Cards that share benefits with authorized users

delta skyclub loungeBeing an authorized user has well-known credit-building benefits: if the primary accountholder pays on time, your credit score increases as well.

But did you know that you can get some of the card’s perks, too, like travel insurance and even airport lounge access?

Not all cards extend all their perks to authorized users. Before using our chart to see which cards do, read on for some fine print you need to understand.

In general, authorized users can expect the same insurance/purchase protection coverage

There are lots of basic, across-the-board benefits that come standard on cards these days, even no-annual-fee cards: things like extended warranty coverage, limited travel insurance and rental car insurance. Most cards (even the no-annual-fee ones not mentioned in the chart below) will extend these to authorized users on the account as well.

Sometimes, that means additional cardholders can get in on some unique perks, like the primary (not just secondary) rental-car coverage available on the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase’s United MileagePlus cards.

There may be a fee to add users to premium cards

Some cards offer premium perks like lounge access and waived Global Entry application fees. But, while they may extend some of those perks to authorized users, they won’t necessarily do it for free.

The Platinum Card from American Express (a CreditCardforum advertising partner), the Citi Prestige and the Delta Reserve, for example, charge additional annual fees (albeit smaller ones) for authorized users. A notable exception is the Executive AAdvantage card from Citi, which charges no extra annual fee for authorized users and still extends lounge access to them.

Some cards give bonuses for authorized users

Adding an additional cardholder to your account means more purchases, from which the bank can earn interchange fees. So it’s not surprising that some banks offer bonuses for adding an authorized user soon after you open your card. Note that, like all bonuses, these are subject to change. There is also generally some fine print associated with new-authorized-user bonuses as well. For example, you’ll usually need to add an authorized user within a certain number of months of opening the card, and you or the authorized user may be required to make an initial purchase to get the bonus.

Comparing authorized-user perks across cards

The chart below includes cards that offer notable benefits for authorized users – or that give an additional bonus for adding a new user. We created this chart based on the mentioned cards’ terms and conditions as of July 2016. Rules are subject to change, so consult your issuer.

Cards with benefits for authorized users
CardPerks shared with authorized userBonus for adding authorized user
Citi Executive AAdvantage cardAAdmirals Club access (does not include Arrivals Lounge, Flagship Lounge facilities, or other oneworld alliance lounges)

The card’s various travel insurance/purchase protections
American Express Platinum (Note: There is an annual fee for adding cardholders -- $175 for up to 3 additional cards; $175 each after that)Global Entry/TSA PreCheck reimbursement

Lounge access benefits

$200 airline-fee reimbursement: AUs don’t get their own $200 credit, but primary cardholder’s credit can be used for their eligible purchases

The card’s various travel insurance/purchase protections

Point transfer: Can transfer points into AU’s frequent-flier/hotel-loyalty accounts with AmEx’s transfer partners
Citi Prestige (Note: There is a $50 annual fee for each authorized userPriority Pass Select Lounge access

$250 airline-fee credit: AUs don’t get their own $250 credit, but primary cardholder’s credit can be used for their eligible purchases.

The card’s various travel insurance/purchase protections
Chase Sapphire PreferredThe card’s various travel insurance/purchase protection benefits (Incl. primary rental car coverage)

Point transfer: Can transfer points into AU’s frequent-flier/hotel-loyalty accounts with Chase’s transfer partners
5,000 bonus points after adding the first authorized user and making your first purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
Chase Sapphire Reserve: (Note: There is a $75 fee per authorized user)Priority Pass Select Lounge Access

$300 travel credit: AUs don’t get their own $300 credit, but primary cardholder’s credit can be used for their eligible purchases

The card’s various travel insurance/purchase protection benefits (Incl. primary rental car coverage)
Starwood Preferred Guest cardBoingo membership

The card’s various travel insurance/purchase protection benefits
American Express Premier Rewards Gold$100 airline-fee reimbursement: AUs don’t get their own $100 credit, but primary cardholder’s credit can be used for their eligible purchases

The card’s various travel insurance/purchase protections

Point transfer: Can transfer points into AU’s frequent-flier/hotel-loyalty accounts with AmEx’s transfer partners
Marriott Rewards Premier cardThe card’s various travel insurance/purchase protections7,500 points for adding first authorized user and make a purchase in first 3 months from account opening
IHG Rewards Club Select cardThe card’s various travel insurance/purchase protections5,000 points after your first purchase and the addition of an authorized user in the first 3 months
Delta Reserve card (Note: There is a $175 annual fee for each additional cardholder)Sky Club access

The card’s various travel insurance/purchase protections
Chase Freedom UnlimitedThe card’s various travel insurance/purchase protectionsEarn a $25 bonus when you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase within this same 3-month period.
 
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