Can an Authorized User Help You Meet a Card’s Minimum Spending Requirement?

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Because there are a number of terrific card offers, readers have asked how to meet the minimum spending requirements to earn the sign-up bonuses.

One trick is to get help by adding an authorized user!

Can An Authorized User Help You Meet A Cards Minimum Spending Requirement

Meeting Your Minimum Spending Requirement Is Easier With a Partner

I’ll explain how to add an authorized user.  And how that will make it easier to spend enough to collect your bonus points quicker.  But you should be careful!

Why Add an Authorized User?

Many times you have to spend a certain amount in purchases on a new card within a specific timeframe to earn the sign-up bonus. 

Can An Authorized User Help You Meet A Cards Minimum Spending Requirement

Get More Points Faster by Adding Authorized Users to Your Account

You could add a parent, child, spouse, partner, or trusted friend who usually pays for their purchases in cash, as an authorized user on your credit card to earn your bonus in less time.

This could also help if you’re finding it challenging to meet a large minimum spend requirement.

Here are a few examples:

  • With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you earn 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the 1st 3 months of account opening
  • The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express currently offers 25,000 Starwood points after spending $3,000 within the 1st 3 months of account opening
  • There’s an increased sign-up bonus on the Citi Prestige card.  You’ll receive 50,000 Citi ThankYou points after spending $3,000 within the 1st 3 months of opening your account (EXPIRED.)

Adding an authorized user can be an easy way to meet the minimum spending requirement while earning lots of points or miles for Big Travel!

How It Works

After you give the authorized user their card, have your friend use it in any situation where they would normally spend cash.  Then ask to be paid back in cash!

This is a great way for someone who is not in the points and miles hobby to help you earn your sign-up bonus!

Can An Authorized User Help You Meet A Cards Minimum Spending Requirement

Your Trusted Partner Can Use Your Account and Pay You Back in Cash

Be sure you only add someone that you completely trust.  They will be linked to your primary account, and ultimately YOU are responsible for any charges that they make.

As always, do what you are comfortable with.  And be sure to only add someone you know will pay you back!

Note:   If you add someone as an authorized user on your card, they can still sign-up for their own card later on to earn their own sign-up bonus.

How to Add an Authorized User

You usually have the option to add a partner when you apply for a new credit card account.

American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Chase, and Citi, will let you add an authorized user on their website.

For example, to add an authorized user to a Chase account, sign-in to your account and click on “Customer Center.”

Can An Authorized User Help You Meet A Cards Minimum Spending Requirement

Go to the Customer Center to Add a User

Then click, “Add Authorized User.”

Can An Authorized User Help You Meet A Cards Minimum Spending Requirement

Click “Add Authorized User”

Choose the account you’d like to add an authorized user to from the drop-down menu.

Can An Authorized User Help You Meet A Cards Minimum Spending Requirement

Select the Account You Want to Use From the Drop-down Menu

Then fill in your authorized user’s details. 

Can An Authorized User Help You Meet A Cards Minimum Spending Requirement

Fill in Your Partner’s Name and Click “Add Authorized User.” Presto!

The new card will be mailed to your address, NOT to the person you’ve added.

The authorized user does NOT need a Social Security Number to be added to your Barclays, Chase, or Citi accounts.

American Express, Bank of America, and US Bank DO require a Social Security Number.  And US Bank requires you to call the number on the back of your card to add a user to your account.

Have Someone Add You to Their Account

If a spouse, partner, or family member needs help meeting minimum spending requirements, they can add you to their account. 

Can An Authorized User Help You Meet A Cards Minimum Spending Requirement

Gift Cards Are a Great Way To Unlock a Sign-Up Bonus, but Not Everyone Likes Buying Them

Maybe you’re comfortable buying gift cards to load your Target Prepaid REDcard, Serve, or Bluebird account, but your family member or friend is not.  You could help them meet their minimum spend by buying gift cards as an authorized user.

If they are new to miles and points or nervous about meeting the spending requirement within the specified timeframe, this is a great way to help! 

Sometimes in our hobby we have a partner or spouse who is willing to open travel credit cards, but isn’t too excited to do things like buy gift cards or track spending.  So you can do it as their authorized user!  That way the 2 of you can enjoy Big Travel together!

Removing an Authorized User

Removing a user is easy, too.  Once they’ve paid you back, call the bank and ask to take them off your account.  That way only the primary cardholder is responsible for the charges.  And be sure to destroy their card to be safe.

American Express and Citi will let you remove an authorized user on their website.

Some folks may decide to keep an authorized user to help earn more points.  If you’re both comfortable, you’ll earn more points for everyday purchases!

Bonus Points for Adding an Authorized User

Some credit cards give bonus points or miles for adding an authorized user who makes a purchase.  And sometimes the extra points are only offered when you 1st open a credit card.  Right now, these cards offer a bonus for adding someone to your account:

  • United MileagePlus Explorer Card– 5,000 United Airlines miles for adding an authorized user who makes a purchase within the 1st 3 months of opening your account
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card5,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for adding an authorized user who makes a purchase within the 1st 3 months of opening your account
  • Chase Freedom – 2,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($25) for adding an authorized user who makes a purchase within the 1st 3 months of opening your account
  • Bank of America Virgin Atlantic 5,000 Virgin Atlantic miles for adding 2 authorized users (2,500 Virgin Atlantic miles per authorized user)

This is a great way to earn extra miles and points when you sign-up for a card!

Bottom Line

Adding an authorized user to your credit card account is makes it easier meet minimum spending requirements.  Because their purchases will help you qualify faster for the sign-up bonus!

Be sure you completely trust anyone you add to your account to pay you back.  And understand that you’re ultimately responsible for the charges they make.

Here are some other great ways to help meet minimum spending requirements!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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7 responses to “Can an Authorized User Help You Meet a Card’s Minimum Spending Requirement?

  1. I made a mistake adding my sister on my CapitalOne venture as an authorized user. CapitalOne treated as though she is applying for a credit card. They did a credit check and doubled the credit limit on the account but in addition to the credit check it is also appearing as a new account on her credit report. I think CapitalOne is the only one that does it.

  2. Help me meet min spend by lowering your credit score!!!

    If you are going to recommend, talk about pros and cons.

  3. Watch out on some US Bank cards. They make it clear in the T & C for the Club Carlson Business card, for example, that spending by an AU does NOT count towards minimum spend, and several people have failed to notice this and been very upset when they didn’t get their signup bonuses.

  4. Can you clarify this “United MileagePlus Explorer Card- 5,000 United Airlines miles for adding an authorized user who makes a purchase within the 1st 3 months of opening your account” — I believe the Explorer AU card has the same account number as the primary, so how would they know that the AU was the one who made the purchase and not just the primary?
    thanks.

  5. I used your link several weeks to apply. They first said no approval then I received a card in the mail. Just want to ensure its credited to you since there was an initial rejection. Already had my $250 credited for an UPCOMING trip. So pretty generous.

    If I already paid for my AA cad 450, will I be credited if I cancel for the pro-rata unuse?

  6. @Presley: AU accounts on credit reports will appear as new as soon as they get added. No CC institutions backdate a card now (AMEX stopped doing it on last Mar). Things should have been explained in the Circles & Arrow. Until now, I never heard of AUs’ getting a hard pull. But, it’s CapitalOne. They do things other CC institutions don’t do.

  7. By the way, even if you remove AUs, some removed accounts stay on the credit report as opened, etc. I’m sure the blogger who recommended to take this path will have solutions on how to remedy it, etc.