Credit Cards

Save Money Adding an Authorized User

cell phone bills
Written by Dustin

With banks charging for authorized users on their high end cards, there could be a way to save you money on these fees.

If you haven’t noticed, there seems to be a growing audience to the high end ($450+ fee) credit cards. These cards not only come with plenty of perks, they also come with a hefty price tag if you choose to add an authorized user.

There is one trick that could not only help you save money, but it will also help you earn more points!

Save Money Adding an Authorized User

High Authorized User Fees:

When you add an authorized user to these high end cards, they will receive some of the benefits that come along with that card. Once you start adding up the fees these could easily push your annual fee into the $500+ range.

A quick glance of authorization user fee:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve– $75 per authorized user
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express – $150 for up to 3 authorized user, then $175 for each authorized user
  • The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN – $300 per authorized user, or $45 per Business Gold card
  • Citi Prestige® Card – $50 per authorized user
  • US Bank Altitude- $75 per authorized user

I personally have the Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, but have absolutely no interest in adding my wife as an authorized user for $300! That’s crazy money! I have a work around to give her access, yet save us money at the same time.

Giving Access to Others:

Adding an authorized user is extremely easy, but trying to add someone while keeping cost low can be harder. Thankfully, you can do both with your mobile wallet.

There is one benefit of the mobile wallet that can actually save you money. These high end cards (and all other cards) can be added to multiple mobile wallets!

Mobile wallets have been gaining a lot of steam and I don’t think it’ll stop soon. Especially when the US Bank Altitude will offer 3x on all mobile payments. Not to mention there is a rumor of the Chase Freedom adding a bonus for mobile payments.

I personally think the US Bank on all mobile payments will be very short lived. The bonus category will either be reduced, or have a hard limit per year. There are many people already salivating on how really take advantage of this.

I can’t say I blame people wanting to maximize this option, but this probably why we can’t have nice things in this game :-).

Adding Cards to Phones:

Once you receive your new card in the mail, you be able to add that to your mobile wallet. There are no restrictions to having your card on multiple devices, or if there is I have yet to run into it.

You need to enter your information (primary cardholders) in the mobile wallet. I have tried it other ways and you could receive an error message. Once you do that, you should be good to go.

This gives a person access to your card without actually having the cards. Which means that they can use your high end card at retailers that accept mobile payments.

Giving a person access to your credit card on their phone is indirectly adding them as an authorized user. Either way you are responsible for the charge.

The downside of this method would be, if there is no NFC payment capability from the merchant this obviously won’t work. With mobile wallets and NFC payments on the rise, this could be less of a concern soon (hopefully in the next year or two).

Lack of Benefits:

One of the big attractions to actually paying for an authorized user is the additional benefits they would receive. This typically is lounge access.

Some cards will offer TSA Precheck/Global Entry as well. This benefit is given out like water with many cards. I don’t think this is an added benefit since it is so easily accessible with other cards for less money.

American Express gives out some nice benefits to their authorized users, but they are raising fees and slashing benefits. Not to mention the fee could be ridiculously high (from $175 to $300, depending on the card!).

This really comes down to the idea of someone not having lounge access. If you travel with someone frequently, this shouldn’t be an issue. I don’t see the benefit of paying money for someone to have access to a lounge. Not to mention when Priority Pass lounges are reducing access, because all these premium cards have lounge access.


Credit card companies are charging crazy amounts of money for someone to be added to your account. It’s always great to know options to save you money!

I’ve always thought when you pay $450+ for a card, you should be able to have 1 complementary authorized user. The banks don’t ask me these type of questions though 🙂

Adding your card to a mobile wallet will not only give the access to the card to earn you points, but it will also save you big money on these fees.

Have you saved money adding using this option?

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About the author


After completing 6 years of pharmacy school, I finally had the time to travel. I started investigating ways to travel for less and when I redeemed my first award flight for my honeymoon, I knew I was hooked! Fast forward a couple of years and places I had never dreamed of visiting like Budapest, Honolulu, Bermuda and many other places where all within my reach, and for little to no money out of my pocket. Now, I have collected well over a million points and miles, and try to help people travel for less on their wallet.