Chip Lupo, Credit Card Writer
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Yes, you should add an authorized user to your credit card if you want to help a family member or close friend build or rebuild their credit. Adding an authorized user could also increase your rewards earnings and help you qualify for an initial bonus faster.
What to Know Before Adding an Authorized User to Your Credit Card
- An authorized user is usually issued their own credit card, which shares the primary cardholder's credit limit. It’s typically up to the primary cardholder to give a physical card to the authorized user.
- Some issuers have minimum age requirements to become an authorized user, or a maximum number of authorized users you can add to your account.
- The primary cardholder is responsible for all charges on the account.
- Issuers may report authorized users’ account activity to the major credit bureaus every month, though some issuers don’t report this info until the authorized user is at least 18 years old, or if the primary cardholder’s account is delinquent.
- Account mistakes by either party will affect both the authorized user’s and the primary cardholder’s credit score.
The decision to add an authorized user should not be taken lightly. Whether it’s for building credit or earning rewards, it’s important that the primary cardholder trust whomever they add as an authorized user.
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