Apple Card Family makes it easy to help kids, family members build credit

Apr 20, 2021

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Update 4/21/21: This post has been updated to include additional information about adding authorized users and/or a co-owner to your Apple Card account.

Two years ago, Apple introduced a new credit card — without a travel rewards tie-in, simplicity has been the key selling point, with the goal of making it easy for customers to sign up and manage their account.

Since then the company’s been working to boost appeal, primarily through the addition of more businesses that trigger the Apple Card’s highest rewards tier, offering 3% cash back — called “Daily Cash” — with a handful of additional merchants.

The information for the Apple Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Worthy of the hype? Apple Card review

Now, Apple’s adding some features that go beyond improved cash-back rewards. As the company detailed on Tuesday, the new Apple Card Family will make it easy for users to share one account with up to five other people that are 13 years or older.

While there are different terms to keep in mind — namely, everyone needs to be part of the same Family Sharing group — this appears to function similarly to authorized user programs with other cards. One difference here is that it’s easy to control everyone’s spending in the app — the account owner can set purchase limits, of course, and monitor spending as well.

(Rendering courtesy of Apple)

More exciting, however, is the fact that Apple’s making it easy for users to use a shared account to build credit, including someone you designate as a “co-owner.” As the company explains:

Apple Card can be shared with any eligible customer who is 18 years or older as a co-owner, providing the opportunity for both to build credit history together, get the flexibility of a combined limit, provide transparency into each other’s spending, share the responsibility of making payments, and deliver the convenience of a single monthly bill to pay.

By default, your co-owner will be able to build their own credit — essential if they’re hoping to open credit card accounts of their own, acquire mortgages and score favorable rates on other types of loans. Other individuals on your account will also be able to opt in to credit reporting, assuming they’re 18 years or older.

Note that co-owners will effectively be opening their own Apple Card when they agree to join, or they can add on their existing Apple Card account. Once merged, the joint account will have the lower of the two interest rates, and credit lines will be combined.

It isn’t possible to remove a co-owner once you link your accounts — you’ll need to close the joint account and open a new one, which will also add another account to your credit history, perhaps triggering restrictions with other issuers, like Chase’s 5/24 rule. Authorized users — or “participants,” as Apple’s referring to them — can come and go as you please.

Related: Adding your kids as authorized users to build credit

A handful of card issuers make it possible for your authorized users to build their own credit, based on the history of your account, however that’s more of a little-known perk — Apple is explicitly marketing it as a benefit here.

You and your co-owner will both benefit from good credit history, assuming you use the account responsibly — if you neglect to pay your balance on time, or utilize too much of your credit limit, both of your credit scores could be negatively impacted.

Notably, individuals will earn Daily Cash based on their own spend. If a co-owner or authorized user makes a purchase, they’ll earn cash back in their own account, even if someone else is paying the bill.

While you may pay interest charges if you carry a balance, there are no foreign-transaction, over-limit, late payment or annual fees to use Apple Card. Similarly, there’s no charge to share your card with Family Sharing members — well, aside from the transactions you’ll rack up each time they swipe.

Featured photo courtesy of Apple

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