Do Authorized User Purchases Count toward Credit Card Bonuses?

Sep 20, 2015

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TPG reader David tweeted to ask about credit card spending by authorized users:

@ThePointsGuy — “Do purchases by an employee on my SPG Amex count toward the minimum spending requirement and Gold status?”

Travel rewards credit cards are among the best tools for boosting your loyalty account balances, since you can take advantage of lucrative sign-up offers and spending bonuses to earn points and miles, as well as elite status and other perks. You often have to hit a minimum spending threshold to qualify for these bonuses, so it helps if you can find ways to put more of your purchases on the card. Adding an authorized user is a great way to do just that.

David has the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, and he wants to make sure he earns the sign-up bonus — currently 25,000 Starpoints after spending $5,000 in the first three months — as well as SPG Gold status, which you get by spending $30,000 on the card in a calendar year. Fortunately for David (and for all of us), purchases made by authorized users do count toward these spending bonuses, and they earn rewards just like purchases made by the primary cardholder.

Spending from authorized users on an SPG Amex card can help you earn Gold Elite status.

Adding an authorized user is generally free, so you can enlist employees, family or anyone you trust with handling your money to help you earn rewards. In most cases, authorized users don’t share card benefits. For example, many co-branded airline cards offer free checked bags and priority boarding, but limit these benefits to primary cardholders and their traveling companions. However, there are some exceptions, like the primary auto rental insurance on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which is available to authorized users who have a card with their name on it.

Amex cardholders have extra incentive to add users, since all authorized cards are eligible to participate in Small Business Saturday, which is coming up this year on November 28th. The Platinum Card® from American Express offers perhaps the best deal for authorized users. Although it costs $175 total to add up to three additional cardholders, each of them will receive benefits like lounge access, Global Entry application fee credits and more.

There are plenty of good reasons to add authorized users to your account; just make sure whomever you add is trustworthy and responsible, because it’s your money and your credit on the line!

For more information, check out these posts:

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at

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