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Authorized User on a Credit Card
6 Nov 2019

Adding an Authorized User on a Credit Card: What You Need to Know

Adding an authorized user on a credit card is one of the strategies that you can use your drastically improve your credit score. You can easily boost your credit score if you’re being added onto a credit card where the primary owner of the card has a consistent record of payments that have been made on time.

If you’re interested in helping someone in your family that has a thin credit file, adding someone as an authorized user on a credit card can quickly boost their credit. However, if you already have a credit history and you’re looking to fix the negative impacts that have been left on your credit history due to financial missteps, being adding as an authorized user won’t drastically benefit your credit report.

Are you interested in learning more about becoming an authorized user on a credit card? We’ve created a complete guide with everything you need to know. Keep reading to learn more!

What Is an Authorized User on a Credit Card?

Someone that’s an authorized user on a credit card is an individual that you provide access to on your credit card account. Keep in mind that this is very different than a joint account holder. An authorized user on a credit card has the ability to make purchases on your credit account and even has access to any benefits or perks you receive when you use a company’s credit card.

On the other hand, a joint credit card account isn’t nearly as common. A joint account is when two people apply for a credit card at once, which means that both of the people that applied for the card are held accountable for any charges. In addition, a joint account means that both people can access the credit card account and have the ability to make changes to that account.

You can add a family member, a spouse, or an employee as an authorized user to a credit card account. By marking someone as an authorized user on an account, the authorized user receives their own card that has their name on it, along with their own unique credit card number. However, by adding an authorized user on to a credit card account, the primary holder of the credit card account is held liable for all of the transactions that they made, as well as all of the transactions that an authorized user makes.

When You Should Add an Authorized User

When adding someone as an authorized user onto your account, it’s a sign that you’re adding a person that you trust. By adding this person as an authorized user onto your account, you’re showing that you trust them to not abuse your credit card.

This means that you should have a solid relationship with anyone that you’re considering to share your credit card account with. Before adding the authorized user to your account, make sure that they understand how a credit card works.

You should only move forward with adding an authorized user to your account if you believe that the person you’re adding to your account is committed to using your credit card responsibly. If over time, you’ve found that the personal relationship has changed and you aren’t interested in having them on your account anymore, you can always remove them later.

Why Would You Want to Add Authorized User to Your Credit

There are several reasons why you would want to consider adding an authorized user onto your credit card account. The main reasons why you may want to consider adding an authorized user to extend the benefits that you’re receiving from an account, such as access to more credit, credit card rewards, perks, and even the ability to increase the credit score of the person that you’ve marked as an authorized user on the account.

As an example, if you have a child that you want to give a credit card to, to help them build up their credit history, but to also avoid passing a card back and forth so that they can make their own purchases. Adding them onto your account as an authorized user can help with both of these problems. Your child will receive their own credit card, but will also have the chance to build their credit history.

Depending on the credit card, adding an authorized user to an account can help the credit card collect reward points and perks. As the primary cardholder, you can use these perks and reward points to receive discounts and to use towards future purchases.

Who Can Be an Authorized User on Your Credit Card

You can choose anyone to be an authorized user on your credit card account, no matter if they’re related to you or not. For the majority of banks, they’ll only request the legal name, birthday, address, and social security number of the person you’re adding the account. In addition, there are some credit card companies that will request that the authorized user be a specific age, although, there are other companies that don’t have age requirements.

What Can an Authorized User Do

The answer to this question depends on the level of access that you’ve chosen to provide the authorized user with.  There are some credit card companies that don’t provide a varying level of access for authorized users, which is why it’s important for you to double-check with your credit card company to find out more about what an authorized user can do on your account.

Here’s an idea of some of the actions that an authorized user can take on your account, again, depending on their level of access:

  • Report stolen or lost cards
  • Make purchases
  • Create disputes in billing
  • Request copies of statements
  • Gain access to information about your account
  • Make payments
  • Ask the card issuer about fees

Keep in mind that what an authorized level is allowed to do on your account will vary based on the terms that your credit card company has issued.

Fees

There are some credit card companies that will charge an extra fee for adding several authorized users to your account, but this isn’t the case for all card issuing companies. Just make sure that you go through the fine print on your credit card agreement to make sure that you know about any fees that can occur if you add an authorized user onto your account.

Liability

Before adding an authorized user, it’s essential that you understand that you entirely liable for all and any charges that are made by yourself and any other authorized user you add to the account. When you add an authorized user onto your account, you can’t legally hold the person you’re sharing your account with responsibility for any purchases that were made onto the account.

Being an Authorized User vs Adding an Authorized User

Adding an authorized user to a credit card account can be a useful tool to avoid having to share one card with another user, as well as to reap the benefits and perks that come with accruing rewards.

By having an authorized user on a credit card, the authorized user can help the primary user to earn the highest limits of reward points on their card. Depending on the credit card company that you’re using, there may be perks and rewards that can be extended to the authorized user on the account. Some of these benefits can include car rental insurance, extended warranties on purchases that they’ve made, or even luggage reimbursement.

Becoming an Authorized User

By becoming an authorized user on an account, you’ll have access to more credit. If you’re ever in a financial crunch and you’re in the need of money fast, becoming an authorized user can help you to do so.

On the other hand, if you don’t have any experience managing a credit card, becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card can help you to learn how to manage purchases, pay bills on time, and develop healthy credit spending habits.

Adding an Authorized User on a Credit Card

Becoming an authorized user on a credit card is a great way to build a credit history. If you’re looking to start working on building a credit history for someone in your family, adding them as an authorized user on your account can help them do so.

Are you interested in learning more about how to increase your credit score? Click here to check out our blog!