Credit Cards with Authorized User Bonuses

Credit cards are a super convenient financial tool, but they can often be confusing.

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]

Adding an authorized user to your credit card account comes with a few advantages. You can share your account with a trusted loved one, help them build credit, and even reap rewards as they use your card.

Some credit cards offer additional incentives in the form of authorized user bonuses—and here are our top three picks.

  1. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on dining and travel; one point per dollar on all other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee:
$0 the first year, then $95.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Variable 16.99% to 23.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Why We Picked It: Cardholders can rack up travel points by adding an authorized user.

For Authorized Users: If you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the first three months, you’ll earn 5,000 bonus points. That’s up to $62.50 in redemptions when you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Drawbacks: If you don’t travel often, this card won’t hold as much value.

  1. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $0
APR:
0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99% to 24.74% APR.

Why We Picked It: Cash back enthusiasts get an extra boost when they add an authorized user.

For Authorized Users: If you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the first three months, you’ll get a $25 cash back bonus.

Drawbacks: There are higher cash back rates available elsewhere.

  1. Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard

Rewards: Three miles per dollar on Virgin Atlantic purchases; 1.5 miles per dollar on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: 20,000 bonus miles when you make your first purchase.

Annual Fee: $90

APR: Variable 13.24% to 20.24% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It:
Virgin Atlantic customers get a solid incentive for adding users to their card.
For Authorized Users: You’ll earn 2,500 miles per authorized user for the first two users you add to your card. Miles can be redeemed for Virgin Atlantic flights, cabin upgrades, and much more through Virgin’s partner network.

Drawbacks: If you have another preferred airline, you should keep looking.

How to Choose a Card with an Authorized User Bonus

In most scenarios, you should consider your own credit card needs over those of potential authorized users. Choose a card that reflects your spending habits and provides rewards—such as cash back or travel redemptions—that are valuable to you.

Furthermore, adding an authorized user to your account should not be taken lightly. As the primary account holder, you are responsible for your credit card’s balance and activity. If an authorized user uses your card irresponsibly, you are liable for the ensuing balance and your credit could suffer. You should add an authorized user only if you consider them trustworthy and financially responsible.

With any card, closely evaluate the related fees and APR to ensure it’s a good fit for you and your authorized user. For example, if your authorized user frequently travels out of the country, you should avoid cards that charge foreign transaction fees.

What Credit Is Required for a Card with an Authorized User Bonus?

Rewards cards with authorized user bonuses usually require excellent credit. As the primary applicant, you—not the potential authorized user—will be evaluated. Before applying, you should check your credit score to verify you meet the card’s credit requirements. You can check your credit report for free at Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

 

Image: Peopleimages

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5 Charity-Focused Credit Cards That Help You Donate

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If you’re still cutting checks to your favorite causes, you might be missing out. Some credit cards focus on charitable giving, helping you earn rewards or fundraise for your favorite nonprofit organization as you spend.

Here are five charity-focused credit cards that can help support a great cause.

1. Charity Charge Mastercard

Rewards: 1% cash back on every purchase for your organization of choice.
Sign-Up Bonus:
None

Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR):
1.99% APR for six months on purchases and balance transfers, then the prime rate (a variable amount determined by the Federal Reserve) plus 6.99% to the prime rate plus 16.99% APR.

Why We Picked It: Cardholders can donate tax-deductible cash rewards to multiple nonprofits.
For Your Charitable Donations: Every purchase earns 1% cash back, which is donated on a quarterly basis to as many as three nonprofits of your choosing. Recipients won’t have to pay credit card processing fees, which means all your rewards go directly to the organization(s) of your choice.

Drawbacks: Many competing cards earn stronger cash back rates.

2. U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card

Rewards: Three points per dollar donated to charity through 2017 (two points thereafter); two points per dollar spent at airlines, gas stations, grocery stores, and select cellular providers; one point per dollar spent on other eligible purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
20,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 in net purchases in the first four months.

Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $49.
APR:
Variable 14.99% to 24.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Why We Picked It: This card awards points specifically for charitable donations.
For Your Charitable Donations:
Through the end of this year, charitable donations earn triple points on the dollar (beyond 2017, donations will earn two points per dollar). Points can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, gift cards, and more.

Drawbacks: There isn’t much time left to take advantage of triple points for charitable donations. 

3. World Wildlife Fund Credit Card

Rewards: 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on up to $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
$150 online cash rewards bonus if you spend $500 in the first 90 days.

Annual Fee: $0
APR:
0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 23.99% APR.

Why We Picked It: If you value nature and wildlife conservation, this card helps you earn cash back as you support the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
For Your Charitable Donations:
All purchases earn cash back, with special rates reserved for gas, grocery store, and wholesale club purchases. You can donate your redeemed cash back if you wish, but the WWF will benefit either way. The WWF will receive a minimum $3 donation when you open the card and an additional $3 annually. Plus, the WWF receives .08% of all retail purchases made on the card.

Drawbacks: This card is locked into the WWF, so keep looking if you prefer another charity.

4. HaloCard Visa

Rewards: 1% of purchases for your nonprofit of choice.
Sign-Up Bonus:
None

Annual Fee: $0
APR:
9.9% APR for six months on purchases, then variable 13.9% APR; 7.9% APR for 12 months on balance transfers, then variable 13.9% APR.

Why We Picked It: This card makes automatic donations to your favorite nonprofit.
For Your Charitable Donations:
All purchases earn 1% back, which is donated to the nonprofit of your choosing. You can change which nonprofit to donate to at any time, and all donations are tax deductible. The nonprofit will not incur any processing fees.

Drawbacks: The 1% earning rate isn’t very impressive compared to other cards.

5. Pink Ribbon BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on up to $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
$150 online cash rewards bonus if you spend $500 in the first 90 days.

Annual Fee: $0
APR:
0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 23.99% APR.

Why We Picked It: You can help Susan G. Komen fight breast cancer with this card.
For Your Charitable Donations:
Bank of America customers get an extra 10% bonus cash when they redeem their cash back as an electronic deposit into their Bank of America account. Susan G. Komen gets $3 when you open the card and an additional $3 every year you renew. Plus, Susan G. Komen receives .08% of all retail purchases made on the card.

Drawbacks: The best cash back value is reserved for Bank of America customers.

How to Choose a Card for Charitable Donations

If you have one favorite nonprofit that gets the lion’s share of your donations, it’s worth checking if they offer a branded credit card. That way, you can easily support your favorite cause as you use your card.

If you plan to donate your cash back earnings to charity, be sure to compare charity-focused cards with their traditional competitors. With traditional cards, you can simply redeem your cash back or rewards and donate them directly to your charity of choice. It’s extra work, but it might be worth it for a more lucrative rewards program.

Make sure to check redemption and donation options for rewards. Some credit cards let you redeem your rewards for charitable donations, with no extra steps necessary. Certain rewards programs even let you donate miles or points to charity.

What Credit Is Required for a Card for Charitable Giving?  

Rewards cards, charity-focused or otherwise, usually require good to excellent credit. Before you apply, ensure you have a good shot at approval, as a hard credit inquiry can lower your score. You can check your credit report absolutely free at Credit.com.

Image: Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

The post 5 Charity-Focused Credit Cards That Help You Donate appeared first on Credit.com.