There may be times when it's wise or prudent to help someone else pay down their credit card balance by making one or more payments on their behalf. Perhaps you're the designated bill payer in the family, in which case you may write checks for all household bills, including the credit card payments for your spouse. Maybe you have an adult child who you're helping support or an elderly parent you're subsidizing. Whatever your reason, you can submit a credit card payment on someone else's behalf by mail, via phone or online.
Accessing Another Credit Card Account
Before you can make a payment on someone else's credit card, you need to be able to access the account. The information you will need likely will include the account number, the card number, the exact name on the account, and in most instances, the social security number of the primary cardholder. Depending on payment method, you also might need the credit card website, and possibly the registered login and password, or the telephone number or mailing address of the credit card processing facility.
Making a Payment by Mail
If you're using a paper statement that comes via mail, the account number will be on the bill itself, along with the minimum payment amount and the mailing address. If you're paying by check and sending the payment by mail, follow the directions on the statement that tell you who to make the check payable to and where to send it. Since you are making a payment on someone else's behalf, make note of that person's account number on the physical check to ensure proper processing. This is especially important if you have different last names.
Making a Payment by Phone
You also can reference a paper statement to make a card payment by phone. In this instance, you may be asked to use a checking account routing number or a debit card to make the payment. The paper statement typically includes a toll-free number you can call to make a payment, and you usually can find a payment processing phone number on the back of the physical credit card itself. To access the account via phone and make the payment, you likely will need to know the full card number and the cardholder's social security number, and possibly, the security code on the back of the card itself.
Making a Payment Online
Making a credit card payment online usually involves establishing an online account, complete with the cardholder's account number and social security number. If the account already is established, and you have the password and login information, you can make the payment online using a checking account routing number. If one is not established, you will have to set it up before you can proceed. If you're planning to make more than just a one-time payment on someone's behalf, you can use this approach to set up regularly scheduled payments.
Keep in mind that even if you pay someone else's credit card bill on his behalf, it doesn't mean you have privileges to use it unless the primary cardholder makes you an authorized signer on the account.
Lisa McQuerrey has been an award-winning writer and author for more than 25 years. She specializes in business, finance, workplace/career and education. Publications she’s written for include Southwest Exchange and InBusiness Las Vegas.