The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the most valuable credit cards available on the market. It’s rich in benefits, such as lounge access, travel credits, hotel elite status, and more. One of the biggest perks of the Platinum Card is that you can add authorized users for a reasonable fee and they receive almost all of the same perks as the primary cardmember. So here’s a breakdown of the Platinum Card authorized user benefits.
Two different types of authorized users
One thing that is unique about the Platinum Card is that you can add two different types of authorized users. You can add Gold Cards or Platinum Cards.
You can add up to 99 (yes 99) gold cards at no additional cost.
The Gold Cards only receive a fraction of the Platinum Card perks. You can earn 5X on airfare and hotels purchased through the Amex travel portal. You can also take advantage of the $100 Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check credit. So basically the Gold Cards are useful in helping you earn more Membership Rewards through bonus spend and by allowing you to cash in on the Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check credit. Aside from that, there’s not a lot of value there.
Note: Even though American Express discontinued the Gold Card, it’s still available for Platinum authorized users.
- You can add up to 3 authorized users for $175.
- Starting with your fourth authorized user, each one will cost $175
As a point of comparison, the Chase Sapphire Reserve requires $75 for each authorized user and the Citi Prestige requires $50.
Paying $175 for up to three authorized users is a phenomenal deal. If you were to split that cost between a trio, that’s only ~$58 per person. Considering the level of benefits offered by the Platinum Card for authorized users, this is a steal.
Platinum Card authorized user benefits
The Platinum Card probably offers the best complete package for lounge access. With the the Platinum Card you’re offered the following:
- Priority Pass airport lounge access for up to two guests (worth $400 per year)
- Centurion Lounge access for up two guests
- Delta Sky Club lounge access (when you fly with them)
Plus numerous other lounge perks discussed in this article.
Getting all of those perks even for $175 is a steal, assuming you take advantage of them.
Hotel elite status
The Platinum Card will also offer authorized user hotel elite status.
I’ve received a ton of additional value from my elite status with these hotels. I regularly receive upgrades to better rooms/suites, free breakfasts, gifts, drinks, etc. What I really like is to leverage the SPG/Marriott Gold status to complete a status challenge to earn Marriott Platinum status. That also translates into SPG Platinum Status and even earns you Silver Status with United Airlines, among many other perks.
Additional Platinum Card benefits
Some of the additional perks include:
- $100 statement credit for Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check
- Free Boingo Wifi subscription (worth $120 per year)
- Rental car benefits like express check-in, free upgrades, and discounts with status.
- Concierge service
- Fine Hotels and Resorts
As an authorized user, you’re still able to take advantage of Amex Offers, which are special promotions that can save you money with all kinds of different merchants. Everything from airfare, hotels, to Best Buy and Amazon show up on these offers.
You’ll need to create your own log-in account (separate from the primacy cardholder) so that you can see them when you log-in, however. Otherwise, you’ll have no way to access these offers. You might consider this one of the least valuable Platinum Card authorized user benefits, but don’t underestimate the amount of money that this perk save you. If you consistently monitor these offers, you could end up saving yourself a few hundred bucks a year, depending on your spending habits.
What you don’t get
$200 airline credit
Something to keep in mind about Platinum Card authorized users is that they don’t get their “own” $200 airline credit. What I mean by that is that each Platinum Card account and all of the authorized user accounts tied to it, only receives one pool of airline credits that must be split among all of the authorized users.
So for example, if you have one primary Platinum Card member and three authorized users, then those four people essentially split a pool of $200 worth of airline credit. Each authorized user can use the statement credits but that will prevent the other cards from using them if that authorized user uses them all up. Both Platinum Card and Gold Card authorized users can use this benefit.
The $200 Uber credit is different. It is only effective for the primary cardholder and not available for authorized users. So if an authorized user adds a Platinum Card to their Uber account, they will not be able to use any of the $200 credit because it’s not one of the Platinum Card authorized user benefits.
You can however, add the primary cardholder to an Uber account in someone else’s name and use the credit. You just have to make sure that the primary cardholder deleted the Platinum Card from the first Uber account so that will become effective for the second account.
Adding three Platinum Card authorized users for $175 is a sweet spot among premium cards because of all of the benefits offered by this card. Even if you only travel a couple of times a year, if you’re only paying around $60 for all of these perks, then Platinum Card authorized user benefits can be well worth your money.