Adding An Authorized User To Your Credit Card
You can usually add an authorized user by logging in to your credit card account online. Authorized users get their own cards, which can be used just like a regular credit card, but the primary cardholder is always responsible for the account balance.
Looking to build your credit fast? Becoming an authorized user on a responsible persons credit card can be a quick path to building credit without a credit check.
If you already have great credit established, adding a trustworthy authorized user to your card can help you earn more rewards more quickly, while helping someone else build his or her credit. But as youll see, mutual trust is key to an authorized user relationship.
Keep reading to learn more, or jump down to our instructions for adding authorized users for different card issuers.
Should I Add My Spouse To My Credit Card
Adding your spouse to your or opening a joint credit card account together is a big decision to make. Your spouse’s financial habits can have a direct impact, for better or for worse, on your credit score. This article will explore the options for sharing a credit card account with your spouse, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of doing so:
- Options for sharing a credit card with your spouse
- Pros and cons of sharing an account with your spouse
- Should we consider opening an account together?
Why Would You Want To Transfer Credit To Another Credit Card
There are a few reasons why you would want to process such a transfer.
- If you have a high balance on one card then transferring credit over to that card could decrease your utilization.
- A higher credit limit will give you more room for bigger purchases and perhaps to meet a minimum spend.
- You want to cancel a card but preserve the credit line by transferring it to another card first.
- Youre not comfortable with a really high credit limit for whatever reason.
- Transferring credit is sometimes necessary to get approved for a credit card.
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Check Your Credit Card Offers
If you’re looking for a new credit card, you can use the Experian CreditMatch marketplace to compare offers from our partnersincluding Chase. You can filter the results based on the cards’ features and see suggested credit requirements for each card. After signing in, you can also find out if you’re matched with personalized credit card offers based on your credit profile.
Note: The iOS version of the Chase Mobile app was used for this review. Features and capabilities of the app’s Android version may differ slightly from what is described here.
Everything Else You Need To Know
While there are very few downsides to adding an authorized user, youll want to understand the following:
- The primary cardholder is solely responsible to repay any charges the authorized user makes
- Chase will report the authorized user account to the credit bureaus
- All correspondence will be sent to the primary cardholder
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Who Can Be An Authorized User
Barring issuer-specific age restrictions, anyone can be an authorized user. American Express requires authorized users to be at least 13 years old and to have no defaulted accounts with the bank. Discover imposes a minimum age of 15, and U.S. Bank requires authorized users to be at least 16 years old.
Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo do not impose age restrictions.
How Do I Add An Authorized User With Chase
Q: How do I add my husband as an authorized user for my Chase card?A: To add an authorized user, you must first log into your Chase account. If you havent accessed your card information online before, you will need to create an account. You can do this very easily by going to www.Chase.com and clicking on the link that says Get a User ID. After logging in, you should go to the Customer Center. If you scroll down, you should see a credit card section, and one of the links will say Add authorized user. Select this link. Then you select which card you want to add the user to, and enter the answer to your security question. Enter the persons name that you want to add, and click Add Authorized User. He or she is now added to your account. When you add an authorized user, make sure you know that although it can have some benefits, such as helping to build the authorized users credit score, there are some dangers, too. Since the card is still under your name, you are responsible for any debt that is incurred on this card. An authorized user can spend a bunch of money using your card and leave you with the consequences. Make sure to only add people whom you trust.
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Minimum Age For Credit Card Authorized Users
The major credit card issuers allow you to add minors as authorized users, but several have minimum age limits. Most big banks will report authorized user accounts to the main credit bureaus, including the issuers listed below.
Occasionally banks have even offered bonus rewards for adding authorized users, and some allow you to do it online.
Card Act Of 2009 Effects On Young Adults
The authorized user strategy for young adults became even more important with the passing of theCard Act of 2009. This law made it harder for people under the age of 21 to get approved for their own credit card because it required them to be able to document their ability to repay the debt.
Since many college-age children do not have jobs, they could either become authorized users or have a parent co-sign for them in order to get a credit card. Adding your child as an authorized user is the preferable strategy because a parent can control the account. As a co-signer, the only way to be removed from the obligation is to close the credit card. Note that not all banks allow co-signers on credit cards.
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Risks Of Adding A Chase Authorized User
When you add an authorized user with Chase, you’re responsible for their transactions on the account. There are several risks to this:
- You’ll need to pay off any charges they make.
- A high balance could increase your . That can damage your .
- If you can’t repay your bill in full, you’ll incur .
You’re essentially trusting your credit to the authorized user. Their activity with the card will go on your credit report. Considering the risks involved, you should be very careful about who you add to your Chase account.
Can You Place A Spending Limit On An Authorized User
Chase does not let you set a specific limit on your Chase authorized user account via your online account management page. However, you can use your Chase account to lock and unlock both your personal credit card account and any authorized user cards you have. This action effectively freezes all credit card spending until you unlock your card again.
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Should You Get A Joint Account Instead Of Adding An Authorized User
Not every credit card issuer allows you to have a joint account holder, so it might not even be an option for you. However, if youre allowed to have a joint account holder, its important to note that you are both equally responsible for the account. Additionally, a joint account holder has equal privileges, so they can choose to close the account, add authorized users, and access the account in its entirety.
It might be easier to merge finances if youre a couple, but a joint account can also cause problems if you split up. When I got a divorce, we had to close our joint account because it wasnt possible to remove one of the account holders. By contrast, removing my ex as an authorized user on my credit cards was simple and quickly done.
Carefully consider the situation and the level of control you want the other person to have. You might be better off just sticking with authorized users.
How Can Being An Authorized User Affect Your Credit
When you’re added as an authorized user to someone else’s credit card account, you can piggyback off their credit. With that in mind, you should really only become an authorized user on an account owned by someone with good or excellent credit . Most major card issuers report authorized user data to the three main credit bureaus Experian, Equifax and TransUnion but you can call your issuer to confirm.
Charges They Make Are Your Responsibility
Kids don’t always make good choices, especially if they’re tempted by a shiny new gadget or want to keep up with their friends. Even if you’ve set clear rules about spending on an authorized user card, it’s possible your child could slip up and rack up charges neither of you can afford.
You can’t go back and claim a fraudulent or unauthorized charge with the credit card issuer, either authorized user spending is still your responsibility. So be sure to keep a close eye on your child’s spending and reinforce the limits you’ve set .
Additional Primary Cardholder Benefits Of The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- Transfer Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners
- Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for travel via the Chase Travel portal for 25% additional value
- Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for statement credits, cash-back, merchandise, gift cards
- Access to view and add Chase Offers
Bottom Line: Although an authorized user shares many of the cards attributes, major benefits and all redemption options are reserved for the primary cardholder. And while adding an authorized user is simply to do, the primary cardholder assumes all responsibility for paying any incurred charges. Chase will send all correspondence to the primary cardholder and report activity to the credit bureaus for all users.
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Establishes Credit History Longevity
One factor that affects your overall credit score is the length of your credit history. Adding an authorized user, especially one who is young, can help establish initial credit and start the clock ticking to build that history.
Bottom Line: Adding an authorized user can help that person establish credit and start building a credit history. There is no charge for adding an authorized user to your Chase Sapphire Preferred card and it could be a cost-effective alternative to having that person apply for their own card.
When Should You Add Or Become An Authorized User
When you designate someone as an authorized user youre indicating that you trust that person, at least to a certain extent. Likewise, when you become an authorized user youre showing that you trust the primary cardholder to use the account properly.
In general, you should have a good relationship with anyone you share a credit card account with. And if youre going to be the authorized user, you should be sure that the primary cardholder understands how credit cards work.
Remember that personal relationships can change quickly, but legal relationships tend to be more difficult to get out of. You can always remove someone as an authorized user or cancel your own authorized user account.
There are quite a few reasons why it might be a good idea to designate an authorized user, or become one yourself.
You should only use one of these strategies if youre committed to using credit cards responsibly. Otherwise, you and the authorized user could suffer with lower credit scores and all the negative consequences that result, like higher interest rates and difficulty qualifying for financing.
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Tax Complications And Consequences
It will be very important to keep a record of how much you give and who its going to, says Menard. In 2020, you can give up to $15,000 per person without needing to file a gift tax return.
According to IRS rules, as the donor, you are typically responsible for paying any gift tax due, though you may be able to make an arrangement to have the person youre helping out pay the tax. If the amount you give is an especially large figure, communicate with the person about tax issues.
It will be very important to keep a record of how much you give and who its going to. In 2020, you can give up to $15,000 per person without needing to file a gift tax return.
Dana Menard, Twin Cities Wealth Strategies
Choose The Right Recipient
Dana Menard, a financial planner and founder of Twin Cities Wealth Strategies, says your first step is to make sure youre giving to the right person especially when participating in crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe. Plenty of people make pleas for assistance with their credit card debt.
Scammers are out there, says Menard. Are they really in dire straits, or just looking for a handout? Thats hard to know sometimes. Giving to someone you already know and trust is usually a better idea.
Once youve done your due diligence and decided on the right person, figure out the amount of money you can afford to give. That sum must not put you at a disadvantage.
Review your own finances and make sure you have a personal emergency fund, says Menard. Anything can happen right now, and you dont want to be in a position where you cant make ends meet.
Determine a figure thats discretionary, then stick with it even if the amount seems small.
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How Can I Update My Credit Card Information For Shop With Points
To update the expiration date of a credit card you have in your Amazon.com wallet, please take the following actions so you can use your new card at Amazon.com and continue to utilize Shop with Points:
Visit amazon.com Go to Your Account and select Payment Options and edit your existing Chase credit card information with the updated expiration date. The update will be effective immediately.
If your Chase card is replaced and the card number changes you will need to add your new card to your Amazon.com wallet and re-enroll in Shop with Points at Amazon.com.
Please contact Chase by calling the number on the back of your Chase card if you have questions regarding Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
What You Need To Know About Adding Authorized Users To Your Credit Card
Before adding your child to your card, consider the ins and outs of how the issuer handles authorized users to make sure you get the desired benefits without getting hit by high fees.
Here are key factors to consider when adding authorized users to your credit card:
- Almost all cards from major issuers allow you to add an authorized user for free, but a few premium cards charge a hefty fee. Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders must pay a flat $175 fee each year for adding up to three additional card guests, then $175 more for each additional Platinum Card after. The Chase Sapphire Reserve charges a $75 annual fee for each additional authorized user card.
- Most major issuers report an authorized user account on the guests credit files. However, some issuers report both positive and negative information associated with the main account on the authorized users credit, while others report only positive items.
- American Express is the only major issuer that issues authorized user cards with different card numbers and allows the primary cardholder to set spending limits for, and receive alerts about, the authorized users spending.
In a pinch, Discover offers its Freeze it option to temporarily freeze and unfreeze your account in seconds online or on the mobile app. This could be used to halt all purchases if, for example, your child loses their card. However, the downside is it also freezes your own line of credit at the same time.
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Everything You Need To Know About Authorized Users
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Editors note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
Adding an authorized user to your credit card account can be a great way to meet spending requirements, accrue more points and even help a novice build their credit history. While it can be highly beneficial, there are also risks associated with adding an authorized user .
Its important to choose someone who is responsible and able to repay their debts, even if theyre not legally obligated to do so. Thats just the tip of the iceberg. Here is everything you need to know about authorized users:
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