January 12, 2017

Is It Worth It to Add Authorized User to Chase Sapphire Reserve?

Hands down, Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the best travel cards out there for frequent flyers/travelers. I am so lucky to be able to sign up for the card while it offers 100,000 bonus points and got approved. Besides the huge sign up bonus, one of the reasons that I got this card is because I now can take my travel companion into airport lounges both in the US and the world with Priority Pass membership for free. If I add an authorize user to this Chase card, s/he will have his/her own Priority Pass membership as well, and will be able to take his/her travel companion into the lounge even they are not traveling with me. That makes me look into the values of adding an authorized user to the Chase Sapphire Reserve because adding additional card costs $75/year, and that is in addition to the the primary cardholder $450/year.

Again, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is great for frequent flyers/travelers. If you don't travel much, this card may not be ideal for you. The primary cardholder can justify that high annual fee of $450 easily because this card comes with $300 annual travel credit that applies to airfare and hotels. Then there's $100 statement credit for Global Entry, 3 points per dollar earned on dinning and travels, airport lounge access, 50% more value when redeem points for travels through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and so much more that are worth more than the remaining $150/year. This is definitely a no-brainer for us that love to travel frequently.

Authorized User Can Enjoy Lounge Access At Cancun Airport With Priority Pass Select Membership
But what about the Authorized User? 
Is It Worth It to Add Authorized User to Chase Sapphire Reserve?

Let's get the drawbacks out of the way first. 

Drawbacks of Adding an Authorized User

  • Annual fee for additional card for each authorized user is $75/year. 
  • No $300 travel credit like the primary cardholder has. 
  • No $100 statement credit for the Global Entry or TSA Pre Check. 
  • No 50% more value when redeem points for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards like the primary cardholder does. 
  • Although adding an authorized user does not require the user's social security number, but the account may show up on his/her credit report as an open credit account. If the user has open 5 or more accounts within the past 24 months with any banks, s/he will have a hard time getting approved for certain Chase cards in the future on their own. 

Benefits of Adding an Authorized User

  • Authorized user will be able to get his/her own Priority Pass Select membership to access over 900+ airport lounges. In addition, they can take their own travel companions into the lounge for free without the presence of the primary cardholder. 
    • Do note that, the primary cardholder can also take his or her own travel companions into the lounge as well for free. So it really comes down to whether you want the user to have his/her own lounge access or not when you don't travel together. 
  • Help the primary cardholder meeting minimum spending requirements to get the sign up bonus. In my example, I have to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening in order to receive the 100,000 sign up bonus. The authorized user can contribute to that spending requirements. 
  • Although the authorized user does not have $300 travel credit, the user is still able to help meeting that travel credit because any travel expenses that are made by the authorized user will be counted toward that $300 credit. 
  • Help the primary cardholder earning points faster because authorized user can earn 3 points per dollar on dinning and travel expenses, and 1 point per dollar on any other purchases, just like what the primary card's holder can earn. Points earned by the authorized user are credited to the account of the primary cardholder. 
  • Primary cardholder can transfer points to an authorized user's account if the user lives in the same household. The authorized user then can transfer points to their airlines and hotel loyalty programs, or however they decide to do with their points from their own account.  
  • Have the same benefits of travel insurance and trip delays when purchasing the travel through the card. 
  • Last but not least, although the authorized user does not have $100 statement credit for Global Entry like the primary cardholder does, it's worth noting that the primary cardholder can use the $100 statement credit for Global Entry for anyone. 

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