Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Why should you add an American Express Additional Card?

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

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.

Why should you add an American Express Additional Card?

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold:

The representative APR is 88.8% variable, including the annual fee.  The representative APR on purchases, and in the first year which has no fee, is 31.0% variable.

The Platinum Card:

The representative APR is 704.6% variable, including the annual fee.  The representative APR on purchases is 31.0% variable.

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. 

Why should you add an American Express Additional Card?

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 CardsYou 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

The link for issuing Additional Cards is here.

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.

The American Express website for requesting an Additional Card is here.

* Information regarding Supplementary Cards can be found at: 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 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.

Comments (35)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Hank says:

    I’m a single guy and have never given additional cards to friends as I always thought it tied our credit ratings. The fact you never mention this leads me to think that my assumption is perhaps wrong.

    Can anyone clarify?

    • Harry T says:

      Being an additional cardholder on someone’s account has zero impact on your credit rating.

      • Andrew says:

        And no credit check is made on the additional card holder – just an ID check on the electoral roll (so you can’t give one to a dog and they need to be over 18).

        • John says:

          I don’t know about amex but I have given my “dog” supplementary cards from other providers

        • TGLoyalty says:

          No ID check you can get an Amex supp for your dog.

        • the_real_a says:

          My “sups” are definitely not on the electoral role! But didn’t Rob have an issue with his Nanny and proving her identity to get a sup AMEX some years ago?

          • Andrew says:

            Yes one of my Supp applications was asked for proof of address. Maybe it’s a spot check approach rather than them actually checking the electoral roll.

    • Rob says:

      As far as your credit report goes, all the charges incurred by your friends are your charges. That is the only issue. Your credit report may show you spending £5,000 per month on a salary of £4,000 per month, and the agencies won’t know what £4,000 of that is being run up by a friend.

  • James says:

    My dad currently has my Platinum Additional Card, can I swap this to my partner instead without incurring a fee?

    • Andrew says:

      Yes. Just call them and make your Dad a gold and your partner platinum. I’ve done this a few times.

    • Rob says:

      If you cancel his first, yes.

      • Andrew says:

        You can just call them and switch them around, downgrading your Dad to Gold and then adding a new one and making them Platinum. No need to cancel Dad as such, he will just get the gold card instead.

  • Andrew says:

    You can also issue an *additional* additional platinum card in your own name (this is in addition to the above number of cards) – it’s useful if you want to split personal and business expenses as the transactions are listed separately, useful for access to additional offers including Shop Small and handy to have a spare card to leave in the hotel safe when on holiday should something happen to your other card. The card will say A.C. after your name on the card.

    • mark2 says:

      Indeed, but they seem to have stopped putting the AC on cards.
      Also your additional card for Platinum is Gold rather than the clunky metal card.

      • John says:

        Is gold clunkier than an unspecified metal?

      • Andrew says:

        My AC card is platinum, but plastic rather than the nice metal one, despite requesting a replacement card hoping to get a metal one for this too and another plastic one turned up.

      • Roy says:

        Is it possible it was incorrectly issued as a sup rather than an AC? I’m sure I’ve read of this happening in the past.

    • Harry T says:

      Is this free?

      • Andrew says:

        Yes free.

        • Roy says:

          Although if supplementary cards and additional cards now have the same name, then it will probably be pretty hard to explain what you’re asking for to all but the best trained CS staff.

  • Saiz says:

    I’m about to cancel my platinum. How do you get rid of the metal card. Don’t want to risk my shredder unless people have tried it and it worked fine.

  • Fm says:

    It’s self referral when moving between amex cards frowned upon? I remember doing this a while ago with no issues

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    American Express® Additional Card® Is additional card really a registered trademark?

  • Chris Jones says:

    Hi Rob can you clarify a point.

    Currently my wife as I have Amex platinum ICC. So 1 + additional card.
    If I add 1 of my parents another platinum they get priority pass?

  • Chris Ball says:

    Hi Rob,

    Did you ever do the other article about additional cards for BA cards please?

    Thanks for great work!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.