Credit Cards Education

The difference between an authorized user of an Active Duty cardholder and applying for a card as a military spouse

Apply for the Amex platinum or any other Amex product through the following link:

The differences

Authorized users: are extensions of the primary cardholder’s credit/charge card line and can be added during or after the application process. In most cases the authorized user (AU) does not enjoy unique benefits to their card, but partake in the benefits of the main cardholder (the person who applied for the card). Let’s say that the service member (SM) opens the Amex Platinum card with his or her SSN and during the application process the SM adds a line to the spouse. If the SM is active duty, then the annual fee, along with the fees of having an extension on the card get waived. You now have a card with your name on it! That is great as you can now enjoy the benefits of the SM, meaning that if you use your card for an Uber ride, then your card will get the monthly $15 Uber credit, but that also means that the SM’s Uber benefit has been exhausted for the month. Please see this article for more information on the Amex Platinum benefits []. Being an AU is nice as it is a way to build credit and enjoy the benefits.

Applying as a spouse: of an Active Duty SM means that the Military Lending Act (MLA) protections through generous banking institutions like Amex, also apply to you when you open a card/charge card with your SSN. You might be thinking; will the annual fee get waived for me as well? The answer is yes, if you are the spouse of an Active Duty SM. Institutions utilize the MLA database to verify that you are a qualifying spouse, so as long you are in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS), you are good to go! Going with the example above, let’s say your SM opens the Amex platinum card with their SSN and then you apply for your own Amex platinum with your SSN; well now you both enjoy unique and separate benefits! This means that you also have the opportunity to get the significant welcome bonus, unique benefits, and come with a strategy to maximize benefits as a couple, see [] for more information. Unlike being an AU, you can now stack benefits and credits together to come up with cool travel hacks with little to no money down.

Are fees waived?

Yes, fees are waived for both AU’s and Active Duty SM’s spouses! Make sure you are in DEERS; if you have a dependent ID you are already enrolled.

Best option

It is my opinion that having both the SM and spouse have their own unique Amex platinum card, is the best way forward to accomplish the goal of traveling the world with points and miles. This applies to American Express, Chase, and other military friendly institutions that go above and beyond what the MLA dictates. Apply for the Amex platinum or any other Amex product through the following link:

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