How to Grant Permission to Use a Credit Card

by Jennifer Williams
Credit card companies have procedures for granting permission to use a credit card.

Credit card companies have procedures for granting permission to use a credit card.

Granting permission for someone to legally use your credit card is simply a matter of notifying the credit card company that a designated individual has your authorization to make charges with your card. Going through the process of granting permission protects both you and the credit card company from fraudulent use of your card, as the credit card company knows to only honor charges from authorized individuals.

Ask the card issuer's customer service department for the step-by-step procedure required to authorize an individual to lawfully use your card. Some companies may allow verbal authorization, while others require authorization in writing. If the card company wants your authorization in an email or letter, ask exactly which information concerning your authorized user must be included. Find the customer service phone number on the back of the card, on the card agreement, on the card statement or on the card issuer's website.

Provide the customer service representative with the required information about the individual you wish to authorize. This may include full name, address, date of birth, driver's license number and social security number. If the information is required in writing, ask for the mailing or email address where the information should be sent.

Draft a letter to the card company. State that you are authorizing another individual to use your card. Provide the individual's name and any other information that the credit card company requires.

Request, either verbally or in writing, a separate card for the authorized individual. Provide the address where you would like the card to be sent, unless the credit card company requires any additional cards to be sent to your billing address. If communicating in writing, sign the letter and mail it to the address provided by customer service. If the letter is being sent by email, type your name as your signature and send it to the email address provided by customer service.

Activate the card once it is received, and give it to the authorized user. Communicate exactly what your user is (and is not) allowed to do with the card. Make arrangements for your user to pay you, or pay the card company directly, for any charges he makes with the card.

Warnings

  • Be specific with both your authorized user and the credit card company about what the authorized user is authorized to do with the card. Many cards offer cash advance checks, balance transfer options and other banking services. If you want to authorize another person to use only the charge function of the card and not the other services, let the individual as well as the card company know.
  • You have to follow the credit card company's procedures for terminating your authorization should you change your mind about letting your authorized user charge on your card. Some states, such as California, require this by law and do not require the card company to deny charges, nor is the company held liable for continued charges, until the termination of authorization procedures are followed.
  • While the credit card company will honor your request to allow another individual to use your card, that is not the same thing as making the individual joint on the account. You remain liable for all charges made by either of you.

About the Author

An attorney for more than 18 years, Jennifer Williams has served the Florida Judiciary as supervising attorney for research and drafting, and as appointed special master. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Jacksonville University, law degree from NSU's Shepard-Broad Law Center and certificates in environmental law and Native American rights from Tulsa University Law.

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