The Platinum Card® from American Express has long been one of the most powerful travel credit cards on the market.
The card offers a host of benefits that include access to 3 major lounge networks and 2 complimentary hotel statuses that make traveling the world easier and more luxurious.
While most of the card’s benefits are pretty straightforward, we’re often asked how they work for authorized users or additional card members. Many cardholders are unsure of what types of benefits their authorized users will actually receive.
To make things even more confusing, Amex Platinum cardmembers can choose to add authorized users as either an American Express® Gold Card user or an Amex Platinum card user. Each of these has different costs and benefits, and neither has quite the same set of benefits as the primary cardholder.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t add authorized users to your Amex Platinum card. In fact, adding a user can be super beneficial to you — the primary cardholder — and to any of the authorized users you choose to add to your account.
Here’s a walkthrough of all the benefits of adding an authorized user to your Amex Platinum card, starting with the limitations of adding Amex Gold card authorized users.
Amex Platinum Card Snapshot
The Amex Platinum card is one of the most popular and well-known travel cards available — and for good reason.
It carries a hefty $695 annual fee (rates and fees), but comes with a long list of benefits and travel perks that many card members love to use, which can easily justify the fee.
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome offer of up to 150,000 points with the Amex Platinum card! (The current public offer is 80,000 points.)
What Is an Authorized User?
An authorized user is an additional cardholder added to an individual’s existing credit card account.
In most cases, authorized users are spouses or children. On a business account, authorized users may be employees.
Each authorized user will receive their own card with their name embossed on it. However, all charges will be the responsibility of the main cardholder.
Reasons To Not Add an Amex Gold Authorized User
You can choose to add an authorized user (additional card member) as an Amex Platinum card or Amex Gold card authorized user. First and foremost, the fees are very different:
- Amex Gold cards can be added for free
- Amex Platinum cards cost $175 for the first 3 authorized users and then $175 per card after that. (see rates and fees).
While adding an Amex Gold card authorized user will save you money in fees, the benefits awarded to the Amex Gold card authorized user are much more limited.
Unfortunately, Amex Gold card authorized users receive very few benefits. In short, Amex Gold card authorized users can make purchases to the main cardholder’s account, but don’t get travel benefits such as lounge access or an annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit.
However, Amex Gold card authorized users do get a statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee every 5 years.
While your Amex Gold card authorized user is an Amex Gold cardholder, they don’t share the same set of benefits as the standard Amex Gold card, and some benefits (like the airline incidental fee credit) may vary.
Authorized user cards will earn the same way the Amex Platinum cardholder does: 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar on airfare booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel purchases, and 1x point on all other purchases.
If you’re looking for your authorized users to get more from the card, here are 16 benefits of adding an authorized user as an Amex Platinum card authorized user.
Core Benefits of Adding an Authorized User
1. Cheaper Than Applying for a Separate Additional Card
The Amex Platinum card comes with a hefty annual fee, but for a fraction of that cost, an authorized user can enjoy the very desirable benefits.
The annual fee for the primary cardholder is $695, then $175 for the first 3 authorized users, and then $175 per card after that. (rates and fees).
2. Build Credit History
Having a good credit score and history is extremely valuable.
If the main cardholder pays off the card in full each month and otherwise has responsible spending habits, an authorized user will benefit from this history.
Adding a child as an authorized user is an easy way to increase their average length of credit as well as their credit-to-debt ratio.
3. Track Spending Habits
Keeping track of family spending can be complicated. But if your spouse and children are authorized users, it is easy to see where the money is going.
The main cardholder can easily log in to their account and track who is spending what and where.
The Amex Platinum card has some of the best perks that any travel card offers.
From lounge access to elite status to reimbursed Global Entry and TSA PreCheck application fees, authorized users can reap the benefits of a main cardholder for a fraction of the cost.
Earning Benefits of Adding an Authorized User
5. Earn Your Welcome Offer Faster
The Amex Platinum card has a very attractive welcome offer, but it requires a fair amount of spending to earn it.
By having multiple users using their cards for everyday spend, you can hit the minimum spend more quickly and receive those coveted bonus points even sooner!
6. Earn More Bonus Points
The Amex Platinum card is a great way to build up your Membership Rewards balance.
With 5x earnings on airfare and prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel, having an authorized user spending on the card will help you earn more bonus points faster.
7. Earn Points on Every Purchase
Whenever a purchase is made on an authorized user’s card, the primary cardholder will earn the points on purchases. This can be both a good and a bad thing: it’s good because you’re earning extra points, but bad because if your card falls into the wrong hands, you could be out some serious cash with no recourse.
With this in mind, make sure you only add authorized users that you trust. Stick with immediate family and other close relatives who you may already share finances with. Adding people you don’t know well just so that they can use the Amex Platinum card’s benefits can end in disaster.
Your authorized users’ purchases will earn points the same way as any other Amex Platinum card. You’ll earn 5x points on airfare booked directly with the airline, 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, and 1x point everywhere else.
8. Transfer Membership Rewards Points to Authorized Users’ Loyalty Program Accounts
Generally, transferring points and miles from one member’s airline or hotel loyalty program account to another can be difficult. Either the process is cumbersome or there are expensive transaction fees or both.
However, if you have additional card members. you can simply transfer your Membership Rewards points directly to their accounts.
This makes the process cheaper, easier, and often faster.
Benefits of Adding Amex Platinum Card Authorized Users
While Amex Gold card authorized users may have lackluster benefits, Amex Platinum card authorized users receive a ton of awesome travel benefits.
9. Access to the Centurion Lounge, Delta Sky Club, and Priority Pass Lounges
Amex Platinum card authorized users get full access to the Amex Global Lounge Collection, including Centurion Lounges, and will receive their own Priority Pass lounge membership once enrolled. Additionally, authorized users can access Delta Sky Clubs with their card when flying on Delta Air Lines.
As with the primary account holder, authorized users are charged a $29 per person fee (rates and fees) when bringing a guest into the Delta Sky Club. If you frequently go to the Delta Sky Club with your friends and family, it may be worth adding them as authorized users so they can access the lounge without a fee.
10. Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold Status
Authorized users get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold status on their respective Marriott and Hilton accounts. To enroll, the authorized user will have to call the number on the back of their Amex Platinum card and enroll with a customer support representative. The authorized user will need to provide their Marriott and Hilton numbers to the representative, so make sure that they have them on hand before calling.
11. Reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Every 5 Years
Authorized users are reimbursed up to $100 for Global Entry or up to $85 for TSA PreCheck application fees. This makes these airport services effectively free for your authorized users, giving them an easy way to speed through airport security and U.S. border control.
Note that this benefit is also offered to Amex Gold card authorized users, so this is not limited to Amex Platinum authorized users.
Hot Tip: Use the Amex Platinum card’s TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit for Global Entry, as this service includes TSA PreCheck. Once approved, just add your Global Entry Known Traveler Number to your airfare reservation and you should get the TSA PreCheck stamp on your ticket.
12. Help You Spend Down Your Airline Incidental and Saks Fifth Avenue — But Not Uber
While your authorized users don’t receive their own up to $200 airline incidentals credit, or up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit, they can use your credit. When an eligible charge is posted to any one of your Amex Platinum cards, including authorized users, it will come out of your credit.
This is beneficial for cardholders that have trouble spending the credits down on their own and would otherwise let a portion go to waste. Note that your authorized users cannot access the up to $200 in Uber Cash as this credit is tied to your personal Uber account.
13. Fine Hotels & Resorts Access
When booking hotel rooms through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts, Amex Platinum card authorized users are eligible for the following perks:
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Daily breakfast for 2 people
- Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout
- Noon check-in (subject to availability)
- Room upgrade upon arrival (subject to availability)
- A unique property amenity valued at $100 (i.e. spa, food, ground transfers, and beverage credit)
Note that your authorized user must pay for the reservation with their authorized user card in order to receive these benefits. In turn, this will put the hotel bill on your account.
14. Avis Preferred Club, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, and National Emerald Club Executive Statuses
As outlined in our complete guide to credit card rental car elite status, the Amex Platinum card has special privileges with 3 rental car companies: Avis, Hertz, and National. Authorized users get access to all of the included perks.
Hot Tip: For more in-depth information, explore the Amex Platinum card’s rental car benefits.
15. Free 2-Day Shipping at 100+ Retailers with ShopRunner
Authorized users also get access to a free ShopRunner membership. This service gives you free 2-day shipping from over 100 online merchants, including stores such as Adorama, MacMall, and Peet’s Coffee.
Your authorized users can sign up for their free ShopRunner account using this special form. Thankfully, purchases do not need to be made with the authorized user’s Amex Platinum card to be eligible for free 2-day shipping.
16. Authorized Users Can Take Advantage of Amex Offers
Authorized users can add Amex Offers to their Amex Platinum card on the American Express website or app. These offers usually give extra points or cash-back on purchases at select merchants, so make sure to check the Amex Offers section of your authorized user’s online account frequently.
Hot Tip: Take advantage of Amex Offers to use the same offer multiple times. Simply charge a second transaction to the authorized user’s card. After all, it’s all going on the same bill right?
What Benefits Aren’t Available to Amex Platinum Authorized Users?
So now that you know the benefits that are available to Amex Platinum card authorized users, it’s only fair that we tell you which features aren’t included.
While authorized users can access your Saks Fifth Avenue and airline incidental credit, it will come out of your allowance. Authorized users don’t get their own allotment of these credits. So if you add an authorized user, make sure to keep an eye on your credits before you make a purchase that you’re expecting a credit to cover. This is to ensure that credit hasn’t already been tapped by an authorized user.
Authorized users aren’t given monthly Uber credits, either. These are reserved for the primary cardholder. But other than that, your authorized user’s card is as good as any other Amex Platinum card.
How To Add an Authorized User to Your Amex Platinum Card
Adding an authorized user (Amex refers to them as “additional card members”) to your Amex Platinum card is simple. Just head over to the American Express website, log in, and select your Amex Platinum card using the card selector at the top-right of the screen (if you have more than 1 Amex card).
Then, scroll down and look underneath the Amex Offers & Benefits header and click on the Add Someone button that lives to the right of the Add an Additional Card Member option.
You’ll end up on a page that asks whether you’d like to add another authorized user as an Amex Gold card or an Amex Platinum cardmember. Select the card you’d like to add and scroll down to enter the authorized user’s information in the form at the bottom of the page.
The form will ask for:
- Full name
- Email address (optional)
- Date of birth (optional when applying, must be provided within 60 days of card issuance)
- Social Security number (optional when applying, must be provided within 60 days of card issuance)
Click the Request Additional Card button at the bottom of the form if you’d like to add multiple authorized users at once. Then, read the terms and click the Agree & Submit button at the bottom of the page to order your authorized user cards.
Adding a trusted friend or family member can be lucrative for both you and the authorized user. You’ll earn extra points on their purchases and they’ll receive amazing travel benefits including lounge access, Global Entry reimbursement, and complimentary Marriott and Hilton status. But remember: only add someone you trust to your card because in the end, you’re liable for their purchases.
Adding an Amex Platinum card authorized user is most beneficial for couples who travel often. Both partners can earn extra points on airfare, access a variety of lounges when traveling separately, and more. Plus, when flying on Delta, the couple can use their respective Amex Platinum cards to access the Delta Sky Club without paying a guest fee.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express Gold Card, click here.