Additional Cardholder

What is an additional cardholder?

An ‘Additional Cardholder’ is someone who you have authorised to have an extra credit card on your credit card account, enabling them to make purchases on your credit account.

It’s important to note that this is not the same as a joint account - you remain fully and solely liable for all spending on both cards and repayments by both you and by the added cardholder. This is in stark contrast to a joint account or a mortgage taken out in joint names, where each party has jointly and severally liability – either party can be sued for the debt, either by themselves or together, the lender can choose.

Also unlike a joint account, you will not create a financial association with someone that you name an additional cardholder because there is no ‘financial link’ in place.

Credit history is only recorded on the credit report of the main cardholder, including any spending incurred on the other user’s card, so it is not recommended for people that want to help someone build their credit history with hopes of them being able to take credit of their own.

Additional cardholders often have limited rights when it comes to the credit account, to the extent that they may not even be able to get any information about the account when contacting the card provider.

The person named as the additional cardholder is usually required to be an immediate family member, aged over 18 and living at the same address as the main cardholder. Other than that, no financial checks are usually undertaken on the person you wish to grant access to your credit account; the credit card company relies entirely on your authority to add the cardholder at your own risk.

No additional benefits or increased limits are given when adding a cardholder, though if you are collecting rewards or cashback on a card, you could earn more quickly.

Remember: in all cases you are 100% liable for all spending by the additional cardholder.


Q: Is a credit check needed to grant an additional card?

A: No. While a credit check would have been carried out at the time of the original credit agreement, lenders do not need to check the credit histories of any additional cardholders added as ultimately the main cardholder is still ultimately liable for any and all expenditure.

Jargon Buster

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