What is an Authorized User on My Credit Card?

What is an Authorized User on My Credit Card?

What is an Authorized User on My Credit Card?

Credit cards have become an indispensable tool in modern-day financial management, offering convenience, security, and various perks to cardholders. Yet, amid the many features and options available, the concept of an “authorized user” often raises questions and uncertainties for many credit card holders. What exactly does it mean to have an authorized user on your credit card. Here’s an overview of authorized users and what their implications are.  

What is an Authorized User? 

An authorized user, simply put, is someone who is granted permission by the primary cardholder to use their credit card. This designation allows the authorized user to make purchases, transactions, and sometimes even access certain card benefits, just like the primary cardholder. However, it’s important to note that while authorized users have the privilege of using the card, they are not legally responsible for repaying any debts incurred through its use. Instead, the primary cardholder bears full responsibility for all charges made on the account, regardless of whether they were initiated by themselves or an authorized user. 


There are several reasons why this arrangement might be beneficial: 


Adding a trusted family member, such as a spouse or child, as an authorized user can simplify household finances by allowing them to make purchases or handle expenses without needing to carry multiple cards or transfer funds between accounts. 

Building Credit 

For individuals who are new to credit, such as college students, or those looking to improve their credit history, becoming an authorized user on an established credit card with a positive payment history can help bolster their own credit profile. This is because the account activity, including on-time payments and low credit utilization, can be reported on the authorized user’s credit report, potentially boosting their credit score. 

Managing Expenses 

In business settings or among friends sharing expenses, adding authorized users to a credit card account can facilitate tracking and management of collective spending. This can be particularly useful for budgeting purposes or for easily distinguishing personal and business expenses. 

Benefiting from Card Features 

Some credit cards offer exclusive perks or rewards programs that extend to authorized users as well. By adding authorized users, the primary cardholder can share these benefits with family members or others, enhancing the overall value of the card. 


While adding an authorized user to your credit card can offer various benefits, it’s important to consider the potential downsides before extending this privilege to someone else. 

Financial Liability 

As the primary cardholder, you remain fully responsible for all charges made by authorized users. If an authorized user racks up excessive debt or makes unauthorized purchases, you are liable for repaying the entire balance, which could potentially strain your finances. 

Credit Risk 

Adding an authorized user with poor credit or irresponsible spending habits could negatively impact your credit score. If the authorized user fails to make timely payments or accumulates significant debt on the card, it can reflect poorly on your credit history and potentially lower your credit score. 

Privacy Concerns 

Sharing your credit card with an authorized user means sharing sensitive financial information, including account details and transaction history. This could pose privacy risks, especially if the authorized user is not someone you fully trust. 

Potential Disputes 

Disagreements or misunderstandings may arise between you and the authorized user regarding the use of the card, billing disputes, or repayment responsibilities. Clear communication and setting mutual expectations can help mitigate these issues, but they remain a possibility. 

How Do I Add an Authorized User to My Credit Account? 

The process of adding an authorized user to a credit card is relatively straightforward. The primary cardholder typically contacts their credit card issuer and provides the necessary information about the individual they wish to authorize. This may include the authorized user’s name, date of birth, and sometimes their Social Security number. Once added, the authorized user receives their own card linked to the primary account, enabling them to start using it for purchases. 

Should I Add an Authorized User to My Credit Account? 

In conclusion, an authorized user on a credit card is someone authorized by the primary cardholder to use the card for purchases and transactions. While this arrangement offers convenience and potential credit-building opportunities, it’s important for both parties to understand the implications and communicate openly to ensure responsible use of the account. By leveraging the benefits of authorized user status wisely, cardholders can optimize their credit card experience while maintaining financial stability and peace of mind. Always keep in mind the risks as any debt accumulated by your authorized user will be your responsibility. Debtmerica Relief has over 17 years of experience in providing relief to our clients whose financial burdens have become too much to handle.   

If you need help with debt, contact us for a free consultation.