Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

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PalmQueen
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Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by PalmQueen » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:32 pm

It's come to my attention that the credit cards I've held jointly for years with my DH aren't joint accounts. He's the primary card holder and in the eyes of the issuer, I'm just some random authorized user. Time to fix that!

My plan is to open 2 new cards where I'll be primary account holder, probably one AMEX and one Visa.

Cards on my current short list are:
AMEX
Hilton Ascend (that's my preferred hotel)
Blue Cash Preferred

Visa
Fidelity
US Bank

Questions:
How far apart should I space the applications?
Any pros/cons to a true joint account which I believe are offered at US Bank and Fidelity?
Both our credit scores are solid, so anticipate no issues there, but am interested in any strategies to minimize dings to scores by adding these 2 cards to the 2 DH has already.
Any other cards to consider that I've overlooked?

Any advice and experiences the community has to share about how to proceed will be most appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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CAsage
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by CAsage » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:38 pm

Everyone should have their own credit cards. If the other person dies, the card shuts down. It might be convenient to have separate cards for some things and a shared one for joint stuff but if you have worked out how to budget/share it doesn't matter.
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

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Watty
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by Watty » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:46 pm

PalmQueen wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:32 pm
Any pros/cons to a true joint account which I believe are offered at US Bank and Fidelity?
One advantage of having a card in just your own name is that both you and your spouse can each get one to get two sign up bonuses.

Some people make a hobby out of getting the maximum sign up bonuses and spending points but if you are just looking for a good simple card the Citi Double Cash cards gives you 2% cash back with no games to play.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by fourwheelcycle » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:58 pm

My wife and I just learned she has been an authorized user rather than a joint owner on our two main credit cards. We have had them for twenty years or more and I guess we just forgot we originally applied for them in my name. The cards are both issued by Bank of America. We each have cards with our own names on them and they show up as part of our BoA on-line account, along with our joint BoA checking and savings accounts. We had no idea she was not a joint owner. We called BoA and we were able to add my wife as a joint owner on our cards in one phone call. The change was effective the as soon as the phone call was completed.

student
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by student » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:01 pm

I do not know whether this is still true but years ago, AMEX green card is not difficult to get for those with limited credit history as they want your annual fee.

rj342
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by rj342 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:11 pm

Opinion on effect of being just an authorized user on your own credit score seems mixed.
So not sure if it helped, but after son became an authorized user on my AMEX green card when he started college 3 years ago (and using it modestly), one year ago He had no problem getting an AMEX Everyday card as his first card in own name.

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PalmQueen
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by PalmQueen » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:51 pm

fourwheelcycle wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:58 pm
My wife and I just learned she has been an authorized user rather than a joint owner on our two main credit cards. We have had them for twenty years or more and I guess we just forgot we originally applied for them in my name. The cards are both issued by Bank of America. We each have cards with our own names on them and they show up as part of our BoA on-line account, along with our joint BoA checking and savings accounts. We had no idea she was not a joint owner. We called BoA and we were able to add my wife as a joint owner on our cards in one phone call. The change was effective the as soon as the phone call was completed.
This is exactly the situation we have except joint accounts aren't offered on our cards. :-(

chemocean
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by chemocean » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:07 pm

Being an authorized user on an account counts as one of the five recently opened card in regards to Chase policy against issuing cards to a person having opened 5 new accounts in the last 24 hours.

TravelGeek
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:31 pm

chemocean wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:07 pm
Being an authorized user on an account counts as one of the five recently opened card in regards to Chase policy against issuing cards to a person having opened 5 new accounts in the last 24 hours.
months :)

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by fourwheelcycle » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:19 pm

PalmQueen wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:51 pm
fourwheelcycle wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:58 pm
My wife and I just learned she has been an authorized user rather than a joint owner on our two main credit cards. ... We called BoA and we were able to add my wife as a joint owner on our cards in one phone call.
This is exactly the situation we have except joint accounts aren't offered on our cards. :-(
Right. We were just lucky BoA accepts joint owners. Our Amazon card is issued by Chase. It's in my name too, although we each have cards with our names on them. It turns out Chase will not issue cards with joint owners, so we are stuck on that one.

These authorized user card histories are not because I am very macho or anything - it's just that whenever we need to make any financial applications my wife asks if I can just do it myself. She does not want to spend time on finances if she doesn't have to.

She has always participated in shopping for our new cars, but she also always asked me to do the final purchases w/o her. That ended two cars ago when she realized "her" car was titled in my name. Now all of our cars are titled in our joint names!

buhlaxtus
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by buhlaxtus » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:20 pm

Get a credit card. Get another if you want. Don't overthink it. Rule 1 is pay off in full every month, rule 2 is don't have an annual fee if you can avoid it. Option 3 (not required) is to find one with a reward system that works for you.

JBTX
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by JBTX » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:23 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:31 pm
chemocean wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:07 pm
Being an authorized user on an account counts as one of the five recently opened card in regards to Chase policy against issuing cards to a person having opened 5 new accounts in the last 24 hours.
months :)
That's some serious churning!

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PalmQueen
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by PalmQueen » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:20 pm

buhlaxtus wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:20 pm
Get a credit card. Get another if you want. Don't overthink it. Rule 1 is pay off in full every month, rule 2 is don't have an annual fee if you can avoid it. Option 3 (not required) is to find one with a reward system that works for you.
Good advice. I feel like I should space out the applications, but maybe that's irrelevant since I'm not applying for 5 cards in 24 hours or 24 months.
Last edited by PalmQueen on Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PalmQueen
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by PalmQueen » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:27 pm

fourwheelcycle wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:19 pm
PalmQueen wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:51 pm
fourwheelcycle wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:58 pm
My wife and I just learned she has been an authorized user rather than a joint owner on our two main credit cards. ... We called BoA and we were able to add my wife as a joint owner on our cards in one phone call.
This is exactly the situation we have except joint accounts aren't offered on our cards. :-(
Right. We were just lucky BoA accepts joint owners. Our Amazon card is issued by Chase. It's in my name too, although we each have cards with our names on them. It turns out Chase will not issue cards with joint owners, so we are stuck on that one.

These authorized user card histories are not because I am very macho or anything - it's just that whenever we need to make any financial applications my wife asks if I can just do it myself. She does not want to spend time on finances if she doesn't have to.

She has always participated in shopping for our new cars, but she also always asked me to do the final purchases w/o her. That ended two cars ago when she realized "her" car was titled in my name. Now all of our cars are titled in our joint names!
It's understandable and I think pretty common for married couples to believe they have joint credit card accounts when they don't.
Once upon a time, I think joint credit card accounts were the norm, but it seems that's changed. :shock:

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leeks
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by leeks » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:01 am

Does it really matter? Is it really worth your time to worry about this? What is the downside to keeping the status quo?

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PalmQueen
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by PalmQueen » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:47 am

leeks wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:01 am
Does it really matter? Is it really worth your time to worry about this? What is the downside to keeping the status quo?
If the primary cardholder dies, the authorized user no longer has a credit card.
Yes, they can apply for a new one, but in the interim they wouldn't even be able to charge a tank of gas.

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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:00 am

PalmQueen wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:47 am
leeks wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:01 am
Does it really matter? Is it really worth your time to worry about this? What is the downside to keeping the status quo?
If the primary cardholder dies, the authorized user no longer has a credit card.
Yes, they can apply for a new one, but in the interim they wouldn't even be able to charge a tank of gas.
+1. It's absolutely worth worrying about from the perspective of making sure one's spouse is taken care of after the other spouse's passing.

In doing some estate planning recently, I discovered that we were pretty much in the same situation as described by the OP. We have several active credit cards, and I was primary cardholder on all of them, with her as authorized user. I discussed with my wife, and now she has a Fidelity card in her own name that will remain open in case of my demise.
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by oxothuk » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:00 am

PalmQueen wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:47 am
leeks wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:01 am
Does it really matter? Is it really worth your time to worry about this? What is the downside to keeping the status quo?
If the primary cardholder dies, the authorized user no longer has a credit card.
Yes, they can apply for a new one, but in the interim they wouldn't even be able to charge a tank of gas.
+1
This exact scenario happened to a friend of ours last year.

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mmmodem
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by mmmodem » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:04 am

Every credit check is a ding to your credit score. Given scores may take 30-60 days to update to the bureaus, your best course of action is to apply for each card immediately after the other as your credit will be pristine. This also minimizes the length of time the credit check affects your score as they both fall off your credit reports at the same time.

I also signed up DW for two credit cards after shockingly finding out years later that she had cancelled all her cards after I made her authorized user of my rewards cards. Since my cards had better rewards, she had no need to keep her old cards. :oops:

On choosing which cards, I make sure each are on a different network due credit cards not being completely universal. I.e. Costco only accepts Visa. So many places that I frequent don't accept Amex that I wonder why it is so popular on BH.

DaftInvestor
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:06 am

I wouldn't worry about dings to credit score -
In the end you will likely have a HIGHER credit score than your DH - since your "available credit" will include the sum of all your husbands credit cards PLUS the ones you are opening.
My DW has always had a higher score than I - she kept signing up for store-credit cards (and didn't list me as joint or authorized) to get the one-time price-reduction incentives which is what I believe did the trick.

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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by CAsage » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:09 am

leeks wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:01 am
Does it really matter? Is it really worth your time to worry about this? What is the downside to keeping the status quo?
My Mom, who had been married for 20 years, worked, paid the bills, managed a household... then got divorced. She was informed that she had no credit record and could not get a credit card because she had no credit history - it was all in my Dad's name. Well. That was a few years ago, but every adult needs their own card. Authorized user is simply an add-on. When I turned 18, she fought very hard me to get my own accounts in my own name... tiny limit, but mine.
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:18 am

oxothuk wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:00 am
PalmQueen wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:47 am
leeks wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:01 am
Does it really matter? Is it really worth your time to worry about this? What is the downside to keeping the status quo?
If the primary cardholder dies, the authorized user no longer has a credit card.
Yes, they can apply for a new one, but in the interim they wouldn't even be able to charge a tank of gas.
+1
This exact scenario happened to a friend of ours last year.
Or there could be a divorce.

But either way, if the "authorized user" has NO credit history under his/her own name, then getting started with a fresh credit card can be slow going, perhaps first with a secured card with a low limit. This might not match the current usage.

And until there is a good credit history, things like insurance rates (in some states) could be higher.

RM
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PalmQueen
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by PalmQueen » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:15 am

mmmodem wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:04 am
Every credit check is a ding to your credit score. Given scores may take 30-60 days to update to the bureaus, your best course of action is to apply for each card immediately after the other as your credit will be pristine. This also minimizes the length of time the credit check affects your score as they both fall off your credit reports at the same time.

I also signed up DW for two credit cards after shockingly finding out years later that she had cancelled all her cards after I made her authorized user of my rewards cards. Since my cards had better rewards, she had no need to keep her old cards. :oops:

On choosing which cards, I make sure each are on a different network due credit cards not being completely universal. I.e. Costco only accepts Visa. So many places that I frequent don't accept Amex that I wonder why it is so popular on BH.
Signing up for two in the same day does make sense when you look at it this way. Thanks!

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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by Wabbit » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:25 am

It's come to my attention that the credit cards I've held jointly for years with my DH aren't joint accounts. He's the primary card holder and in the eyes of the issuer, I'm just some random authorized user. Time to fix that!
Thanks for highlighting this! I've had a credit card with my spouse for quite a while now that I thought was joint, but apparently no longer is. Or maybe I always misunderstood it. We'll have to fix that! Also, I see now that different cards have different things an authorized user can do: some allow the authorized user to see all transactions, and some only allow the authorized user to see their transactions.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Tired of being authorized user on credit cards - opening my own

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:32 am

Wabbit wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:25 am
It's come to my attention that the credit cards I've held jointly for years with my DH aren't joint accounts. He's the primary card holder and in the eyes of the issuer, I'm just some random authorized user. Time to fix that!
Thanks for highlighting this! I've had a credit card with my spouse for quite a while now that I thought was joint, but apparently no longer is. Or maybe I always misunderstood it. We'll have to fix that! Also, I see now that different cards have different things an authorized user can do: some allow the authorized user to see all transactions, and some only allow the authorized user to see their transactions.
It might depend upon the type of card.
Amex can allow various "levels" of permission, but the primary cardholder needs to make the determination. And ditto for Amex travel permissions.

I'm not sure if Citi has different levels...

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

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