Have you ever been faced with the worry that your son or daughter is off to college and you want to give them access to emergency cash without having to give them the actual cash – which they'll likely spend beforehand – but knowing by the time you wire the money to them the emergency may well be over? If so, you may well want to know what supplemental credit cardholders are!
In short, supplemental credit cardholders are persons who you authorize to use your credit card account. They are issued their own card, but the account is the same number as yours and any transactions they process on the card are charged to you. Collectively you all have the same credit card limit. As such, if your supplemental cardholder makes a purchase on the card, this reduces your access to that sum from your card limit – until such time as you have made a payment.
As you can see then, supplemental credit card users are offered all of the privileges of being credit cardholders, but based on your financial status rather than theirs. They are, therefore, a good means of providing security to your spouse and children without the worry of their having to apply for a credit card in their own name – which, in the case of your children, will almost certainly result in them having a lower spending limit anyhow.
Although a very useful and beneficial tool, a couple of issues you need to watch out for if you agree to supplemental credit cardholders on your account:
* you are liable for their spending! If they overspend, so do you! Also, you should request that provide you with any transaction receipts so that you can track any potential fraudulent use of the card.
* you may find that you are charged a fee for the privilege of having supplemental cardholders.
Finally, keep in mind that the policy of having supplemental cardholders is not limited to supplemental credit cardholders and it is possible to have supplemental cardholders for most major charge cards and store cards.