How We Chose These Cards
If you're sharing a credit card with your child, you're simply adding them as an authorized user to your account. That means you could add them to any credit card as long as it's also a good fit for you and the issuer allows it. But look for these features to help your credit card beginner:
- a small credit limit, around $500. Citibank, Chase and Discover allow primary account holders set authorized user limits.
- a low interest rate, since interest costs make it harder to pay off credit card debt. The cards listed here either have a low APR or a 0% intro APR.
- a low (or no) annual fee. All but one of the cards listed here have no annual fee.
- make sure the issuer reports the authorized user's account information to the credit reporting agencies. With responsible credit card use, this will help your child build good credit. Chase, American Express, Capital One and Bank of America report authorized user account information.
We also wanted to make sure the issuer allows credit card holders to add minors to their account. For each of the cards listed here, the issuer allows the primary cardholder to add minors to the account as authorized users. Discover restricts the age of an authorized user to 15, while American Express restricts the age to 13. The other issuers don't impose age restrictions.
What to Teach Your Child About Credit Cards
This will benefit both you and your child. As the primary card holder, you're legally responsible for making payments on the card, while the authorized user isn't. So make sure your authorized user understands the card's ins and outs before sharing your account. Here are a few points to cover:
- Your kid should understand when the payments are due, how the annual percentage rate (APR) works, whether the card comes with fees and how to use the rewards program, if there is one.
- You can set a credit limit on the card itself, but talk about setting an appropriate limit on every purchase and whether your child has to ask permission before using the card.
- Agree on who will pay the bill. You may want to let your child learn to log in and make the payments, but you should double-check that it's been done every month.
- Explain how identity theft can happen and ways to keep the credit card information private.
- Teach your kid how to track their spending and set up alerts so they won't miss payments.
- Discuss how you’ll monitor their spending. The main user of the card will typically be able to see the purchase locations and amounts on the authorized user’s card, so inform your child that you’ll be able to see what they spend, and how you plan on using that information.
Please note: The offers mentioned above are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.
Reviewed has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Reviewed and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
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Meet the tester
Kim Porter is a seasoned journalist whose work has been published on websites such as U.S. News & World Report, Credit Karma, and LifeLock. Her expertise is in credit cards, credit, real estate, running, and travel, and she plans to run a half marathon on each of the seven continents.
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