There are a number of credit cards in the Australian market that let you add additional cardholders for no extra charges.
What is a credit card that offers additional credit cardholders for free?
These are a group of credit cards that allow you to have someone else access your credit card account for free. Some credit cards will allow you to have one additional cardholder for free, some will allow up to nine.
This feature is particularly useful when you, as the primary cardholder, want to share the benefits of your credit card with an additional family member. You’ll both share the same line of credit and you’ll be able to use the credit card according to your individual needs.
What are the types of credit cards available that offer additional credit cardholders?
Free additional cardholders are offered with a variety of credit card types, the most common being:
- Platinum credit cards. This feature is most commonly found in Platinum credit cards, as the high annual fee supports the benefit of additional cardholders. These credit cards provide many benefits to its cardholder, but eligibility requirements are normally higher than standard credit cards.
- Rewards credit cards. Rewards credit cards allow you to have additional cardholders so you can accrue points more quickly. Your whole family can pool in points together. Remember that with reward credit cards you always need to maximise the value from the points earned, relative to the annual fee.
What are the credit cards with free additional cardholder?
Rates last updated December 6th, 2016.
- American Express Qantas Ultimate Card
New offer of 100,000 bonus Qantas Points + extended 0% for 12 months BT offer until 30 January 2017
November 15th, 2016
- Citi Simplicity Card
5% cash back + 0% p.a. for 9 months on balance transfers. Offer ends 30 June 2017.
November 18th, 2016
- American Express Explorer Credit Card
100,000 bonus points and balance transfer offers have been extended until 30 January 2017.
November 29th, 2016
How do free additional cardholders work?
An additional cardholder will get a separate credit card that has access to your credit card account, and any other account that you may have linked to it. They may also have access to your account through online banking, so they can see all of your credit card activity.
As a general rule, banks and financial institutions require the additional cardholder to be over 16 years of age, with some even requiring the cardholder be over 18. As the primary cardholder, you are liable for how the account is used, including purchases made by the additional cardholder.
Usually the easiest way to add another cardholder onto your credit card account is through your bank’s online banking system. You can login and change the details of account. The banks can also provide you with a request form where you can return it in branch, by fax or post.
It takes about two weeks to process an additional cardholder onto your account, and a new card is sent to the primary cardholder’s address after that, which could take a few extra business days to arrive.
Normally, if the additional cardholder you’ve nominated isn’t an existing customer of your bank, then an ID check may be required. Suitable ID documents include passports, birth certificates, driver’s license, medicare cards etc.
How to compare credit cards that offer free additional cardholders
- The amount of free additional cardholders you can have. Most credit cards allow up to one extra cardholder at no extra cost. So if you want to allocate more than one credit card, you will need to compare more credit cards. If you already have an existing credit card and don’t want to switch then you can usually add more for a fee.
- Credit limit. Before you set up an additional cardholder, you need to ensure that your spending combined cannot exceed the credit limit. If your credit limit is too small, consider an alternative solution.
Pros and cons of credit cards that offer free additional cardholders
- Pool your reward points together. This is a great way to accumulate points quickly, which means you can offset some of the spending by redeeming points for rewards.
- No need to open another account. Manage your finances easier without the need of opening a new account. All your purchases and transactions will be recorded onto the one statement and account.
- Liability. Be mindful that as the primary account holder, you are liable for all transactions. This means that if the additional cardholder carelessly uses the credit card, ultimately paying it all back is up to you.
- Harder to keep track of spending. If you’re trying to budget, having an extra spender on your account could make things harder depending on how disciplined they are.
Tips and things to avoid when it comes to credit cards that offer free additional cardholders
- Cash advances. Cash advances charge an incredibly high rate of interest, so these should be avoided at all costs. Especially if there are multiple cash advances happening at the one time with multiple card holders.
- Teach your additional cardholder You may know the ins and outs of credit card interest for example, but your 16 year old child may not. This means you should teach them how interest free days work, what purchases are eligible to earn rewards points and more.
Frequently asked questions
How do I remove an additional cardholder?
To cancel an additional cardholder, please contact your credit card provider to request this.
What happens if the additional cardholder’s card is lost or stolen?
You will need to contact your bank immediately and report it as lost or stolen. The bank will then cancel the account which means all of those who have access to it will be affected. You can set up a replacement account and reissue the cards.
Do we share the same PIN or do we have different PINs?
For security purposes, each cardholder has a different PIN.