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How To Remove An Authorized User From Your Credit Card – Low CostAdvisor


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Adding or removing an authorized user from a credit card account usually only takes a quick phone call or online login, but it might be a good idea to let authorized users know before removing them from an account. Let’s go over what an authorized user is and how to remove one from a credit card account.

What Is an Authorized User?

An authorized user is an additional cardholder on someone else’s credit card account. The primary account holder can call a credit card issuer to add someone as an authorized user. Some issuers allow this benefit for free while others may charge a fee for each authorized user, or it may even vary from card to card from the same issuer.

Authorized users get their own credit cards with their names on them. An authorized user can use the card just like any other credit card to make purchases and build credit. Most issuers report authorized user activity to credit bureaus making this a good way for someone with little to no credit history to start building a healthy one. Those with poor credit can also boost their credit score by piggybacking on someone else’s good credit. The catch here is that the primary account holder is also on the hook if an authorized user racks up debt and doesn’t pay it off.

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No single credit card is the best option for every family, every purchase or every budget. We’ve picked the best credit cards in a way designed to be the most helpful to the widest variety of readers.

Will Adding an Authorized User Help Build Credit?

Adding someone as an authorized user to a credit card account can be beneficial for friends or family struggling financially, but it’s usually not financially helpful to the primary cardholder. The account holder is taking a risk with each authorized user they add to an account. The account holder risks a higher credit utilization rate and negative impact to credit score when allowing others to benefit from his or her credit.

Because the primary cardholder is financially responsible for all charges and interest, it’s important to discuss with the authorized user how a card can be used by setting a spending limit and a payment schedule. Some issuers allow the primary cardholder to set a credit limit on the authorized user’s card, which can prevent unwanted spending.

On the other hand, benefiting from a family or friend’s good credit can be immensely helpful for an authorized user. For example, some parents add their teenagers to their accounts before they’re of legal age to apply for their own credit cards. A teenager will not only have a personal credit card to use in case of emergencies, but can also start to build a healthy credit history and learn how to spend responsibly before it’s time to open an individual account.

When Should an Authorized User Be Removed?

There may be several reasons why a primary cardholder would want to remove an authorized user from an account. If the friend or family member has reached the financial goal, he or she can safely be removed from the account once approved for a separate credit card.

But there may be some unfortunate situations that lead the primary cardholder to remove someone from an account. The primary cardholder’s credit is affected by the authorized user’s activity. If the authorized user is constantly spending over the limit or failing to pay the account holder for expenses on time every month, the account holder may want to pull the plug.

The primary cardholder’s credit utilization rate can be negatively affected if an authorized user is spending over the credit limit and not paying it off. This can also lead to a decrease in credit scores for both parties.

No matter the situation, it’s a good idea to let an authorized user know when removing him or her. Notification is not necessary to complete a removal, but it can help the primary cardholder avoid a confrontational situation. The authorized user may not get notified once removed—the card will simply stop working.

How to Remove an Authorized User

Removing an authorized user from a credit card account is fairly simple. Some card issuers have an online portal allowing cardholders to add or remove authorized users at any time. A quick phone call to the issuer is also effective. Give the issuer the authorized user’s name and tell them the person should be removed from the account.

If possible, notify the authorized user before removal goes through. This way there are no surprises the next time he or she tries to use the credit card.

Can an Authorized User Remove Themselves From Someone Else’s Account?

An authorized user can request to be removed from an account by contacting an issuer either online or by phone.

The authorized user will no longer have access to a credit line if not an account holder of a separate credit card account. This means that when applying for a new card, a credit report may not show an existing line of credit. This can be a red flag to some issuers.

If the authorized user is attempting to move on and become the primary account holder on a different credit card, application should be completed (and ideally accepted) for a new card before being removed from someone else’s account.

Find The Best Credit Cards For 2022

No single credit card is the best option for every family, every purchase or every budget. We’ve picked the best credit cards in a way designed to be the most helpful to the widest variety of readers.

Bottom Line

Many people can benefit financially from piggybacking on someone else’s good credit as an authorized user. People with poor credit can build a credit score and those without any credit history can start from zero. But responsible spending is imperative for this to work. The primary cardholder is taking a risk whenever adding someone to an account. Make sure to discuss a spending and payment plan before going forward. The primary cardholder can remove an authorized user from an account at any time for any reason. Simply log in online or call the issuer.

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