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The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) is probably one of the more famous and recognizable cards in the world but the truth is that unless you’re using it to book airfares (where it earns 5 points/dollar), it’s not a card that anyone should be using when they’re shopping – it’s simply not rewarding enough. Instead, this is a card that you hold for some of the great benefits that it offers, and what many people may not know is that authorized users get a lot of the same benefits that a Platinum Card’s primary cardholder gets.
The Platinum Card® from American Express has seen a few new benefits added this year (in exchange for an increased annual fee) so in this post, I’ve updated the benefits offered to primary cardholders and I’ll show just how many of those benefits (new and old) can be used by any of the authorized users that a cardholder has chosen to add.
Considering that a primary Platinum Card account holder can hand out three Platinum Cards to authorized users for a total cost of just $175/year (rates & fees), you may be surprised just how many benefits authorized users are given.
Amex Platinum Card – The benefits (terms apply)
Right now, the Amex Platinum Card (review) is offering a welcome bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards points to successful new applicants who spend $6,000 on their new card in the first 6 months of card membership.
- 5 points/dollar on up to $500,000 of airfares booked directly with airlines every calendar year.
- Complimentary access to Amex Centurion Lounges + 2 guests*
- Priority Pass Membership
- Access to the American Express Global Lounge collection
- Access to the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program
- Access to Delta Sky Clubs (when traveling with Delta on the day of entry)
- Access to the International Airline program (for discounts on premium cabins on select airlines – more info)
- Hilton Honors Gold status
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold status
- Credit towards the cost of Global Entry or TSA Precheck
- $200/year Uber & Uber Eats credits
- $100/year Saks 5th Avenue credits
- $200/year airline fee credit
- $200/year hotel credit (only on prepaid Fine Hotels & Resorts or Hotel Collection bookings)
- $300/year Equinox credit ($25/month)
- $240/year digital entertainment credit (up to $20/month and only valid on spending with Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and the New York Times).
- $179/year credit for CLEAR® membership
- $12.95 monthly Walmart+ credit
- $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike credit (valid on up to 15 bikes per year)
- Elite status with Hertz, Avis, and National
- Trip delay protection
- Trip interruption and cancellation insurance
- No foreign transaction fees
*From 1 February 2023, Amex Platinum cardholders will be charged $50 for each guest they bring into a Centurion Lounge unless they spend at least $75,000 per year on their card in which case they will continue to receive complimentary lounge access for two guests.
Platinum Card Authorized User Benefits
The list of benefits posted above is impressively long, so let’s now take a look at which of those benefits a Platinum Card’s authorized user also receives?
If you’re an authorized user on someone else’s Platinum Card, any airfare spending that you put on that card will earn (the primary cardholder) 5 points/dollar and when it comes time to fly, you’ll be able to access the American Express Centurion Lounges, the Priority Pass Lounges, the Delta SkyClubs (if you’re flying with Delta), and any lounges that are part of the American Express Global Lounge collection.
When you arrive at your destination you can make the most of complimentary car rental elite status (Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, Avis Preferred, and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive) and you’ll be able to enjoy Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status (the most useful mid-tier hotel status) when staying with either of those chains.
You can book your hotel stays through the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program, your trip will be covered by the excellent trip delay protection as well as the trip interruption and cancellation insurance that the Platinum Card offers (as long as the flights were booked using your Platinum Card) and you can even use your very own credit to get free membership of the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck programs to help reduce the time you spend in lines at airports.
What Isn’t Offered To Authorized Users?
Authorized users of the Amex Platinum Card do not get their own versions of the following benefits:
- The Uber credits,
- The Saks 5th Avenue credits,
- The hotel credit,
- The digital entertainment credit,
- The Equinox credit,
- The CLEAR credit,
- The Walmart+ credit
- and the airline fee credit.
It’s worth noting, however, that with the exception of the Uber credit, all the credits listed above can be shared by an authorized user (i.e. the credits being offered can be used by the primary cardholder or an authorized user but the total credit available will not exceed what is shown above).
The SoulCycle At-Home Bike credit is a bit of an outlier because although the credit offered to an authorized user is probably not a separate benefit from the credit given to the primary cardholder (the terms and conditions are ambiguous, as I’ll show in a moment), it may as well be a separate benefit as far as a majority of people are concerned.
Allow me to explain.
The terms and conditions of the SoulCycle At-Home Bike credit say the following:
“Basic Card Members and Additional Card Members on U.S. Consumer Platinum Card Accounts are eligible to receive a $300 statement credit when using their Card to make a single purchase of a SoulCycle At-Home Bike online at www.equinoxplus.com/amexbikebenefit.”
That’s a little ambiguous because that sentence could be interpreted to mean that both the primary cardholder and an authorized user both get their own $300 credit, or it could be interpreted to mean that they get one $300 credit between them. I think that it means that the credit is shared but fortunately, it doesn’t matter which interpretation is correct because the terms and conditions go on to say the following:
“Platinum Card Members can receive the $300 statement credit on up to 15 individual SoulCycle At-Home Bike purchases per calendar year.”
With a Platinum Card account eligible for 15 SoulCycle At-Home Bike credits every year, even if the credit is shared a Primary cardholder and up to 14 authorized users could each purchase a SoulCycle At-Home Bike every year and each get a $300 credit towards their costs. I think we can all agree that that’s more than enough!
Note: A 12-month Equinox+ membership ($40/month + tax) is required to purchase a SoulCycle At-Home bike so this benefit isn’t a way to buy a lot of At-Home bikes at a significant discount.
The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) may not be as obviously focused on travel benefits as it has been in the past, but it’s the card’s travel benefits that are the reason why a lot of us continue to carry the card and why an authorized user card can be incredibly useful in the right hands.
It costs $175/year to add up to three Platinum Card authorized users to a primary cardholder’s Amex Platinum Card account and while this shouldn’t be done without due care and consideration (the primary cardholder will be responsible for all charges the authorized users put on their cards), for a family that likes to travel or a family that likes to travel but that may not always travel together, having at least one Platinum Card authorized user could make a lot of sense.