Whatever the reason, you are entitled to remove an authorized user from your account. Learn how to do it properly now.
If you added another person to your credit card account as an authorized user, the situation doesn’t have to last forever. Maybe you added an authorized user during a time when they were making purchases on your behalf, or perhaps you wanted to help someone improve their credit score. Whatever the reason, there may come a time when you want to revoke their privileges, and you are entitled to do so.
While the credit card issuer won’t ask for an explanation regarding removing an authorized user, first notify the person who has access to your account. That way, they won’t continue using the card and face a denial at the point of sale without knowing why.
Read on to learn what making a person an authorized user on your account does, some excellent reasons to remove a person from your credit card account and how to properly — and gracefully — do it with each of the major credit card issuers.
Before I remove an authorized user, what are their rights?
Authorized users don’t have to go through a qualification process for their credit cards because they are never account owners. Instead, they are guests invited by you.
With that in mind, authorized users are legally permitted to make transactions, and can very often report lost or stolen cards, review and discuss account information with the issuer, initiate billing disputes and make payments. Some may even be able to complete a balance transfer.
However, the authorized user is legally obligated to pay the issuer. As the primary account holder, you are entirely liable for payments and debt, even if you didn’t make the charges. Therefore, it’s important for you to always maintain control over the account.
How to remove an authorized user from your account
Although adding an authorized user to your account can usually be done on the card issuer’s website, in an app or over the phone, many issuers only remove authorized users over the phone. This means you may have to call your credit card issuer to have your authorized user removed.
If you wind up calling your card issuer to have an authorized user removed, you just need to tell them you want the authorized user account closed immediately, and the issuer will do so.
You can always call the number on the back of your card to start the process. You can also call the customer service phone numbers for any of the major credit card issuers or try out their online process (where available), which are shared in the chart below.
|Credit card issuer||Phone number||Online|
|American Express||800-528-2122||American Express|
|Bank of America||800-732-9194||N/A|
|Capital One||800-227-4825||Capital One|
|Citibank||800-950-5114||Costco Anywhere Visa® Card|
When to remove an authorized user from your account
While there’s no law or policy that stipulates that you must inform the person you are removing them from your account, doing so is still a good idea. When you let them know, you are putting them in a position where they can make informed decisions with their finances while also helping them avoid an embarrassing credit card denial at the point of sale.
Under what circumstances should you remove an authorized user from your account? While nearly any situation can warrant doing so if you believe it’s best for your own finances, here are some common scenarios where it can make sense:
- Account no longer in good standing
- Authorized user breaking rules set by primary cardholder
- Change of employee status for a worker with an authorized user card
- Credit history of authorized user established
- Decision to take control of one’s own debt without others making purchases
- Divorce or separation
- No longer necessary for any reason
You can remove an authorized user from your credit card account over the phone with any card issuer, and some let you perform this task online. Some card issuers, including American Express, also let you freeze authorized user accounts online if you need to prevent new purchases immediately.
After you’ve contacted the issuer to make the request, there’s nothing left for you to do since the authorized user card can no longer be used for new purchases. For better or worse, you’ll have the account all to yourself again.