How to Call the Banks About Your Partner’s Credit Card

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How to Call the Banks About Your Partner’s Credit Card

Million Mile SecretsHow to Call the Banks About Your Partner’s Credit CardMillion Mile Secrets Team

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One of the easiest ways to double your miles and points balances is to have your partner apply for credit cards with you.  Of course you shouldn’t do this if you plan on getting a big loan in the next two years or if you can’t pay off the balances, in full, each month.

But often times, your partner will reluctantly use the credit card you ask him or her to use, but doesn’t want to  make calls to the reconsideration line or to activate the card, or to ask for a retention bonus.

Emily looked at me suspiciously the first time I asked her to apply for a credit card just after we moved in together.  5 years later, she now calls me up when she’s shopping and forgets which card to use.

But she still won’t make calls to the bank!  Or maybe she reluctantly will, but doesn’t quite know what to ask for and how to get what I want from the call.

Over the years, I’ve used the following methods to chat with the credit card  companies on Emily’s behalf.

1.  Impersonating.   In the beginning, I would sometimes say that I was Emily (*cough, cough* I’m not feeling too well today *cough*) and verify all the personal information.  For obvious reasons, I memorized her social security number and her mother’s maiden name much before she memorized mine!

I’m reluctant to use this method any more, because, well, I’m not Emily.  And I don’t want to lie on a recorded conversation.

This wasn’t my finest hour, but it got the job done.

2.   Answer Truthfully.  Occasionally, the telephone representative won’t ask you for your name, but will ask for the “ as it appears on the card.”  In that case, I’m happy to say “Emily…” and verify the personal information and move on with the call.

But sometimes the representatives ask: “To whom am I speaking with” in which case I introduce myself as her husband.

And then the reps ask if Emily is around because they can’t speak to me.

3.   Partner Calls & Authorizes.  In this scenario, Emily will call, say, the Chase reconsideration line and answer all the identification questions (social security number, address etc.).

Then the telephone representative asks: “What can I help you with today?

And Emily will reply “My husband handles the finances and has some questions about the card.  Will you please talk with him about it?”

But this isn’t the most efficient way because I have to give Emily the number, and she has to make the call and then come and get me.

4.  Both Call & Partner Authorizes.  The most efficient outcome for us is when I ask Emily if she’s got a minute to spare.

We (I) then put the phone on speakerphone and I call the bank.  If prompted, I enter in the credit card number or last 4 of Emily’s social security and wait for a representative.

I say “Hi!  I’m Emily’s husband, and we’re both on speakerphone, and she’d like to authorize you to speak with me about her credit card.  She’s on the phone with me to confirm her account and identity.

The representative will then ask Emily a few questions and if she authorizes me to speak with the rep. I then continue the conversation.

This way, I dial the number, talk with the representative and Emily only has to answer the personal identification questions or read the number from the credit card.

 Bottom Line:  It is easier to collect miles and points when your partner is on-board with you.  But, in my experience & observation, partners don’t want to call the banks.  So make it easy for them by making the call and having them answer only a few questions before handing the phone back to you.

What do you say when you call banks on your partner’s behalf?  Any tips?

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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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Number 1 sounds like a great idea NOT.

1.) Security is there for a reason.

2.) If you can do it, so can anybody else who gets hold of that security.

3.) The person you ‘tricked’ could well get into serious trouble/ lose their job.

So yeah.

Working for a bank myself, I would’ve clocked you straight away, withdrawn all security & transferred to fraud team.

My wife doesn’t have a job. We are fine on my income. She has good credit. Will she be able to get Visa Signature cards and other “higher end” cards that give the larger sign-up bonuses?

Million Mile Secrets

@Style – It depends. You may be able to put your income in the “other” field on the application. And in some states, you can include your income in the income field.

Oddly, I don’t have the option to delegate an Account Manager in either mine or my wife’s Chase accounts. If I click the “Help with this page” link at the top, it explains what delegating an account manager allows. Unfortunately, it seems just out of reach for me without a phone call.

Great article as this is a topic of conversation weekly in our house. I get most frustrated in talking to the bank about our “joint” accounts that aren’t allowed to be joint online. When I point out that it’s supposed to be joint, they profusely apologize as he is “primary” (or, perhaps “primary of joint”?!). Then I point out that I can see everything on “his” (our) online account, so wouldn’t that give them a clue that he’s “in on it” with me, or (1950’s) gave the little lady (me) permission to use the big scary bank…?!

Great comments, especially @Blokus! 🙂

Million Mile Secrets

@bluecat – I didn’t call about that option. The only time I used the account manager was when I gave my accountant access to the business account. I checked again and it shows up under “Customer Center” for both our accounts. I didn’t mention it in the post, because I haven’t used it for Emily and it won’t help when you need to call the reconsideration line since you haven’t got the card by then!

@Ali – Very surprising that they don’t let you talk about accounts which are joint.

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