Whats the difference between an authorized user and an employee card?

Reader Questions are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.

Whether youre a parent looking to help pay for your childrens living expenses or a business owner trying to streamline your companys spending patterns, you may want to add an additional user to your credit card account. TPGreaderKevinwants to know what the difference is between an authorized user and an employee card

Im trying to add additional cardholders on my small-business credit card and it says request employee cards. Is that the same as adding an authorized user?


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While the terminology is different between business and personal credit cards, there isnt a huge difference between adding an authorized user on your personal credit card account or an employee card on your business account. In both cases, youll ultimately be responsible for any charges that are made on the card so make sure you only give it to someone you trust, and consider putting a spending limit on the card if your issuer allows you to do so.

Beyond that, the only real differences mirror the differences youd normally find between personal and business credit cards. Most business cards (including employee cards) dont report to your personal credit report, so having these cards wont affect your credit score. Meanwhile, adding a friend or family member as an authorized user on your personal credit cards is one of the fastest ways to boost their credit score. Additionally, some business cards might include expense-management tools which you can use to better manage how your employees spend on their cards.

Related: Credit cards with the greatest value for authorized users

Bottom line

There isnt much of a difference between employee cards and authorized user cards. If you have a personal credit card youll add authorized users, and if you have a business card youll add additional employee cards. Just make sure to do so thoughtfully, as you, the primary account holder, will be on the hook for all charges made.

Thanks for the question, Kevin, and if youre a TPG reader whod like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy,message us onFacebookor email us atinfo@thepointsguy.com.

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