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How to remove an authorized user from a credit card account

Summary

Card issuers’ policies vary in the details, but If you’ve been added as an authorized user on another person’s credit card account, call the issuer if you want to be removed.

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How do you remove someone from being an authorized user?

It’s easy: Just call the 800 number on the card, or go online and make the request. The procedures vary slightly among major card issuers, but all allow either the primary cardholder or the authorized user to request removal.

Being an authorized user — also known as “piggybacking” — on a credit card account means the primary account holder gives you permission to use his or her account to shop or make purchases. That primary account holder is responsible for repaying any debts you may incur with the card. (Note: Being an authorized user is not the same as being a joint account holder or co-signer, where both users are responsible for repaying the credit card debt.)

Besides spending privileges, the biggest advantage to piggybacking is that it can give the authorized user’s credit history and credit score an immediate boost. That’s because once you become an authorized user on an account, the primary account holder’s credit history on that specific card can appear on your credit report.

A person with no credit history of their own or a low credit score can benefit from this arrangement. Parents often add their children as authorized users to give them a head start in achieving good credit. However, there’s also a risk: The primary account holder’s payment history may nosedive or contain negative information. In that instance, the piggybacker’s credit score could be hurt, and the authorized user may want to be removed from the account. Once removed, the credit history of the primary account holder — negative or positive — will disappear from the authorized user’s credit reports.

Here’s a quick reference list to help steer you through the process of removing an authorized user from a credit card account:

HOW TO REMOVE AN AUTHORIZED USER: Rules of major card issuers
Credit card issuer How to remove authorized users from accountsHow long does it take?
American ExpressCall the number on the back of the card or customer service at 800-528-4800Card will be canceled within 72 hours after request is submitted
Bank of AmericaCall the number on the back of the card or customer service at 800-432-1000Immediately
BarclaysCall customer service at 877-523-0478 or visit the Barclays websiteImmediately
Capital OneCall 800-227-4825 or log into the online servicing center to request the changeImmediately
ChaseCall the number on the back of the card or 800-432-3117Immediately
CitiOnline or call 800-347-4934Immediately
DiscoverCall 800-347-2683Shortly after the request is made
USAACall customer service at 800-531-8722 or visit the USAA customer websiteImmediately
US BankCall 800-285-8585, go online or mail a request to: Cardmember Services, P.O. Box 6352, Fargo, North Dakota, 58125Immediately if done via phone; 1-5 business days if done via mail or online
Wells FargoCall the number on the back of the card, 800-642-4720, or mail a request to: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., P.O. Box 10347, Des Moines, IA 50306Immediately
Issuer information updated using CreditCards.com research current as of May 30, 2017

See related:Help, I’m an unauthorized authorized user, What’s the minimum age to be an authorized user?, When an authorized user goes rogue: What to do

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