Should You Add an Authorized User? (And What to Watch out for!)
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Million Mile Secrets reader Mallori asks:
When adding an authorized user – if the card has a fee will you pay it twice?
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?
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.
And cards with lower annual fees, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 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
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!
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:
- To help you meet your minimum spending requirement
- To transfer points to your authorized user’s loyalty account
- So you can share your card’s benefits, like lounge access
Adding family members to your account can be a win-win in the right situation.
Bottom LineMost 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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