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Which credit card companies report authorized users?

Build your credit with the right credit card provider.


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Being an authorized user on someone else’s credit card is one way to build credit. But only if the card provider reports authorized users to credit bureaus. If not, being an authorized user won’t make much difference to your credit score.

Does an authorized user build credit?

Yes. But only if the primary cardholder keeps the credit utilization rate low and always pays off the full balance before the due date. This is a common credit-building strategy, especially if you’re just starting out.

However, if the primary cardholder misses payments or only pays the minimum balance, you won’t see your credit improve — it could hurt your credit.

Other credit-building options

Secured credit cards and student credit cards are an excellent way of building credit. In this case, you are fully responsible for your credit card use and you can build your credit without depending on anyone else.

Which credit card companies report authorized users?

Credit card providerReporting to credit bureaus
American ExpressYes, if the authorized user is at least 15
Wells FargoYes, if the authorized user is at least 18
Bank of AmericaYes
DiscoverYes, if the authorized user is at least 15
Capital OneYes
Barclaycard USYes, if the authorized user is at least 16

Why an authorized user’s activity may not be reported

There are cases when the primary cardholder’s activity isn’t reported to the authorized user’s credit report. This can be because:

  • Card issuer doesn’t report authorized users. Some card issuers won’t report your credit activity to credit bureaus, so make sure you avoid them if you’re looking to build your credit.
  • Age restriction. If the authorized user is younger than the minimum requirement, card activity isn’t reported.
  • Not the same address. Some authorized users report that their activity wasn’t reported because they had a different address than the primary cardholder. This isn’t the case with every credit card issuer, so ask about its policies.
  • Social Security number missing. The authorized user needs to provide their SSN. Otherwise, your card activity may not reach the credit bureaus.
  • Credit bureaus. Not all credit card issuers report your card activity to all credit bureaus — sometimes only one or two.

Compare cards to build your credit

It’s possible to build your credit as an authorized user, but it can take time. If you’re looking to quickly build your credit, consider applying for a secured credit card.

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Starting at $200
17.39% variable
Apply for this card with no credit check if you're new to credit or have bad credit.
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
Starting at $200
9.99% fixed
No credit check is required for this secured card. Make a deposit of at least $200 to open this card and get a low 9.99% fixed APR on purchases.
Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
0% intro for the first 6 months (then 12.99% variable)
A rare secured card with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, followed by 12.99% variable.
Self Visa® Credit Card
Starting at $100
21.74% variable
Build your credit with a low minimum security deposit of $100 and no credit score required.
First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
13.99% variable
No minimum credit score and no credit history required.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

You’ll find most major credit card issuers report authorized users to credit bureaus. But to be on the safe side, reach out to customer service and ask about how it reports and the info it needs from you.

If you want to build credit quickly, consider applying for a secured credit card or a student credit card and start building credit by yourself.

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