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You may have heard of the benefits of getting extra points by “adding an authorized user” to your credit card account—but what does that mean, what do you need to know to do it wisely, and how does it actually help you maximize your points balances?
When you add an authorized user to a credit card account you manage, you are essentially giving another individual a copy of your credit card with their name on it, along with the authorization for them to make charges that will be added to your statement. It’s as simple as that.
As long as you manage your credit as usual and pay off this balance regularly, having an additional user will not affect your credit score and will not show up on your credit report. You are ultimately responsible for any charges the authorized user makes, however, so you should only ever add someone you trust.
Most authorized users are spouses or family members who share expenses, young adults who have been extended a line of credit by their parents, or employees of a business who are issued a corporate credit card to charge work related expenses.
Here are four ways to earn extra miles by adding authorized users:
1. Earn more points from spending
It’s simple math. More individuals charging expenses to a single credit card account that earns points for every dollar spent means that you earn more miles.
2. Reach a minimum spend faster
All charges made by authorized users count towards your primary balance. With more than one person making purchases, you’ll be able to reach those 90-day minimum spends much more quickly.
3. Attain harder to reach annual bonus minimums
Many of our favorite credit cards offer annual bonuses once you different levels of spending throughout the year. The Citi Hilton HHonors card, for example, offers a complimentary weekend night (at any Hilton property) after you spend $10,000 in a year. A higher threshold and the bonus it brings is much easier to reach when you’re working as a team towards a bonus.
4. Earn bonuses on cards with additional user bonuses
Best of all, some credit cards offer bonus points just for adding an authorized user who completes a single transaction. Our #1 recommended card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great example as it gives you an extra 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points just for adding an authorized user to your account and having them complete a purchase within the first 90 days.
You’ll always want to be smart when adding an authorized user—but if you’re looking to earn more points more quickly, it’s definitely something to consider!