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Guide to credit card referral programs

Learn how to take advantage of credit card rewards and bonuses with a referral program.

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If you want to share the benefits and features offered by your credit card with your loved ones, a credit card referral program (or programme) could be mutually beneficial. If approved, you could receive cash or other rewards and your friend would get the features of a new credit card and in some cases, cashback or bonus points.

Read on to find out the key points about referral programs, including how to make sure you don’t miss out on any rewards.

Compare credit cards with referral programs

Name Product Referral Program Reward Annual Fee Min Income - Singaporean and PR
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card
Earn 7,500 KrisFlyer miles per successful referral. Your friend receives 7,500 KrisFlyer miles upon spend of S$2,000 in the first 3 months of membership. Ends 30 September 2020.
Earn 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent on local purchases, with no cap.
S$337.05 annual fee
S$50,000
Get up to 56,200 KrisFlyer miles with S$16,000 minimum spend within six months. Also enjoy a complimentary stay at a Hilton hotel in Asia Pacific each year.
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card
Earn 3,000 KrisFlyer miles when you refer a friend. Your friend will get 3,000 KrisFlyer miles upon spend of S$2,000 in the first 3 months of membership. Ends 30 September 2020.
Earn 1.1 KrisFlyer Miles per S$1 spent on purchases with no cap.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$176.55 thereafter
S$30,000
Earn up to 29,800 KrisFlyer miles with minimum spend of S$8,000 in your first 6 months.
American Express Platinum Credit Card
Earn 12,000 Membership Rewards points per successful referral. Ends 30 September 2020.
Up to 50% off your food bill for unlimited visits at hotels around Singapore
S$321 annual fee
S$80,000
Get S$150 Lazada Vouchers and up to 43,250 Membership Rewards points with minimum spend in your first 3 months and when you successfully refer a friend. T&Cs apply.
American Express CapitaCard
Earn 20,000 STAR$ per successful referral. Ends 30 September 2020.
Earn 3X STAR$ when you shop at participating CapitaLand malls, and more
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$171.20 thereafter
S$30,000
Receive an American Tourister Hypebeat 79/29 Spinner luggage (worth S$239) upon S$3,000 minimum spend within the first 3 months of card approval. Ends 30 September 2020.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Referral Program Reward Annual Fee Min Income - Singaporean and PR
Citi PremierMiles Card
Receive S$50 per successful referral and up to S$1,200 bonus for further successful referrals. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Aug 2020
Earn 1.2 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent locally and 2 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent overseas.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get 37,300 miles when you spend S$9,000 in the first 3 months. Annual fee applies. 30 September 2020.
Citi Cash Back Card
Receive S$50 per successful referral and up to S$1,200 bonus for further successful referrals. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Aug 2020.
Get up to 20.88% fuel discounts at Esso and Shell, and 8% cashback on dining and groceries.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get a welcome gift of S$120 cash back when you spend S$1,200 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 January 2021.
Citibank SMRT Card
Receive S$50 per successful referral and up to S$1,200 bonus for further successful referrals. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Aug 2020.
Up to 5% savings on groceries, fast food, movies, and coffee. Plus, 3% savings on online shopping
S$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get a welcome gift of S$120 cash back when you spend S$1,200 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 January 2021.
Citi Rewards Credit Card
Receive S$50 per successful referral and up to S$1,200 bonus for further successful referrals. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Aug 2020.
Up to 10X Rewards on eligible online and retail purchases, capped at 10,000 points per statement month.1X Rewards for other retail purchases.
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get 30,000 Citi Thank You points when you spend S$3,000 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. 30 September 2020
Citi Prestige Card
Receive S$50 per successful referral and up to S$1,200 bonus for further successful referrals. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Aug 2020.
Deals and discounts in more than 90 countries. Also, get six complimentary golf games across Asia
S$535 annual fee
S$120,000
Get a welcome gift of 62,500 Citi ThankYou Points (25,000 Miles) or Gadget Welcome Gift. T&Cs apply. Ends 30 September 2020.
Citi Lazada Card
Receive S$50 per successful referral and up to S$1,200 bonus for further successful referrals. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Aug 2020.
Earn 10x rewards on eligible Lazada purchases and 5x rewards on qualifying dining, entertainment and travel purchases
S$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and S$192.60 thereafter
S$30,000
Get S$150 Lazada Vouchers when you spend at least S$1,200. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Dec 2020.
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Compare up to 4 providers

What is a credit card referral program?

A credit card referral program rewards credit card users who want to share card perks with their family members or friends. If your referee is approved for the credit card, you could receive rewards. Depending on the bank and the specific card you have, these rewards could include cashback, miles, points or shopping vouchers.

Keep in mind, the person you’re referring must meet all of the eligibility requirements for the card they’re applying for. They also can’t have a credit card with the same bank and in many cases cannot have held a card with that bank in the previous one to two years. Once they’re approved for the card, they may have to meet a minimum spend requirement before you can receive your bonus.

Does the referee receive a bonus?

It depends on the referral program. In some cases, the person you refer may receive a cashback bonus, free luggage, reward points, shopping vouchers or cash credit in their account. In other cases, only the referrer receives a bonus.

Which banks offer referral programs?

Most of the major banks in Singapore offer a referral program, but the rewards vary greatly and change often. Make sure to check what rewards your bank offers before referring a friend.

The following credit card referral programs may be available in Singapore (at the time of writing, 10 June 2020):

  • Citibank. The Citibank Referral scheme offers S$50 cash per successful referral. Plus, get the chance to earn up to S$1,200 in cash bonuses.
  • American Express. You could earn up to 77,000 Membership Rewards points in your first six months.
  • UOB. Look out for the latest offers with The UOB Credit Card Referral scheme.
  • OCBC. Keep an eye out for benefits with the OCBC Referral Program.
  • CIMB. The CIMB Referral Program has perks such as a S$50 cash credit each time you successfully refer a friend to a CIMB CashLite Personal Instalment Loan.
  • HSBC. With a HSBC Credit Card Referral, you can get a S$50 cash rebate for each successful credit card referral (up to a total of S$250).
  • DBS. The DBS Referral Program has regular promotional offers for referring customers to take advantage of.
  • Standard Chartered. A Standard Chartered Credit Card Referral could bag you S$150 in cashback for each successful applicant you refer. This offer ends on 30 June 2020.

How can I refer a friend?

If you’re interested in taking advantage of your bank’s referral program, check its website for specific directions.

Generally, the referral process includes the following steps:

  1. Have your family member or friend apply for the relevant card. Make sure this person meets all eligibility requirements for the referral program and the specific credit card.
  2. Make sure your friend fills out your details under the “referral” or “referrer” section of their application.
  3. Once your friend has been approved for the card, they must meet any necessary spending requirements in order for you to receive your reward.
  4. The bank will award your referral bonus. Depending on the type of reward, it may be credited to your account or rewards program.
OR
  1. Generate a unique referral link through the bank website and share this link with your friends or family.
  2. Have your friend follow the link and fill out the card application.
  3. Once your friend has been approved for the card, they must meet any necessary spending requirements in order for you to receive your reward.
  4. The bank will award your referral bonus. Depending on the type of reward, it may be credited to your account or rewards program.

What to look out for

It’s important to know all the details of your bank’s referral program to make sure you get the maximum reward and don’t miss any fine print.

  • Referral cap. Most referral programs have a referral cap. Check the terms and conditions for your bank’s program to find out how many people you can refer and if there’s a cap for the number of points, cashback amount or other rewards you can receive.
  • Dependent on approval. Your reward is contingent on the approval of your referee’s application. Keep in mind, the bank generally cannot inform you if your friend’s application has been approved or declined due to privacy and confidentiality.
  • New members only. Referral programs are generally only open to friends or family that qualify as new members. This means the people you refer cannot hold a current card from your bank and cannot have held a card by that bank in the previous one to two years.
  • Spending requirements. The person you refer may be required to satisfy a minimum spending requirement using their new card in order for you to receive your bonus. If you’re referring a friend, make sure they’re aware of any spending requirements. Keep in mind, there’s always a possibility the referee won’t meet this requirement and you won’t be eligible for rewards.

Ready to refer friends or family members who are interested in getting a credit card? Follow the instructions for your bank’s referral program to get started.

If your family member or friend isn’t sure which card would best suit their needs, they can use Finder to start comparing credit cards today.

Frequently asked questions

How many people can I refer?

The number of people you can refer depends on the bank’s credit card referral program. Any referral caps should be clearly stated in the terms and conditions for the program.

Can I refer my spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend?

Yes, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria for the card and referral program and are considered to be new members, you can refer just about anyone.

Can I refer myself if I want to apply for a new card?

No, self-referral doesn’t qualify for any credit card referral program as the referee must be a new member of the bank.

What if my friend already applied for the card?

Typically, if the referee has already applied for a card without using a referral, it’s too late. If you’re unsure, check with your bank for more information.

What if my friend has more than one referral?

Only one referral will count. Typically, whoever your friend confirms as their referrer on their application. In some cases, the referee has to follow a link generated by the referrer in order to apply which eliminates any confusion about who gave the referral.

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