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    Add-on Credit Cards

    What is Add-on Credit Card OR supplementary credit card

    Additional credit cards that are issued under the primary credit is known as add-on credit cards or supplementary credit cards. This is usually procured by individuals who have not qualified for a credit card on their own such as students or those who do not have a prior credit history. Primary cardholders generally apply for add-on or supplementary credit cards for their spouse, parents or even their children.

    As the name suggests, an add-on credit card is a card that comes with additional credit on the existing credit card. The number of add-on credit cards that can be procured will vary between three to five. However, this is upto the discretion of the bank and can differ from bank to bank. The add-on credit card holders will share all the benefits of the primary credit card.

    How do Add-on credit cards work?

    The number of supplementary or add-on credit cards vary from bank to bank but is usually limited to around five cards. However these cards are directed to the primary cardholder’s account and all the dues will be paid from there directly. Given below are some of the features of add-on credit cards.

    • Limit of credit

      The credit limit for add-on credit cards will be the same that has been imposed on the primary credit card. However this can vary from bank to bank as certain credit card providers impose a lower credit limit on supplementary credit cards as compared to the primary credit card.

      For example if the credit limit for the primary credit card is Rs.60,000, then the limit for the add-on credit card will be distributed equally. Customers should note that this limit is valid for ATM withdrawals as well.

    • Credit score

      Since the supplementary credit card is connected to the primary card, bill payments and charges to the card will be given in the CIBIL report. In case the primary cardholder is unable to pay the bills or pays just the minimum balance that is required, he/she runs the risk of racking up a debt.

      If payments are delayed, late charges will be deducted from the account of the primary cardholder. Therefore primary cardholders need to be very careful about the supplementary cardholder’s spends because if anything goes wrong, it will reflect on the primary cardholder’s account and credit score. Building and maintaining a credit score takes time and effort and one wrong move can result in monetary issues.

    • Tracking and Details

      Details of the add-on credit card will be recorded with the account of the primary cardholder itself. Therefore the primary cardholder will be able to track all of the withdrawals and spends made by the add-on credit cardholder.

      In case the add-on credit cardholder overcharges on the credit card or makes a lot of unnecessary spends, the primary cardholder can control that. This is useful as all the bills will have to be paid by the primary cardholder and the credit history will be reflected on the primary cardholder’s account.

    How to apply for Add-on credit cards

    Almost all major banks and credit cardholders provide add-on credit cards to their customers. They usually set a limit on the number of supplementary cards that can be availed. Additionally, the credit limit on each of these supplementary cards can also be decided by the credit card provider. The application process for add-on credit cards vary from bank to bank.

    In order to apply for an add-on credit card online, individuals will have to follow the steps given below -

    • Customers should visit the official website and search for credit cards. Under this option, there is generally an option for add-on credit cards or supplementary credit cards.
    • The required details will have to be filled up in the form such as name, required credit limit, necessary cash limit and so on.
    • Address of the cardholder will have to be provided as well.
    • Documents if necessary should be provided as well. This is based on the bank’s requirements.
    • Customers should note that the application process will vary from one bank to another based on their terms and conditions. Additionally the eligibility criteria and documents needed may vary as well.

    How is CIBIL Score determined on Add-on credit cards?

    Customers should note that although add-on credit card holders have independence with respect to the usage of their credit cards, the bill and the history will be reflected on the primary cardholder’s account. Credit score is nothing but the numeric representation of an individual’s credit report which is a detailed analysis of the customer’s credit history.

    This three digit number varies between 300 to 900 and and higher the score, better is the individual’s creditworthiness. In case cardholders have a credit score of over 750, they can avail loans and credit cards easily and also at lower rates of interest as this score is an indicator of the individual’s ability to use the credit card/loan judiciously.

    An add-on credit card does not get a separate credit limit, instead shares the limit of the primary credit cardholder. Therefore, the credit score that is reflected is also on the primary credit holder.

    Therefore it is imperative for the primary cardholder to ensure that the add-on credit cardholder uses his/her card judiciously and without crossing the credit limit. Additionally, all bills must also be paid on time and preferably in full so as to avoid interest piling up on the bill which can in turn have an impact on the primary cardholder’s credit score.

    Benefits of Add-on credit cards

    There are a number of benefits that are provided by add-on credit cards. Although the supplementary cardholder does not have complete control over this card, he/she will be able to experience a number of perks and advantages. Some of these benefits are

    • Most credit cards can be used in both India as well overseas and add-on credit cards can be used for the same purpose. Shopping can be done in India and abroad both online as well as offline.
    • One of the biggest advantages that credit cards provide are Reward Points and AirMiles along with other discounts. Every time a cardholder uses his/her credit card, Reward Points can be earned and redeemed for a host of gifts from the credit card provider’s Rewards Catalogue. This advantage can be availed by add-on credit card holder as well.
    • Add-on credit cardholders can also avail financial freedom through their supplementary credit cards and learn to use these judiciously and build their financial knowledge. Additionally, these cards are also useful in an emergency.
    • Primary cardholders can easily monitor and track the spending done by their supplementary or add-on credit cardholders.

    The benefits of add-on credits may slightly vary from bank to bank, based on their terms and conditions. However, the above are most of the general benefits that can be availed by these cardholders. Sometimes the benefits provided by add-on credit card holders are lower than that of the primary credit cardholder but this is not always true.

    A number of major credit card providers and banks offer add-on credit cards to their customers. These supplementary credit cards will have similar benefits and advantages of the primary credit card such as revolving credit, interest-free period and mobile alerts. Cardholders will have to apply for their supplementary credit card through the bank’s website or by calling them directly.

    3 Points primary credit cardholders should know

    Getting supplementary credit cards can be advantageous to primary credit cards holders as well as supplementary credit card holders as it can teach them about handling finances as well as in cases of emergency. However, it is important to note that since primary cardholders are the ones paying the bills, the add-on card holders must use their cards in the right manner. Given below are certain points that must be taken into consideration by primary cardholders prior to giving their family members add-on cards -

    • Primary cardholders will have to educate the potential supplementary cardholders about their usage and consequences prior to giving them the cards.
    • Banks also allow cardholders to monitor the spends and transactions of the add-on cardholder and this must be done regularly.
    • Primary cardholders must check their credit scores regularly to ensure it is within the limit and that the spends on add-on credit cards does not have a negative impact on their score.

    5 things to keep in mind while getting Add-on credit cards

    Add-on credit cards come with a plethora of advantages as mentioned before. However, these cards also need to be used judiciously. Here are a few things that supplementary cardholders need to keep in mind -

    • Add-on credit cards come with the same or lower credit limit as compared to the primary credit card. Knowing this is important as it will cardholder use his/her credit card in the right manner without overspending.
    • The credit score of the primary cardholder will be affected if the supplementary credit cardholder misuses his/her card.
    • Add-on credit cards come with reward points, AirMiles and other benefits that the primary card has. These offers need to be used in order to enhance user experience.
    • Do not use add-on credit cards for withdrawing cash as much as possible as there is an interest charged on the same which is quite exorbitant.
    • Lastly, add-on credit cards are highly beneficial, if used correctly. Therefore, these credit cards must be used only to gain an understanding of financial management and in case of emergencies and not otherwise.

    Add-on or supplementary credit cards are quite popular these days and are procured by many. Using these cards in the right manner has many advantages but not doing so will have a negative impact on the primary cardholder’s credit score.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Add-on Credit Cards

    1. Who pays the credit card bills for add-on credit cards?

      The primary credit cardholder will pay the bill for add-on credit cards, including interest if applicable.

    2. Do supplementary credit cardholders receive the same benefits as that of the primary cardholder?

      Yes, supplementary credit cardholders can enjoy the same benefits as the primary cardholder. In rare cases, certain benefits may be withheld.

    3. Whose credit score will get affected if add-on credit cards are misused?

      Although add-on credit cards can be procured by the primary cardholder for his/her spouse/children/parents and are used by them, all of these spends will reflect on the primary cardholder’s account. Therefore, add-on credit cardholders must be careful with their spends.

    4. What is the credit limit imposed on supplementary credit cards?

      The credit limit imposed on supplementary credit cards is the same as that of the primary credit card. However, in certain cases based on the terms and conditions of the credit card provider, the limit may be lower.

    5. How many add-on credit cards can an individual procure?

      An individual can avail 1 to 5 add-on credit cards generally.

    6. Can supplementary credit cards be availed for free?

      Yes, in most cases add-on credit cards can be procured for no additional charges. However, fee may be charged based on the bank’s terms and conditions.

    Know More About Other Bank Add-on Credit Card

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