What’s the Best Way to Share Lounge Access With My Spouse or Family Member?

“Reader Questions” are answered twice a week by TPG Senior
Points & Miles Contributor Ethan
Steinberg
.

More and more credit cards these days are offering some form of
airport
lounge benefit
, often in the form of a
Priority Pass Select membership
. While most cards will allow
you to bring in a couple of guests or your immediately family free
of charge, there isn’t an easy way to transfer your membership to
a spouse or family member if you’re traveling separately. TPG
reader Chad wants to know what his best options
are for sharing his newfound lounge access with his wife …

I recently opened the Amex Platinum card and my wife is looking
to take advantage of the airport lounge benefits on her upcoming
business trip. Should I add her as an authorized user on my
account? Let her take my card and hope they don’t check the name
too closely? Or simply open one up in her name? She was also
targeted for the 100,000-point welcome offer.

TPG READER CHAD

The normal welcome bonus on
The Platinum Card® from American Express
is 60,000 points
after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases in your
first three months. This is already a terrific offer, but if
you’re targeted for a
100,000-point welcome offer
, either directly through Amex or
through the CardMatch
Tool
, it’s one of the best out there. If Chad’s wife was
lucky enough to be targeted for it, she should absolutely sign up
for the card. Not only is that the easiest answer to this question
of sharing lounge access; the welcome bonus will be a big boost of
points (worth $2,000
based on TPG’s valuations
) to jumpstart their next family
vacation.

Chad had a few good ideas in his question, but let’s start
with the not-so-great-one: He should absolutely not have his wife
try to sneak into a lounge using his membership. While there’s a
slim chance she gets lucky, there’s an even better chance that
she’s denied access, and he as the account holder may even face
repercussions down the road for this.


Adding his wife as an authorized user
is a great way to
guarantee his wife lounge access, though the drawback of this
option is that it can get pricey. Here are the costs and associated
lounge benefits for authorized users on a few popular premium
travel rewards cards:

Credit Card Authorized User Fee Authorized User Lounge Benefits

The Platinum Card® from American Express
$175 for up to three additional cards (see
Rates & Fees
)
Priority Pass Select membership; access to Amex Centurion
lounges;
access to Delta Sky Clubs
(when flying Delta)
Citi / AAdvantage
Executive World Elite Mastercard
Add up to 10 authorized users for free
American Airlines Admirals Club access
, including two
guests
Chase Sapphire
Reserve
$75 Priority Pass Select membership
Delta
Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
$175 (see
Rates & Fees
)
Delta Sky Club access (when flying Delta)

While the Amex Platinum isn’t the cheapest card when it comes
to adding authorized users, it
certainly offers the most benefits
. The $175 fee is the same
whether you add one user or three, so if you’re looking to share
lounge access with multiple people, you can drop the per person
cost to a manageable ~$60 a year.

Before spending this money though, there are a couple of other
considerations Chad needs to make. First, how frequently do he and
his wife travel separately? If it’s only once or twice a year, it
might not be worth getting her own access. Second, are there even
lounges in the airports she’ll be visiting? Priority Pass Select
is a nice perk to have, but if her travels typically take her to or
from airports like Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), Detroit (DTW) or others
without any lounges or
Priority Pass restaurants
, it won’t do her much good.

Bottom Line

Enjoying an airport lounge during a delay or long layover is a
great way to make the airport experience more pleasant, but lounge
benefits on top travel rewards credit cards typically apply only if
the primary cardholder is traveling. Depending on how frequently
Chad’s wife travels on her own, it might make sense for him to
add her as an authorized user on his Platinum card. However, given
that Chad’s wife was also targeted for the
100,000-point welcome bonus
on the Platinum card, the best
option is likely for her to apply for the card herself. That gives
them at least a year to figure out a more permanent solution to
this problem.

Thanks for the question, Chad, and if you’re a TPG reader
who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us
at @thepointsguy, message us
on Facebook or email us
at info@thepointsguy.com.

For rates and fees on the Amex Platinum, please click
here
.
For rates and fees on the Delta Reserve, please click
here
.

Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News2
What’s the Best Way to Share Lounge Access With My Spouse or Family Member?