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Why You Should (Or Shouldn’t) Add Authorized Users to The Platinum Card® from American Express

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If you've got *amex platinum card*, you've tasted the sweet life of a frequent traveler. So, wouldn't it be nice to share your wealth of benefits with someone else?

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.

At $695 a year (see rates & fees), having the card for just yourself isn't cheap – and the cost of sharing the love of your Amex Platinum comes at a cost, too. That cost is growing: After a recent change, the price of adding an authorized user to your Platinum card is now an extra $195 per user – a substantial increase.

Even if you're itching to give the gift of Platinum perks, it might make sense to wait. American Express occasionally sweetens the deal by offering many current card members a bonus of 20,000 to 30,000 points when adding an authorized user – making the additional fee of $195 per person easier to swallow.

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?

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 new benefits added to the card back in the summer of 2021 – like the CLEAR Plus credit or an 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.

Read More: Get TSA PreCheck for the Whole Family with 1 Credit Card


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 will have 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 $195 additional fee.

delta sky club chicago bar 

And authorized users can also get into the growing collection of top-notch American Express Centurion Lounges on their own, too. Considering Amex cut free guest access to Centurion Lounges earlier this year by charging $50 apiece (or $30 for minors), adding your spouse or best travel buddy as an authorized user is a nice workaround to let them tag along with you for free to the excellent JFK Centurion Lounge and more than a dozen others around the U.S. (and abroad).

amex platinum authorized user jfk centurion lounge access 

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.

Related reading: Get Airport Lounge Access for the Whole Family with 1 Credit Card


Other Benefits, Too

The benefits go far beyond lounge access.

Unlike all the other premium travel cards that offer credits 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. In fact, this is true even if you add friends or family as free Companion Platinum Cards.

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck are musts for even the most infrequent traveler in your life. 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.


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.

Earlier this year, we found a real unicorn of a deal to fly ANA's The Room from from Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND). The best way for us to book this was using some orphaned Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points. At 47,500 points one-way from Chicago to Tokyo, it's a steal. The problem is that the orphaned Virgin points were in my wife's account and she didn't have any way to top off her balance in time to book this award. Luckily, since she was already added as an authorized user on my Platinum Card, moving my Amex Membership Rewards over to her account was no problem at all.

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: 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.

ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer LingusAirline1:1Instant
AeroMexicoAirline1:1.63-5 days
Air Canada AeroplanAirline1:1Instant
Air France/KLMAirline1:1Instant
ANAAirline1:11-2 days
British AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
Cathay PacificAirline1:1Instant
IberiaAirline1:1Up to 24 hours
Qatar AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
Virgin AtlanticAirline1:1Instant

Read more on Amex transfer partners!


Help Hit Spending Requirements to Earn a Bonus

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 $8,000 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.

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Doing the Math on Adding Authorized Users

Whether you currently hold the Platinum Card or you've been eyeing it for some time, recent changes to the fee for adding authorized users means you'll need to re-run the numbers in order to ensure it's still a good fit for you and your travel companions.

In the past, it made good sense to pay an extra $175 per year to add up to three additional users to an account because of all the additional perks you'd get. That's right: Three users for a total of $175 a year. That worked out to just over $58 apiece.

But now with the fee going up to $195 for each additional Platinum Card, it's a much tougher decision. You won't share most of the perks, but a free Companion Platinum Card might be the right move for many.

companion platinum card breakdown of perks 

Looking at the numbers: Having three authorized users on your account used to put you on the hook for an extra $175 per year. Now, you're looking at an additional $585 each year – and that's on top of the card's already steep $695 annual fee.

This change will no doubt impact traveling families the most. After Amex took away free guest privileges to its own Amex Centurion Lounges earlier this year, adding authorized users was the cheapest way to bring a spouse or teenage child in with you. Depending on how often your family travels together, your $585 might be better spent on overpriced airport food instead of buying everyone lounge access.

Only have one person you're looking to add to your account? This change likely doesn't mean much for you: The cost of a single authorized user is going up by $20 a year. But for travelers hoping to share the Amex Platinum's authorized user benefits with a spouse and several family members or friends, the math is a lot different.


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 additional Platinum Card, and they could still open their own Platinum Card and earn a 80,000-point bonus after spending $8,000 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 no sure thing.


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.”

Amex Platinum Authorized User 

Otherwise, look for the chance to earn a 20,000-point bonus (or more!) by adding an authorized user under your Amex offers.

amex platinum authorized user 

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.


Bottom Line

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 $195 fee. Just be sure to run the numbers for yourself before committing to that extra cost.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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