How I Max Out Authorized User Bonus Offers & Help Out A Friend

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Max Out Authorized User Bonus

How I Max Out Authorized User Bonus Offers & Help Out A Friend

My best friend is a unicorn, a mythical being that you can spend a lifetime searching for.  He does not like credit cards, or debit cards for that matter.  He is a cash only relic in what is trending towards a plastic only world.  And I absolutely love him for it 😂. His refusal to get with the times in any meaningful way means that I get to help him out all while reaping the rewards for my effort. He is a key component in how I max out authorized user bonus offers, plus I actually help him out while doing it.  There are some other perks I get to take advantage of along the way too.

What Are Authorized User Bonuses

Authorized user bonuses usually amount to easy points.  It is when a lender (Citi, Amex, Chase) will offer you bonus points for adding someone to your account and issuing them a card. There is usually a spending requirement attached as well. They will have their own card with their name on it, and sometimes their own unique card number.  But you will essentially vouch for them and agree to cover their charges.

This works perfectly for your kids or if you are helping out with a parent etc. But when you are essentially extending your credit limit there is some risk involved for sure.  But there is another way to do it that involves less risk and still helps out both parties.

These offers are usually for 2,500-5,000 points after spending $500 or something along those lines.  They can be very lucrative if you play it right.  Amex will often let you do this up to 4 times per card too for a 20,000 point windfall.

Max Out Authorized User Bonus

How I Max Out Authorized User Bonus Offers

My friend doesn’t have much of a credit profile since he has been adverse to most lending options.  That is good from a debt perspective but credit is a necessary evil if you want to purchase a home, get a car loan or even for some jobs.  And for some reason no credit is almost worse than bad credit.  Go figure!

So what I do is add him as an authorized user to my cards so that I can get the bonus and it gives him a very good credit score.  Because when you are an authorized user on someone’s account their payment history etc. becomes your payment history.  It is a great way for people to rebuild credit.

Plus the card is sent to the main cardholders address so you only have to give them the card if you want to.  You can throw it in a drawer and just let it do its magic while sitting idle.  Because they don’t need to actually spend money on it to help their credit profile, they just need to be attached to your account.

I personally give him one of the cards so he has it in case of emergencies.  And sometimes if he has a big purchase he will use it so I get the points and he just pays me back.

I know other people do this with their parents etc.  The parents will charge their bills and then send the money to their kids so the kids can rack up the points.

Potential Risks For The Authorized User

There are risks involved for the cardholder extending their limit to the authorized user (only if you give them the card).  But what about the risks for the authorized user?  They have to trust the cardholder as well since any late payments or defaults the main cardholder has will count against them as well.  So be sure you only jump on board with someone who you trust and has a great credit profile, history of on time payments.

Other Perks Of A Credit Adverse Friend

I travel several times a year with this buddy, he goes to all of the MLB parks with me.  So when we travel I book everything with miles and points and he pays me cash for his end.  I usually give him a deal on the hotel (free) since I would be staying there anyway and he covers his flight cost.  This allows me to “cash out” some of my points at premium levels.

I also charge everything while we are on the trip and he gives me cash for it.  He is a gold mine I tell you!  And I bet many of us have friends just like this.

Final Thoughts

While this idea will only work with people you trust a lot, or more importantly for people that trust you a lot, but it is a good option.  Look at friends and family that could use help with their credit profile or who only use cash to pay for things etc. Even people that are not in the miles and points game can help you out.  Because they won’t care that authorized user cards count towards 5/24.

This is how I max out authorized user bonus offers, do you do anything similar?

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Doesn’t the AU need to spend on the card for the bonus. For e.g. you reference the recent Amex promotion which requires AU spend?

    • Depends on the issuer. Some will allow the main cardholders spend to count (issuers like Chase where you get the same card number for both people). With Amex I believe it has to be spent on the AU’s card.

  2. I put my nieces on one of my Amex accounts to help them build their credit. I don’t get anything except some risk but it’s more of an altruism thing to do since their parents are unable to help. It’s both gratifying to help out and I also get to nag at them about building credit. Win/win.


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