Adding an Authorized User to an American Express Card

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It is important to have a strong credit score. Consumers need this to get approved for a mortgage or car loan, and to qualify for the best credit cards with the lowest interest rates.

Adding someone as an authorized user to your American Express credit card account can help them improve a credit score if it’s missing or improve one that’s weak. Just be careful: authorized users can cause you financial inconvenience if they overpay every month.

An authorized user is someone who can use your credit card account to make purchases. Each purchase made by an authorized user is credited to your account, but he is not financially responsible for paying these costs. It depends on you. As such, it’s very important to only add authorized users that you trust to use your card responsibly, and first reach an agreement on how much they can charge and when they should pay you for those purchases.

Adding an authorized user to your American Express card benefits them in the first place, not you. Every time you make a payment on time, it is reported to the three national credit bureaus, helping your authorized user improve their score, as well as yours.

One benefit for you as the primary cardholder? If you have an American Express credit card that earns rewards, authorized users can help you earn these points or cash them out faster. All purchases made by authorized users using your card will be counted towards your bonuses. And if something goes wrong, you can easily remove that person from your American Express account at any time.

You can add anyone you want as an authorized user. Most people add family members, perhaps their spouse or children. However, you can add friends or even people who work for you, such as a nanny or babysitter.

How to add an authorized user to your American Express account

Adding authorized users to your American Express account is a simple process. First, sign in to your American Express account. Then click “Account Services” which can be found at the top of the page and click “Manage Other Users”. From there, you can select “Add someone to your account”.

American Express

When adding authorized users, you need to provide the person’s name, date of birth, and social security number. When applying for a card, you do not need to provide the dates of birth and social security numbers of authorized users, but American Express requires you to provide this information within 60 days of applying. Otherwise, the authorized user’s card will be deactivated. Another restriction: all authorized users must be at least 13 years old.

Your authorized user usually receives the same card as you. For example, if you have a Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, your additional card member will also receive that card.

However, there are exceptions. If you have a Platinum Card® from American Express, you can enroll your authorized users on either the Platinum Card or the Gold Card (not to be confused with the American Express® Gold Card). The benefit of the Authorized Platinum Card is its benefits from the Platinum Card, while the Authorized Gold Card only provides credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

You can add as many authorized users as you like, although some cards may charge you annually the more users you add. And if you have more than one American Express card, you can add authorized users to any of them.

Fee for adding an authorized user

Some American Express cards charge a fee for adding authorized users. Others don’t. For example, you can add five authorized users to your Amex Gold for free. If you want to add more, you will pay an annual fee of $35 for each additional one.

Adding Authorized Users to an American Express Platinum Card is more expensive: you will pay a total annual fee of $175 for adding three additional Platinum Card Authorized Users. If you want to add more, you will have to pay $175 per year for each. You can do the same with the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, but it will cost you $300 each.

In addition to the Platinum Card, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card also incur an annual fee of $175 per authorized user you add. All other American Express cards are free of charge for adding authorized users.

Authorized user access control

American Express gives major cardholders some control over the authorized users on their account. First, the payments that each authorized user makes to your account are shown in your monthly reports. American Express also allows you to check the balance on your additional cards at any time through your online account.

Unlike some credit card providers, American Express allows you to set a monthly spending limit for each of your authorized users. You can set this limit from $200 up to your full credit limit.

Pros and cons of adding an authorized user

Adding authorized users to your American Express card has both advantages and potential disadvantages.


  • Increased Rewards: All purchases made by your authorized users count towards your reward points and cashback bonuses. Thus, adding authorized users can help you earn rewards and get your money back faster.
  • You can help your kids improve their credit score.: Do you want your kids to consistently build good credit scores? Adding them as authorized users can help with this. Many young people don’t have a credit score at all because they don’t have a credit history yet. Every time you make a timely payment from your American Express account, it strengthens your credit score and also helps users who don’t have a credit score to build their own.
  • Help for those with damaged scores: Perhaps you know a family member or friend with a weak credit score. By adding them as authorized users, you will help them correct their low scores. Because payments you make with your own card and your authorized user’s card are passed on to the credit bureaus, they will also count towards your user’s points.


  • You are responsible for the costs of authorized users: In good times and bad, you are responsible for any expenses your authorized users make each month. If they accumulate an excessive amount of debt and refuse to pay for it, you are responsible for covering this payment. You can control some of these by setting spending limits for authorized users.
  • Damaged debt-to-income ratio: Your debt-to-income ratio, a measure of how much of your gross monthly income your monthly debts consume, is an important number for your credit score. If your authorized users add too much debt to your American Express card and refuse to pay it off, this could hurt this ratio. This is especially true if you cannot afford to pay these expenses on your own.

Should I add an authorized user to my American Express card?

Adding authorized users is a useful step if you want to help a family member or friend improve their credit. However, this step can be risky if your authorized user is charging too much each month. Only add authorized users that you trust to comply with any spending rules you set for them so you can make this a win-win scenario.

Editorial disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective judgment of our contributors and is not based on advertising. It was not provided or ordered by credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to our partners’ products.

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