I have recently come into an epidemic of credit card referrals. My friends are going berserk in referring to each other and having bits and pieces of commotions about 'fair shares'. In one incident, there was also a negotiation about how much money will be split if a referral bonus is received. Multiple banks and credit card companies have sprouted in their discussions, Amex, Capital One, Chase are to name a bunch.

I have always been a less materialist person to my utter nature. At this stage of their mini-economic frenzy, I am too afraid to ask the questions to my friends to be humiliated to be in the game so late. So I come here to ask to the arena of altruists:

  1. Are such referrals good for credit scores?
  2. How many cards one can have not to harm your credit profile?
  3. Do all banks and commerce orgs provide such scheme, if so how one knows about these?
  • your friends are splitting referral rewards with eachother? Like I refer you, you sign up, Chase pays me a referral of $50, and I'm supposed to share that?
    – quid
    Jul 15 at 23:47
  • Yes, the amount is around 200$ I believe and there were negotiations about it to split 50-50 or so. Jul 16 at 0:51
  • Referrals are a common marketing scheme. I recommend a MAX of four CC accounts, and preferably just two* (one to use, and one as a backup in case the other is lost, stolen, compromised).
    – RonJohn
    Jul 16 at 0:59
  • 1
    @RonJohn: It's a factor. I mean, it's free money, right? What's the downside? Assuming of course that you are financially disciplined, and don't go running up charges for stuff you wouldn't otherwise have bought, and get stuck paying interest. (My credit rating likewise is around 800, with no debt other than a nearly paid off mortgage.)
    – jamesqf
    Jul 17 at 19:14
  • 1
    @RonJohn: Didn't seem to affect my fairly recent refinance. The lack of W2 income was a far bigger problem :-( And car loans? Not something I'm even going to deal with.
    – jamesqf
    Jul 18 at 3:55

I don't think that a referral has any effect on your credit score. It's the person opening the card whose credit score is affected. I also don't think that the number of cards open affects it much. It's how you manage your credit that's most important.

Credit card companies are always offering bonuses. A good one is $200 for spending $500 within 3 months. Google "Best credit card bonuses". There are lots of web sites that update regularly as each new deal becomes available. The bonus is not taxable.

Banks also offer bonuses for opening checking and/or money market accounts. These bonuses are not as profitable as the credit card bonuses but it's occasionally possible to get an annualized yield in the low teens. The bank bonus is taxable.

Not that I'd be willing to share my bonuses but if I were to speculate on what's fair for profit sharing, I'd say that the provider of the referral and the person opening the card should split it. Anything else becomes too complicated and likely contentious.

  • I agree. Thanks for letting me know that 'bank bonuses are taxed'. I think I will be happy with 3 CCs so far and if anyone asks for a referral would be happy to do that. Otherwise, let it be. Jul 16 at 2:41

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