Chip Lupo, Credit Card Writer
An authorized user on a credit card is a person who can charge purchases to the account but is not responsible for making payments. Anyone can become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card, though most authorized users are family members or employees of a business.
To add an authorized user, the primary cardholder will need to log in to their online account or contact the credit card issuer and request that the individual be added to their account. The primary cardholder will need to provide the person’s name, birthdate, and address, in most cases. Some issuers may also require an individual’s Social Security number to add them as an authorized user.
Key Things to Know About Authorized Users on a Credit Card
Credit card issuers all have their own rules for authorized users.
Some issuers may have minimum age requirements for authorized users or a maximum number of authorized users you can add to your account.
Authorized users don’t have the same account privileges as the primary cardholder.
Generally, authorized users may earn rewards, make payments, and report lost or stolen cards. They cannot redeem rewards (unless the primary cardholder allows it), request credit limit increases, or close the account.
An authorized user can usually build credit, if the account is in good standing.
Issuers report account activity to the major credit bureaus every month, and many issuers also report this information for authorized users. Some issuers won’t report authorized users to the credit bureaus until they’re at least 18 years old, or if the primary cardholder’s account is delinquent, for example.
The primary cardholder is financially liable for all charges on the account.
Authorized users are not responsible for making payments. That obligation belongs to the primary cardholder.
Authorized users can remove themselves from the account at any time.
An authorized user can request removal from the account online or by contacting the issuer’s customer service department. The primary accountholder can also remove authorized users. An authorized user cannot remove other authorized users from the account.
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