The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (review) are popular premium cards. Many people pick up these cards not because of the return they offer on everyday spending, but rather because of all of the perks of being a cardmember.
For perks-rich cards, there’s often value in adding authorized users, so that you can share your benefits with loved ones and close friends. So in this post I wanted to take a close look at the value proposition of adding Amex Platinum authorized users — how much does it cost, and what does it get you?
Amex Platinum authorized users cost
The value of adding authorized users is very different, depending on whether you’re looking at the personal or business version of the card:
- On the Amex Platinum Personal Card, you can add up to three authorized users for a total of $175 per year. You’ll then pay $175 for each Additional Platinum Card thereafter (Rates & Fees)
- On the Amex Business Platinum Card, each authorized user will cost you $300 per year (Rates & Fees)
As you can see, the pricing difference between the personal and business card is massive — if you add three authorized users to the personal version of the card you’d pay under $60 per authorized user, which is less than a fifth of the fee you’d pay on the business version of the card.
As you might expect, the moral of the story is to ideally add authorized users to the personal version of the Amex Platinum, rather than the business version (though I get that’s complicated, depending on your needs).
When deciding whether to add authorized users, also keep in mind that the primary cardmember is responsible for any charges they make, so only add people that you can trust.
Amex Platinum authorized user benefits
If you add authorized users to the Amex Personal Platinum or Amex Business Platinum, what benefits should you expect that they’ll receive?
For one, authorized users get the full suite of airport lounge access perks, which I’d argue are the best offered by any premium credit card. This includes:
- Access to Amex Centurion Lounges; guests cost $50 each, unless you spend at least $75,000 on the card per calendar year, in which case you can bring two guests for free
- Access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta on the same day; you can bring guests for $50 each
- A Priority Pass membership (enrollment required), giving you access to 1,300+ lounges around the world; you can guest up to two people at no additional cost
- Access to Plaza Premium Lounges; you can guest up to one person at no additional cost
- Access to Escape Lounges and select Lufthansa Lounges
I’d say the lounge access is the most substantial perk, though there are other useful perks for being an authorized user on the Amex Platinum, including:
- A TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit for each authorized user (every 4.5 years for the application fee for TSA PreCheck, or every four years for the application fee for Global Entry)
- Complimentary hotel status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy (enrollment required)
- Complimentary car rental status with Avis, Hertz, and National (enrollment required)
- Access to the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR), where you can get additional benefits for stays at many luxury hotels
- Access to the Amex International Airline Program (IAP), offering savings on international tickets
- Authorized user spending will earn points at the same rate as the primary cardmember (like the personal card offering 5x points on airfare), though the primary cardmember will earn the points, and will also be responsible for paying the bill
There’s one other often overlooked perk. The Amex Platinum earns Membership Rewards points, and those points can be transferred to airline & hotel partners, which I consider to be the best use of these points. However, they can only be transferred to a loyalty program account in the name of a cardmember. If you add an authorized user, you’ll be able to transfer points to one of their airline or hotel accounts after 90 days, which gives a lot more flexibility.
Just to be thorough, what benefits don’t get Amex Platinum authorized users get? Aside from the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, authorized users don’t get any of the additional credits that primary cardmembers receive, whether it’s the airline fee credit, Uber credit, digital entertainment credit, CLEAR credit, Equinox credit, Saks credit, etc.
How do you add Amex Platinum authorized users?
The process of adding authorized users on the Amex Platinum is easy, and potentially even rewarding. Log into your Amex account, and then scroll down to the “Amex Offers & Benefits” section. You should see the “Add a Card Member” option listed there.
While this won’t always be the case, in some instances you may even see a reward for doing so.
You’ll have to provide the name and date of birth of the authorized user you want to add. You also have the option of adding their social security number — if you don’t add it at this point, you’ll have to add it within 60 days of the card being issued.
Note that authorized users on the Amex Platinum must be at least 13 years old.
Is adding Amex Platinum authorized users worth it?
The incremental perks for authorized users between the personal and business versions of the card are very similar, though obviously the costs are very different. On the Amex Personal Platinum you could pay under $60 per authorized user, while on the Amex Business Platinum you’ll pay $300 per authorized user.
Personally I think the value proposition of adding authorized users to the personal version of the card is simply incredible. For (potentially) under $60 per person per year, you’re getting the most comprehensive airport lounge access offered by any credit card. Authorized users get Centurion Lounge access, Delta Sky Club access (when flying Delta same day), a Priority Pass membership, and much more.
Personally I feel like a key aspect of maximizing the Amex Platinum is adding authorized users, given the rich benefits.
There are lots of incredible perks to the Amex Platinum Card, and I’d argue that one of the best ways to maximize value with the card is to add authorized users.
For a total of $175 per year you can add three authorized users to the personal version of the card, and they’ll receive all the amazing lounge access perks of the primary cardmember, and more. Getting that for under $60 per person per year is a phenomenal value.
If you have the Amex Platinum, have you added authorized users to the card?
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).
Some of the benefits are shared between the cardmember and users and either can use it (e.g Global Entry or Saks credit). This was not clearly identified.
I booked my son and wife a room at Conrad Osaka using points. If I add them to my Amex platinum as authorized users can they get Hilton Gold benefits like free breakfast for that stay? Thanks for any insight!
Does the authorised user get a clear credit ? (I know it's only $60 to add an additional user but thought this may pop up as the global entry is there)
One additional one ... Amex authorized users also get their own sets of Amex Offers. If the AU has other Amex cards, then they may already be covered (and if they add an offer to another card they can't add it to their AU Platinum card), but there are a fair amount of Amex Offers that are specific to the Platinum card, which they could add to an AU card and take advantage of (though...
One additional one ... Amex authorized users also get their own sets of Amex Offers. If the AU has other Amex cards, then they may already be covered (and if they add an offer to another card they can't add it to their AU Platinum card), but there are a fair amount of Amex Offers that are specific to the Platinum card, which they could add to an AU card and take advantage of (though they would have to spend on the AU card, with the primary cardholder being responsible for the bill ... or with the right agreement the primary cardholder could also use this to double dip on Amex offers ...)
“the primary cardholder could also use this to double dip on Amex offers”
You can’t “double dip” on a single platinum card account. (With cardholder + AU)
But if you get an offer on a green card and a platinum card, you can use it on each card.
My partner has an AMEX green...could he be added on my AMEX platinum as an additional user? Thanks
Don’t see why not. It’s still $175 (for up to 3 AU’s)
Single Centurion lounge datapoint.
SFO Sat 2/18 9am first day of President’s Week. As usual, madness in the airport. Plenty of seating in the lounge.
The post says that SSN can be omitted when first requesting the card, but "have to add it within 60 days of the card being issued". In practice, is this enforced?
Yes. The authorized user card cannot be activated without that user's SSN.