Adding an authorized user to your Chase credit card is an easy process, but there are some benefits you forgo when you have only one household account. Here’s how the process works, what the fees are and the situations when it may not make sense to add an authorized user to your account.
An authorized user is a person who is allowed to make purchases on your credit card account. The user is issued their own credit card, but won’t receive a statement and is not responsible for making payments. Technically, anyone can be an authorized user, but authorized users are typically the main cardholder’s family members, guardians or trusted individuals.
Adding an authorized user to your Chase credit card is a quick and easy process that makes sense in several situations. It can make household finances more convenient while also helping authorized users build or improve their credit.
Adding teenage or college-age kids as authorized users can also help them build strong credit scores. When they’re added as an authorized user, Chase will report the account to the credit reporting agencies as if it belongs to the authorized user. When you pay on time, it’ll be reported on the authorized user’s credit as an on-time payment, establishing a strong credit history over time.
There are, however, some instances in which you may not want to add an authorized user to your account. Here’s how to do it, how it affects the authorized user’s credit, what the applicable fees are and how to decide whether adding an authorized user to your account makes sense for your situation.
How to add an authorized user to your Chase account
To add an authorized user to your account, you have two options: adding them through your online account or by calling the customer service number on the back of your card.
Before contacting Chase to add an authorized user, be sure you have their following information handy:
- Identifying information
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Contact information
You can find the option to add an authorized user in your online account. Under the “accounts” tab, you’ll see each of your credit card accounts. For each account, there’s a tab labeled “more” with a drop down menu. On this drop down menu, you’ll go down to “account services.” After clicking on this, another drop down menu will have the option to “add an authorized user.”
From there, you’ll enter the user’s name, date of birth and address.
Over the phone
You can also call Chase customer service to add an authorized user to your account. The number on the back of your credit card will be the most accurate one to call, as the numbers are different for each card family (for example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card versus the Chase Freedom Flex℠).
Removing an authorized user
If you need to remove an authorized user, you’ll have to call Chase customer service. The process is a bit longer, as the customer service agent will also need to request to have the authorized user’s name removed from the report sent to the credit reporting agencies.
Should you add an authorized user to your Chase card?
There are times when it may not make sense to add an authorized user to your Chase card. While it may be simpler to have one Chase account for a household, there are a lot of benefits when each partner has their own account.
Earn more Chase Ultimate Rewards points
If you and a partner love to travel using Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can earn more sign-up bonus points as a household when each partner has their own Ultimate Rewards credit card.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, for example, each partner would be able to earn 80,000 bonus points by having their own respective accounts (after spending $4,000 in the first three months, of course). Chase allows points to be combined between household members, so that would be a combined 160,000 bonus points.
Improve your credit score
You can also add or remove an authorized user to help their credit score. If you have a credit card that has a large amount of credit available with no balance owed, adding your partner to this card could help increase their credit score by decreasing their credit utilization ratio. Conversely, you can remove an authorized user from a card that has a very high credit utilization ratio in order to improve their score.
Watch out for misuse
Adding an authorized user also opens up the possibility for the user to abuse the credit limit. An authorized user is permitted to charge up to the credit limit of the primary cardholder, yet they are not responsible for making payments. This can leave the primary cardholder not just with debt, but with resentment toward the authorized user if expectations for spending aren’t clear ahead of time.
Is there a fee for adding an authorized user to your Chase credit card account?
There are no fees for adding an authorized user on most Chase credit cards. The only Chase card that charges an extra fee for authorized users is the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Because this is a premium travel rewards card with numerous perks, the fee is $75 for each authorized user.
Adding an authorized user to your account is easy and can not only make things more convenient for the main cardholder, it can also help a new credit user build credit.