If you've got The Platinum Card® from American Express, you've tasted the sweet life of a frequent traveler. It's time to share the wealth by adding an Amex Platinum authorized user – or several.
Like almost any travel card on the market, American Express allows you to add authorized users to your Platinum Card account … and there's good reason to. These additional users get many of the best Amex Platinum benefits like a fast pass through airport security and customs with a credit to join TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, instant status with Hilton or Marriott, and the same unbeatable access to airport lounges.
Sharing that lounge access is more important than ever: Making your favorite travel companion an authorized user is a clever way to avoid paying the $50 fee to bring a guest into Amex Centurion Lounges or Delta Sky Clubs.
American Express has loaded up the Platinum Card up with a bunch of new benefits while pushing its annual fee up to a whopping $695 a year (see rates & fees). Yet the cost of adding authorized users has remained flat: You can share the love with up to three card users for another $175 a year – total, not per person. Plus, American Express occasionally sweetens the deal by offering many current cardmembers a bonus of 20,000 to 30,000 points when adding an authorized user.
Here's how it works and why you should think about adding an Amex Platinum authorized user or users, plural.
- What Benefits Does an Amex Platinum Authorized User Get?
- Transfer Points to an Authorized User's Airline Account
- Help Hit a Minimum Spend
- Considerations for Adding Authorized Users
- How to Add an Amex Platinum Authorized User
- The Cost of Adding Authorized Users to Your Platinum Card
What Benefits Does an Amex Platinum Authorized User Get?
From unrivaled lounge access to a free membership in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, the American Express Platinum card has the richest set of travel perks on the market. By adding an Amex Platinum authorized user, your travel companion can share many of them.
Your new authorized user won't get every single benefit that you do. Namely, some of the big-dollar annual credits don't pass over to your guest, so you can't double dip there. And none of the brand new benefits to the card added back in the summer of 2021 – like a new CLEAR credit or the annual Amex hotel credit – pass on to authorized users.
But there's still more than enough value here to offset the additional fee for many travelers. Here's a brief rundown:
- American Express Centurion Lounge Access: Yes.
- Priority Pass Select Lounge Membership: Yes.
- Delta Sky Club Access (When Flying Delta): Yes.
- Up to $100 Credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry: Yes.
- Up to $189 Credit for CLEAR: No.
- Earn 5x Points on Airfare Booked Directly with Airlines and Hotels Booked Through Amextravel.com: Yes.
- Up to $200 in Annual Airline Fee Credits: No.
- Up to $200 in Credits for Select Hotels Booked Through Amex Travel: No.
- Up to $200 in Annual Uber Ride Credits: No.
- Up to $100 in Annual Saks 5th Ave. Credits: No.
- Up to $300 in Equinox Gym Credits: No.
- Up to $200 in Entertainment Credits: No.
- Instant Hotel Status with Marriott and Hilton: Yes.
- Get access to Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts: Yes.
- Instant Rental Car Agency Status with Hertz, Avis, and National: Yes.
As you can see, your authorized users won't get their own credits for airlines, Uber, or Saks Fifth Avenue, and several others. In pure dollar value, those are some of the biggest perks the card offers. They immediately take the sting out of the $695 annual fee for primary users.
But scan the list and you'll see that authorized users do get nearly all the benefits to improve their travels: Lounge access, a credit that covers TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, status with hotels and rental car agencies, and more. On top of earning 5x when booking flights directly with the airline (on up to $500,000 spent per year combined), authorized users who book roundtrip flights with their Platinum Card also get some great built-in travel insurance.
Sharing Lounge Access with Amex Platinum Authorized Users
If sharing lounge access with your favorite travel companion is your goal, adding an Amex Platinum Card authorized user could be a no-brainer.
You can get into the Delta Sky Club by flashing your Delta boarding pass and Amex Platinum card, but a guest will now cost $50 after a recent hike. That problem is solved by adding an authorized user, as that person has their own card to get into the Sky Club whether they're traveling with you or not. Just four trips a year to the Sky Club with your authorized user in tow and you've come out ahead by paying the $175 additional fee.
And authorized users can also get into the growing collection of top-notch American Express Centurion Lounges on their own, too. Considering Amex has cut free guest access to Centurion Lounges come early 2023 by charging $50 apiece (or $30 for minors), adding your spouse or best travel buddy as an authorized user is an elegant workaround to let them tag along with you for free to the excellent JFK Centurion Lounge and more than a dozen others.
And the lounge access goes much farther. Your authorized user can also enroll in their own Priority Pass membership, the massive network of 1,200-plus lounges across the world. That means they can head into these lounges on their own and also bring up to two guests apiece with them. If you're traveling with family or plan to travel with a big group, having an authorized user comes in handy to ensure you can all get into the lounge.
Plus, Amex Platinum cardholders (and their authorized users) get access to other great lounges that are part of the Amex Global Lounge Collection including Plaza Premium Lounges, Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner, Airspace Lounges, and more.
Other Benefits, Too
The benefits go far beyond lounge access.
Unlike all the other premium travel cards that have an annual credit to cover TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, each of your Amex Platinum authorized users can get their own credit of up to $100 to join either program. These are some of the best services to improve your time at the airport, so don't be afraid to spread the love. Just have your authorized users use their new American Express Platinum card to pay for the application and voila – it's free.
Each authorized user can also enroll in their own Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Gold Elite status, just like the primary cardholder. That unlocks benefits for hotel stays like space-available upgrades, late checkout, extra points earning. And they'll also be eligible for elite status with several rental car companies – though our favorite is clearly National Executive status.
Add all that up, and there's some undeniable value to adding an Amex Platinum authorized user – especially if there are three favorite travelers in your life you trust. Depending on how much you travel, those benefits could easily outweigh the additional $175 annual cost.
Transfer Points to an Authorized User's Airline Account
This could just be my favorite perk in the whole bunch.
Airlines often make it difficult – and pricey – to send miles from your frequent flyer account to a spouse or family member. And while some banks allow you to share or pool points with a spouse or family member, American Express isn't one of them.
Instead, you can transfer Amex points directly to your authorized users' frequent flyer accounts. That's an extra layer of flexibility that can come in handy in a pinch.
A while back, my wife was about 1,000 Iberia Avios short of booking a trip from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Phoenix (PHX). Iberia is one of our favorite programs for booking domestic flights in the U.S. So rather than paying the rest in cash or buying some miles to complete the redemption, I just transferred her 1,000 Amex points. And that's only an option for authorized users.
It works just like any other time you send points to Amex transfer partners, the array of more than 20 airlines and hotel chains to which you can send your points. There's just one catch: As of September 2019, you can only transfer points to additional cardmembers that were added at least 90 days ago.
Be sure to select your authorized user's account rather than your own. And keep in mind that some American Express transfers aren't instantaneous.
|Program||Type||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||Airline||1:1||Instant|
|Iberia||Airline||1:1||Up to 24 hours|
Read more on Amex transfer partners!
Help Hit a Minimum Spend
It might seem straightforward, but it can pay off big time.
Because your Amex Platinum authorized users get their own cards, they can help you quickly spend the money necessary to unlock that big points bonus. American Express Platinum cardholders have to spend $6,000 within six months to get the 80,000-point welcome bonus – and that bonus could be 150,000 points if you qualify for an even better welcome offer via CardMatch. Otherwise, check for personal referral links or simply search for the Platinum Card in an incognito browser to see if you can get a bigger bonus.
Of course, you'd need that person to pay off the charges they're making, too. Otherwise, they're simply saddling you with a bigger monthly payment.
Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card from American Express.
Considerations for Adding Authorized Users
Adding authorized users can be a confusing topic in the world of credit cards. Let’s set a few things straight.
First, and most importantly: You’re responsible for paying off any charges your authorized user makes to your account. That means you should only add someone you trust – and preferably someone with a big expense coming up that they can immediately pay off (or make a charge on your behalf).
Read more: Everything You Need to Know About Credit Card Authorized Users
Beyond that, it’s a good news, bad news situation:
- The good news: Being an authorized user does not make you ineligible to open that card outright to earn a bonus later on. That means you could add a friend or spouse as an authorized user with a Gold Card, and they could still open their own Gold Card and earn a 60,000-point bonus after spending $4,000 within six months.
- The bad news: This could make it harder for your buddy to open a Chase card. That’s because being an authorized user does count toward your Chase 5/24 rule status, which means you won’t get approved for any Chase card if you’ve opened five or more credit cards (from any bank, not just Chase) in the last 24 months. You may be able to get Chase to overlook that if being authorized user is what’s pushing you over the edge, but that’s not a slam dunk.
How to Add an Amex Platinum Authorized User
Let's go over the nuts and bolts of how it's done.
If you've decided to add an authorized user to your Amex Platinum card, simply log into your account and head to the “Account Services” tab. That's where you'll find the link to “Add Someone to Your Account.”
Otherwise, look for the chance to earn a 20,000-point bonus by adding an authorized user under your Amex offers.
You'll need to enter some information for your new user, including their social security number – either when you add the user or within 60 days. Yet all signs suggest that your authorized user will not be subjected to a hard credit inquiry – which could temporarily ding their credit score. It's simply a bookkeeping measure for American Express.
Once you've added the user, they will get their own, heavy metal Amex Platinum card in the mail within the next week or so. They'll have their own, distinct account number and online account.
But it's important to note that everything is tied back to your primary account. Any charges an authorized user puts on their card will be on your balance. So it should go without saying that you should only add an authorized user that you trust. You can also decide whether to let your new user use American Express Membership Rewards points.
The Cost of Adding Authorized Users to Your Platinum Card
This is easily the most overlooked aspect of adding authorized users to your Amex Platinum card.
You can add one to three additional users for the same, $175 additional annual fee. Read that again: You can add one authorized user to your Platinum Card for $175 a year … or add up to three for the same amount. That's not each – it's total.
So if you have several family members who could benefit, it won't cost you any more to add another two additional users beyond a first addition. If you decide to add a fourth and fifth authorized user to your account, those will cost you another $175 a year each.
It's a massively misunderstood aspect of adding users to your card, as most people (understandably) assume Amex charges you $175 apiece. That's exactly what happens when adding authorized users to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which charges an extra $75 a year for each user you add to the account.
The ability to add up to three authorized users to your Platinum Card for a flat $175 annual fee is excellent. Only the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is better: You can add up to four authorized users to that card for free.
Depending on your situation and how much you'll get out of the perks, the benefits of adding an authorized user to your Platinum card can easily outweigh the additional $175 fee.
To confirm, Platinum AUs receive a metal card?
If I have a Schwab Platinum and I add an AU that already has a Schwab checking/brokerage acct, will I be able to cash out my points into their Schwab acct (like transferring my points to their loyalty program)?
I am lucky enough to fly non-rev at times. With the platinum card and a non-rev flight that meets the entry criteria, would I be able to access the lounge?