Edited by: Juan Ruiz
& Keri Stooksbury
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One of our favorite cards of all time is the American Express® Gold Card, which earns stellar rewards for common, everyday purchases.
This card earns the famous Membership Rewards points at a rate of up to 4x points per dollar spent.
In addition, there are some much-appreciated travel benefits and shopping protections available, which are increasingly becoming more important in an age of expanding fraud and theft.
If you have a family, and you need to add your household members as authorized users, the Amex Gold card is also capable of helping your family rack up even more points quickly. This is a whole lot cheaper than having each household member hold their own Amex Gold card.
So in this guide, we’ll walk you through all of the key benefits of adding authorized users to the Amex Gold card. Let’s get into it!
As we’ve mentioned, the Amex Gold card is truly one of the most rewarding cards to hold if you’re looking for top-notch rewards on everyday purchases.
This card allows you to earn plenty of points without having to spend on travel like many business travelers do.
Here’s our high-level snapshot of the Amex Gold card, including information about its welcome bonus.
This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.
With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.
There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 90,000 points with the Amex Gold card. The current public offer is 60,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)
In general, an authorized user is an individual added to someone’s account, whether it’s a credit card or charge card, who is authorized to make transactions on the primary account.
Here are 2 of the most common situations in which adding an authorized user makes sense:
By doing this, the children and spouse don’t need to worry about qualifying for the card, applying for the card, or paying multiple annual fees.
Just keep in mind that all transactions made by authorized users are the complete responsibility of the primary cardholder.
Right now, the Amex Gold card allows up to 5 authorized users for no extra annual fees (rates & fees), making it a great idea for households of up to 6 to utilize this perk.
So, adding up to 5 authorized users for free could potentially save you more than $1,000 in annual fees compared to each person holding their own Amex Gold card.
Any authorized users after that are charged $35 per year per card (rates & fees).
If you want to get your child started early in their financial wellness journey, Amex allows authorized users as young as 13 years old.
That way, your child can get started with building credit as early as possible; ideally, they’ll have excellent credit by the time they can apply for their own credit cards.
The same principle is true for spouses — if your spouse doesn’t have great credit, you can add him/her as an authorized user to continue building credit, as long as your card also has an excellent payment history.
If you’re looking to manage your finances through the principle of “simplify, simplify, simplify,” then authorized users could be your saving grace. If each household member had a different credit card, managing household spending could become a nightmare.
By having just 1 card for everyday purchases in the Amex Gold card and adding all household members as authorized users, the entire household’s spending patterns would be tracked under 1 umbrella.
In addition, Amex has some neat features that allow you to set spending limits, apply advanced filtering for expense management, and much more.
The major reason why you should consider adding authorized users on the Amex Gold card, though, is to allow your loved ones to get extra benefits.
Normally, in order to get 4x points on those bonus categories, for example, you’d need an Amex Gold card. If your family members make these purchases regularly, adding them as authorized users could enable you to earn bonus points and avoid missing out on massive rewards.
With the Amex Gold card, you’ll probably qualify for a welcome bonus. This welcome offer will help accelerate the rewards you earn at the beginning of your card membership.
Any spending that authorized users make will also help qualify for the welcome bonus. This could mean the difference between getting that huge welcome offer or missing out on it.
When you add authorized users to your Amex Gold card, any spending they make can count towards bonus categories, too. Here are the Amex Gold card’s current bonus categories:
So if your spouse happens to spend $1,000 per month on groceries at U.S. supermarkets, you could stand to gain another 4,000 points every month!
If your purchases don’t fall into the bonus categories above, don’t fret. You’ll still earn 1x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on other purchases, even if your authorized users make these purchases.
There are no caps or limits to how many points you can earn every year, either.
Hot Tip: One of the little-known facts about the Amex Gold card is that you can actually earn 2x Membership Rewards points for all eligible bookings made through Amex Travel.
American Express has its own policies governing the process of sharing points with others, whether it’s done directly or indirectly.
In this case, American Express does allow the primary cardholder to transfer points to an authorized user’s frequent flyer program account, with a caveat. The authorized user must have been on your account for at least 90 days before being eligible to transfer points.
So for example, if Jane Smith is the primary cardholder and John Doe is an authorized user that has been on the account for at least 90 days, Jane Smith can transfer Amex points to a Delta SkyMiles account under John Doe’s name online with ease!
Hot Tip: Amex doesn’t allow Membership Rewards points to be transferred directly to someone else’s Membership Rewards account.
If the method above doesn’t work or if your authorized users don’t have their own frequent flyer accounts, you can transfer your Membership Rewards points to your own frequent flyer account and redeem points for a ticket booked under your authorized user’s name, as long as the frequent flyer program allows this in their terms and conditions.
So for example, let’s say Jane Smith is the primary cardholder while John Doe is an authorized user. And let’s say Jane Smith wants to book a flight on Delta under John Doe’s name by transferring Amex points to Delta SkyMiles.
John Doe doesn’t need to have his own frequent flyer account in this case, since Delta SkyMiles allows Jane Smith to redeem miles for other travelers’ award flights. In this case, Jane Smith can simply transfer points to her Delta SkyMiles account and book a ticket under John Doe’s name.
Besides the exceptional 4x earning structure from this card, the Amex Gold card is known for its special hotel benefits program known as The Hotel Collection.
On eligible stays of 2 nights or more booked through The Hotel Collection, you can enjoy a room upgrade (subject to availability) and a $100 hotel credit to use on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities.
There are around 600 of these properties globally, and authorized users enjoy this lovely perk to get even more value when traveling.
This card comes with secondary rental car insurance, which kicks in when you:
This coverage is secondary, which means that you’ll need to file a claim with any other available insurance policies before this coverage kicks in.
On the Amex Gold card, you’re covered for up to $50,000 in damages on eligible rentals of 30 days or less.
Keep in mind that liability insurance is not offered on this policy.
When authorized users book a qualifying car rental, they can also enjoy secondary rental car insurance.
Hot Tip: If you’re looking for primary rental car insurance, you can purchase it through Amex, too!
If your trip on a common carrier (usually on a plane) is delayed for more than 12 hours, or if any overnight stay is required, you may be eligible to get reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred, up to $300 per covered trip and up to 2 claims every 12 consecutive month period.
This card offers coverage for the cardholder, spouse, domestic partner, or unmarried dependent children up to age 19 (or up to age 26 if enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited college or university).
Given the state of travel these days, losing your baggage or having it get damaged seems to be getting more commonplace.
With the Amex Gold card, you can access a baggage insurance plan, which reimburses up to $1,250 per covered person (with a $250 total maximum per covered person for all high-risk items). To be specific, checked luggage is covered for up to $500 per person, while carry-on bags are covered for up to $1,250 per person. In New York State, there’s also a $10,000 combined limit per covered trip for all covered persons.
To qualify, you must purchase the entire fare with your Amex Gold card (although purchases made using Pay with Points would also qualify).
Amex offers a benefit called Global Assist, which can help you coordinate services at no additional charge, including medical, legal, financial, or other select emergency services.
Although all of the costs charged are your responsibility, this could be incredibly helpful if you’re in a pickle, like if you need passport assistance, emergency translation, or bail bond referral services.
One of our favorite features of American Express cards is Amex Offers. And in this case, the Amex Gold card is known to offer some of the most lucrative offers out there, whether you’re looking for bonus points or discounts.
For example, we’ve seen this lucrative Amazon bonus points offer pop up, which would translate to a return on spending of 11%, according to our valuations of Amex points at 2.2 cents each.
ShopRunner is a company that offers free delivery in as little as 2 days on qualifying purchases, as well as free shipping on returns.
And although ShopRunner usually charges $79 per year, you can unlock your complimentary membership with the Amex Gold card.
Some of the 100+ merchants that participate in ShopRunner include Neiman Marcus, Under Armour, Brooks Brothers, and more.
Purchase protection covers items that you buy if they are accidentally damaged, lost, or stolen up to 90 days after the original purchase date.
With the Amex Gold card, you are covered for up to $10,000 per purchase and $50,000 per calendar year. Additionally, if your items are lost, damaged, or stolen due to a natural disaster, you can get up to $500.
When you purchase an item that has an original manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less using your Amex Gold card, you can get up to 1 year of extended warranty coverage.
The per-item maximum is $10,000, and the yearly maximum is $50,000.
The Amex Gold card isn’t a credit card — it’s a charge card. This means that you generally don’t carry a balance from month to month (eligible purchases can be carried over using Pay It Plan It).
In any case, the benefit of this charge card is that it doesn’t have a traditional credit limit like most credit cards do.
Instead, it has no preset spending limit, which means the amount you can purchase can fluctuate from month to month depending on whether Amex thinks you can pay your bills in full.
This could be extremely helpful if you (or your authorized users) need to make a big purchase that could get declined under a normal credit card.
Amex has partnered with TrueCar to offer specific benefits when buying a vehicle online.
Certain dealers that are partnered with Amex will offer “Upfront Price Offers” on in-stock vehicles, while others may offer other benefits.
In addition, each participating dealer in the program will accept your Amex Gold card for at least $2,000 and up to the full purchase price!
So if your authorized user is getting ready to purchase a car, this benefit could come in handy.
The Amex Gold card could save you a ton of money abroad if you are a travel enthusiast with no foreign transaction fees (rates & fees).
For example, if your authorized user spends $1,000 at restaurants internationally using their Amex Gold card, you can save around $30 in foreign transaction fees — plus, you’d earn around 4,000 Membership Rewards points, which are worth $88 by our valuations.
The Amex Gold card is equipped with contactless capabilities, which means you can add it to your Apple Wallet, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or Fitbit Pay.
You don’t need to carry the card with you to make a purchase any longer.
Now that we’ve detailed the list of benefits that authorized users receive when using the Amex Gold card, let’s touch on some of the benefits that authorized users won’t get.
To start off, the Amex Gold card offers up to $10 in monthly statement credits (up to $120 annually) towards dining at participating merchants:
Although purchases made by the authorized user can count towards the dining credit, authorized users will not get their own dining credit every month.
So that means regardless of how many authorized users there are, you’ll only get up to $120 in dining credits every year.
The other important benefit that authorized users will not get is up to $120 Uber Cash (distributed as $10 per month), which is valid for Uber Eats orders and Uber rides in the U.S.
Authorized users can certainly use the Uber Cash credit if they add their Amex Gold card account into their Uber wallet, but they won’t get their own unique credits.
To add an authorized user to your Amex Gold card, log into your online account first. Then, in the top ribbon menu, click Account Services.
On the left menu, click Manage Other Users, followed by Add Someone to Your Account.
You’ll be prompted to select which card you’d like to add an authorized user to. Select the correct account and click Continue.
You’ll be redirected to the form for the Amex Gold card. Click the button that says Add a new Card Member to your account.
There will be a form that expands. Fill out the personal information and click Agree & Submit.
After you add an authorized user, it will take around 7 to 10 business days for the new card to arrive in the mail. Then simply activate it, and it’s ready to go!
When you think about adding an authorized user to your Amex Gold card, just remember that all transactions and activity are the sole responsibility of the primary cardholder.
If you are concerned about your household members spending wildly on the card, you can also manually set spending limits for your authorized users.
And all authorized user accounts get reported from Amex to the credit bureaus, which can affect the authorized user’s 5/24 standing with Chase, among other statuses.
All in all, there are many compelling reasons to add authorized users to the Amex Gold card.
To start off, the first 5 authorized user cards come with no additional annual fee. Then, adding authorized users, in general, as long as the primary Amex Gold card has an excellent payment history, can help your household members build credit.
In addition, if your other household members spend any amount of money, authorized user cards also earn the same rewards as the primary card, making it possible to get up to 4x Membership Rewards points!
Wrapping up, the Amex Gold card confers access to The Hotel Collection, travel insurance benefits, and other shopping-related perks like complimentary ShopRunner membership and no preset spending limit to authorized users.
For the car rental collision damage coverage benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, car rental loss and damage insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the commercial car rental company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car rental loss or damage coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. For the trip delay insurance benefits of the American Express® Gold Card, up to $300 per covered trip that is delayed for more than 12 hours; and 2 claims per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company. For the baggage insurance plan benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, baggage insurance plan coverage can be in effect for covered persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen baggage during their travel on a common carrier vehicle (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the entire fare for a ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an eligible account. Coverage can be provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the common carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus). For New York State residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all covered persons per covered trip. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the extended warranty benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, when an American Express® card member charges a covered purchase to an eligible card, extended warranty can provide up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the purchase protection benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, purchase protection is an embedded benefit of your card membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect covered purchases made on your eligible card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the covered purchase date. The coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Coverage limits apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the Global Assist Hotline benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, you can rely on Global Assist Hotline 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home. Third-party service costs may be your responsibility. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Card Members are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
Yes! You can add up to 5 authorized users for no additional annual fees. After that, each additional card is $35 per year.
Yes! Amex Gold cards for authorized users are made of the same exact material as the primary member’s card, which is metal.
Amex Gold card authorized users get the same rewards categories of up to 4x points, access to The Hotel Collection, travel insurance, purchase benefits, and much more. However, they will not get their own $120 Uber Cash and $120 dining credit every year.
The Amex Gold card doesn’t come with any additional annual fees for up to 5 authorized users. From the sixth authorized user and beyond, each card will have an additional $35 annual fee.
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