The Most Lucrative Aspect Of Credit Cards In Sweden

Filed Under: Credit Cards

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
Classic Card,
SAS EuroBonus
Premium Card,
SAS EuroBonus
Elite Card
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!

1 000 000 Eurobonus points will get you 10 long-haul roundtrips in SAS Business!

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? 

  1. Great post, Dan! Really appreciate the Swedish perspective! What are your thoughts on earning points via SAS-affiliated shopping portals?

  2. @Tony Kline – Not sure if you are serious, but unfortunately due to sanctions, none of the banks in Sudan can issue internationally branded and internationally acceptable credit cards.

  3. Well… here’s the best offer of its kind in Italy.

    It’s the Alitalia Gold AMEX card.

    190€ annual fee, though its forfeited for the first year.
    25,000 MilleMiglia bonus miles after a minimum spend of 2,500€ in the first 3 months.

    Yeah, its pretty laughable compared to US standards…

  4. I live in europe now but I can’t seem to get my us cards forwarded to EU, I asked a US bank to send my new cc to a forwarding service Bedaboxx, but they didn’t receive it or don’t want to forward!? I don’t want to tell banks that I live in EU for now.
    Any advice? Thanks.

  5. @Paul. I’ve lived in the EU off and on over the past 20 years and maintained both US and European cards and as long as I maintained a US checking account I’ve no issue with my US cards in the EU. I used online transfers from my US checking account for payment and when I needed a new card issued, I’d have it mailed to a relative’s home in the US and they would resend it to my EU address. Also, during those times I had income from both Dollars and Euros. If you have only income from the EU it might not be worth the hassle of exchanging currencies for these US cards.

  6. Moved to Sweden a few years ago the problem is that very few places accept Amex. I can oy use mine at supermarkets and gas stations.

    On top of that, Swedish society is very credit card averse. Everyone uses a debit card. Referral bonus doesn’t do you much good when no one wants a credit card, especially an Amex

  7. Thanks @Daniel! As an American living in Sweden, would you recommend I still go with an American CC instead and just deal with the inconveniences of trying to pay it off via a Swedish bank account? Or instead sign up for one of these Swedish cards?

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