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Credit Cards

Share benefits and help build credit with the best credit cards for authorized users

Being an authorized user on someone else's credit card can help you build credit quickly.

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When you're approved for a credit card, you have the option to add other people to your account. This allows them to piggyback off your credit and share many of your cardholder benefits, such as airport lounge access.

Along with the benefits, you will earn rewards for any purchases an authorized user makes. However, as the primary account holder, it's your responsibility to pay the bill each month, so be sure to give an authorized user card to someone who can be trusted.

So if you're interested in adding someone to your credit card as an authorized user, here are some of the best credit cards to do that.

Best credit cards for authorized users

FAQs

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Best overall

The Platinum Card® from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 1X points on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $6,000 within 6 months of card membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.

  • Annual fee

    $695

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit Needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

Benefits: The Platinum Card® from American Express offers primary cardholders a long list of perks, including Uber credits, airline fee credits, Saks Fifth Avenue shopping credits, TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credits, digital entertainment credits, robust airport lounge access, automatic hotel and car rental elite status and much more. Terms apply.

Authorized users get many of the same benefits, except for the various shopping and travel credits:

  • Worldwide airport lounge access, including Delta SkyClubs and Amex Centurion Lounges
  • Up to $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Automatic hotel elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy
  • Automatic car rental elite status with Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, Avis Preferred and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive
  • Elite-like perks on hotel stays booked through Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Complimentary Amex concierge service

And as you and your authorized users spend on the card, you'll earn:

  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • 1X points on all other eligible purchases

Authorized user fee: $175 total per year for up to three users (see rates and fees). This breaks down to less than $60 per authorized user per year when fully maximized. So if you have a few friends that will be traveling a bit, you may consider adding them to give them lounge access and travel protections as well.

If you're adding someone who only wants to earn rewards on their purchases and doesn't need the additional benefits, you can add them for free and they will get an Amex Gold Card. However, this isn't the same American Express® Gold Card mentioned below. This free version has the same earning rates as the Platinum Card but doesn't include any of its other benefits. This card is solely to keep your authorized users on your same account and earn more Membership Rewards points.

Runner-up

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Benefits: Similar to the Amex Platinum, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a solid travel rewards card as it offers a lengthy list of benefits for those on the go.

By having the card, you and your authorized users will receive access to Capital One, Priority Pass and Plaza Premium airport lounges and earn valuable Capital One miles on your everyday expenses. Moreover, you'll receive access to unique experiences like exclusive Michelin-starred dinners through Capital One Entertainment and Capital One Dining.

The only major perk that doesn't extend to authorized users is the card's $300 annual Capital One Travel credit.

Authorized user fee: Up to four authorized users for no additional charge.

Best for travel protection

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases plus, 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2025

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $550

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    19.24% - 26.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

Terms apply.

 

Benefits: The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a solid choice for those who enjoy traveling as the card comes with comprehensive travel protections.

With the card, you and your authorized users will have: trip interruption/cancellation coverage, primary rental car coverage, lost luggage reimbursement and trip delay reimbursement. To get these coverages on your next vacation, simply use the card to book your trip and throughout your travels. If an incident arises, you can make a claim through the card's benefits portal.

The card also comes with a valuable $300 annual travel credit and Priority Pass airport lounge access, though authorized users don't get their own travel credit.

Authorized user fee: $75 for each authorized user on the account.

Best for cash back

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 3% cash back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $350 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months.

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    16.99% - 27.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

 

Benefits: The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a top contender for one of the best cash-back credit cards available to consumers.

As you spend on the card, you and your authorized users will earn:

  • 6% cash back on groceries, up to $6,000 per year in purchases at U.S. supermarkets
  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash back on transit including taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more
  • 3% cash back on gas at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% cash back on other purchases

Just remember that all cash back rewards will be deposited in the primary cardholder's rewards account.

Authorized user fee: There's no additional fee to add authorized users to this card.

Best for groceries

American Express® Gold Card

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    4X Membership Rewards® points at Restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership

  • Annual fee

    $250

  • Intro APR

    Not applicable

  • Regular APR

    18.99% - 25.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

 

Benefits: Groceries have become increasingly expensive, among other things, during this surge of inflation. A great way to try to maximize the unfortunate circumstances is to earn heaps of rewards on those purchases.

With the American Express® Gold Card, you and your authorized users will earn:

  • 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, and takeout/delivery in U.S.
  • 4X points per dollar spent on groceries at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases per year)
  • 3X points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
  • 1X points per dollar on all other purchases

The card comes with spending credits, including dining at select restaurants and Uber rides, though authorized users don't get their own credits.

Authorized user fee: Up to five authorized users for no additional charge. All additional authorized users are $35 per year (see rates and fees).

Best for no annual fee

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%), 3% cash back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, from the date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    16.99% - 27.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

Benefits: Paying a annual fee for a credit card can be frustrating for some, but there are plenty of options without an annual fee that still give cardholders and their authorized users an opportunity to earn valuable rewards — including the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

As you spend on the card, primary cardholders and their authorized users will earn:

  • 3% cash back on groceries, up to $6,000 per year in purchases at U.S. supermarkets
  • 3% cash back on purchases with U.S. online retailers, up to $6,000 per year
  • 3% cash back on gas at U.S. gas stations, up to $6,000 per year
  • 1% cash back on other purchases

Authorized user fee: None.

Best for online shopping

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

On Amazon's secure site
  • Rewards

    5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; 1% back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $100 Amazon.com gift card upon approval

  • Annual fee

    $0 (but Prime membership is required)

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    15.74% to 23.74% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, $5 minimum

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

 

Benefits: For millions of Americans with Amazon Prime, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card may be a great fit, especially if in a shared household. By sharing one Amazon Prime subscription, you can divide the cost and reap the rewards of the Prime Rewards Visa card.

As you spend on the card, you and any authorized users will earn:

  • 5% cash back at Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership
  • 5% cash back at Amazon.com and physical Amazon stores with an eligible Prime membership
  • 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

The cashback you earn can be applied to future Amazon purchases, or simply taken out to be used on other expenses.

Authorized user fee: None

Best for rotating bonus categories

Chase Freedom Flex℠

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%), 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on drugstore purchases and on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services), 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    17.24% - 25.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

Benefits: If you enjoy earning up to 5% cash back on specific categories, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ could be a great fit for your or an authorized user's wallet. The card earns:

  • Earn 5% cash back in quarterly bonus categories
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Earn 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • Earn 3% on drugstore purchases
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases

And if you add in an authorized user for this card, they will be able to earn the same cash back rewards. So with two people regularly spending on this card, the cashback rewards could be substantial.

Authorized user fee: None

FAQs

Can I apply for a credit card if I am already an authorized user?

It is possible to apply for a credit card if you are already an authorized user. The only difference is that for your own card, you will be responsible for paying the statement on time. With an authorized user card, it's the primary cardholder's responsibility to pay the bill.

Which credit card is best for an authorized user?

The best credit card for an authorized user is one that comes with as many benefits as possible that you can take advantage of. However, keep in mind that benefit-loaded cards will likely come with an additional fee.

How much will my credit score increase as an authorized user?

This number will vary based on several factors, including how much of the credit line on the card is used. But generally, as long as the credit card is used responsibly, your credit score should increase.

Bottom line

Adding someone as an authorized user to your credit card can be a great help to them. You can help them raise their credit scores, and even share in the perks you already have with each card. However, it's important to remember as the primary cardholder, you're responsible for all purchases made with the card. So if you decide to add someone, be sure you can trust them to make sound purchases within their budget.

Catch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal financetech and toolswellness and more, and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Platinum Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

Information about Amazon credit cards has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication; if you purchase something through Select links, we may earn a commission.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
Plenty of rewards and benefits including 4X points per dollar for dining at restaurants worldwide