Should You Add Your Kids as Authorized Users to Your Chase Credit Cards? Here’s My Answer!

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Should You Add Your Kids as Authorized Users to Your Chase Credit Cards? Here’s My Answer!

EmilyShould You Add Your Kids as Authorized Users to Your Chase Credit Cards? Here’s My Answer!Million Mile Secrets Team

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I have a ~16 month old daughter, and I briefly considered adding her as an authorized user to one of my Chase credit cards.  I thought about adding her to help her establish credit history with Chase.  Chase guidelines state there’s no age minimum for adding an authorized user to credit cards.

But adding her as an American Express authorized user, on the other hand, requires that kids be 13 years old.  Adding an authorized user to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® carries a $75 annual fee for the additional credit card, but there are other credit cards that don’t charge a fee.

I Plan on Teaching My Daughter How to Use Chase Credit Cards and All Credit Cards Responsibly Early in Her Life

Should You Add Your Child as an Authorized User to Your Chase Credit Card?

I’ll be waiting until my daughter is a little bit older to add her as an authorized user.  This is mainly so that I don’t have to manage another account right now, and because she’s too young to understand the purpose of credit cards and how to responsibly use them.

If you have kids, then adding them as authorized users helps them to start building their credit history from a young age.  You don’t have to give your child the credit card — you can be the guardian of it until they are mature enough to be trusted with it.

And you can use your credit cards as a powerful, real life way to help teach children about how money works and how to manage it.  I believe those lessons are important to learn and practice early in life.

Will Becoming An Authorized User Prohibit You From Earning A Future Sign Up Bonus
Team Member Jasmin’s Daughters Are Authorized Users on Her Sapphire Preferred Account!

Give Your Child’s Credit a Head Start by Adding Them as Authorized Users

When my daughter is older, I’ll start teaching her about budgets and how to maximize the points earned from credit cards.  Learning financial lessons early in life helps adults be more responsible with money.

It also makes money a family topic of discussion rather than being the sole responsibility of the parent(s).  Being more transparent with your kids can teach them valuable decision-making skills that can last a lifetime!

Don’t Miss a Precious Opportunity to Help Your Kids Develop Credit History and a Miles & Points Strategy

Team member Jasmin’s girls have been authorized users on her Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for a few years.  She got her kids credit cards mainly to start building their credit history, so that when they turn 18 and can apply for their own credit cards, they wont be starting from a blank slate.

After establishing credit history as an authorized user, your child can apply for their own travel credit card when they turn 18.  My top pick is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

What are your thoughts on making your kids authorized users?  At what age do you think it’s best?

 

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
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  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises 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

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I did this for both my kids when they entered college. When they graduated after 4 years each, both their scores were above 780. They both were able to sign apartment rentals, car loans on their own without me & the wife having to cosign for them. I would recommend other parents to do the same.

This is a great idea. I am going to do this now for my boys. You should get a card for your daughter if they allow it because one of the metrics they use to determine your credit score is how long you have had credit. By starting now you can help her get an excellent in that category instead of the good I have with my 24 years of credit histor. It appears they require 25 years of credit history to deem me excellent in that catagory.

Author

Thanks for the feedback! I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Agreed! The sooner they establish credit the better. And it helps them learn to be responsible with money and credit; a great teaching opportunity!

I’ve never really worried too much about the grade of “excellent” or “good” etc. for the length of credit history. It’s only one of many different factors that go into the credit score, and from my experience, if a lender is going to decline a credit application it’s usually going to be for a lot more than just limited credit history. So it’s usually something that can be worked around assuming you already have 1-2 years of credit

If the parent then gets into credit trouble does the negatively impact the child’s credit score as well?

Hi S Graham,

I believe this would be the case. But as long as the parents are responsible it is a great way to build your kid’s credit!

I tried to add my 13 yr old son as an authorized user to my Amex card, but a representative told me that a new requirement is 15+ yr. Please check with your source to provide the most up to date information.

Hi John – I just added my 13-year-old daughter to one of my AMEX accounts and it went through fine. When you add a user online the page clearly states authorized users must be at least 13, so the representative you spoke to must be misinformed. You might try adding your son online instead – worked just fine for me!

I was able to do it online, but later I received a phone call and my son was removed due to age requirement of 15+ yr. Have you talked to some representative about it recently?

Very strange! AMEX says clearly that you can add authorized users when they turn 13, for example here (under “Learn Responsibility”):

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/features-benefits/additional-card/index.html

I haven’t received the card yet but I’ll come back and let you know if there are any issues.

Based on https://www.doctorofcredit.com/old-get-credit-card/ it recently changed from 15 to 13. Maybe not all Amex representatives are aware of this charge, or maybe it depends on the actual product. Who knows. It’s shame to see a nonconsistency here. I would expect better from Amex.

You will receive the card. I have received it as well. But if within 92 days the system will not be updated with SSN and/or DOB of 15+yr, the card will be automatically disabled by the system. That’s exactly what I learned from Amex representative.

Author

When did you try to add your son? We tried adding an authorized user online and the notification says 13 years.

2 weeks ago

I recently added my 15 yo daughter to my Amex gold and a high limit MasterCard. The gold has spend and category limits, which is great for kids. I strickly added her to the MC for credit reasons (she doesn’t have the card.)

Author

That’s great to hear! Thanks for commenting.

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