Why you should add authorized users on your Amex Platinum Card
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.
There are many reasons why you’d want to add authorized users to your travel credit cards. For example, your authorized users can help you hit a minimum spending requirement to earn a welcome offer, or you might want to build your child’s credit history early on.
But some cards also offer authorized users many of the same benefits as the primary cardholder — one of the most popular being The Platinum Card® from American Express. However, recent shifts with certain lounge access policies make it even more important to consider this option, even though it comes at a cost.
In this guide, we'll consider the various perks that make it worthwhile to add authorized users to your Amex Platinum.
Overview of Amex Platinum authorized users
The Platinum Card comes with a $695 annual fee (see rates and fees) and has so many benefits that it’s often referred to as a “membership card” — a card that you keep for its benefits rather than its earning potential. That said, it does come with a welcome bonus of 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership — or you could be targeted for an even higher offer using the CardMatch tool (subject to change at any time).
However, unlike some other premium travel credit cards, there's an additional cost to adding authorized users on the Amex Platinum.
Specifically, you'll incur a flat $175 (see rates and fees) each year to add up to three additional cardholders. It's then an additional $175 per authorized user beyond that. Note that you can add children as authorized users, but American Express requires them to be 13 years old (or older).
If you add exactly three people to your Amex Platinum, it breaks down to just under $60 per additional cardholder. Ultimately, depending on your travel habits, you can easily make this up (and then some) through the valuable benefits that are unlocked for these three individuals.
At the same time, you can add additional Gold Card members for free to your Platinum Card. This Gold Card is not the same as the popular American Express® Gold Card that offers 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at restaurants and 4 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1 point per dollar). Instead, additional Gold cardholders get the same earning rates as your Platinum Card.
However, these additional Gold Card members don’t have access to many of the benefits given to additional Platinum members — which we'll cover now.
Which Amex Platinum benefits apply to additional cardholders?
Here’s a rundown of the key benefits that additional cardholders on the Amex Platinum will enjoy.
The first key benefit that extends to additional Amex Platinum cardholders is lounge access, even when traveling without the primary cardholder. The American Express Global Lounge Collection includes several networks, including American Express Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Delta Sky Clubs on same-day Delta flights, Plaza Premium lounges and various other types of lounge access. (You can view a full list of participating locations at this link.)
And this perk is potentially even more appealing right now.
As of Feb. 1, 2023, American Express no longer allows most Platinum cardmembers to bring in two complimentary guests when visiting Centurion Lounges. Instead, it'll cost you $50 for each adult guest over the age of 18, and you'll pay $30 for each child between the ages of 2 and 17 (children under two are still free).
There are two ways to avoid this guest fee. First, you can charge $75,000 on your Platinum Card in a calendar year, as this will unlock the previous benefit of bringing in two guests.
Alternatively, if you frequently travel with your spouse (or children over the age of 12), you can add them as authorized users.
Based on the informal poll we conducted in the TPG Lounge Facebook group, many readers with the Amex Platinum were frustrated to learn that they could no longer bring their travel companions into the Centurion Lounges as guests. However, adding them as authorized users removes this hurdle.
Note that Centurion Lounges aren't the only ones that recently became harder (or more expensive) to access. Changes are also now in effect at Delta Sky Clubs. If you hold the Amex Platinum, you can enter the Sky Club if you're traveling on a same-day, Delta-operated flight. Previously, guests would set you back $39, but as of Feb. 2, 2023, this has been raised to $50 — part of Delta's efforts to combat lounge overcrowding.
However, by adding three additional cardholders for $175, you can avoid these charges altogether. In fact, with the new guest policies, you’d cover the entire $175 (and then some) with just five total visits to Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs across the year — and this doesn’t even factor in any usage that the authorized users would get when traveling alone. Of course, this won't help families with children under the age of 12 (like mine). It's not possible for my 8-year-old daughter to become an authorized user on my card. However, the $50 guest fee at Delta Sky Clubs should trigger the Platinum Card's up to $200 annual airline fee credit, since I've designated Delta as my eligible carrier (enrollment is required).
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that you must enroll in Priority Pass to be eligible to access Priority Pass lounges (you can get into the other lounges in the American Express Global Lounge Collection by simply showing your Platinum Card). Additional cardholders can’t enroll online; they need to call the number on the back of their Platinum Card to enroll.
Related: Guide to lounge access with the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application-fee credit
Another great perk that also extends to additional Amex Platinum cardholders is the statement credit for Global Entry (Up to $100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) application fees. Just like the benefit provided to primary cardholders, each authorized user can use this benefit once every four years for Global Entry or once every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck. Also, you don’t even need to use the credit for your own membership — any qualifying charge for a friend or family member will trigger the credit.
If you add three authorized users and have all of them apply for Global Entry in the first year, that’s $300 worth of benefits, which easily covers the $175 additional annual fee. All additional members added to a Platinum Card — both additional Platinum Card and additional Gold Card members — are eligible.
Related: Top credit cards for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck
Marriott and Hilton elite status
Amex Platinum authorized users can also take advantage of complimentary Gold status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. Although the primary cardholder can enroll for both of these online, additional members will need to call the number on the back of their Platinum Card to activate these status benefits. If you frequent Marriott or Hilton properties, this can bring you room upgrades, bonus points and additional on-property perks.
Keep in mind that there are other ways to get Marriott and Hilton status through credit cards:
- Marriott Gold Elite is included automatically on the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, and you can earn it on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card when you spend $35,000 on purchases in a calendar year.
- Marriott Platinum Elite is now included automatically with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card as part of the major overhaul of the card last year.
- Hilton Honors Gold is included automatically on both the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card.
- Hilton Honors Diamond is included automatically on the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card.
Still, having an authorized-user Platinum Card covers both programs and thus may be easier than maintaining multiple other cards.
Related: Guide to hotel elite status with the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum
The information for the Hilton Aspire card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Access to the Fine Hotels + Resorts and Hotel Collection
As an additional Amex Platinum cardholder, you can also use the Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection benefits on the card. When you book a prepaid stay through the Fine Hotels + Resorts program, you’ll earn 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar and get access to the program’s elite-like benefits.
These benefits include a room upgrade upon arrival (when available), daily breakfast for two, guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout, noon check-in (when available), complimentary Wi-Fi and an experience credit valued at $100 or more.
The Hotel Collection provides fewer benefits but is bookable by additional Amex Gold cardholders. You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on prepaid Hotel Collection stays, and on an eligible stay of two nights or longer, you’ll also get up to a $100 hotel credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa and resort activities and a room upgrade upon arrival (if available).
Related: Your ultimate guide to the American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program
Car rental elite status
Additional Platinum cardholders receive complimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle, Avis Preferred Plus and National Emerald Club Executive status. You can enroll in each of these memberships on Amex’s website.
Related: Credit cards that offer elite status for car rentals
Amex Platinum authorized users also have access to the Cruise Privileges Program and International Airline Program. Meanwhile, additional Platinum cardmembers and additional Amex Gold cardmembers can access Amex Offers and the Auto Purchasing Program.
Related: 7 great nontravel benefits of the Amex Platinum
Which Amex Platinum benefits are shared among cardholders?
Beyond the above perks, there are a number of Amex Platinum benefits that are shared between the primary and additional cardholders. In other words, these perks are granted once per account — but purchases by any card on the account will trigger them.
- Airline fee credit of up to $200, provided as statement credits for incidental fees charged by the airline you select.*
- Up to $100 Saks credit split into two $50 statement credits for the two halves of the year.*
- Up to $200 annual hotel credit, valid on prepaid reservations at Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties (requires a minimum two-night stay) made through Amex Travel.*
- Up to $189 annual Clear credit, provided as statement credits for a Clear membership.*
- Up to $240 annual digital entertainment credit, split into $20 monthly statement credits for select merchants, including Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, SiriusXM and Peacock.*
- Up to $300 annual Equinox statement credit to eligible Equinox memberships or access to the Equinox+ app.*
- Up to $155 in Walmart+ credits annually, where you can receive a statement credit each month that covers the full cost of Walmart+ membership ($12.95 plus tax).*
This is a great way to ensure you're maximizing all of these statement credits. As an example, you may not want to use the Equinox credit if you use a different gym or fitness provider. However, if your authorized user charges an Equinox membership to the card, those purchases will trigger the statement credit until the $300 annual maximum is reached.
* Enrollment is required for select benefits.
What benefits are not included?
Note that there are a few benefits that aren't granted to authorized users.
Most importantly, there's no additional welcome bonus. While all purchases count toward the card's minimum spending requirements, it's a single deposit of points.
In addition, the Platinum Card includes Uber VIP status and up to $200 Uber Cash (enrollment is required)— split into monthly $15 credits for U.S. rides or U.S. Uber Eats orders, plus a bonus $20 in December (enrollment is required). However, this Uber Cash will only be deposited into one Uber account when you add the Amex Platinum as a payment method. In order to use it in an authorized user's Uber account, you must delete the card from the original account and reenroll using your authorized user's account.
Related: Best luxury cards based on annual fee and authorized user fees
Of course, whenever you add an authorized user, it’s not as simple as gaining access to additional benefits. As the primary cardholder, you are responsible for all charges on your account, including those charged by others. For this reason, you should only add other cardholders whom you completely trust not to run up your balance. Remember, too, that you must pay your Amex Platinum balance in full each month (though you should really do this with all credit cards).
If done right, adding an authorized user to the card can be a great way to build up their credit history. This can go a long way toward helping a friend or family member with poor credit since American Express will report your on-time payment history and credit utilization rate to the respective credit bureaus for every cardholder on your account. Again, make sure the authorized user is someone you can trust.
Related: Everything you need to know about authorized users
How to add additional cardholders
If you’ve decided to add additional cardholders to your Platinum Card account the process is relatively simple:
- Log into the dashboard for your Platinum Card account.
- Click on the "Account Services" link at the top.
- Click "Manage Other Users" at the left-hand side.
- Click "Add Someone to Your Account."
- Ensure you have the Platinum Card selected, then click "Continue."
- Choose the type of card you want to add (Platinum or Gold), enter the user's information, then click Agree & Submit.
Note that you don’t have to enter the Social Security number or date of birth for the new authorized user, but Amex requires that information within 60 days of when the card is issued. Otherwise, it will be canceled.
Related: How to maximize benefits with the Amex Platinum Card
Having additional cardholders can expand your earning potential, and on certain cards, it can unlock a variety of perks for your authorized users as well. On the Amex Platinum, it will cost you $175 to add three authorized users, but given the array of benefits they’ll enjoy, this can be a bargain.
If you've been impacted by recent changes to lounge access with the Platinum Card, now could be a great time to utilize this option — even if you've never considered it before.
Official application link: The Platinum Card® from American Express with an 80,000-point bonus offer.
Additional reporting by Stella Shon, Katie Genter and Emily McNutt.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, click here.