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Should You Add an Authorized User? (And What to Watch out for!)

Should You Add an Authorized User? (And What to Watch out for!)

Million Mile SecretsShould You Add an Authorized User? (And What to Watch out for!)Million Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Million Mile Secrets reader Mallori asks:

When adding an authorized user – if the card has a fee will you pay it twice?

Should You Add An Authorized User And What To Watch Out For
Some Premium Credit Cards Charge an Extra Fee for Adding an Authorized User. But It’s Often Not the Full Price of the Annual Fee. Here’s What to Know!

You usually won’t be charged an extra fee for adding an authorized user.  But some premium cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige, DO charge a fee for authorized users.  Although the fee generally less than the annual fee.

Let’s look at what you need to know about authorized users.

Does Your Card Charge an Authorized User Fee?

Link:   How to Add an Authorized User to Your Account

In general, cards with big annual fees (like the $450 annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve) will charge you you add an authorized user.  But it’s usually much less than the card’s annual fee.  For example, it’s $75 per year to an add authorized user to your Chase Sapphire Reserve account.  And $50 per year to add someone to your Citi Prestige card account.

Should You Add An Authorized User And What To Watch Out For
Chase Makes It Easy to Add an Authorized User Online. And to See How Much It Will Cost to Add Them

And cards with lower annual fees, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred with a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), don’t charge anything to add authorized users.

Any fees will be clearly spelled out in your credit card’s terms and conditions.  You could also log-in to your account and add an authorized user.  At that point, if there is a fee, it will show you.

If that doesn’t work try giving your bank a call.  And ask a representative.

What to Know Before Adding an Authorized User

Link:   Being an Authorized User Counts Towards Chase’s “5/24” Limit

Other than the potential extra fee, it’s important to only add authorized users you trust.  Because you will be responsible to pay all the charges they make on your account!

Should You Add An Authorized User And What To Watch Out For
Being an Authorized User Will Count Towards Your Chase “5/24” Limit

If you are trying to stay under the Chase “5/24” rule, being added as an authorized user will count towards your limit!  BUT, it might be possible to remove authorized user accounts from your credit report.

Advantages of Adding an Authorized User

Some card offers include a bonus for adding authorized users to your account.  But that’s not the only reason you might want to add one.

Other reasons include:

Adding family members to your account can be a win-win in the right situation.

Bottom Line

Most credit cards won’t charge fees for adding authorized users.  But some premium cards will charge an extra fee.  Although it is usually less than the annual fee.

Adding authorized users can be a great way to earn extra points, meet your minimum spending requirements, and share some of your card’s benefits with others.  Remember, you are responsible for all of the charges authorized users make to your account.

Avoid being added as an authorized user on a personal account if you’re looking to apply for a Chase card.  Because it will count towards the “5/24” rule.

Thanks for the question, Mallori!

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Hi, when does Chase Sapphire Reserve charge the authorized user fee? We are thinking about removing the authorized user from Reserve so she can open her own one and are wondering the latest we can do this.