Quick Card Tip #3 – Authorized Users

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Here is something I suggest for couples who get a new card because of the huge sign up bonus that comes with meeting the spending requirement on that new card. This is especially helpful if both partners apply for their own cards to get the sweet sign up bonuses.

Apply for the card in your legal name and get an authorized user card in your spouse’s nickname. For example, “Jennifer” would apply for a card in her legal name and get an authorized card for her husband “Andy”. Then if her husband applied for the same card offer as “Andrew”, he should get his wife an authorized user card as “Jen”. This way a couple knows at a glance whose card is the master and who is the authorized user. If it has a nickname, it’s an authorized user card on the other’s account.

This is helpful for a couple reasons:

  1. You want to meet the spending requirement in the few months’ window. Two people using a card on one account will get there quicker than one. Whether you keep track of your card activity in personal finance software like Quicken, an Excel spreadsheet, or pull out your calculator and add up the transactions or statements – you don’t want to spend more than you need to on a card once you have met the spending requirement. This is especially true if you both got a card and have let’s say three months to meet a spending requirement. The clock is ticking on the other account’s card.

Once you have met the spending requirement to achieve the sign up bonus, you can send a message to your credit card company to discontinue the authorized user card. You cut that sucker up!

  1. Here’s another reason to know which card is the authorized user. Chase has been known to count an authorized user card as a card you have applied for. Chase likes to deny people new cards if they have more than five new cards in the past 24 months on any bank’s card (not just Chase). So you do not want to have an authorized user card preventing you from taking advantage of a great new card offer from Chase.

Here are some of the “Best Sign-Up Bonus” card offers out there right now:

Or look at the top right side of this website under “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offer$” click “Limited Time Credit Card Offers”. That will take you to a secure site where you can get more info on these bad boys. Email me if you have any questions. Full disclosure: I may get a commission if you use my links so… Thanks!

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