Using Authorized User's Credit Card

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I was on the phone with AmEx the other day and they offered some extra credit if I added some Authorized Users to my account and have them spend some money. The CSR was very friendly and we chatted a bit. He said technically up to 99 parties could be added with names and dates of birth as the only requirements. He also mentioned he handled one case with 15 parties added. My question is can the principle card holder spend using their cards (without actually notifying them) since merchants mostly don't check the names or this could cause problems? And could this be done online buying gift cards, etc. even though the names of Authorized Users on the cards are different from the name of main account holder?

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The only time this becomes the problem is when you are in a store and they happen to check ID.

You need to be creative and come up with soc sec numbers
They need soc sec numbers of the AU

fleetwoodmac said:   You need to be creative and come up with soc sec numbers
They need soc sec numbers of the AU

 OP already stated that SS isn't needed.

I can confirm this as well.
Though I do see on the AU's credit karma the card is listed.

I've had AMEX issue an AU card in my own name when I asked for a duplicate card. My previous requests to Visa/MC issuers for a duplicate card weren't complicated. They simply issued an exact replica of the card. Amex assigned a slightly different account number, but the name on the card was mine.

Yes and yes. What sorts of problems were you imagining?

It's worth noting that Amex assign a different card # to AU. This is a very different practice than MC or VISA.

ZenNUTS said:   It's worth noting that Amex assign a different card # to AU. This is a very different practice than MC or VISA.
  Not always. I had a MC with an AU. The AU's card number is different from mine. It makes sense that if one card was lost, AMEX did not need to send two cards back. If the cards are using the same number, two cards at least should be sent back. If there're more AUs, the cards need to be replaced will be more.

haoniukun said:   
ZenNUTS said:   It's worth noting that Amex assign a different card # to AU. This is a very different practice than MC or VISA.
  Not always. I had a MC with an AU. The AU's card number is different from mine. It makes sense that if one card was lost, AMEX did not need to send two cards back. If the cards are using the same number, two cards at least should be sent back. If there're more AUs, the cards need to be replaced will be more.

  
Yeah, depends on the issuer. IIRC, some of the Amex cards issued by other banks use the same number on the primary and AU accounts.

Running into issues at a retailer is pretty unlikely. Most clerks do not imagine they are secret service agents, and don't really process the information on a card even when they do go through the motion of asking to see it. They'll accept many reasonable explanations when they do - like that's my spouse's card. And worst case, you need to switch to one in your own name if they recognize that's not proper usage.

We often get cards with signup bonuses in only one name and rarely have any hassle with either of us using it. But we are also using them for ordinary and conventional purchases - if you're buying a fistful of $500 gift cards, I expect you are accustomed to some extra scrutiny.

what are they offering, and how much does each AU need to spend to recieve it?  Is it even worth messing around with?

So what sort of " extra credit" are they offering? A higher credit line, or a signup bonus?

The real advantage of having AU's whose cards you control is that you can create a login for each of them, and when a really good AMEX Offer comes around, you can try to get it on each of their cards.

forbin4040 said:   OP already stated that SS isn't needed.

I can confirm this as well.
Though I do see on the AU's credit karma the card is listed.
 

The data points I've seen were that Amex requires SSN (but Chase doesn't).  Did Amex change their policy?

Glitch99 said:   what are they offering, and how much does each AU need to spend to recieve it?  Is it even worth messing around with?
  $25 statement credit for spending $250 in 90 days.

billrubin said:   So what sort of " extra credit" are they offering? A higher credit line, or a signup bonus?

The real advantage of having AU's whose cards you control is that you can create a login for each of them, and when a really good AMEX Offer comes around, you can try to get it on each of their cards.

  I was also told Small Business Day offers may revive in the future.

Rerun said:     I was also told Small Business Day offers may revive in the future.
Yup, that was why I got AU cards for my kids on two of my cards! I should get them on another account since I'm down a couple of AMEX cards with the demise of the Costco card and the shutdown of my Serve card because they didn't like my deposits.

I have not heard of adding AUs without giving out SSNs. However when you add an AU with a SSN, the AU will get a hard pull and the account will get listed on the AUs credit report.

jonjones said:   I have not heard of adding AUs without giving out SSNs. However when you add an AU with a SSN, the AU will get a hard pull and the account will get listed on the AUs credit report.
  
There is NEVER a hard pull (or a soft pull) for an AU. No credit is being given to the AU only access to existing credit. There may be a credit score change for the AU.

Rerun said:   
billrubin said:   So what sort of " extra credit" are they offering? A higher credit line, or a signup bonus?

The real advantage of having AU's whose cards you control is that you can create a login for each of them, and when a really good AMEX Offer comes around, you can try to get it on each of their cards.

  I was also told Small Business Day offers may revive in the future.

  By whom?

Wasn't it Amex who gets their panties in a bind when the AUs spend more than the primary cardholder? That's the only thing I'd worry about.



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