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How to add an authorized user to a Chase credit card

Considering adding an authorized user to your Chase card? Here’s everything you need to know, including fees, pros and cons, credit impact and instructions

Summary

Chase allows cardholders to add authorized users to their accounts. Learn how to add an authorized user to your Chase card, how much it costs and what impact it may have on your credit.

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Know a family member or friend struggling with a low credit score? Or maybe that relative or friend has little to no credit history. You might be able to help them build or improve their score by adding them as an authorized user to your Chase credit card.

Be warned, though: Only do this with people you trust. You’re ultimately responsible for the debt that authorized users run up. If they decide not to pay it down, you’ll have to do it.

See related: Authorized users: 3 common scenarios for sharing a card account

What is an authorized user?

An authorized user is allowed to use your credit card account. These users will get their own credit card and can use it to make purchases.

An authorized user, though, bears no responsibility for making payments on your card. That responsibility is still on you. The theory is that authorized users will pay you for their purchases when your credit card bill comes due. But if they don’t, you’re on the hook to make those payments.

Why add an authorized user to your credit card?  

You won’t receive any advantages when you add an authorized user to your credit card account. But your authorized users will.

When you add authorized users, you’ll provide them with a credit score boost. When you make your payments on time, it not only helps your credit score, but the credit score of your authorized user as well.

This is important for people who have weak credit or haven’t yet built a credit history. Parents, for instance, might add their children as authorized users, helping them build a credit history before they can even apply for a credit card on their own.

What are the requisites for becoming an authorized user on a Chase card?

You can add anyone as an authorized user to your Chase credit card. It doesn’t have to be a family member, and Chase doesn’t have minimum-age limitations for authorized users.

All you’ll need to provide is the authorized user’s name, birth date and address. A Social Security number is not required to become an authorized user on a Chase credit card.

See related: What’s the minimum age to be an authorized user?

How to add an authorized user on your Chase account

Adding an authorized user is easy.

  • Log onto your account at Chase.com.
  • Click the “Accounts” tab.
  • Under “More Options,” click on the “Account Services” menu.
  • Select “Add an Authorized User.”
  • If you have multiple cards with Chase, you’ll have to choose one of them.

Next, fill out the required information about the authorized user.

Your authorized user will then receive a credit card. Chase reminds you on the sign-up page that your authorized user will be able to make charges on your account but isn’t responsible for making payments. That responsibility falls on you.

Is there a fee for adding an authorized user to a Chase card?

Adding an authorized user is free on most Chase credit cards. However, you will have to pay $75 for every authorized user you add to the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Can you set up specific credit limits for authorized users on a Chase card?

Like the majority of credit card companies, Chase doesn’t allow you to set up a specific credit limit for any authorized users. If your credit limit is $10,000, your authorized user’s credit limit will also be $10,000.

Do authorized users have access to all the benefits on a Chase card?

Authorized users have access to most of the benefits on a Chase card, such as purchase protection or auto rental insurance, if the card offers it. However, if you have a rewards or cash back card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Freedom, only you can redeem those awards. Your authorized user can’t. As a benefit to you, though, the purchases that your authorized user makes will count toward your rewards points.

Can you limit access to some benefits to authorized users on a Chase card?

Your authorized user will have the same credit limit as you and will be able to use your card as often as they’d like. They won’t, though, be able to redeem your rewards points or request a change in your credit limit.

See related: How to transfer a balance to a Chase credit card

What are the pros of adding an authorized user to your credit card?

Parents often add their children to their credit card accounts to help them build their credit. Joi King, president and CEO of Global Financial & Credit Solutions in Philadelphia, is an example. She added all of her children to one of her credit cards as soon as those children turned 13.

This move paid off, King said.

“By the time they hit 18, they already had five years of credit established and a good credit score,” she said.

R.J. Weiss, founder of The Ways To Wealth personal finance blog said there are limits to the credit boost people can receive by becoming an authorized user. How much of an impact this has depends on a person’s existing credit history and credit score.

But the boost to people’s credit history is usually lower than what they would get from using their own credit cards, Weiss said.

What are the cons of adding an authorized user to your credit card?

There is a risk here, though. Authorized users can run up your credit card debt, something that could hurt your credit score. It’s why King says cardholders should clearly spell out their expectations for how an authorized user can use their card.

The primary cardholder might say an authorized user can only charge up to $50 a month. They might say authorized users can only use the card for specific expenses, such as paying for gas to get to work or school. Primary cardholders should also establish clear dates for when authorized users will pay them back for the purchases they make.

“The authorized user has your credit card and can spend as much money as he or she wishes,” Weiss said. “There needs to be a level of trust. If they don’t understand the expectations of how much to use your credit card, it can hurt you both.”

Primary cardholders must explain what consequences authorized users will face if they misuse the credit card. What happens if an authorized user runs up hundreds of dollars in credit card debt in a month? Will the primary cardholder immediately remove this user from the account, or will the authorized user have more than one chance to make up for a mistake?

Whatever the expectations and consequences are, they must be clearly stated, King said.

“An authorized user could max out your credit card and walk away without paying anything,” King said. “All the responsibility for those purchases will fall on the primary cardholder. So, you need to be certain that you can trust any authorized user.”

See related: Will adding me as an authorized user hurt my mom’s credit score?

How adding, and becoming, an authorized user can affect credit

Oleg Yavorovskiy, CEO of New York City-based Guardian Debt Relief, said authorized users should take care, too. While being added as a user can boost their credit scores, it could also hurt them, depending on the financial savvy of a primary cardholder.

As Yavorovskiy says, if the primary cardholder makes a late payment – a payment is late when it is 30 days or more past its due date – that will cause the primary cardholder’s credit score to drop. But it will also damage the score of the authorized user.

Primary cardholders with a high credit utilization ratio can also damage the credit scores of authorized users, Yavorovskiy said. Credit utilization – the amount you have borrowed compared to your credit limit – is the second most important factor in credit-scoring calculations after making on-time payments.

If a cardholder has a $10,000 credit limit on a card and has a balance of $8,000 on that same card, that will result in a high credit utilization ratio. The higher this ratio, the worse it is for a cardholder’s score. It will also damage the score of an authorized user.

For this reason, Yavorovskiy said, it’s best to become an authorized user on the credit card account of a family member or friend whom you trust and who makes payments on time and in full each month.

“It’s important to have clear guidelines of what’s expected of everyone,” Yavorovskiy said.

And if an authorized user arrangement isn’t working, either because of bad financial behavior on the part of the authorized user or primary cardholder? Primary cardholders can drop authorized users instantly, and authorized users can ask to be removed by the issuer.

How to remove an authorized user from a Chase credit card

To remove an authorized user, call Chase using either the number on the back of your credit card or 1-800-432-3117. You can also send Chase a secure message with this request by logging onto your account and choosing “Connect with Chase” and then “Secure messages” from the side menu.

How to take advantage of becoming an authorized user on a Chase credit card

  • Pay all your other bills on time each month to provide an additional boost to your credit. If you have additional credit card debt, pay as much of it down as you can. This, too, will improve your credit score.
  • Don’t take advantage of the family member or friend who has added you as an authorized user. If you and this person have an agreement on how much you can charge each month, stick to it.

Be sure to pay for your charges on the agreed-upon due date. Remember, the primary cardholder can remove as you as an authorized user whenever he or she likes. Be respectful and stick to whatever arrangement you’ve created.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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