You can check with your issuer(s) for any age requirements. What cards do you have? Not all will report an AU. I know Chase and Discover will.
Let he start using pre-paid credit card which he can load with his own money and teach him about financial reponsible........Then add him as AU when he 18 and older....
I added my son to two of my Amex cards when he turned 15. He is now 16 and I have since added him to my Discover, Freedom, CSP and Capital One cards. I rotate them so he only ever has one or two in his wallet at any given time. Right now he has the Freedom (for the 5% gas rewards) and the Capital One (1.5% cash back on all purchases) in his wallet.
Adding him as an AU/ACM served several purposes:
1. To establish credit in his name.
2. To teach him to use credit responsibly.
3. To earn cash back/rewards from his spending. We used to give him cash, but as we all know here, you don't earn rewards when you spend cash!
4. To keep track of where he is spending. He gets annoyed by this last one since I will sometimes text him and ask him what did he just buy at X store?
He got his license in December, so it's especially nice for him to be able to gas up on his own and earn us gas rewards.
You certainly don't have to give the card(s) to your child, but if you want to teach them about use, it might be wise to allow them to carry one. And the nice thing about Amex is that you can actually set a limit for them on their card since each ACM gets their own card number.
He has had a debit card with one of our credit unions for a couple years and been very responsible. I'm ready to help him move to the next step.
I have a Discover, BOA 123 Visa, CFE CU Visa, Amex Zync, PayPal MC, CapOne Cash Rewards and a few store cards.
So what do you think?
I'd definitely add him to at least a couple of your cards. I'd probably go with Discover & CapOne Cash Rewards, maybe even the BOA 123. Then just let him have one at a time. Thinking ahead to when he turns 16 and possibly gets his license, he can use the Discover and the BOA 123 for gas rewards.
You should probably also add him to your Amex card, mainly for future backdating purposes. The backdating is always a YMMV sort of thing, but odds are good that when he goes to apply for his own Amex, he would get backdated to his ACM date. Since it's a charge card, I probably wouldn't give it to him to use. My son is an ACM on two of my revolving Amex cards.
That's good to know about the Amex and setting a limit for them. I really thought I just don't want him carrying it to school, but away from school I'm ok with. When he starts driving I'll probably just have him carry it all the time.
So really, I can add him now to Amex and maybe another to spread a little diversity to his new profile.
You have me curious as to whether you can set a limit on the Amex Zync since it is a charge card rather than a revolver. I do not know if you can set a limit like you can with Amex's revolvers. I wonder if anyone here knows whether you can? That would definitely be a nice perk if you can limit him on the Zync.
In an effort to teach my oldest kid the need for good credit, responsible use and help him in the ways I wish someone had helped me.
When can I add him as an authorized user (he probably won't actually get to carry the card regularly)?
Is there a card that would help him by creating a relationship he could transition into his own relationship some day?
I'm not trying to "trick" the system and give some 15 year old some account that comes across as if he got it when he was 8 or something. Just when the day comes to look at student loans and stuff he'll already understand what's he's looking at.
He's 15, but if I can add him soon I will. I just didn't know if he needs to be 18 or it cold happen earlier.
Thanks in advance for any insight,
I would add him now but not giving him the card(s). I know Citi, Chase, Discover will report to CRs if living in same address and is your spouse or family.
When he turns 18, he can apply for his own card such as CAP1 or BofA 99/500 secured card and let him learn the responsibility of credit.
Meanwhile, he is still on your AU and enjoying util padding as well as AAOA. If he screws up his BofA or cap1, hopefully you can keep track before he messed it up and prevent that and have a nice long talk with him.