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Think before giving your credit card to a teen

It may be convenient and easy to just give your student your credit card to run to the store or for back-to-school shopping, but the school of life has taught us that this might not be a good idea. You are responsible for any purchases they may make, and it could actually hurt your credit in the long run. Can a teenager get a credit card? Can a teenager be added to your card? What is an authorized user? Let’s lay out the options when it comes to teen spending and credit cards.

Can a teenager use my card?

By giving your card to your teen, you are consenting and responsible for their purchases. If they are asked to provide ID when using the card and it doesn’t match, the card may be taken.

Letting your teen borrow your card holds you liable for the charges. The kicker? You are responsible whether you gave it to them once for a specific transaction or several times. Fraud is when you did not know of, authorize, participate in, or benefit from the transaction.

For example, if you give your card to your teen to set up their electronic console and they later make a purchase with stored information, that’s not a fraudulent charge, because you consented in the first place. If the charge was theirs, and you gave them permission to use the card, it is not fraud. It’s a dispute which should be followed up with the merchant.

Don’t recognize a charge? Double check with individuals who might have had access to your card first. Some charges may be listed under the parent organization, like Microsoft for X-Box.

If the charge is not legitimate, or authorized by you or someone you gave permission to, contact Numerica immediately at 800.433.1837 or visit a branch.

Can I add my teenager to my credit card?

There are many reasons you might want to add your teen to your credit card as an authorized user. Maybe they are going on a trip and you want to make sure they could cover an emergency.

They may have a card in their name, but the account is in yours. While having a card in their name is important if the authorized user is asked to show ID in order to make their purchase, it can have major impacts on your credit

Adding your teen as an authorized user to the card is different from just giving your teen permission to use your card.

Does an authorized user have access to my entire card limit?

When you add an authorized user to your credit card, you are essentially allowing them to access to your entire line of credit.

There is no way to create a partial spend limit for an authorized user. One option that might be a better solution is to open an additional line with a lower limit. Numerica can work with you find a solution that would be ideal to use for emergencies and give you piece of mind.

Is there a minimum age for an authorized user?

While there is no minimum age for an authorized user, caution is advised. Authorized users can’t inquire about balances or due dates and could do cash advances at an ATM. The primary cardholder is responsible for any transactions the authorized user completes.

Adding a teenager to a credit card

To add an authorized user to your account, visit your nearest branch or give us a call. If there are two people listed on the account, signatures are required from both in order to add another person.

Can a teenager get a credit card?

For teens ages 12-17, Numerica has Growth Checking. Youth Checking is an account that comes with a debit card. The account is designed with parental safeguards to help teach positive spending habits.


  • Lower daily spending limits
  • Member-to-member transfer so you can transfer money to your teen if needed
  • Card Freeze lets you freeze and unfreeze your card immediately from your mobile app at no cost
  • Options to choose your card art
  • Unlike cash or pre-paid cards, Youth Checking is backed by the power of Visa.
  • Allows teen to track spending habits and begin the conversation about budgeting
  • Parental alerts for low balances or transactions
  • Limits can be placed on monthly card transactions

Best credit card for college students?

Whether someone is looking to build credit or have a card that has low interest, Numerica has a solution.

If a teen (18+) already has an established job, a Visa Platinum® may be a good option. Unlike a big bank card, this card has a lower interest rate because it is with the credit union. Numerica’s Visa Platinum® also earns rewards on everyday purchases that you can redeem for airline miles (for that trip back home), gift certificates, or cash.


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March 2, 2024