This post originally appeared June 8, 2017 on CreditCards.com as “‘6 questions to ask when adding an authorized user to your card”
By Barry Paperno
Dear Speaking of Credit,
I have a few questions regarding adding an authorized user to my Chase Sapphire Preferred card, that I can’t seem to find answers to online. My girlfriend needs to begin building her credit score, and I see this as a potential opportunity to help.
1. Do I maintain full access to the account?
2. By adding her, would my “credit limit” of $5,000 increase to $10,000 because of the second card?
3. Will she have to pay an additional annual fee?
4. Will my account receive the miles/points for the money she spends?
5. Can I pay off balances early to maintain below a 35 percent balance to mitigate the title of “risky cardholder” to credit agencies? For example, if 35 percent of $5,000 is $1,750 per month, but we each spent $1,000, can we do it in a way in which the balance is never over $1,750?
6. How do I keep the authorized user’s purchases separate from mine? Does each card have its own separate balance on my account?
Not sure if you can answer all or any of my questions, but I appreciate you taking the time to reply. – Nathan
It’s good of you to help your girlfriend begin to build a credit score. It’s also good that you’re asking these questions now, before adding her to your card as an authorized user.