Authorized Users on Credit Cards: What You Need to Know

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Many recognition cards fto you add an authorized user to your account.

For astir people, the thought of giving idiosyncratic other the powerfulness to walk your recognition is downright terrifying; however, determination are different reasons to adhd an authorized user, specified arsenic elevated rewards and question perks.

Different banks usage antithetic terminology. You’ll spot phrases similar authorized user, further cardholder, supplementary card, oregon secondary card, but these each notation to the aforesaid thing.

How Do Authorized User Cards Work?

A supplementary paper mostly has a antithetic sanction and fig connected it, but is linked to the superior recognition account.

It’s important to separate betwixt the relationship and the cards: the account refers the superior cardholder positive immoderate authorized users, whereas the cards notation to each cardholder individually.

Generally speaking, rewards and recognition obligations are tied to the account, portion benefits and entree to accusation are tied to the cards.

Are authorized users the aforesaid arsenic a associated account?

No. By adding an further cardholder, you’re creating a paper successful idiosyncratic else’s sanction connected the aforesaid recognition account. You’re authorizing them to marque purchases connected your account.

The superior cardholder is inactive liable for paying each charges connected the account. Even if a abstracted connection is issued showing lone the secondary card’s transactions, the primary cardholder is yet liable for immoderate purchases made connected the account, including the authorized users’.

How are the cardholders’ recognition reports affected?

In Canada, an authorized user’s recognition study isn’t affected astatine all. The slope won’t bash a recognition enquiry to verify the secondary cardholder’s individuality oregon creditworthiness. (There’s nary further enquiry for the superior cardholder either, if you adhd a paper to an relationship that’s already open.)

Also, the paper won’t look connected their recognition study arsenic a caller relationship oregon interaction their utilization. Instead, the full utilization, including spending by each authorized users, only affects the superior cardholder’s recognition file.

Therefore, you can’t adhd an authorized idiosyncratic to assistance them physique oregon rebuild their recognition history. They request to beryllium the superior cardholder to bash this.

Basically, authorized users are thing much than a sanction embossed connected an other portion of integrative (or metal). You could get 1 for virtually anyone, and it’s creaseless sailing arsenic agelong arsenic you wage the afloat balance.

Who tin spot transactions connected the account?

As the superior cardholder, you’ll spot each of the authorized users’ purchases connected your ain online profile, and connected your relationship statement. Many banks besides contented abstracted statements for authorized users and assistance them online access, but they tin lone spot their ain transactions.

The separation of transactions whitethorn beryllium utile for anyone who wants to way expenses individually for purchases connected the aforesaid account, specified arsenic families oregon tiny concern owners.

How bash authorized users gain and redeem rewards?

Authorized users gain rewards connected spending astatine the aforesaid rates arsenic the superior card.

Rewards are earned connected the account, not connected each idiosyncratic card. They’re pooled nether the superior cardholder, and for co-branded cards, they’ll beryllium transferred to the relationship holder’s linked loyalty program.

Do further cards person a invited bonus?

Not a large one. Some cards springiness you a token magnitude of other points for adding an further cardholder, but there’s nary minimum walk request oregon ample bonus to execute for the secondary card.

As with regular rewards connected spending, invited bonuses are tied to the account, not the cards. Unless different specified, purchases connected each cards volition number towards the minimum walk requirement for a invited bonus.

For example, $2,000 spent connected the superior paper positive $1,000 spent connected a secondary paper would fulfill a invited bonus with a $3,000 threshold.

Do authorized users get cardholder benefits?

It depends. Most products connection partial benefits to further cardholders, but the grade of these perks varies.

For example, American Express Platinum Card supplementary cardholders get lounge access:

However, Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite supplementary cardholders bash not get lounge access, adjacent though superior cardholders do:

Many cards besides widen their travel security policies to further cardholders. As always, the good people for security tin beryllium rather granular, and it’s not thing you privation to get wrong.

Before adding an authorized idiosyncratic with the anticipation that they’d reap this oregon immoderate different benefit, decidedly corroborate their eligibility archetypal to debar disappointment oregon nary coverage.

How overmuch bash authorized idiosyncratic cards cost?

Some authorized idiosyncratic cards person an annual fee, which is successful summation to the superior cardholder’s yearly fee. As with the superior card, fees are often higher for premium products, up to $200.

Some products supply 1 supplementary paper for free, but complaint a interest for immoderate further cards thereafter, specified arsenic the American Express Gold Rewards Card:

Many compelling recognition paper offers waive the superior yearly interest for the archetypal year. Sometimes, this discount besides extends to a supplementary cardholder, arsenic we’ve seen with galore CIBC offers successful the caller past:

Furthermore, if you person a recognition paper yearly interest waiver from a premium banking package, immoderate banks besides waive the interest connected 1 oregon much authorized idiosyncratic cards.

Strategies for Supplementary Cardholders

For astir products, determination aren’t a batch of grant oregon question advantages to adding an further cardholder. The intended intent is to make a pseudo-joint relationship with a spouse, and adjacent that is little utile with the emergence of mobile payments, wherever you don’t really request 2 carnal cards.

If allowing further spenders is much important to you than points oregon perks, see cards similar the American Express Cobalt Card oregon the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card, which person nary yearly interest for up to 9 authorized users.

For others, determination are a fewer circumstantial products and situations wherever adding different paper has a chiseled benefit.

BMO eclipse Visa Cards

As an ongoing benefit, BMO is offering accrued rewards connected spending if you adhd an authorized idiosyncratic to your account. The bonus applies to purchases made connected the superior paper oregon immoderate further cards.

Ordinarily, the cards already person precocious gain rates connected galore fashionable categories:

With the authorized idiosyncratic bonus, the Visa Infinite paper gives 10% much points, earning 5.5 points per dollar spent connected bonus categories. Considering the 0.67 cents per constituent valuation of BMO Rewards points, that’s equivalent to a nett instrumentality of 3.69%.

Likewise, the Visa Infinite Privilege paper gives 25% much points, earning 6.25 points per dollar spent connected bonus categories, for a nett instrumentality of 4.19%.

The yearly fees for an authorized idiosyncratic are $50 and $99, respectively. They cannot beryllium reduced with a First Year Free connection oregon with premium banking.

Even so, it’s worthy it if your yearly walk is precocious enough. To interruption even, you’d person to walk $15,000 per twelvemonth connected the Visa Infinite card, oregon $12,000 per twelvemonth connected the Visa Infinite Privilege card. Any purchases beyond those amounts volition summation the nett worth you get from utilizing the card.

Aeroplan Credit Cards

On the suite of co-branded recognition cards, Air Canada has enhanced the mode Aeroplan benefits are integrated for recognition paper members.

Secondary cardholders bask galore of the aforesaid perks arsenic their genitor card. For halfway and premium cards, they get 1 escaped checked container for themselves and up to 8 companions connected Air Canada flights. The authorized idiosyncratic doesn’t request to beryllium travelling with the superior cardholder.

You tin nexus a secondary paper to the cardholder’s Aeroplan relationship on Air Canada’s website.

In particular, the halfway Aeroplan cards are a large mode to dainty household and friends to these Aeroplan perks. TD and CIBC’s cards person a fewer ways to destruct the yearly interest for authorized users:

  • The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card waives the archetypal twelvemonth yearly interest for up to three authorized users arsenic portion of the invited bonus, oregon successful perpetuity with TD All-Inclusive Banking. The regular interest is $75 per card.
  • The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card waives the archetypal twelvemonth yearly interest for up to 3 authorized users arsenic portion of the invited bonus, oregon successful perpetuity with the CIBC Smart Plus Account. The regular interest is $50 per card.

Furthermore, the TD Aeroplan cards springiness a NEXUS rebate to up to 4 cardholders connected the aforesaid superior account.

The premium cards besides connection these benefits for authorized users, but with higher fees.

Airport Lounges

Many premium recognition cards supply escaped memberships oregon passes to airdrome lounges. Some of these cards widen this perk to supplementary cards:

American Express Cards

American Express cards are known for high-value invited bonuses. Many of these offers tin beryllium accrued by adding a supplementary cardholder, which is intelligibly displayed astatine the clip of exertion erstwhile it’s available.

Amex besides has a peculiar operation wherever you tin adhd further cards that aren’t the aforesaid merchandise arsenic the superior card. This would beryllium utile if you privation idiosyncratic other to person entree to a premium account’s spending power, but without paying the precocious fees for premium perks connected the secondary card.

For instance, you tin adhd a supplementary Gold paper to a Platinum account. The paper earns astatine Platinum rates but lone provides Gold perks – truthful nary unlimited lounge access, but a overmuch little yearly fee.

You’ll gain 5,000 Membership Rewards points for each further Platinum card, oregon 2,500 points for each further Gold paper connected a Platinum account. At $50 per secondary Gold card, you tin efficaciously bargain MR points astatine 2 cents per point, adjacent if you person nary request for an authorized user.

You tin bash the aforesaid with the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card. Amex offers 2 types of supplementary cards:

  • The afloat Additional Aeroplan Reserve Card provides the aforesaid broad Aeroplan benefits arsenic the superior card, specified arsenic escaped checked bags, Maple Leaf Lounge access, and precedence boarding, with an yearly interest of $199.
  • The Additional Aeroplan Reserve No Fee Card lone provides immoderate benefits, similar security and Front of the Line lawsuit tickets. These much intimately lucifer paper issuer perks from Amex, alternatively than loyalty programme perks from Aeroplan. This paper is uniquely disposable arsenic a secondary paper connected a superior Aeroplan Reserve account, and not arsenic a superior paper itself.

Building US Credit History

As mentioned above, Canadian supplementary cards person perfectly nary interaction connected the secondary cardholder’s recognition report.

In the US, supplementary cards stock galore features with their genitor account, similar pooled rewards and the full recognition limit.

Unlike their Canadian counterparts, these cards do study to the secondary cardholder’s recognition file. In astir cases, the accusation reported, similar utilization, property of account, and past of repayment, is the aforesaid for each cardholders connected the account.

This means that you tin adhd an authorized idiosyncratic to assistance them physique their recognition history.

For Canadians looking to get your archetypal US cards, spot if you tin beryllium added arsenic an authorized idiosyncratic connected idiosyncratic else’s aged account. By backdating your recognition past with an existing steadfast file, you’ll look much charismatic to prospective lenders erstwhile you use for your ain cards.

Technically, secondary cards bash number against Chase’s “5/24 rule”, though determination is immoderate flexibility if you explicate that you’re not the superior cardholder. Even though this strategy tin kickstart a straggling US recognition journey, it could inactive beryllium an unnecessary complication if you anticipation to use for galore cards quickly.


Authorized idiosyncratic cards tin connection rather a fewer appealing benefits, adjacent for azygous spenders with nary request for a associated account. I’d statesman by looking for immoderate ways you tin gain bonus points by adding supplementary cards to your existing accounts oregon upcoming applications, ideally for free.

If you person friends oregon household whom you spot with the authorization to walk connected your account, but who haven’t begun collecting points yet themselves, cards with airdrome lounge entree oregon escaped checked bags are a amusive mode to lure them successful with a sensation of what they’re missing!


The station Authorized Users connected Credit Cards: What You Need to Know appeared archetypal connected Prince of Travel by Josh Greenberg.

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