Double-dip on credit card points with an additional cardholder

Double-dip on credit card points with an additional cardholder

One of the easiest ways to earn frequent flyer points is to pay for your everyday purchases using a points-earning credit card – and to maximise the number of points you can earn, adding your partner or spouse to your credit card account as an ‘additional cardholder’ can be a great way to go.

That’s because you’ll earn points every time your extra cardholder spends on their card, in addition to earning points every time you swipe your own, with all points generally pooled to the primary cardholder’s rewards account.

From there, you can use those points to book flights or upgrades as usual – the advantage being that all your points are in the one basket, and can be used to make joint reward bookings without transferring points between accounts, or being forced to book flights separately.

Having an additional cardholder can also save you money on annual fees: so rather than each of you paying the full annual fee on your own credit card, you could maintain a single credit card account instead with the other partner as an additional cardholder.

Many points-earning cards will let you issue an additional card at no extra charge, including popular products such as the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card, AMEX Velocity Platinum Card, American Express Explorer Card and the AMEX Platinum Charge Card.

The same is true of the Westpac Altitude Black credit card combo, which gives the primary cardholder and one additional cardholder each their own American Express card to maximise their points, plus their own Mastercard to use everywhere else: all attached to the one account and credit limit.

Some banks charge a fee for additional cards – ANZ, for example, levies $65 per year per additional card if you hold an ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Visa or ANZ Rewards Black Visa – although paying that fee still costs significantly less than stumping up for a second, identical credit card.

Just remember that in most cases, the primary cardholder is financially liable for all spending on the account, including for transactions made by additional cardholders, so only give a card to somebody you trust completely (such as your spouse), and think twice before issuing cards to children.

Also keep in mind that any points capping or tiering rules will usually apply to the entire account rather to each card: so consider choosing a card with no earning limits or with a high capping or tiering threshold to ensure your strategy doesn’t end up costing you points!

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin (ChrisCh)

[email protected] / @ChamberlinChris

Australian Business Traveller journalist Chris Chamberlin lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

5 Comments

  • Boof

    Boof

    27 Jul, 2017 07:24 am

    Hey Chris, good article but is it really double dipping? Maybe the headline should be "Boost points with an additional card". 

    If you guys can work out how I can double-dip by paying once but getting two lots of points it will be the most popular article you've ever written!
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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    27 Jul, 2017 07:49 am

    'Double-dip' means to earn something from two sources (points in this case): those two sources being the primary cardholder's card and the additional cardholder's card, while paying only one annual fee rather that two, so we're comfortable with our headline.
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  • Boof

    Boof

    27 Jul, 2017 08:17 am

    I was pretty sure that double-dip means that you earn twice on the one event, such as paying for a hotel with a points earning credit card and plus earning points on the stay itself. 
    As long as you are comfortable with the headline then that is the main thing. Thanks anyway!
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  • David

    davew

    27 Jul, 2017 11:45 am

    To me, double dipping is grabbing a chip, dipping it in sauce, taking a bite, then dipping the same chip into the same sauce and biting the chip again. So translating this to the illustration above, I would be purchasing petrol, swiping my FF card, then using my credit card to pay. So I would get points from two sources (i.e. two bites being my FF card and CC card) from the one transaction (one bowl of sauce).

    If having a secondary card holder meant that I would earn more points from the same transaction (if I swiped both CCs resulting in more points than dipping once), then this makes sense. But if I need two transactions (i.e. two bowls of sauce), then my understanding is I am dipping once two times.

    I'm sure there are lots of problems with my illustration, so cue the chips and dips discussion!

    Btw, love your work Austbt! The content of this article is certainly true and a good reminder!
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  • David

    davew

    27 Jul, 2017 11:48 am

    Ausbt, not Austbt - typo there. Whoops!
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  • Steven Lee

    scl

    30 Jul, 2017 11:30 am

    I'm with Boof on this one. This is a way to Boost points earn by capturing points that you would not have earned without using a supplementary card. Double Dipping is getting extra points for the same event. I buy fuel at BP and swipe Velocity card to get 2 Velocity points per litre. I then pay for that fuel with Amex Velocity Plat card and get spend points for the purchase. THAT is double dipping. 
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  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    27 Jul, 2017 09:23 am

    'Double dip' makes perfect sense to me and anybody who has watched that episode of Seinfeld will get the idea too! Anyway, a good rundown of this tactic, I have additional card-holders on all my cards and those extra points all add up.
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  • brettepi

    brettepi

    27 Jul, 2017 10:06 am

    you would be better off both having cards with different banks to take advantage of any signup bonuses and avoid hitting any point caps instead of being a second cardholder...
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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    27 Jul, 2017 01:10 pm

    The focus here is on earning points on everyday transactions, so if you have a high-earning card with no points cap or a high tiering threshold, there's no reason to be paying a second round of annual fees when you could maximise your points via a single card account at one annual fee (unless you keep separate AMEX and non-AMEX accounts, in which case you can again cut down fees by having an additional cardholder on each).

    Applying for cards solely to earn bonus points from signing-up isn't something we cover, and when we do cover the various top sign-up deals each month, we always include how many points you can earn from continuing to use each card: as while the sign-up bonus can be a big drawcard, so too is the ongoing earning rate you'll have after that bonus has come and gone. :)

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  • Steve987

    Steve987

    27 Jul, 2017 11:27 pm

    Hardly a double dip, but a good thing nonetheless 
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  • Gilbert Leung

    Gleung

    28 Jul, 2017 03:42 pm

    One additional factor to consider is the restriction on transfer of points to accounts of various FF programs. This is particular true with Asia Miles - I will not be able to top up my wife,s AM account with my credit card points (even if earned on the supp card held in her name) if she just need, say another 10,000 points, to redeem a business award ticket.
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18 Oct, 2017 11:13 am

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