I’m new to American Express this year and I can honestly say they are my favorite out of all the credit cards I carry in my wallet! My parents have never had an Amex card before and I’m constantly telling them about the benefits. My parents agreed to let me add my dad on as an authorized user so they can benefit from the extended warranty the next time they have a large purchase.
One of my favorite sites to check for credit card offers is CreditCrards.com (There’s a link in the top left corner: Offers Matched for You). I checked for offers quite frequently for my parents and there’s never been a generous sign-up offer. Not even a week after adding my dad on as an authorized user to my Amex card, there’s an offer sitting on the website that’s double what the public offer is on AmericanExpress.com.
One of best tips I can recommend when applying for a new credit card is to “always search for a better signup offer before applying for a credit card.“ Whether that be searching on Google, CreditCards.com, message boards, etc. The results may surprise you! A little bit of research can sometimes mean hundreds of dollars in miles and points!
My dad had two offers from CreditCards.com:
- American Express Premier Rewards Gold – 50,000 Membership Rewards after $1,000 in purchases within 3 months. $0 annual fee the first year, and then $175 after that.
- American Express Platinum – 60,000 Membership Rewards after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. $450 annual fee. Not waived the first year.
Naturally I had my dad apply for the Amex Gold since there’s no annual fee the first year. Furthermore, I checked for Delta award seats in June for my parents to fly home and I found two tickets available for 25,000 miles a piece. Perfect! My parents won’t have to spend $900 on airline tickets to come home in the spring.
I’ve already completed the $1,000 in spending for my parents. Once the statement generates and the bill is paid, I can actually call American Express and have them push the 50,000 Membership Rewards through manually. Otherwise I would have to wait a month for them to post. I want to collect the points ASAP so I can transfer them to my dad’s Delta SkyMiles account so we can get their airline tickets booked.
So what does this all mean?
I can’t say for certain that adding my dad on as an authorized is what triggered Amex to offer him a generous sign-up bonus on CreditCards.com, but I’d bet some money on it. I’ve gone ahead and added my mom on as an authorized user to test this theory again. She currently doesn’t have any offers on CreditCards.com, but I’ll check back in a week or two and we’ll find out if this experiment worked!
If you don’t have an American Express credit card and you’re currently not being targeted for any sign-up offers, I would see if a close family member would add you onto their account as an authorized user for a month or two. You actually don’t have to spend anything on the card and your family member would never have to give you the card. Amex will require your social security number, and by providing them that info they can start targeting you by name and address.