Fidelity Visa - Authorized User vs Joint Owner for Spouse?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
appliancejunk
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:39 pm

Fidelity Visa - Authorized User vs Joint Owner for Spouse?

Post by appliancejunk »

Hello, first time poster but I’m a big fan of the forums. Especially the Personal Finance board!

I’m also a big fan of Fidelity and my wife and I have been with them for many years.

I’ve been following the great topic of “Fidelity as a one stop shop” for awhile now.

I’ve picked up a few tips from it, thanks!

One thing that seem to be some what unique to the Fidelity Visa card is the option of setting it up with a Joint Owner.

If you take a look under Account Services for the Fidelity Visa you will see a link for Authorized User and a link for Joint Owner.

Currently I’m the primary card holder and my wife and son are Authorized users.

I’m wondering what the advantages or disadvantages are to adding my wife as a joint owner instead of a authorized user.

The only advantage I can think of is the Fidelity Visa should show up under her Fidelity Login if she became a Joint Owner and she would be able to call into CS if I wasn't able to for what ever reason.

As a side note it seem's from my last Fidelity Visa statement they just lowered the reward minimum for auto redeem from $50 to $25.
Anyone else notice that on the bottom of their statement?

Thanks
abner kravitz
Posts: 567
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 7:42 am
Location: Beaufort County, SC

Re: Fidelity Visa - Authorized User vs Joint Owner for Spouse?

Post by abner kravitz »

Maybe it would make it easier if you pre-deceased your wife, then she would have her own credit card if she doesn't already. You still have to apply to get a joint ownership, it is not a request that is granted automatically based on what I see.
fourwheelcycle
Posts: 1094
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 5:55 pm

Re: Fidelity Visa - Authorized User vs Joint Owner for Spouse?

Post by fourwheelcycle »

Do you or your wife know what her credit score is? Is it a good score? If you suddenly die your wife will definitely have to apply for a new Fidelity Visa card based on her own finances and credit score. If she has several other credit cards in her own name, or joint with you, she may have a fine credit score on her own. But if she has no other credit cards or car loans in her own name she may have trouble getting credit cards or car loans on her own if you die.

My wife and I always pay cash for our new cars, but recently we were offered a large discount if we took out a loan. When we applied for a joint loan, required for a joint title, we found out my wife's credit score was much lower than mine because all of our cards were in my name, with her as an authorized user. We got the loan, got the discount, and paid off the loan one week later, for a total interest cost of $50.

We also changed most of our credit cards to joint. Our Amazon Chase Visa card was the only card we could not change to joint. We were able to change our BoA cash rewards and travel cards to joint.
Last edited by fourwheelcycle on Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
appliancejunk
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:39 pm

Re: Fidelity Visa - Authorized User vs Joint Owner for Spouse?

Post by appliancejunk »

Some good points, thanks for the replies.

A bit more info. My wife does have a couple of her own cards. We each have a credit history dating back about 30 years. Going by Credit Karma, Discover, Chase and Citi's "credit reports" both my wife and I have 800+ scores. The only debt we have is the few hundred that would currently be on a CC. I PIF the CC every week as I just can't stand debt.

I was thinking of making my wife a joint owner on the Fidelity Visa and then dropping one or two of our other CC's as we only ever really use one CC anyway. Any other CC's we more or less just use once in a great while to keep active but I'm tired of monitory them.

I would be interested in knowing what other CC's allow joint ownership instead of only allowing the addition of authorized users. I only have experience with Discover, Citi DC, Chase/Amazon Prime Visa and the Fidelity Visa.

I would love to find another card in addition to the Fidelity Visa that my wife and I could be joint owners instead of a prime and an authorized user.

Thanks
Jack FFR1846
Posts: 13242
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Fidelity Visa - Authorized User vs Joint Owner for Spouse?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Joint owners are both liable to pay. Authorized users have no responsibility to pay...it's all yours.

If you close other cards, that's going to drop your score a bit. Why not just sock drawer the non used cards.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
crefwatch
Posts: 878
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:07 pm
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Fidelity Visa - Authorized User vs Joint Owner for Spouse?

Post by crefwatch »

You don't make it clear whether the "Fidelity Visa" is a pure, revolving credit card, or whether it has something to do with a Fidelity account that contains stocks or bonds or other assets. I'm not sure the term "owner" is a good term for "credit card holder." Does the Fidelity card have any attributes other than a credit card account?

Your report of individual credit scores is helpful. Does the spouse have a work history, or would she experience financial stress if you were to die? I don't know if you are uncomfortable addressing mortality in your questions, or if you really don't have that as a consideration.

My wife an I have plenty of joint assets, but we also have individual bank accounts. Each couple decides these issues, and there is no single policy that fits all couples. Our credit cards are all held individually. I see that as a plus, not a minus. But it's partly a matter of opinion. Other considerations could include (depending on family life ... ) interest rates (do you ever carry a balance?), foreign transaction fees, credit limits, and point-earning schemes.
Post Reply