handing out a credit card

How Adding an Authorized User to Your Card Can Benefit You (and Them)

First of all, I realize I’ve been writing about the American Express Platinum card a lot lately — but, hey, it’s my shiny new toy so please bear with me. While penning my full review of the card recently, I realized there was one way I might be able to further benefit from the card. How? By adding an authorized user.

Of course, authorized usership is not something that’s new to me. In fact, following a credit card hiatus that lasted from my early twenties into my thirtieth year, I attribute the strong credit score I found after that to my wife adding me to her long-held card. I imagine this is a major reason why spouses might make each other authorized users or why a parent might even add their child.

Back to the Platinum card, since my wife and I are both pretty set on credit at the moment, our interest in authorized userdom (sidenote: what would the proper term actually be?) revolved around the additional perks she would get. See, by adding a Platinum account holder to your card, they’ll receive the same lounge access and hotel access as the main cardholder. Plus, it seems they’ll also be able to add their own Amex Offers, which I have found to be quite useful. The only real difference is that they won’t receive any of the various credits for Uber, Saks Fifth Avenue, or airline incidentals — although their purchases at Saks or your selected airline might trigger these credits.

If it sounds too good to be true, as you may have guessed, there is a bit of a catch. In order to add another Platinum user, there’s an annual fee of $175. However, this fee actually covers up to three people. Thus, once we decided it would be a good idea to add my wife to the card, we asked a trusted friend of ours if they too would be interested in getting free stuff. By the way, if you don’t feel like spending extra to add a Platinum user, there are also free “gold” cards for authorized users that strip almost all of the premium benefits (although they do apparently still get a Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit — as do Platinum AUs).

Whether you want to help someone build credit or let them enjoy some of the perks you already pay for with a premium card, adding them as an authorized user may be a smart solution. At the same time, it’s important to consider the downsides as well. For one, you’ll still be responsible for any purchases they make — so it better be someone you trust. On the other end, being an authorized user might mean you also take on some of the negative aspects of the main cardholder’s credit. Also, certain card issuers may handle authorized users differently, so the impacts to credit can vary.

So, have you added/will you be adding an authorized user to your credit cards?

Author

Kyle Burbank

Founder ~ Moneyat30
Kyle is a freelance writer - including being the head writer for Fioney.com. He also serves as editorial director for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com. In 2015, Kyle and his wife Bekah moved from Los Angeles to Springfield MO in pursuit of greater financial freedom. Together, the pair enjoy travel, coffee, and spending time with their dog Rigby. Additionally, as of 2023, they become first-time homeowners.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

Walmart+ is Offering Upgraded Paramount+ For a Limited Time

Earlier this week, over on Fioney, I finally got around to doing a review of Walmart+. In that review, I noted that Walmart+ was currently underway and that a "surprise deal" was set to be revealed later. Well, as promised, that deal was unveiled on Thursday — and it's one...
dog on a couch

Good (and Bad) Habits I've Gained Since Getting a Dog

Editor’s note: This article was first published in October 2022. We’re republishing it here on Money@30 as part of my new Pets series. It's now been six weeks since my wife and I brought home our dog, Rigby. With this being the first pet either of us has had in our...
"Brave-ish" by Lisa Niver book cover

Travel Tuesday: "Brave-ish" by Lisa Niver Book Review

Last year, seasoned traveler turned travel writer and expert Lisa Niver released her new book Brave-ish: One Breakup, Six Continents, and Feeling Fearless After Fifty. As a follower of Niver on Twitter, I'd seen mention of her book several times in recent months, with the orange/red hues and pink heart...

Leave a Reply

The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get Posts in Your Inbox
Featured Articles

Walmart+ is Offering Upgraded Paramount+ For a Limited Time

Earlier this week, over on Fioney, I finally got around to doing a review of Walmart+. In that review, I noted that Walmart+ was currently underway and that a "surprise deal" was set to be revealed later. Well, as promised, that deal was unveiled on Thursday — and it's one...
dog on a couch

Good (and Bad) Habits I've Gained Since Getting a Dog

Editor’s note: This article was first published in October 2022. We’re republishing it here on Money@30 as part of my new Pets series. It's now been six weeks since my wife and I brought home our dog, Rigby. With this being the first pet either of us has had in our...
"Brave-ish" by Lisa Niver book cover

Travel Tuesday: "Brave-ish" by Lisa Niver Book Review

Last year, seasoned traveler turned travel writer and expert Lisa Niver released her new book Brave-ish: One Breakup, Six Continents, and Feeling Fearless After Fifty. As a follower of Niver on Twitter, I'd seen mention of her book several times in recent months, with the orange/red hues and pink heart...
Apple Wallet on iPhone

You'll Soon Be Able to Redeem Credit Card Rewards in Apple Pay

Earlier this week, during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote, Apple made a slew of announcements. While the main hype was about the company's use of AI — or, in the case, "Apple Intelligence" — non-AI related updates to iOS, iPad OS, and Mac OS were also revealed. Among the...