The Dos and Donts of Adding an Additional Card Holder

by : Scott Stadler

Are you considering adding an additional card holder to your credit card account? It's a really easy process - usually just a quick and simple phone call or a few lines to fill in and submit on an online form.

But before doing either, take some time to think about the decision first. Adding another card holder to your account opens you up to a lot of additional responsibility. Yes, you'll be completely accountable for any charges or other use of the extra card listed on your account.

Please consider these do's and don'ts of adding an additional card holder to your credit card account before requesting that extra card...

Do make sure you are adding a person you trust. I know this sounds really obvious, but impulse decisions are often easy to make. And some people are really great at using persuasion to convince you that adding them to your account is the right thing to do.

Don't ever add friends or non-immediate family to your credit card account. More often than not, doing so will destroy relationships in a blink of an eye. Think of it this way - it's all fun and games until the person makes a charge or purchase that you don't approve of. A situation such as this is a completely avoidable conflict. It's not worth letting it happen in the first place.

Do remember that you're liable for all usage of the additional card. It doesn't matter if you approve of the charges or not - by adding an additional card holder to your account, you're also agreeing to take responsibility for any and all of their credit card swipes. If you do decide to add another card holder, be sure to review the details of your legal liabilities - they should all be there in the fine print to read before you add a new user.

Don't add your children unless you're prepared to pay for any unwise purchases. Let's face the facts, teaching our kids a thing or two about financial diligence is indeed our responsibility. But don't expect young adults with virtually no previous hands-on credit card experience to make the best decisions all of the time. Again, it's your credit card account and ultimately, you will have to foot the bill.

Do remember there's a reason someone needs you to add them to your account. Ask yourself the obvious question before signing anything - why does this person want me to add them as an additional card holder to my credit card? If the credit card companies won't give them a credit card of their own, that means there's most likely some kind of issue with their creditworthiness. Do you want to be the one to take this risk?

The bottom line is simple - be safe by being sure to think through your reasoning thoroughly before adding an additional card holder to any of your accounts.