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Which is the best credit card? How do I increase my credit card spending limit?

This list shows you credit cards with no annual fee as well as cards with fees. HSBC Visa Platinum Card and IndusInd Bank Platinum Card are the two best no-annual-fee credit cards of 2020.If your lender is not willing to increase your credit limit, proceed with caution. The strategy of asking upfront can backfire and eventually become the reason behind the dip in your credit score. So, plan well before you request for a higher credit limit.The reason why a request can hurt your credit score is that the request will lead to a hard inquiry. A number of hard inquiries on your credit report might make you look desperate for credit, thereby landing a blow to your credit score. With that said, sometimes it also makes sense to request a credit limit increase. Although your credit scores might dip temporarily, it will eventually improve if you have a plan in place for prompt repayment.How to Prepare Yourself for ItHere are a few things that you should keep in mind:Timing is key - It is always a good idea to wait until you've got a good credit track record or a stable income. As odd as it may sound, the best time to ask for more room in your credit line is when you need it the least.Keeping your credit score stable - As discussed above, a request to raise your credit limit could initiate a series of hard inquiries on your credit report. So, avoid applying for many lines of credit all at the same time.Evaluate the reasons before applying - Make sure that you are not asking for a higher credit limit on just a whim or impulse. The best reason to have is that you're trying to keep your credit usage low relative to your credit limit.What Are the Dangers of Maxing Out on Your Credit Limit?Your Credit Score Can Plummet - A higher credit limit can tempt you to splurge, resulting in a higher credit utilization rate. Maxing out on your credit card/(s) is much worse, and can totally derail your personal finance as your credit score drops considerably.Lenders Might Not Approve of It - Maxing out on your credit limit could put you at risk of lenders considering you irresponsible. It might just start with rejection on your loan application, and could extend well beyond. So, try to keep your credit card expenses well under check.You Might Fall into a Debt-Trap - Maxing out on your credit card can put you a step closer to deep debt. Although you may plan to repay the balance soon, it could take years to repay, which often leads to a vicious cycle of interest accumulation and repayment.

How can I get a home loan from a bank?

This is a good site that I found. It’s a little long, but I’m sure you can find what applies to you.Step 1: Obtain a mortgageUnless you’ve robbed a bank, uncovered buried treasure or hit your lucky numbers on the lotto, then your first step to buying a home will be to get a mortgage.Not too many people can afford to buy a home without a mortgage. To put it simply, a mortgage is a loan that is primarily used to buy a home. Lenders will loan you a large sum of money, and use your home as collateral, or security, for the loan.When you sign for a mortgage, you’re signing a legal contract that says if you fail to repay what you borrowed, the property used to secure the loan will be taken by the lender.The amount of the loan is referred to as the principal, and you are expected to repay the principal with interest during the repayment period.Step 2: Getting help – bank or broker?When you’re ready to discuss the types of mortgages you qualify for, one of the decisions you’ll have to make is whether to get a mortgage through a bank or a broker.Joan Dal Bianco, vice-president of real estate secured lending at TD Canada Trust in Toronto, suggests first-time buyers at least have a conversation with their existing financial institutions because they already have a relationship with them. Besides adding a comfort factor, going where you’re known can also make the application process easier, she says. There are certain qualifying criteria that everyone has to meet regarding credit scores, down payments and income – you have to prove your income, your credit score will be checked by the institution – and your bank will already have that information on file.David Kuo, vice-president retail branch network for Ontario East at HSBC in Toronto says first-time buyers will often choose banks because of the overall financial advice banks can provide existing customers. “The banks will help you with overall wealth planning, because for some of these first-time homebuyers, their home is probably their biggest wealth,” says Kuo. If a first-time buyer has extra money, and they’re not sure if they should pay down their mortgage or put it into an RRSP, RESP or tax free savings account, banks will help buyers make the decision by giving a more overall, holistic suggestion. A mortgage broker, on the other hand, might focus only on the mortgage itself, he says.One potential limitation of dealing with a bank as opposed to a mortgage broker is that a bank is limited to whatever products they offer. If you work with a mortgage broker, you have access to a wider array of products because brokers may work with 50 different lenders, says Calgary-based Gary Siegle, regional manager of Alberta South and Saskatchewan for mortgage brokerage firm Invis. In addition, brokers specialize in mortgages only, whereas a loans officer in a bank may deal in different types of lending.Ultimately, the decision is a personal choice. But it’s important to shop around when taking this important first step.Step 3: Getting pre-approvedBefore you look at homes, most realtors, lenders and brokers will suggest you get preapproved for a mortgage. This free service will help you determine how much you can afford to borrow based on your qualification and personal credit rating. Your lender or broker will ask questions about your income and personal financials as well as check your credit score.They’ll come back with an amount you’ve been approved for, along with a rate that will be guaranteed for a specified time, up to 120 days. If the rates go higher, your rate will not be affected. If the rates drop, you will get the lower rate.Getting pre-approved will give you the confidence you need when searching for a home. You’ll be in a better position to negotiate prices and have a clear picture of what you can afford.While the pre-approval is no-obligation, the amount you’re pre-approved for is also not guaranteed. Final approvals will need to be done with the help of a lawyer and your lender upon submission of the proper documentation.Dal Bianco says that sometimes when people go to their lender for pre-approval, they estimate their income. Since a lot of people earn bonuses, they often overestimate their actual earnings. When it comes time to provide the lender with confirmation of income, your lender could find out you earn $65,000 or even $50,000 when you believed you made $75,000.She stresses the importance of providing your banker or broker with as much information as possible. Be sure to ask your lender what you need to bring when making your appointment so you can get as accurate a calculation as you can.Siegle agrees. It’s possible to use estimates to figure out what you can pre-qualify for, but there’s greater benefit in being able to verify your income and source of down payment, so the amount of the loan is more accurate. “It removes another layer of doubt,” he says.Make sure you aren’t looking at houses out of your price range. If you’re pre-approved for $200,000, it makes no sense to fall in love with a home that is $250,000, he says.Step 4: Determining size of loanGenerally speaking, the maximum you can borrow is 95% of the value of your home, so you’ll need the other 5% in the form of a down payment. Use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you can borrow.But 95% of a $200,000home is $190,000. In today’s environment, it’s wise not to over-extend yourself. “If you go to the maximum you’re not leaving yourself much room for a rainy day,” says Dal Bianco, adding with rising unemployment rates and an uncertain economic environment, a rainy day could come sooner than you think. “Everybody should have a bit of savings set aside, so I wouldn’t advise going to your maximum.”“Most people don’t want to give up their lifestyle in order to have a home,” she says. “Our parents and grandparents may have been willing to put everything they had to paying off their home. But most people today still want to be able to enjoy life a little – they want to go on vacations and go out for dinners occasionally, and so not extending yourself is helpful.”Siegle says it’s important to know how much, theoretically, you can qualify for, but also understand how big that payment is and look at it in terms of the luxuries you’d have to give up. You may need to run your budget numbers backwards to see what type of mortgage payment fits your lifestyle.Ultimately, the decision comes down to individual choice. Some of the key factors include how confident you are that you’re going to have the same job and salary for the next two to five years, and considering what you’re giving up by going to the maximum – RRSP contributions, for instance.The average mortgage for first-time buyers today, Kuo says, is about $200,000 to $300,000.Step 5: Choosing a loanWith all the mortgage options available for first-time buyers, the task of choosing one that’s right for you can be daunting.Dal Bianco says for the most part risk tolerance is a key determinant. Whether you’re comfortable having your interest rate move with the market will determine if a variable or fixed rate is right for you.Since many buyers are often younger and taking on a large debt for the first time, many choose fixed rate options for their first mortgage term, she says. Once they’re comfortable and have had a home for a while and gone through a mortgage term or two, they can consider switching to variable. Another option may be to have a fixed rate mortgage and then get a Home Equity Line of Credit, which would be variable attached to the mortgage. This could allow them to do improvements or renovations later on.A single person with only their own income may like the idea of knowing exactly how much they’re going to pay.“We’re finding a lot more single women are buying homes now, and are quite comfortable with that – they’re confident in their jobs and have good paying jobs,” says Dal Bianco. “Even in pockets of the country where housing prices have increased significantly in the last several years –Alberta, British Columbia and in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) – we’re seeing a lot more single women buying.”Short term versus long term: Mortgages are split into terms that may range from a few months to five or more years. At the end of a mortgage term, your current lender will offer you a renewal agreement. It’s always a good idea to see what else is available in the marketplace, says Siegle, and if need be, change the terms of your mortgage if your needs or circumstances change.When deciding what term is right for you, one thing to consider is your lifestyle and circumstance. For instance, if you’re buying a home and plan to move in three years, you may want to take a three-year term or a five-year term that’s portable.When you’re considering term and interest rates, also look at what you can live with in terms of payment amounts, because it’s very difficult to predict where interest rates are headed. If, for example, you’re happy with current interest rates and you want to lock in a rate for as long as possible, go with a long term, or generally a five-year term, says Siegle. If interest rates appear to be rising, take advantage of the lower rate for as long as you can.It’s also a good idea to ask if your mortgage is transferrable across provincial borders or if it is assumable. If you sell your property, you can take the mortgage with you to a new property, or have someone take over the mortgage. It could prove to be a great selling feature if you have an assumable mortgage at a very low rate. However, most lenders will need to qualify the person assuming the mortgage.If you think rates will fall, you can choose a shorter term mortgage that offers the flexibility to switch to a longer term at any time, in case rates start to rise.Kuo says he’s seen first-time buyers sign for short-term mortgages. Currently, one- or three-year terms are much more popular than five-year terms, he says.In the past – even a few years ago – first-time homebuyers often wanted to fix their rate for a longer period of time so they had peace of mind. But now, in a more challenged economy, they still want to buy a home but they may prefer a shorter-term, fixed-rate option, if they decide to go with a fixed rate, he says.Open versus closedAn open mortgage allows you to repay the mortgage – in part or in full – at any time during the term without any penalties or repayment costs. Open mortgages are usually available in shorter terms – six months or a year – and the interest rate is higher than closed mortgages. They provide flexibility until you are ready to lock into a closed term. These types of mortgages are ideal for those who are thinking of selling their home, or if their expecting to pay off the whole mortgage from the sale of another property or an inheritance.A closed mortgage must remain unchanged for the term. The interest rates are considerably lower than open mortgages and if you’re not planning to sell your home, or expecting any boosts in income, a closed mortgage could be the right fit. Lenders allow you to pay down a lump sum of 20% of the original principal annually. If you wanted to pay more than the allotted amount, or pay the mortgage off in its entirety, you’d incur a penalty of about three months’ interest.Most mortgages have a prepayment privilege, says Siegle, and that will vary from lender to lender or product to product. Some mortgages being offered in the marketplace right now have pretty attractive interest rates, but they don’t have very flexible prepayment privileges. Others have three options to prepay your mortgage – you can pay 25% of the original balance as a lump sum, you can increase your payments by 25% and you can even double up your payments on top of that. Some offer three different ways you can prepay your mortgage without any penalty, but they’re available at a higher rate, he says.The most common fee incurred by buyers is when you attempt to put down more money on your loan than you’re allotted. Paying a lump sum of money annually is called an annual prepayment or a principal payment option or privilege. Some banks allow customers to pay down 10% to 20% of the principal amount per year, says Kuo.There is quite a variance between how lenders calculate those prepayment penalties. Some charge an interest rate differential of three months’ interest. However, it’s important you ask questions, says Dal Bianco. Any mortgage documentation that you sign will tell you what penalties you could incur, and your lawyer should take you through the document and the potential penalties or fees.Fixed versus variableA fixed rate is an interest rate that does not change throughout the course of your mortgage term. With the same interest rate, you have a regular interest payment and you know the exact amount your payments will be each month. This can make personal budgeting easier. Having a fixed rate makes it possible for you to figure out how much of your mortgage you will have paid off by the end of the year.“Some people like fixed rate because if they fix the rate for three years, they know exactly what their mortgage payment will be for three years, and in three years’ time their interest rate will not change. It gives them peace of mind,” says Kuo.A variable rate is an interest rate that fluctuates with the market during your mortgage period. They provide a lot of flexibility and are especially appealing when interest rates are on their way down. Although your mortgage payment typically remains constant, the ratio between your principal and interest rate fluctuates. If interest rates go down, more money goes toward repaying your principal, helping you pay off your mortgage faster. If interest rates go up, you pay more interest and less principal. If they rise substantially, the original payment may not cover both the interest and the principal. The portion not paid is owed, and you may be asked by your lender to increase your monthly payment.It’s a good idea to make sure your variable-rate mortgage is open or convertible to a fixed-rate mortgage so that when rates begin to rise, you can lock-in your rate for a specific term, says Siegle.However, the onus to do so is on the customer. While some customers may follow interest rates closely, and will call their lender to switch from variable to fixed, but many customers do not. And if you’re not following interest rates regularly, you may miss out on opportunities to save money.Most first-time buyers recognize that there will likely be some unforeseen costs that go along with home ownership. Generally speaking, Siegle says, these people likely have less tolerance for change in their payment arrangements so they have a higher tendency to go with the five-year fixed because it gives them a reasonable period of time of security, a known interest rate and payment amount.It’s only those first-time buyers who are feeling financially secure that say they want to reduce their costs as much as possible and go for the variable even though it’s only a half a point (0.5%) difference, he says.“It’s all about the individual’s psyche, their budget, their ability to absorb payment increases, and their desire to take advantage of payment decreases,” says Siegle. “There’s not one answer. It’s the circumstances that will help you decide what’s best for you.”AmortizationThe length of time it takes you to pay back the loan is called the amortization period. Your amortization period helps determine how much your monthly payments are going to be, so if you’re trying to keep your monthly payment lower, you may want a longer amortization. But the longer your amortization, the longer you’re paying for the home. Plus, your equity takes longer to build up.So if you’re interested in paying down your mortgage rather quickly, you may want to amortize over a shorter period of time.You have the option to change your amortization period each time you renew your mortgage. You may want to start your mortgage with a shorter amortization period, and after your first term, you may decide to extend it if you want or need to, says Dal Bianco.For instance, Dal Bianco says you can take up to 35 years to pay off your mortgage, but if you initially choose a 25-year amortization period and you have difficulty keeping up with the payment, extending it to 35 years would mean a lower payment, but over a longer period of time.“The way you shorten your amortization period is, if you start at 35 years, every year you have the ability to make lump sum payments on your mortgage and you can increase the frequency,” she says. “Some people pay weekly or bi-weekly payments, as opposed to monthly, so you get about one or two extra payments in each year by doing that. That pays the mortgage down more rapidly and shortens the amortization period.”Kuo says he’s noticed that many first-time buyers are taking the maximum amortization period, or 35 years, so they can lower their monthly payments and ease financial pressure on a monthly basis.Siegle says when deciding how long of an amortization period to choose, you should ask yourself, ‘What impact does 35-year amortization have on my monthly payment and is that the most important thing to me right now, to manage my cash flow and have the lowest payment possible? Or do I want to pay the least amount of interest over the time I have my mortgage, in which case let me see how a three-year, a five-year or even a 20- or 30-year amortization fit me.’ If you’re a first-time buyer who hasn’t been able to save much for a down payment but you’ve got really, really good income, then you might want to look at even shorter amortization.Choosing a 35-year amortization period should be a strategy for getting into the market and not your long-term goal, says Siegle.However, if cash flow is really important to you, then make a commitment to increasing your payments when you get a raise or making a lump sum payment when you get a bonus. That way, you can turn your 35-year mortgage strategy and shrink it to a 20-year strategy, he says.Source: 5-step guide to getting a mortgage Which Mortgage Canada

Is it possible for an authorized user name NOT to appear on a company/business credit card?

Adding an Authorized User to Your Credit CardBy Brendan HarknessExpert reviewed by Michelle BlackUpdated Oct 29, 2019AT A GLANCE[You can usually add an authorized user by logging in to your credit card account online. Authorized users get their own cards, which can be used just like a regular credit card, but the primary cardholder is always responsible for the account balance.Looking to build your credit fast? Becoming an authorized user on a responsible person’s credit card can be a quick path to building credit without a credit check.If you already have great credit established, adding a trustworthy authorized user to your card can help you earn more rewards more quickly, while helping someone else build his or her credit. But as you’ll see, mutual trust is key to an authorized user relationship.Keep reading to learn more, or jump down to our instructions for adding authorized users for different card issuers.What is an Authorized User?When you’re approved for a credit card you become the primary cardholder. But you can add more official cardholders to your account, known as authorized users.An authorized user (AU) is a secondary cardholder, with some of the rights and privileges of the primary cardholder. Authorized users will get copies of the original card, and can use it just like any other credit card.Here’s a summary of everything you need to know about authorized users:Legal liability: Only the primary cardholder is legally liable for paying the credit card debt. The authorized user has no legal requirement to pay.Available for most cards: You can add authorized users to most credit and charge cards, but there are some card issuers that don’t allow it.No credit history required: Authorized users don’t need to have an established credit of their own or even income. That makes this an easy strategy for building credit.Card activity reported to credit bureaus: With most card issuers, all card activity will appear on the authorized user’s credit reports, just like any other financial account. However, there are a few card issuers who don’t report authorized user accounts to the credit bureaus.The same line of credit: The primary cardholder and the authorized user share the same credit line.Spending limits: Depending on the card issuer, you may be able to set spending limits for authorized users.Cost: Authorized user cards are often free, or they may come at a reduced annual fee. Some issuers limit the number of additional users you can have.Better overall earning potential: Authorized users typically earn spending rewards at the same rates as the primary cardholder — helping you earn rewards more quickly. Plus, their purchases generally count toward signup bonuses.Most basic benefits are shared: Many card benefits, like shopping and travel protections, often apply to both primary and authorized users.Some differences in premium benefits: Some valuable perks, like travel credits and airport lounge access, may only be available to the primary cardholder. In some cases, authorized users may get a reduced version of the benefit.The crucial thing to understand about authorized user cards is the legal liability to pay. Imagine you add an authorized user to your account, and that person racks up a ton of charges but refuses to pay you for them.You’ll have no legal recourse, you’ll just be stuck with the debt. That can be pretty bad for your credit utilization, and if you end up making any late payments the negative credit score impact could be even worse.Aside from this risk, authorized user accounts are pretty great in a lot of ways. As long as you add trustworthy and responsible people, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.There are several cases in which adding an authorized user can be a smart move, either for you (the primary cardholder) or the other person. Parents may add their children, for example, to start teaching them about credit and building their credit history early on. We go over situations like that below.Remember that the primary account holder and any AUs will share a single credit line. Any purchases made will reduce the total available credit for everyone involved, so be sure to keep a close eye on your revolving utilization ratio.You must have consent from the authorized user to add him or her to your credit account. Otherwise, the card issuer can close your account for violating the terms.Adding an authorized user to your credit card is the best way to share your account (if that’s something you’re interested in doing). Cosigning to open a joint account is another way to share your credit card, but this method is a lot riskier for both parties involved.When you cosign for a credit card with someone else, you’ll each be equally liable for the debt. Any late payments or derogatory activity on a joint card could also haunt both of your credit reports and scores for many years to come. Most of the major card issuers don’t allow cosigningHow to Add an Authorized UserAdding an authorized user to your card is usually quick and easy. It might even seem too quick and easy, but that can be true for regular credit card applications too.You can add additional users to your account at any time, for cards that allow it. Some credit card companies will even let you add authorized users during your initial account application.We have a set of specific instructions for adding authorized users for each card issuer below.To add an authorized user, just log in to your online account and find the appropriate link. It will probably say something like:“Authorized Users”“Add an Authorized User”“Manage Authorized Users”“Add Additional Users”“Add Someone to Your Account”Next, you’ll have to supply some basic information for the authorized user. You’ll usually need to provide:Full nameAddressDate of birthSocial Security number (depending on issuer)U.S. citizenship status (depending on issuer)Relationship to the primary cardholder (depending on issuer)After inputting the required information you can submit your request. The card issuer may approve your request instantly, or it could take some time to verify the identity of the authorized user.Soon after, either you or the authorized user will receive a new card in the mail. It will need to be activated just like any other card.Once you add an AU you’ll be able to set spending limits for that account, if the issuer offers this feature. You’ll typically be able to monitor an authorized user’s activity, such as by filtering transactions to show which accounts made which purchases.Some credit card companies may have certain requirements for authorized users, while others may not. American Express, for example, requires additional users to be at least 13, unlike most other issuers.Adding an authorized user to an American Express card.Adding Authorized Users to a Business CardSome business cards allow you to add authorized users, also known as employee cards in this case, while others will not. In general, the rules that apply to authorized users of personal, consumer credit cards also apply to authorized users of business cards (though many business card issuers won’t report normal account activity to the personal credit bureaus).You may want to add authorized users or employee cards to simplify bookkeeping and get all your expenses in one account. This is also a good way to give your employees an easy payment option for business spending or travel while taking advantage of protections and benefits.Plus, by adding employees as authorized users (versus reimbursing employees for expenses), you’ll earn rewards for that spending on your business account. Just remember that only the primary cardholder is legally responsible for paying the card balance.Benefits of Adding or Being an Authorized UserBuild CreditYou can designate someone as an authorized user to help him or her rebuild or establish a credit history. The card activity will typically appear on the authorized user’s credit reports (though some card issuers may not report authorized users to the credit bureaus).The issuer may begin reporting card activity from the point at which the AU account is opened, or it may report the entire account history for that card — going back to the date it was opened by the primary cardholder. This could include any late payments that were previously made before the authorized user was added.The decision to include the full account history or not on an authorized user’s credit reports may also be in the hands of the credit bureaus, rather than the card issuer.So, we recommend only becoming an authorized user on accounts with spotless payment histories, in case the full account history is reported on your credit reports. You don’t want an old late payment — that wasn’t even your fault — to hurt your credit scores.If an authorized user card is added to your credit reports, your scores might benefit from the account in several ways.First, being added onto a credit card with low utilization could lower your own overall credit utilization ratio if you currently have outstanding balances on other cards.Second, if the account is well-aged, it could increase your average age of accounts – a factor which FICO and VantageScore consider when calculating your credit scores.Third, if you have a thin file (aka not a lot of credit history), adding a positive account to your reports might help you move out of this category.Finally, becoming an authorized user might help to improve the mix of accounts on your credit reports, assuming the account is reported and you didn’t have any revolving accounts on your reports beforehand.Keep in mind each card issuer has its own minimum age requirement for authorized users, and they vary quite a bit. Some have no requirements at all. And some issuers set a limit on the number of AUs you can have on a single account.You can see all those details below, along with instructions for adding authorized users with every major card issuer.If the card is used responsibly and the account is in good standing, your credit scores may improve. But if a negative activity is reported, like maxed out credit limits and late payments, the AU status could push your credit scores down.That’s why designating authorized users is somewhat risky, for both the primary and additional cardholders. If the AU charges more than expected, the primary cardholder will be on the line to pay. And if the primary cardholder is irresponsible with the account, that will hurt the authorized user’s credit, rather than helping.Note: If being an AU on another person’s account is damaging your credit, you can call the card issuer and ask to be removed from the account. The primary cardholder can also make this request on your behalf. Once your AU status is revoked, the account should be deleted from your credit reports. You can submit a dispute with the credit reporting agencies if it isn’t.As a rule of thumb, you should only add authorized users if you trust that they’ll pay for their charges. Or, if you’re planning to foot the bill anyway, you should trust that they’ll only spend up to a certain amount. Depending on the particular card, you may be able to set spending limits for AUs.And, on the other hand, you should only become an authorized user on someone else’s credit account if you trust that he or she will be responsible. That basically means always paying on time and keeping the credit utilization fairly low, which usually means around 30% or less. If you’re being added as an AU to an account, remember the longer the account has been open, the better the impact may be upon your credit scores.Q&A Video: Can I Build Credit as an Authorized User?Trying to build up your credit? Check out our picks for the Best Credit Cards for Fair or Average Credit, and consider secured cards too. Or, take a look at credit builder loans, a totally different financial animal.Account ManagementAuthorized users may have certain account management privileges, depending on the particular card issuer. You, as the primary cardholder, may be able to give or take away some permissions.An authorized user typically can perform the following actions:Charge to the account by making purchases with the credit cardMake payments to reduce the account balanceObtain account information, sometimes with limitationsReport lost or stolen cardsInquire about fees or initiate billing disputesAccept offers from the card issuer, like a lower APR for purchases or balance transfersAuthorized users usually cannot perform the following actions:Add additional authorized usersIncrease the credit lineChange the account addressSet a card’s PIN for transactions or cash advancesClose the card accountHowever, some card issuers let you give AUs more privileges, like Amex and Citi.American Express lets you designate an authorized user as an Account Manager, who can have either full or partial account access.With American Express, you can give Account Managers either full or limited access.And Citi simply lets you choose whether or not to give your AUs access to your online account.Setting the access privileges for an authorized user on a Citi credit card.Earn RewardsAuthorized users generally earn spending rewards, just like primary cardholders. But all the rewards go into a single reward bank, usually only accessible by the primary cardholder.For example, take the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Review). For no annual fee, it offers 3% cashback at U.S. grocery stores and 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and department stores (Rates & Fees).If you designate an AU for this account, you’ll get a new card in the mail. That card will have the same exact rewards program, providing the same amount of cashback for these purchases.You can designate many authorized users and collect a lot of rewards from their spending. This could be pretty profitable if they pay you back for what they charge.However, introductory bonuses are not repeated for authorized users. The Blue Cash every day has a welcome bonus of $150 for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, but that is only available once per account.Any purchases an AU makes will typically contribute towards the spending requirement for intro bonuses. So, you can use this method to reach the minimum spends more quickly.Although authorized users can typically make any kind of purchases, Barclays allows you to set purchase category restrictions for authorized users (at least for some Barclays cards).Share BenefitsAuthorized users will often have access to all of the card’s benefits, but sometimes only the primary cardholder will get certain perks. This latter case is more common for high-end travel credit cards.If any given benefit is available for use an unlimited number of times, or up to a certain limit, it will probably be available for authorized users. But some benefits can only be used once, and this will be true no matter how many authorized users you designate. There are also cases where authorized users will get partial access to certain benefits.In general, if you have to pay for an authorized user account, it will probably get some decent benefits.Many credit cards come with a variety of shopping and travel protections, all of which usually apply to authorized users. These include benefits like:Purchase Protection: If an eligible item you buy is broken or stolen, purchase protection offers reimbursement up to a certain amount.Extended Warranty: Adds an additional period of time to eligible manufacturer’s warranties.Price Protection: When you buy something and find it being sold for less elsewhere, you may be reimbursed for the difference in price.Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Covers your rented vehicles against collision damage and theft, as long as you decline the rental company’s own insurance.Travel Accident Insurance: Coverage against accidental loss of life and limb when traveling by common carrier.Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance: Get reimbursed if your trip is cut short or interrupted for an eligible reason.Benefits that may or may not be available for authorized users include:Annual travel credits: If a card offers an annual $300 travel credit, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review), don’t expect the AU card to get an extra $300 credit in addition to the primary cardholder’s credit.Repeating travel credits: Certain travel credits are unlimited, like $100 for every eligible hotel stay. Authorized users will usually get these credits.Airport lounge access: Some cards with airport lounge access provide the same type of access for authorized users, while others offer limited or no access.Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee credit: Some cards with this application fee credit will also provide it for authorized users, like The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review).Hotel or airline member status: Most cards that grant a certain hotel or airline member status, like Hilton Honors Gold, will also provide it for authorized users.If you’re not sure whether or not an AU will have access to a particular benefit, contact the card issuer’s customer support to ask.Enhance Business Spending and TravelIf you have employees making business purchases and traveling, this is an opportunity to earn more rewards and make their lives a bit easier too.Rather than reimbursing an employee for the purchases she makes, you can make her an authorized user on your business credit card. Or, if your card doesn’t allow authorized users, you can probably get her an employee card.Now you’ll earn rewards for every purchase she makes with the card, providing a small discount for every expense. Certain items you buy may also be covered by benefits like Purchase Protection and Extended Warranties when eligible. Plus, you can track your business spending more easily because all the transactions will be collected within the same main account.When it comes to travel, having a credit card can be a great asset. On the basic level, many business and travel cards come with protections like Baggage Delay Insurance, Trip Cancellation Insurance, and Auto Rental Collision Damage Waivers. These could help save quite a bit of money if something goes wrong, and they’re all the more useful if you have a lot of employees who travel often.The higher-end travel cards offer better perks, like expedited processing at airports through Global Entry or TSA Pre✓, airport lounge access, and hotel member status. You can use these benefits to help your employees have smoother trips, and arrive in better shape when they reach their destinations. No doubt they’ll boost morale too!When Should You Add or Become an Authorized User?When you designate someone as an authorized user you’re indicating that you trust that person, at least to a certain extent. Likewise, when you become an authorized user you’re showing that you trust the primary cardholder to use the account properly.In general, you should have a good relationship with anyone you share a credit card account with. And if you’re going to be the authorized user, you should be sure that the primary cardholder understands how credit cards work.Remember that personal relationships can change quickly, but legal relationships tend to be more difficult to get out of. You can always remove someone as an authorized user or cancel your own authorized user account. (Joint account holders don’t have this luxury.)There are several cases in which it might be a good idea to designate an authorized user or become one yourself.You should only use one of these strategies if you’re committed to using credit cards responsibly. Otherwise, you and the authorized user could suffer from lower credit scores and all the negative consequences that result, like higher interest rates and difficulty qualifying for financing.Adult Family MembersMaybe you’ve got the Hilton Honors Aspire Card, and you want to hook your husband up with some sweet hotel perks. You also want to be sure that you can spend $4,000 in the first three months, to get the welcome bonus of 100,000 points.Add your husband as an authorized user, and his spending with the card will contribute towards the $4,000 requirement. He’ll also earn points whenever he uses the card, which you can use for your next trip or vacation. Team up for the win!Be aware that in some states, spouses share legal liability for most of each other’s debts, whether both parties are named on the account or not. These are known as “common property” rules.Parent-ChildWant to give your kid a credit boost? Add him as an authorized user when he’s young, which will provide a big head start for establishing a credit history.“Give my kid a credit card? Are you crazy?”No, we aren’t suggesting you simply give your child a credit card and let him run wild. For young children or anyone else for that matter, you don’t have to give them cards at all. You can just add them as authorized users and keep the extra card yourself, or cut it up. They’ll never have access to your line of credit, but the account will show up on their credit reports.Or, if your children are older and have demonstrated some financial responsibility, you can give them cards of their own to use. This can make all of your lives easier, as they can just use their cards without having to borrow yours. You can also use AU status as a way to teach your kids how credit works, and how to earn excellent credit scores.Depending on the card, you may also be able to set spending limits for authorized users, just in case. And remember that you can monitor the spending of authorized users by checking your account online, and sometimes on your mailed statements.Of course, if you’re not a responsible credit card user, adding your child as an authorized user could be a great way to tank his credit scores before he even has a chance to establish credit in the first place.Employer-EmployeeIf your business has employees that spend money or travel for work, it could be wise to add them as authorized users. This will let you earn more rewards overall as employees spend with the cards, and you’ll also provide them with some handy shopping and travel benefits.Only add authorized users after a clear credit card policy is established and published. The policy should cover responsible use, allowed purchases, eligibility, liability, the expense tracking process, and any other particulars unique to the company.The policy should be reviewed by legal counsel before being implemented. Monitor authorized user accounts often (perhaps weekly), and take advantage of the account management tools, such as spending limits and alerts, that are likely offered by your card issuer.ImmigrantsNew to the U.S.? You may have a hard time building credit if you’re an immigrant who’s just beginning to open financial accounts.But if you have some family members or a trusted friend with good credit, you can get a leg up by becoming an authorized user. Keep in mind that, for some card issuers, you may need to get a Social Security number before you can become an authorized user.There are a few credit cards designed specifically for people who have recently moved to the U.S. If you’re an immigrant, check out the Deserve line of credit cards along with the CreditStacks Mastercard (Review). You should also consider secured credit cards.Does an Authorized User Get His or Her Own Bill?This depends on the card issuer. In most cases, authorized users will not get their own monthly billing statements. Typically, only the primary cardholder will get a bill.The charges for the account will usually be combined on the statement, but in some cases, the authorized user’s activity may be separated from the primary cardholder’s.Authorized users may or may not have online account access — again, this depends on the issuer. Some allow online access for authorized users, while others don’t; in some cases, the primary cardholder may need to grant online access to the authorized user.Different issuers will also give authorized users different online account permissions, like being able to view statements, make payments, or change contact info. So, even though authorized users usually won’t get statements in the mail, they may be able to check those details online.Since each card issuer has its own policy, we recommend calling customer support to learn exactly how your issuer handles authorized users, and what your options may be.Removing an Authorized User AccountIt’s very easy to remove an authorized user or to cancel your own authorized user account.Simply call the credit card issuer and ask to have the AU account removed. Or you can usually make the request through your online account, by selecting the option to manage your authorized user accounts.The removal will often take effect immediately, or within a few business days. The card issuer may automatically request for the account to be removed from the credit reports of the authorized user at that time. If the issuer doesn’t ask for it to be removed (and if you’re the former authorized user), you can submit a dispute to the credit bureaus and ask for the account to be deleted.However, if the account doesn’t have any negative history associated with it, you may not want to request for it to be removed from your reports (assuming the card issuer hasn’t already made the request). A positive, former AU account could potentially help your credit scores as long as it remains on your reports, even if you’re no longer an active authorized user.You may want to remove an authorized user from your card if the person no longer seems trustworthy. It could be time to break the connection if you’re not sure whether or not you’ll get the money you’re owed. Or, if you’re the authorized user, perhaps you’re worried about the primary cardholder being irresponsible and making late payments.In other situations, perhaps it’s just time to move on. Maybe a relationship ended and it’s time to move on financially as well as personal or perhaps your child is 18 and ready for his own credit card. (However, there’s nothing wrong with continuing to leave your child on as an AU if he’s trustworthy. Remember, your well-aged account might still be helping his credit scores just by appearing on his reports.)Wrapping UpAuthorized user status is pretty easy to understand. Authorized users basically ride piggy-back on the primary account holder’s credit.The important thing to remember is that only the primary cardholder is legally responsible for paying the credit card debt. The authorized user has no legal liability for charges at all (except for spouses living in community property states).That’s why both the primary cardholder and the authorized user need to be focused on using credit cards responsibly. You don’t want a bad financial experience to ruin a healthy personal relationship. Be sure to keep the credit utilization low, and always make on-time payments.You can add almost anyone as an authorized user, depending on the particular card issuer’s requirements. For the most part, the card features will be shared with the AU. But be aware that some travel perks are only available once per account, or may have more limited terms for authorized users.Becoming an authorized user is a great way to potentially build up your credit, especially if you’ve had a hard time being approved for your own credit cards or financial products. And the account will accumulate rewards more quickly because more people will be spending and earning cash back or points.Authorized user accounts should always be a win-win, for the primary cardholder and the AU. If the situation isn’t a win-win for both parties, it’s probably a bad idea.Want to learn more about how to improve your credit? Check out our Definitive Guide to Building Credit with Credit Cards.How to Add Authorized Users with Specific Card IssuersEach card issuer has its own terms for the minimum age of authorized users, as well as the maximum number of AUs you can have on a single account.Card IssuerMinimum AgeMaximum NumberInformationAmerican Express13 or 15, depending on the card99FAQ and InstructionsBank of AmericaNone9Must Log InBarclays1325FAQ and Instructions (search for “authorized user”)Capital OneNoneDepends on accountInfo and InstructionsChaseNoneNo limitFAQ and InstructionsCitiNone*10Add an Authorized User (must log in)Discover155FAQ and InstructionsHSBCNone3Must Log InUSAANone5Community DiscussionU.S. Bank16**7Info and Instructions*The Costco Anywhere VisaCard by Citi (Review) and Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi (Review) require authorized users to be 18 and have Costco memberships, like the primary cardholder.**We’re not 100% sure about the age requirement for authorized users of U.S. Bank credit cards. We’ve heard conflicting information from different customer service reps, and we’ll update this page if we learn more.The following instructions will guide you through adding authorized users with any of the major card issuers. Take note that, in some cases, the dashboard you see when you log in may be different than what’s shown below. But the basic steps will be the same.American ExpressBy PhoneDial the number on the back of your card, or call 1-800-528-4800OnlineLog in to your account onlineClick the “Account Services” linkClick the” Add Someone to Your Account” linkEnter the authorized user’s information: Full name Social Security number (optional when applying, but must be provided within 60 days of the card being issued)Date of birth (optional when applying, but must be provided within 60 days of the card being issued)Adding an authorized user for an Amex card.Bank of AmericaBy PhoneDial the number on the back of your card, or call 1-800-732-9194OnlineLog in to your account onlineClick the “Information & Services” tabClick the “Add an authorized user” linkEnter the authorized user’s information: Full name relationship to primary cardholderCountry of residence date of birth social security number (optional)Phone number (optional)Adding an authorized user for a Bank of America card.BarclaysBy PhoneDial the number on the back of your card, or call 1-866-928-8598OnlineLog in to your account onlineClick the “Services” tabClick the “Authorized users” linkClick the “Add an authorized user” linkEnter the authorized user’s information: Full name relationship to primary cardholder data of birthU.S. citizenship statusAddressAdding an authorized user for a Barclays card. (1)Adding an authorized user for a Barclays card. (2)Capital OneBy PhoneDial the number on the back of your card, or call 1-800-227-4825OnlineLog in to your account onlineClick the “Services” tabClick the “Manage Authorized Users” linkEnter the authorized user’s information: Full name address phone number social Security numberWe don’t have any screenshots for adding an authorized user to Capital One cards. If you have a Capital One card and would like to share, feel free to contact us!ChaseBy PhoneDial the number on the back of your card, or call 1-800-432-3117OnlineLog in to your account onlineClick the “Things you can do” menuClick the “Add an authorized user” linkEnter the authorized user’s information: Full name date of birth addressAdding an authorized user for a Chase card.CitiBy PhoneDial the number on the back of your card, or call 1-800-347-4934OnlineLog in to your account onlineClick the “Services” tabClick the “Credit Card Services” linkClick the “Authorized Users” linkEnter the authorized user’s information: Full name Date of birthAddressOnline account access privilegesAdding an authorized user for a Citi card. (1)Adding an authorized user for a Citi card. (2)DiscoverBy PhoneDial the number on the back of your card, or call 1-800-347-2683OnlineLog in to your account onlineClick the “Manage” tabClick the “Manage Authorized Users” linkClick the “Add Authorized User” linkEnter the authorized user’s information: Full name address date of birth social security numberSelect a card designAdding an authorized user for a Discover card.HSBCBy PhoneDial the number on the back of your card, or call 1-888-385-8916OnlineLog in to your account onlineFind a link to add an authorized userEnter the authorized user’s informationWe don’t have any screenshots for adding an authorized user to HSBC cards. If you have an HSBC card and would like to share, feel free to contact us!USAABy PhoneDial the number on the back of your card, or call 1-800-531-8722OnlineLog in to your account onlineScroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Request an additional card for someone else” linkEnter the authorized user’s informationWe don’t have any screenshots for adding an authorized user to USAA cards. If you have a USAA card and would like to share, feel free to contact us!U.S. BankBy PhoneDial the number on the back of your card, or call 1-800-872-2657OnlineThere may or may not be a way to add authorized users online; if you have a U.S. Bankcard, please let us know!By Mail or FaxDownload a PDF of the Authorized User FormMail or fax the completed form to the address provided in the documentWe don’t have any screenshots for adding an authorized user to U.S. Bank cards. If you have a U.S. Bankcard and would like to share, feel free to contact us!]A bonus piece:Add your business as an authorized user on a personal card? Not likelySHARE:by Elaine PofeldtJune 1, 2015SummaryAdding your business’s Employer Identification Number to your personal card would be a quick way to build business credit — if it were possible. Unfortunately, there are usually no such shortcutsDear Your Business Credit,I am trying to build business credit. Can I add my business EIN to a couple of my personal credit cards (as an authorized user) and will that help build my business credit? — TimDear Tim,[I like the creative way you think, but it won’t help you build your business credit. To get personal credit cards, you generally need to give your Social Security number. You will typically need to do so to get business credit cards, too, unless your business is a very substantial size firm. Obtaining business credit for a small business usually requires a personal guarantee by the owner, even if the card is used exclusively for business.As to whether you can add your business as an authorized user of a personal card, it does not seem likely. I called customer service at both American Express and Chase to see if it was possible and both immediately said no. The representative at Chase told me that because the regulations for personal and business cards are different, they keep personal cards strictly for use by individuals.Many entrepreneurs wish there was an instant way to build business credit, but there’s no just-add-water approach. It’s more of a “slow and steady wins the race” scenario.It starts with establishing the businesses as a separate entity. You’ve already gotten your Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is a first step toward doing that. Opening a business checking account, which you probably have already done, is also important for establishing the business as a separate entity. I discussed some other ways you can build your personal credit in the column, “To get a business loan, you may need to buff personal credit.”Since you already have good enough credit to obtain credit cards, perhaps it is time to get at least one small business credit card that you use exclusively for business expenses. Assuming you can get an adequate credit limit, start putting all of the business expenses you normally charge on that card and pay the bill each month on time.There are other advantages to getting a business credit card or two. They often include features that will help you keep track of your spending. Some can be helpful in growing your business, too. For instance, many of them come with cashback, which can add up quickly if you are running a substantial amount of expenses through the card.You can also build your business credit profile by establishing credit with a store where you buy business supplies, whether that means Home Depot or Staples. The more you can show lenders you are a responsible user of credit, the better your future options will be.If you are trying to build your credit to get a bank loan, pay close attention to your personal credit score, too. A 10-state survey by the Federal Reserve Banks of New York, Atlanta, Cleveland and Philadelphia in 2014 found that the top reason applicants were denied credit was a low credit score. It was the reason 45 percent got rejected.Building your revenue can also help increase your chances of getting a loan. The Fed’s survey found that only 25 percent of businesses with revenue of less than $250,000 received all of the credit they sought, compared to 36 percent of firms with revenue between $250,000 and $1 million.Of course, building solid revenues is easier said than done. But the truth is that the more you focus on building a successful business, the more credit you will find available to you. Put your creativity to work building sustainable revenue streams and high profits and it will be increasingly easy to get credit in the future.]

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