When to give your family access to your credit card

By Harper Banks

If you are the main breadwinner in your household, you may find it beneficial to give your family members access to your credit card. This will allow them to make purchases on their own.

However, this also comes with risks. We have a look at how you can add family to your credit card, under which circumstances you should consider this, and we look at the pros and cons of doing so.

Tip: You can apply for a flexible credit facility through JustMoney. Find out more.

How to give your family access to your credit card

According to Ester Ochse, product head at FNB Money Management, you can add additional credit cards on your account for your spouse or children.

“This will be linked to your account and credit limit, but with a unique pin and card for each. It will allow access to the account without compromising security, and will give the account holder full record of all transactions on all cards,” says Ochse.

She explains that this may boost your rewards programme, as points will be earned on the combined spend on all cards, and you may unlock additional benefits for your family members.

Every bank is slightly different, and you should reach out to your chosen bank to discuss the options available to you.

Some banks, like FNB, offer family banking, where your spouse can bank with them at 50% of the monthly account fee. When you reach out to your bank, find out whether they have similar deals available.

READ MORE: Reasons to get your first credit card

Why should you opt for family banking?

Your family members are not all in the same life phase. Some of them may be underage, while others may be adult dependents. In each case, you need to carefully consider your reasons for adding them to your credit card.

Ochse says that it may be beneficial for you to choose family banking for the following reasons:

1. A teenage child

  • In case of an emergency
  • For convenience, if you want them to go shopping without your assistance
  • For school trips or lunch money when you are not with them
  • For pocket money and general expenses
  • To teach them to be responsible with money and to form good money management habits

2. A spouse or partner

  • To track spending for the household on certain categories, such as groceries – this will be easier to track if the spend is from one account
  • For convenience, so both parties can access the account for household expenses
  • To partake in the discounts and added rewards and benefits of family banking

READ MORE: Do credit cards encourage excessive spending?

The pros and cons

Ochse believes that there are mostly benefits to making use of family banking. Among these are shared access to a transactional facility with family members, and ease of budgeting and tracking monthly expenditure. 

She also points out that that shared banking reduces reliance on cash by other family members, it gives them access to funds in emergencies, it allows you to maximise your rewards and benefits, and it removes the need to transfer funds to a family member’s account.  

Ochse says that the only downside to family banking is that the credit limit is shared between the cardholders, and the credit limit can’t be split between retail cardholders to manage spend.

Gain access to an online credit facility by signing up with Mobicred.

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