Santa Claus comes around just once a year. In the meantime, there are Credit Cards.
  • Add-on Credit Cards

    Have you ever thought of sharing your credit card with your family? Would you like to give financial freedom to your teens yet want to track their expenses? Here is a solution for all such needs.

    An add-on credit card or a supplementary credit card would let you share your credit card with your family members while keeping a track on their expenses. It eliminates the need of having multiple credit cards in a family thus reduces your overall credit card annual maintenance costs.

    Let’s look at various thing you need to know about add-on credit cards.

    What is an Add-On Credit Card?

    Most of the personal credit cards available in India offer add-on credit cards as an additional facility for the cardholders.

    An add-on credit card essentially contains the same features of the primary credit card and can be availed by the immediate family members of the primary cardholder.

    Typically, credit card issuers provide limited number of cards, say 2-3, for free. This means no annual fee or joining fee will be charged on the add-on cards. However, some cards do come with a cost. They carry an annual fee, typically much lesser than the annual fee of the primary credit card.

    Features of Add-On Credit Cards

    Primarily, add-on credit cards share all the features of the main credit card. All the benefits offered by the primary card are available on the supplementary card. However, there are a few aspects you need to understand while using an add-on credit card.

    • Credit limit of an add-on credit card:Add-on credit cards have the same credit limit as that of the primary credit card. You can use add-on credit card up to total credit limit on the card account.

      Some card issuers also allow primary cardholders to set a limit on each add-on credit card. It could be same or lesser than the total credit limit on the account.

      The same stands true for cash withdrawal limit or cash limit. While most banks provide a default cash limit of 100% on add-on cards, a few like HDFC provide a lesser cash limit to add-on cardholders.

    • Reward points on add-on credit cards:Add-on credit cardholders earn the reward points at the same rate as that of the primary cardholder. This means the number of reward points, minimum transaction amount, redemption options, etc., remain the same.

      The accrued reward points get credited to the primary cardholders account. While redeeming the points, you can use the consolidated points.

    • Airport lounge access on add-on cards:Not all credit card providers allow the add-on cardholders to enjoy the complimentary airport lounge access provided to the primary cardholder.

      Especially, the free membership offered on airport Priority Pass Program and others are exclusive for primary cardholders.

      However, there are a few card issuers that allow primary and supplementary cardholders to share the free visits.

    • Offers on add-on credit cards:Most of the card issuers consider add-on credit card as another card in providing the offers. If it is the case with your card as well, the primary cardholder and the add-on cardholder can avail the offer separately. Typical credit card offers include discounts, cashback, free gifts, vouchers, etc.

    Other important aspects of Add-on credit cards

    • Add-on credit card application:Though the add-on credit cards are offered as complimentary for the primary cards, unless the bank receives an application for the cards, you cannot have one.

      Thus, the eligible family members of the primary cardholder should apply for an add-on credit card to get one.

    • Add-on credit card billing/statement:Irrespective of the number of add-on cards, the bank will generate only one consolidated credit card statement. It includes all the purchases or transactions made on the primary card as well as on all add-on cards.

      The primary cardholder can thus track all the withdrawals and spends made by the add-on credit cardholders. He/she, however, remains responsible for all dues on the card/s.

    • Add-on cards – Effect on Credit score: As supplementary credit cards are connected to the primary card, all the transactions and bill payments regarding the cards will be recorded similar to that of primary credit cards.

      If the primary cardholder is unable to clear the due or pays only the minimum amount due repeatedly, 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. Any defaults on the account will also be reported to credit agencies like CIBIL and Experian.

      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 might affect the credit score.

    Who can apply for an add-on credit card?

    Immediate family members of the primary cardholder can apply for an add-on card. All such applicants should be above 18 years of age. The list of eligible members includes primary cardholder's

    • Spouse
    • Children
    • Siblings
    • Parents
    • Parents-in-law
    • Sister/Brother-in-law
    • Daughter/Son-in-law

    Some issuers might have some exceptions. Please check with your provider for exact information.

    How many add-on credit cards can be availed on a credit card?

    The number of supplementary credit cards availed on a credit card vary for each bank. Listed below are the number of cards offered by major credit card issuers.

    Credit Card Issuer No: of add-on cards permitted Annual fee
    HDFC Bank Up to 3 add-on cards Free for life time
    SBI Cards Up to 2 add-on cards Free for life time
    Citibank Up to 5 add-on cards on select variants Free for life time
    YES Bank Up to 3 add-on cards Free for lifetime
    Axis Bank Up to 4 add-on cards Free for lifetime
    HSBC Bank Up to 3 add-on cards Free for lifetime
    IndusInd Bank Up to 2 add-on cards Free for lifetime
    Kotak Mahindra On Gold Cards – Up to 2 add-on cards
    On Platinum Cards – Up to 3 add-on cards
    Rs.0 to Rs.599
    ICICI Bank Up to 3 add-on cards
    • Rs.250 for Jet Airways Coral/Sapphiro/Rubyx cards
    • NIL for all other cards

    How to apply for Add-on credit cards?

    Each bank or card issuer offers different methods to apply for an add-on credit card. One thing to remember while applying for the card is that only primary cardholders can send an application on behalf of the applicants. However, the signatures of the add-on card applicants are also required on the application.

    Listed below are some common procedures for applying the card. Check your bank’s website to find out which option is available.

    • Through credit card net banking account
    • By submitting an add-on card application
    • By calling credit card customer care
    • By sending an SMS

    Apply for add-on credit card through net banking

    If you have net banking access to your credit card, you can apply for an add-on card by logging in to your account.

    You might have to fill the required details such as the applicant’s name, contact details, address and identity proof, etc., and submit it.

    The concerned department would give you a confirmation call and inform you about further procedure.

    Apply for add-on credit card by submitting an application form

    Most banks have a separate application form for add-on credit cards. You can visit the bank branch and get the form, or you can also download it from the bank’s website.

    Once you have the form, fill the required details, get it signed by the applicants, affix the photographs, if required, attach the self-attested KYC documents and send it through post or hand it over at the nearest bank branch.

    You can find the application forms of major banks here:

    Apply for add-on credit card by calling customer care

    Calling credit card customer care helpline of the respective bank is another way to apply for an add-on credit card.

    The bank may not accept applications or requests over the phone call, but they would guide you with the application process.

    Click here to find credit card customer care numbers of all major banks.

    Apply for add-on credit card through SMS

    Some banks like Kotak Mahindra, Citibank, and others allow you to send an SMS to raise a request for add-on card.

    If your card issuer is providing the facility, you need to send an SMS in the required format to the designated number from your registered mobile number (only).

    Once the bank receives the SMS, it will contact you on your registered mobile number and will inform you about the rest of the application process.

    For instance, to apply for a Kotak Mahindra add-on credit card, send an SMS in the following format.

    SMS < ADDON > to 5676788

    Documents required to apply for add-on credit cards

    Again, different credit card providers might require a different set of documents to process your add-on credit card application. Listed below are some common documents sought by most of the providers.

    • A duly filled-in add-on credit card application form.
    • KYC documents of add-on card applicant
      • A self-attested identity proof (Aadhaar, Passport, driving license, ration card, student ID card, insurance or Mediclaim card, bank passbook with photo, senior citizen ID, any government recognised ID card)
      • Date of birth proof
      • Address proof
    • PAN card or Form-60
    • A passport size photo of the add-on card applicant

    Benefits of Add-on credit cards

    Although the supplementary cardholder does not have complete control over the add-on card, he/she will be able to experience equal number of perks and advantages as that of the primary member. Some other benefits of add-on cards are provided here -

    • Avoids the need of multiple credit cards within the family thus brings down the overall credit card maintenance costs.
    • Enables minors, below the age of 18, to have a credit card.
    • Add-on cardholders can enjoy the features offered by the credit card at no additional cost.
    • Primary cardholders can set the credit limit on all the add-on cards thus can have full control over the cards.
    • Keeping a track on the expenses of your dependants becomes much easier as all the transactions on the add-on cards would be billed to the primary account.
    • Provides financial independence to dependant family members.
    • Enables add-on cardholders to enjoy the offers on the credit card.

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

    1. How soon can I receive an add-on credit card?

      It typically takes 10-15 days to process an add-on credit card application after submitting a duly filled-in application and complete KYC documents.

    2. Will there be a separate PIN for add-on credit cards?

      Yes, a separate PIN will be generated for every add-on credit card and the same will be sent to your mailing address along with the card.

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

      Although add-on credit cards are used by the family members, all the transactions on the card will be billed to the main card member. Thus, any late payments, nil payments, and defaults on the account would affect the primary cardholder's credit score.

    4. Can I use an add-on credit card to avail free lounge access in an airport?

      It depends on the card you're using. Not all the card issuers allow you to share the airport lounge access benefits. However, there are a few cards such as HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card, Regalia First Credit Card that offer free membership to airport priority pass program and allow you to share the free visits.

    5. How to cancel or close an add-on credit card?

      The process to cancel or close an add-on credit card is similar to that of the primary card. You need to contact the issuer and raise a request for card cancellation.

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