|SAS EuroBonus American Express Premium Card||12,000 SAS EuroBonus points||50% off first year annual fee + 12,000 SAS Eurobonus points|
|SAS EuroBonus American Express Elite Card||18,000 SAS EuroBonus points||18 000 SAS Eurobonus points|
|Amexblue®||2,500 SAS EuroBonus points||Annual fee waived first year + 25,000 Membership Rewards Points|
|Green Card®||5,000 SAS EuroBonus points||Annual fee waived first year + 50,000 Membership Rewards Points|
|Gold Card®||10,000 SAS EuroBonus points||Annual fee waived first year + 100,000 Membership Rewards Points|
|Platinum Card®||20,000 SAS EuroBonus points||No monthly fee first quarter + 200,000 Membership Rewards Points|
So, there are several interesting things to note. Firstly, you get a referral bonus that’s equal to the sign-up bonus. I’ve never seen this with US cards, and I find it extremely generous. Essentially, the net-gain of points will be twice as large if you’re referred as opposed to applying on your own. In fact, you don’t get a sign-up bonus at all on most Swedish American Express cards if you aren’t referred by someone.
Secondly, as long as you have just one of the cards, you can refer someone to any Swedish American Express card and earn a bonus. In the US, you usually need to have the exact card you’re referring someone to. Meanwhile, this lets you have a $0 annual fee SAS Classic Card and still refer someone to the $500 annual fee SAS Elite Card.
The best part is that you can earn up to 1,000,000 Eurobonus points or 10,000,000 Membership Rewards Points per year from referrals!
If you’re not an American citizen, this is a call for you to check all your local banks and look for similar referral schemes. While most of us can’t get rich off sign-up bonuses, it seems we can now get rich from referrals.
If you’re Swedish, consider signing up for these cards, at least the $0 annual fee SAS card so you can start earning from referrals as well. For most people, it should be easy to get four or five referrals straight away, getting you as much as 100,000 Eurobonus points. A roundtrip from Oslo to Longyearbyen is only 10,000 points so you can make your points go really far. Now there’s finally a way to collect Eurobonus points fast without leaving the ground. To answer the question in the title – yes. Regardless of how much you plan on using the cards, this is by far the easiest way to maximize credit card rewards (in Sweden, at least). Happy referring!
How do credit card referrals look in your country? Have you explored your local credit card offerings in-depth?