Bank of America makes it easy to add an authorized user to your credit card. Here’s how to add someone to your account, and a few things to consider before you do.
If you have a Bank of America credit card, you can add friends or family to your account as an authorized user. They’ll receive a credit card of their own and can spend on the account.
There are several benefits to adding someone as an authorized user on your credit card. You can help a friend or family member with low credit boost their credit score, and if you share finances with a partner, you can easily get all of your spending in one place.
But there are also some downsides that come with adding someone as an authorized user. Once you’ve added them to the account and given them the right to use the credit card, you’re ultimately responsible for their spending.
If you’re considering adding someone as an authorized user on your Bank of America card, we can help. Keep reading to learn how to add an authorized user, potential costs of adding someone to your account and whether it’s a good idea to add an authorized user.
How to add an authorized user to your Bank of America account
Bank of America makes it easy to add an authorized user to your credit card account. You can add someone over the phone by calling customer service, but it’s even easier to do online. You just need the authorized user’s name, birth date, Social Security number and phone number.
Here’s how to add an authorized user to your Bank of America account online:
- Log into your Bank of America online account
- On the page that displays your accounts, choose the credit card you want to add an authorized user to
- Click on the “Information & Services” option
- Find the menu titled “Services” and click on the “Add an authorized user” option
- Enter your authorized user’s personal information
- Click “Submit”
Once you’ve added your authorized user, you’ll receive a Bank of America credit card with their name on it, which will be mailed to your address. Simply activate the card and give it to your authorized user – then they’ll have the ability to spend on it.
It’s also worth noting that because the authorized user’s card will be mailed to your address, you could choose not to give it to them.
Often people add an authorized user as a way of helping them to boost their credit score. But if they spend on the account, you’re the one responsible for paying back those purchases. Instead, you might choose to add them to the account to get the benefit to their credit score, but without letting them spend on the card.
Is there a fee for adding an authorized user to your Bank of America credit card account?
It’s free to add an authorized user to your Bank of America credit card account, meaning you won’t be charged any sort of fee. The other good news is that if you have a credit card with an annual fee, it only applies to the account, not each individual user.
Should you add an authorized user to your Bank of America card?
Bank of America makes it easy to add an authorized user to your credit card, but it’s worth asking yourself whether it’s a good idea. There are some pros and cons to having an authorized user, and it could have major implications for your financial health as well.
Someone may choose to add their partner as an authorized user on their card, to make it easier to track their spending together, especially if they share finances. Similarly, a parent might choose to add their teenage or adult children on the card to use for regular spending or during an emergency.
But the reason many people choose to add an authorized user to their account is to benefit the other person’s credit score.
When you add someone as an authorized user on your credit card, they’ll get credit for your entire payment history – including the time before they were on the account. They’ll also have their credit impacted by the account’s credit utilization, meaning the percentage of available credit being used.
The better (and longer) the payment history and the lower the credit utilization, the better the impact on the authorized user’s credit score. For this reason, people often choose to add a loved one who may be struggling with poor credit.
But the credit score benefits of an authorized user only help the authorized user – they don’t help you as the account holder. And not only does having an authorized user not particularly help you, but it can also ultimately harm you.
When someone else is an authorized user on your account, they often have a credit card and the ability to spend on the account. But no matter who is listed as an authorized user, it’s you as the account owner who is responsible for paying the full balance. If an authorized user racks up a large balance you can’t pay off, you could see your credit score and financial health ruined.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of having an authorized user on your account. Make sure you only add someone you trust, and if you’re worried about the effect on your finances of adding an authorized user, either don’t add them or make sure they don’t have access to the credit card.
Adding an authorized user comes with plenty of benefits, including making it easier to manage your household budget and helping a loved one boost their credit score. However, there are also some downsides and potential dangers you should look out for.
The good news is that if you’re a Bank of America credit card customer, this issuer makes it easy – and free – to add authorized users to your account without paying any additional fees.