This article is sponsored by American Express
We rarely cover the benefits of American Express Additional Cards (previously called Supplementary Cards) on Head for Points, which is something I intend to rectify this week.
Today I want to look at why holders of American Express Preferred Rewards Gold and The Platinum Card should think about adding Additional Cardmembers. A further article will look at the two British Airways American Express® Cards.
How many Additional Cards can I add?
Before we look at why it is worth adding a Additional Card, I want to quickly summarise how many you can add.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card®:
The first Additional Card you add is complimentary. Additional Cards cost £45 per Card per year *.
The Platinum Card®:
You can issue one complimentary Platinum Additional Card and up to four complimentary Gold or Green Additional Cards. Additional Cards cost £285 for Platinum and £170 for Gold or Green.
The legal stuff
The term Additional Card refers to the Supplementary Card programme. Additional Cards are subject to approval and applicants must be over 18.
You are legally responsible for all charges made by holders of Additional Cards on your Account.
Here is the interest rate information for American Express Preferred Rewards Gold:
- Representative APR 56.6% variable from year 2, based on an assumed £1200 credit limit and £140 annual fee
- Interest rate on purchases and in Year 1 is 22.2% variable (representative example)
The Platinum Card is a charge card and the balance must be repaid in full each month. If you’d prefer a Card with no annual fee, rewards or other features, an alternative option is available – the Basic Card.
Why should you add an Additional Cardmember?
Reason 1 – it is easier to hit your sign-up bonus
Assuming you meet the conditions for receiving a bonus, American Express Preferred Rewards Gold comes with a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards® points for making £3,000 of qualifying spend within the first three months of Cardmembership.
The Platinum Card comes with a higher bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards point but requires a higher qualifying spend of £4,000 within the first three months of Cardmembership.
By adding Additional Cardmembers to your Account, it will be easier to hit the qualifying spend required.
Note that, whilst you can add Additional Cardmembers during the application process, I don’t recommend this. As I explain below, you can earn a bonus by waiting until your Account is open and then adding a Additional Cardmember separately.
Reason 2 – it is easier to hit spending bonuses
By issuing Additional Cards on your American Express Account, it will make it easier to hit any spend-based bonuses.
This is more important on the British Airways American Express Cards, which offer the annual Companion Voucher. We will cover this in a separate article.
Holders of American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card can also receive an annual bonus. You will receive 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for making £15,000 of qualifying purchases within a membership year.
Given that the standard earning rate on Preferred Rewards Gold is 1 point per £1, the annual bonus can make a substantial difference to your annual points total.
Reason 3 – you can share your Card benefits with other people
Some, but not all, card benefits are automatically shared with your Additional Cardmembers.
If you have The Platinum Card from American Express, your one complimentary Platinum Additional Card comes with benefits which include:
- a Priority Pass which gives the Cardmember and a guest access to over 1,300 airport lounges
- travel insurance for themselves and their immediate family (EU regulations now require the Cardmember to actively opt-in to this benefit)
- Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, MeliaRewards Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite hotel status
- Eurostar lounge access, irrespective of your travel class
Even if you are single, you might want to issue an Additional Platinum Card to a trusted friend or relative purely for the benefits. My Mum had a Platinum Card on my Account for many years primarily for the travel insurance.
My wife now has the Additional Card on my Platinum Account. Between us, we have two Priority Pass airport lounge access cards, each of which gives us a complimentary guest, so we can get our entire family of four into participating airport lounges without charge.
You can issue further Additional Platinum Cards for £285 each per year. This could be very good value for the right person given the Priority Pass and hotel status card benefits.
If a Platinum Cardmembers issues a complimentary Gold or Green Additional Card – you can issue five in total but only one can be Platinum – it will come with the travel insurance benefit but not the other benefits listed above.
With American Express Preferred Rewards Gold, you should note that Additional Cards do not come with the Lounge Club airport lounge benefit. They do come with Amex Offers, Amex Experiences, Travel Accident Insurance and Purchase and Refund protection.
Reason 4 – you can earn bonus Membership Rewards points for issuing your first Additional Card
American Express now has a dedicated page on its website which you can use for issuing Additional Cards. You can find it here.
The bonus is only paid on the FIRST Additional Card issued on your Account. The Additional Cardholder must at least 18 years old and issuance is subject to American Express approval.
You will receive:
- 3,000 Membership Rewards points ** for issuing your first Preferred Rewards Gold Additional Card
- 5,000 Membership Rewards points ** for issuing your first Additional Card on The Platinum Card
For clarity, you WILL receive a bonus for issuing a Additional Card, subject to approval, even if you did not qualify for the sign-up bonus when you originally applied for the Card.
Reason 5 – having an Additional Card does not stop someone receiving a sign-up bonus for the same Card at a later date
Some people mistakenly believe that having a Additional Card will disqualify them from receiving a sign-up bonus on the same Card in the future.
This is not the case. As I mentioned above, the Primary Cardmember is legally liable for the spending on Additional Cards.
If your Additional Cardmember finds the Card benefits and American Express service useful, they can apply for their own Card, subject to approval. You can even receive a bonus for inviting them if they are approved.
With Preferred Rewards Gold, you receive at least 6,000*** bonus Membership Rewards points for each friend you invite, subject to approval. There is an annual cap of 90,000 bonus points from referrals.
The person you refer will, subject to meeting the terms and conditions and qualifying spend, receive a sign-up bonus of 22,000 Membership Rewards points compared to the usual 20,000 points.
With The Platinum Card, you receive at least 12,000*** bonus Membership Rewards points for each friend you invite, subject to approval. There is an annual cap of 90,000 bonus points from referrals.
I hope this article has shown you that there are many benefits from issuing a Additional Card on your Preferred Rewards Gold or The Platinum Card.
* Information regarding Supplementary Cards can be found at: americanexpress.com/uk/benefits/supplementary-cards/ The first Platinum Supplementary Card and up to four gold or green Supplementary Cards are provided at no additional charge. An annual fee of £285 applies to each Platinum Supplementary Card beyond the one offered at no additional charge. For each additional gold or green Supplementary Card an annual fee of £170 applies. Supplementary Cards can be requested for anyone aged 18 or over. If approved, you will be responsible for any spending on your Account made by the Supplementary Cardmember. The first Supplementary Card is complimentary on the Preferred Rewards Gold Card, subject to approval. Any additional Supplementary Cards you add thereafter will be charged at £45 each per year if you are on an annual fee or £4 per month if a monthly fee is applied to your Card. Supplementary Cards can be requested for anyone aged 18 or over. If approved, you will be responsible for any spending on your Account made by the Supplementary Cardmember.
** The bonus 5,000 Membership Rewards® points offer is valid for the first approved Supplementary Platinum Card only. The bonus 3,000 Membership Rewards points offer is valid for the first approved Supplementary Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card only. Please note, in rare circumstances it may take up to 90 days for the Membership Rewards points to be applied to your Account. You may apply for several Supplementary Cards but you will only receive the Membership Rewards points for the first approved Card. You will not receive this bonus if you have ever received it before. This offer is subject to change and may be withdrawn at anytime.
***Terms and Eligibility Apply. Log in to your American Express Account or American Express® App to see the latest referral offer available. If you are eligible to participate in the Referral Programme, you may refer as many friends or family members as you wish but there are annual limits on the rewards you can earn through referrals. Please visit https://www.americanexpress.com/en-gb/referral to find out more. Please only refer friends and family who are happy to receive information from American Express. You can earn up to a maximum of 90,000 bonus points or a maximum of £150 cashback per calendar year if you hold a cashback product. Your friend must apply via the link you share with them to ensure you both receive your bonus. All introductory offers are subject to change and can be withdrawn at any time. Your friend will receive rewards depending on the Card they choose and their spend on this Card. Your Card Account’s eligibility to participate in the Referral Programme is based on your overall credit rating and other factors including your Account history with American Express. If payments to your American Express® Card Account are not kept up to date, you could lose your bonus points.