Adding someone as a temporary user of your credit card is a common option with most providers. To do this, you usually just call the provider's customer service number and provide the company with the name of the authorized user. Taking this step has benefits and risks. When you add someone as an authorized user as opposed to a joint account holder, it is much easier to remove the person as a user as well. Informally loaning out your card is a bad move, though.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Some parents use a temporary authorization as a way to help a teen or young adult establish good credit. You should ask your provider whether it reports credit usage for both you and the temporary user. Most companies also provide a distinct card number so you can track the authorized user's spending. This feature relates to the inherent risk in authorizing another user, which is that he could put excessive charges on your card. A user, as opposed to a joint owner, has no obligation for the debt.
Informal Card Loan
Aside from these formal actions to authorize a user on your card for a period of time, it is generally best to not share your card with someone else, according to a September 2013 "Fox Business" article. Technically, doing so is a violation of your contract with the provider. More importantly, you bear the financial burden if the user racks up charges.
- Balance: Authorized Credit Card Users: Making Informed Choices
- Experian. "Authorized User vs. Joint Account Holder: What’s the Difference?" Accessed March 3, 2020.
- Experian. "Authorized User vs. Cosigner." Accessed March 3, 2020.
- Experian. "Will Being an Authorized User Help My Credit?" Accessed March 3, 2020.
- FICO. "Fair Isaac Innovation Will Restore Authorized User Accounts to Calculation of FICO 08 Scores." Accessed March 3, 2020.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.