Three Reasons Why I’m Adding Amex Authorized Users

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This morning I have been taking care of family odds and ends, and one of those “to do list” items was to add authorized users on some of my Amex accounts.  I don’t have authorized users on all of my credit accounts just to keep things simple since I do have more active credit accounts than the average bear.  However, sometimes we are missing out if I don’t take the time to add at least my husband as an authorized user, so I am setting myself up to both earn and use more rewards by adding him online today.

Amex Authorized Users

Here’s three reasons why…

1.  Small Business Saturday statement credits of up to $30 per Amex card.

It was just announced that Small Business Saturday (Saturday after Thanksgiving) will be even more rewarding this year than last with each registered Amex card being eligible for a total of $30 in statement credits at participating small businesses (up from $10 each last year).  Authorized user cards with unique card numbers have always been eligible for their own round of statement credits on Small Business Saturday, so now is a good time to make sure you have all the authorized users in place that you need.

2.  You can only transfer Membership Reward points to the airline and hotel accounts of authorized users.

Earlier this year Amex updated their site to only allow transfers of Membership Reward points to the hotel and airline accounts of official users on accounts (or airline/hotel programs you to which you have previously transferred).  I would like the ability to transfer my Membership Reward points to my husband’s frequent flyer accounts from time to time if we need to top-off to an award threshold, so it was important that I get him added to my Amex account as an authorized user to ensure that functionality.

3.  Upping the count of transactions each month.

One of the Amex cards I have, The Amex EveryDaySM Preferred Credit Card from American Express, awards a 50% points bonus when there are 30 or more purchases in a billing cycle.  Since this card has a 3x payout at US grocery stores (up to first $6k spent per year), this means that you are effectively getting 4.5x Membership Reward points at US grocery stores when you hit 30 transactions in a month.  I haven’t had much of a problem hitting the magic 30 number thus far, but it will be helpful to have my husband as an authorized user on the account to have some of his transactions count toward the 30 total.

If you have trust-worthy teenagers, also note that you can have them added as authorized users with Amex provided they are 15 or older.   You can also set limits and alerts for spending on authorized user cards. 

I do not advise adding lots of authorized users to your accounts unless you really legitimately need (and trust) them.  The EveryDay Preferred card does not charge for additional authorized users, but remember than some Amex cards do have fees for authorized users.  What I do recommend is doing exactly what I have done and scratching adding authorized users off your to-do list if it is something you have been meaning to do for a while.

Certainly get it done in time for Small Business Saturday in November to maximize that promotion!

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    • DP, absolutely would not go crazy with this, but if you’ve been meaning to add your spouse or similar it’s probably good timing. If you add many AUs at once that may look troublesome. Financial Reviews are no fun!

  1. Isn’t adding AUs what triggered your mom’s AMEX Financial Review? You wrote a post about it and if I remember correctly that was what you thought might have caused it because her charging was suspended after that. Anyway, I agree that readers should understand that this might be a potential Financial Review trigger and be conservative in adding AUs

    • Jack, yeah that was the likely trigger of hers in 2012 so I don’t recommend going crazy, but we haven’t had problems since with fewer AUs (no guarantee, of course). I only recommend adding AUs you actually want/need and not just for the promos, but timing in time for promos is of course handy. 😉

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