cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Being added as an authorized user, do I need to activate and use the card?

Auto Loans for ANY Credit Situation. Immediate Response.
Advertiser disclosure

Being added as an authorized user, do I need to activate and use the card?

Good afternoon everyone,

 

My sister offered to add me onto her old, high limit credit cards to improve my credit history. She does not want to activate and send the card to me as it can get complicated. Will I still get the benefits from being an authorized user without using/spending the cards at all?

 

Thank you for reading

9 REPLIES 9
Frequent Contributor

Re: Being added as an authorized user, do I need to activate and use the card?

I added my boyfriend as an AU on Discover as well as Cap 1 QS. We activated the Discover card and occasionally he will use it. The cap 1 card was not activated and no use, it reported on his CR within a week.

This is based on my exp & with these specific lenders. It might not be the same for you and maybe others with more experience can chime in. Good luck!
Sept 18: EQ: 578 TU: 583 EX: 576
March 19’: EQ: 615 TU: 642 EX: 637

June: EQ8: 637 ^26 TU8: 645 ^7 EX8: 642 ^0

Goal by Sept 20’ EQ: 700 TU: 700 EX:700

AA: 7YRS AAOA: 2YR 3MONTHS
Inquiries in 12 months: EQ: 4 TU: 1 EX: 2
New Accounts in the last 8 months: 0


CLOSED: Self Lender 12Month CD: June 20th 19’





Main Short Term Goal: Auto Lease 2020 Jeep MOAB with 700 scores across the board.
Message 2 of 10
Established Contributor

Re: Being added as an authorized user, do I need to activate and use the card?

no as long as the card is activated you dont need to use it you will gain the account history





Message 3 of 10
Valued Contributor

Re: Being added as an authorized user, do I need to activate and use the card?

What card/bank?
She can activate the card and not give it to you, but that may not even matter. Most banks issue AU cards with the same number as the primary so the card is already active anyway.
One thing is that to get reported, the bank has to match your credit profile to the card. Sometimes they don’t report if there’s no match, like when you have different addresses, etc.
It also depends on what info is requested when adding the AU to an account. Some banks just ask for a name. Others ask for address and date of birth too. AMEX wants the SSN of AUs to make sure they’re not blacklisted.
AMEX | BofA | Barclays | Cap One | Chase | Citi | Discover | PenFed | SYNCB (PP 2%, Lowe's, Amazon, PP Credit) | US Bank
Message 4 of 10

Re: Being added as an authorized user, do I need to activate and use the card?

Love the swift reponses on this forum <3

 

I'm being added on AMex and Cap One but I live in a different state. AFAIK both cards required SSN when adding AU

Message 5 of 10
Valued Contributor

Re: Being added as an authorized user, do I need to activate and use the card?


@apply4future wrote:

Love the swift reponses on this forum <3

 

I'm being added on AMex and Cap One but I live in a different state. AFAIK both cards required SSN when adding AU


Then you should be fine because they'll use the SSN to match the card to your profile.

Another thing to take into account with Amex is that they don't backdate, so you'll get a fresh card on your report. That could actually affect you depending on your credit file. Also, what type of AMEX? is it a revolver or charge card? If you're looking to help with utilization, a charge card won't help in addition to lowering your AAoA. I hope it's a revolver at least.

Mind sharing what else is in your credit profile, scores, age of accounts, limits, UTIL, etc., that you felt the need to add a couple of cards to it?

AMEX | BofA | Barclays | Cap One | Chase | Citi | Discover | PenFed | SYNCB (PP 2%, Lowe's, Amazon, PP Credit) | US Bank
Message 6 of 10

Re: Being added as an authorized user, do I need to activate and use the card?

I did not know anything about what you've just said. I bet my sister didn't either :/

 

The AMex card is Blue Cash Everyday & The Cap One is Visa signature.

My credit score is 721. I opened my first CC in September last year. It was a Discover it for student with 1500 CL

 

Where can I find the list of CC that backdate and will help AUs raise their history? Thank you again

Message 7 of 10
Valued Contributor

Re: Being added as an authorized user, do I need to activate and use the card?


@apply4future wrote:

I did not know anything about what you've just said. I bet my sister didn't either :/

 

The AMex card is Blue Cash Everyday & The Cap One is Visa signature.

My credit score is 721. I opened my first CC in September last year. It was a Discover it for student with 1500 CL

 

Where can I find the list of CC that backdate and will help AUs raise their history? Thank you again


That's ok. We all start somewhere. I wish I'd been more involved when I started building credit over 20 yrs ago.

Anyway, I don't have a list of cards that backdate, but as far as I know, AMEX may be the only lender that doesn't. Good thing is, you got added to a revolver, so the credit line your sister has will help with utilization as long as she knows how to handle it. If she's running up her CL, that'll also reflect on your reports -- needless to say, any missed or late payments, etc. The Cap One card will come up with the original open date, so you're good with that. Same applies as to the usage of the card by your sister. Sometimes, people have the best intentions to help, but "help" may not be the right word in the end, so stay on top of your reports. Do you happen to know the limits or how old the cards are? If not, it'll show on your reports eventually.

Once you start getting more cards, and as they age and grow, you should probably remove yourself from those AU accounts, and have more control over your own profile. That's just my opinion.

For now, since you only have 1 tradeline (Discover), it's a good thing you added a couple more to maximize your scores. They say you need at least 3. Soon enough, you should have no problems getting the cards you want.

 

 

AMEX | BofA | Barclays | Cap One | Chase | Citi | Discover | PenFed | SYNCB (PP 2%, Lowe's, Amazon, PP Credit) | US Bank
Message 8 of 10

Re: Being added as an authorized user, do I need to activate and use the card?

Thank you. She told me those two cards are more than 5 years old and have $10-15K CL. She does not use those cards regularly anymore, only once every 3 months to keep them active. She mostly use her Sapphire Reserve for all expenses

Message 9 of 10
Valued Contributor

Re: Being added as an authorized user, do I need to activate and use the card?


@apply4future wrote:

Thank you. She told me those two cards are more than 5 years old and have $10-15K CL. She does not use those cards regularly anymore, only once every 3 months to keep them active. She mostly use her Sapphire Reserve for all expenses


Sounds good then. Remember that you'll inherit the account history & age of the Cap One card but not the Amex. The Amex card will show as a brand new account -- as if you'd just got approved for a new card. In your situation, it's not a bad thing to add another $20+ K to your available credit and 2 more tradelines.

 

ETA: I forgot to mention that if your sister isn't using either card, you should let balances report on your Discover card. Having 3 cards with 0 balances will do you no good either.

AMEX | BofA | Barclays | Cap One | Chase | Citi | Discover | PenFed | SYNCB (PP 2%, Lowe's, Amazon, PP Credit) | US Bank
Message 10 of 10
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from whom FICO receives compensation.