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TPG reader Eric sent me a message on Facebook to ask about account access for credit card authorized users:
“Do authorized users get their own account login to view charges and set up payments? I’m specifically asking about the Chase Ritz-Carlton card.”
There are several good reasons to add users to your credit card account. For starters, secondary cardholders can help you earn sign-up bonuses and other rewards through spending, and in some cases they can share card benefits without having to apply on their own. Some cards even offer bonus points just for adding users and making a purchase. Of course, there are also more pragmatic reasons to add an authorized user, like enabling a family member or employee to manage the account on your behalf.
Generally, card issuers allow you to dictate the level of access given to authorized users. That said, Chase provides fairly limited options for personal cards like the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card and Chase Freedom. Authorized users can’t view account information online; that’s reserved exclusively for the primary cardholder. However, authorized users can perform most tasks by phone, including balance inquiries, payments and basically anything that doesn’t affect your credit (like increasing the credit line or closing the account).
Chase offers greater flexibility on its business credit cards and allows authorized users (designated as employees) to view account information online. Employees can only access information about their own cards, not about the master account. They also have to create a separate login, so they can’t just link the card to their own personal Chase account.
Business cardholders can also designate a proxy, which is someone who doesn’t have a card, but does have read-only access to the entire account (including employee cards). An employee can be a proxy, too, so you can give someone (like a manager or accountant) online access to information pertaining to the whole account. However, they’d still have to call in order to make changes.
As for other card issuers, American Express allows authorized users to view their card information online. Best of all, they can do so via their own Amex account, so they don’t have to create a separate login. You can also designate an account manager, who can be given full access to do everything other than replace a card, activate a card and add more authorized users.
Similarly, Citi gives authorized users access to most account information online, and allows them to take certain actions like make payments, change contact info, initiate billing disputes and more. They can’t close the account, add more users, change the credit line, convert to another card or make other fundamental changes. Like Amex, Citi allows authorized users to link cards to their own personal online accounts.
In any case, you could always just give someone your own personal login and password if you want them to have full access to your account, but of course there are security risks involved with that.
For more on the advantages (and disadvantages) of adding authorized users, check out these posts:
- Benefits and Costs of Adding Secondary Cardholders to Your Account
- How to Start Building Credit with an Authorized User Account
- Are Authorized Users Still Eligible to Earn Sign-Up Bonuses?
Know before you go.
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