Best Credit Cards for Authorized Users in 2022

See if one of the best cards for authorized users might be a good fit for you.
Last updated July 29, 2022 | By Ben Walker, CEPF | Edited By Becca Borawski Jenkins
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Credit cards can be an incredible resource for building your credit, earning rewards, and receiving valuable perks. But did you know these benefits don’t have to be limited to the primary cardholder?

Many card issuers allow you to add authorized users to your credit card accounts, which can extend some of the benefits to someone else. This has become an increasingly popular practice, with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reporting that 9.6% of new consumer credit records were created by authorized users on existing credit accounts.

If you want a credit card with powerful features for authorized users, we’ve sorted the options for you. Here are the best credit cards for authorized users.

The best credit cards for authorized users

In this article

What is an authorized user?

An authorized user is essentially someone you’ve given permission to access your credit card account. This could include using your credit limit (spending limit) and using certain card benefits and features, but it’s not the same as a joint owner, joint account, or cosigner.

The level of access an authorized user receives depends on the individual credit card companies. In some cases, you could have the option to limit an authorized user’s abilities. Authorized users typically receive their own credit card with its own number, but it’s simply an additional card that’s linked to your account.

You might consider adding someone as an authorized user if you want to help them build their credit or so they can utilize valuable card benefits. This type of situation could be beneficial for the authorized user because they might not have to pay an annual fee or the fee could be lower than what you pay. If it’s to help build their credit, becoming an authorized user could be a simpler option for someone than trying to get their own credit card.

A common question that arises is whether authorized users are responsible for debt. If an authorized user has access to use a credit card tied to your account, they could potentially hurt your credit score if they miss payments or use too much of your credit. It’s often recommended to only add authorized users you personally know and trust, such as a family member.

The best credit cards for authorized users [August 2022]

Card name Best for Why it’s special
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card Free premium benefits No additional cost; Priority Pass; Hertz President’s Circle
The Platinum Card® from American Express Premium benefits Choose Platinum or Gold card; Global Lounge Collection; hotel elite status (select benefits require enrollment)
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Chase travel benefits Priority Pass; rewards earning; travel coverage
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Travel and purchase coverage No additional cost; rewards earning; travel coverage
American Express® Gold Card Restaurants No additional cost; bonus rewards at U.S. restaurants
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Groceries No additional cost; bonus rewards at U.S. supermarkets

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Best for free premium benefits

  • Earning rate for authorized user: 10X miles per dollar on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel and car shares booked through Turo; 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel; and 2X miles per dollar spent on everything else
  • Annual fee for authorized user: $0
  • Top authorized user benefits: Priority Pass membership and Hertz President’s Circle elite status

The Capital One Venture X is a premium travel credit card from Capital One that typically has a $395 annual fee. But for authorized users, there’s no annual fee and you still get some of the card’s premium benefits. This includes your own Priority Pass membership, which would typically cost more than $400 each year for a similar level of airport lounge access. This card’s Priority Pass membership includes free credit at participating Priority Pass restaurants.

You also receive complimentary President’s Circle elite status with Hertz. This includes benefits such as guaranteed upgrades, the widest selection for choosing your own vehicle, and a dedicated Hertz Rewards line.

Because there’s no annual fee for authorized users, this card could make sense for a variety of people. It’s likely best if you’re interested in premium travel benefits, but it could be a good fit if you’re only looking to build your credit as well.

Premium Travel Rewards & Perks

Intro Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$395

Rewards Rate

10X miles per dollar on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel and car shares booked through Turo; 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel; and 2X miles per dollar spent on everything else

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Welcome bonus: 75,000 bonus miles
  • Up to $300 in annual statement credits when booking through Capital One Travel
  • 10,000-mile annual anniversary bonus
  • Up to 10X miles per dollar spent
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • Access to Capital One and Priority Pass lounges

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
Card Details
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 10X miles per dollar on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel and car shares booked through Turo; 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel; and 2X miles per dollar spent on everything else

The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for premium benefits

  • Earning rate for authorized user: 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
  • Annual fee for authorized user: $175 total for the first three authorized users, then $175 per additional authorized user card
  • Top authorized user benefits: Global Lounge Collection, Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors elite status, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit, access to Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts (select benefits require enrollment)

The Platinum Card from American Express is a prestigious travel card that comes with a massive $695 (See rates and fees) annual fee. But you have two options for cutting down this cost for your authorized users: pay $175 for the three first authorized users that receive Platinum Cards or don’t pay anything for authorized users that receive Gold Cards. For this summary we focus on authorized users with Platinum Cards, but know that Gold Cards are an option for $0 and fewer benefits.

Platinum Card authorized users receive a slew of travel benefits, including TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee reimbursement, complimentary hotel elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors, and access to the Amex Global Lounge Collection. The lounge benefit includes access to The Centurion Lounge, Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club, and more. Select benefits require enrollment.

The Amex Platinum likely makes the most sense if your authorized users plan to frequently travel. The sweet spot with this card is having at least three authorized users because then it’s $175 total to add all three. But you can still get sufficient value from the card’s benefits if you only have one or two authorized users as well.

Best Luxury Travel Benefits

Intro Offer

Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months

Annual Fee

$695

Rewards Rate

5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months
  • Select your metal card design: classic Platinum Card, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu
  • 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and prepaid hotels booked on Amextravel.com
  • $200 hotel credit (minimum two-night stay required), $240 digital entertainment credit, $200 in Uber Cash, $300 Equinox credit, $200 airline fee credit
  • Access to Centurion and Priority Pass airport lounges
  • Select benefits require enrollment.
  • $695 annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • High annual fee
Card Details
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months
  • 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
  • Terms apply

Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best for Chase travel benefits

  • Earning rate for authorized user: 10X points on Lyft rides, Chase Dining purchases, hotels and cars booked via Ultimate Rewards; 5X points on air travel booked via Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on travel and dining; and 1X points on everything else
  • Annual fee for authorized user: $75 per authorized user
  • Top authorized user benefits: Priority Pass, access to the Luxury Hotel Collection, travel and purchase coverages

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has been a premium travel option for frequent travelers since it was first introduced and is known for benefits like its annual travel credit. The annual fee has risen to $550 since that introduction, but you can add authorized users for $75 per user.

As an authorized user on the Sapphire Reserve, you receive a complimentary Priority Pass membership. This benefit alone more than covers the $75 annual fee if you’re able to use it. Other helpful benefits include receiving all of this card’s travel and purchase coverages, such as auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, purchase protection, return protection, and extended warranty protection.

Overall, the Sapphire Reserve makes a strong case for its authorized users. You may not receive as many premium benefits as the Amex Platinum, but for $75 each, your authorized users get Priority Pass and loads of travel and purchase protections.

#1 Premium Travel Credit Card

Intro Offer

Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$550

Rewards Rate

10X points on Lyft rides, Chase Dining purchases, hotels and cars booked via Ultimate Rewards; 5X points on air travel booked via Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on travel and dining; and 1X points on everything else

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 60,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 10X points on Lyft rides, Chase Dining purchases, hotels and cars booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access

Drawbacks

  • High annual fee
  • Excellent credit required
Card Details
  • Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 10X points on Lyft rides, Chase Dining purchases, hotels and cars booked via Ultimate Rewards; 5X points on air travel booked via Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on travel and dining; and 1X points on everything else

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best for travel and purchase coverage

  • Earning rate for authorized user: 5X points on Lyft rides and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on travel; and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases
  • Annual fee for authorized user: $0
  • Top authorized user benefits: Travel and purchase coverages

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is similar to the Sapphire Reserve, but has fewer premium benefits and a much lower $95 annual fee. This lower fee translates well to authorized users on this card because their annual fee would be $0.

Authorized users won’t receive any premium travel benefits with this card, but they do get access to many of the same travel and purchase coverages you can find on the Sapphire Reserve. Along with the card’s earning potential and access to building credit, these coverages can prove valuable for having a $0 annual fee.

Our #1 Travel Card

Intro Offer

Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

5X points on Lyft rides and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on travel; and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 60,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 5X points on Lyft rides and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 10% anniversary point bonus each year
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Typically need to spend thousands to reap rewards
Card Details
  • Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 5X points on Lyft rides and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on travel; and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases

American Express® Gold Card: Best for restaurants

  • Earning rate for authorized user: 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases
  • Annual fee for authorized user: $0
  • Top authorized user benefits: Bonus rewards at U.S. restaurants

The American Express Gold Card is known for offering bonus rewards on everyday expenses such as dining and groceries. The bonus rewards plus monthly dining credits make it one of the best credit cards for dining, though there’s typically a $250 (See rates and fees) annual fee.

For authorized users, you don’t receive any of the dining credits, but you’ll still get access to earning bonus rewards in the same categories as primary users. Because there’s no fee for adding authorized users, the Amex Gold could be a top option for people who frequently dine out and/or want to build their credit at the same time.

Big Rewards for Dining Out

Intro Offer

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $4,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of card membership

Annual Fee

$250

Rewards Rate

4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $4,000 in the first 6 months of card membership
  • Rose gold is back! Choose your color.
  • $120 in dining credits
  • $120 in Uber Cash
  • Select benefits require enrollment.
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $250 annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • No lounge access benefit
  • Has annual fee
Card Details
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $4,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of card membership
  • 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases
  • Terms apply

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for groceries

  • Earning rate for authorized user: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1X) and on U.S. streaming services, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% on other purchases
  • Annual fee for authorized user: $0
  • Top authorized user benefits: Bonus rewards at U.S. supermarkets

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express offers huge rewards in a few everyday categories, including U.S. supermarkets. This makes it an ideal choice as a daily-use card, though it has a $95 (See rates and fees) annual fee. However, using the card enough in its bonus categories should help offset the fee.

But for authorized users, you don’t have to worry about an annual fee. There’s no cost for adding authorized users to the Blue Cash Preferred, which could open up opportunities for earning rewards and building credit.

#1 Cash Back at Supermarkets

Intro Offer

Earn a $350 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1X) and on U.S. streaming services, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% on other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn a $350 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months
  • 6% cash back on U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, after that 1X) and select U.S. streaming services
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and eligible transit

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Has foreign transaction fee
Card Details
  • Earn a $350 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1X) and on U.S. streaming services, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% on other purchases
  • Intro purchase 0% APR offer: 0% for 12 months then 16.24% to 26.24% (variable)
  • Terms apply

How to add an authorized user to your card

If you want to know how to add an authorized user to your credit card, the process is relatively simple. The exact steps might vary depending on the card issuer, but they should be similar.

The easiest way to add an authorized user is typically by logging into your card’s online account. Then there should be an option in your account’s settings to “Add an Authorized User” or something similar. If you have multiple credit cards in your account, you might have to first click on a specific card and then find the option to add an authorized user.

Some card issuers have different requirements for adding authorized users, whether it’s paying a fee or inputting certain information. In most cases, you’ll be asked to provide this information about any user you want to add:

  • First and last name
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth

In some cases, you might also be asked to provide a Social Security number or street address. After providing this information, you should be notified whether the account opening is complete and the authorized user account has been added. If the process is successful, a card for the authorized user should be mailed out shortly.

How we chose these cards

We chose the listed credit cards based on a number of factors that contribute to overall value provided to authorized users. Some of the factors include available benefits, earning potential, authorized user fees (if any), and whether a card is different enough from another card on the list.

For example, there are a few travel-related cards with similar benefits, but each individual card could fit a certain situation better than any other card on the list. Many of the cards can be found on our list of the best rewards credit cards.

FAQs

Can I build my credit by being an authorized user on a credit card?

Yes, it’s possible to build your credit as an authorized user on a credit card if you and the primary user are keeping your credit utilization low by keeping the card balance low. You should work to build an on-time payment history, and it could also help your credit if the credit card account has been open for a long time.

But you have to make sure the credit card you’re using reports authorized user activity to the credit bureaus, such as Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Otherwise, the activity might not show up on your credit report and your credit won’t improve.

Do authorized users pay an annual fee?

In some cases, authorized users do pay an annual fee. Fees for authorized users depend on the credit card and credit card issuer. Premium travel cards typically have fees for authorized users, whereas other cards might not. It’s often easy to know if a card will have annual fees for its authorized users by seeing if the card itself has a high annual fee.

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

How much your credit score might increase due to being an authorized user depends on a few factors, including how old the credit card account is, whether the credit utilization is low, and if there are late payments. It also depends on your existing credit score. If you’re just starting out with a credit history, you’ll have more potential to see an increase in your score compared with someone who might already have good credit or excellent credit.


Bottom line

Authorized users can be one of the many benefits of having a credit card, and not only for the authorized user. Yes, the added user is likely to benefit the most — especially if the goal is to build the authorized user’s credit — but the primary user can also reap the rewards. If an authorized user is using their rewards card to make purchases, those rewards typically end up in your account as the primary account holder.

If you find that the cards listed here aren’t quite the right fit for your personal finance situation, there are more options available. Check out our dedicated page of cards to compare credit cards and find one that makes sense for you.

Our #1 Travel Card

Intro Offer

Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

5X points on Lyft rides and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on travel; and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • point sign-up bonus
  • points on
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 10% anniversary point bonus each year
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Typically need to spend thousands to reap rewards
Card Details
  • Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 5X points on Lyft rides and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on travel; and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF Ben Walker, CEPF, is a credit cards and travel writer at FinanceBuzz who loves helping others achieve their travel goals through financially sound decisions. For over a decade, he has been using credit card points and miles for the sole purpose of traveling the world. Ben is a Certified Educator of Personal Finance and has been featured in The Washington Post, MSN, Debt.com, and Finder.com.