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Being an authorized user on a credit card is the easiest way to get a card you may not qualify for with your own credit score. However, having an authorized user status can still affect your credit report. If you want a Capital One credit card, it’s helpful to know if they report authorized users first.

For instance, a young adult might be better off being an authorized user if they can’t get one of the best travel credit cards for students. A person rebuilding their damaged score can also benefit if the primary user has strong credit.

It’s important to know how each bank reports authorized user activity to the credit bureaus. This information may affect your credit score and (more importantly) future credit card approval odds.

Does Capital One Report Authorized Users to Credit Bureaus?

Capital One notifies the three major credit bureaus that you are an authorized user for personal credit cards. This reporting applies to the Venture, Quicksilver, Savor, and Platinum card families, including some of the best Capital One credit cards for travel.

Your Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reports usually update with your new credit account information in a few business days.

This is standard reporting practice for all of the large banks including Chase and American Express. Reports to all three can make sure your credit score is consistent across all three bureaus.

Your credit report will show the account age and credit utilization ratio for that card. This information will affect the primary cardholder’s credit score more because they are responsible for paying the monthly balance.

However, being an authorized user can either help or hurt your credit score. The answer depends on age and how you manage your other credit accounts.


Here are some of the benefits of Capital One reporting authorized users’ information to all three bureaus.

Can Build Your Credit Score

Payment history, average account age, and credit utilization ratio help determine your credit score. These three factors combined influence 80% of your credit score. You want to look for someone who can add you to a credit card that is older than yours and has a positive payment history.

The primary user’s good credit can help build your credit score. Ideally, they will have a 750 credit score and at least one credit card account that’s been open for more than 10 years. They will also have a credit utilization ratio below 30%.

For example, one person saw their score increase by 20 points because they were added to an account that was 20 years old. It might not be a large jump, but it’s better than a drop. They explained, “I can tell you I had mine add me to a card she has, it is 20 yrs old, had a very high credit limit, and owing about 25% of that limit…it boosted me 15-20 points per report.”

Remember that being added to an account that’s the same or newer than your current accounts or has a negative credit history can lower your score. While it may only be a small decrease, note that it is something to look for.

Avoid Annual Fee

The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Besides helping build credit, being an authorized user is free for all Capital One credit cards. Even if the primary holder pays $95 a year for their Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, they pay $0 for your card.

This is an easy way for you and your spouse to only pay one annual fee and earn the same rewards currency on all purchases.

No Hard Credit Pull

The primary member only needs to add your name, contact information, and Social Security number to their account. Capital One never does a hard credit pull for you to become an authorized user. No hard pull means you won’t see a credit score dip like when you apply for a credit card.

Under Age 18

Capital One requires you to be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card. It’s possible to be an authorized user as a minor under the age of 18.


There can be a few downsides to being an authorized user on any credit card.

Too Many New Credit Cards

Possibly the largest downside to being a Capital One authorized user is if you have good credit and plan on applying for one of the best Chase credit cards soon.

You see, Chase discourages card churning with its “5/24 rule.” Your application for any Chase-issued travel credit card will most likely be declined when you have added at least five new credit cards to your credit report in the last 24 months. This includes accounts where you are an authorized user.

So if you have four new credit cards, you should apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card first to be your 5th new credit card in the last 24 months. If you are above the 5/24 mark and want a Chase card, the primary cardholder can still add you as an authorized user. However, this too will count as a new card.

Missed Payments

Authorized users are not responsible for making the monthly payment. However, if the primary cardholder begins carrying a balance or missing payments, their payment history and credit utilization factors will drop. This can have a negative impact on your score.

If this happens, closing your card can boost your score. Your score can increase even when the primary credit card is older than your own credit card.

Tradeline Renting Discouraged

Recent credit scoring models like the FICO Score 8 don’t emphasize authorized user activity as much as before. Most banks use this score version when you apply for a credit card.

In the past, people with bad credit would pay a fee to a credit repair agency to be an authorized user on a stranger’s credit card. This is known as “tradeline renting.” Although it still happens today, credit scores don’t get the boost they once did.

All FICO versions list which credit cards you are the primary or authorized user on. This lets lenders see the full picture of how you handle credit. You should still only become an authorized user if the primary cardholder has a similar or better credit profile than your own to avoid unnecessary score drops.

Does Capital One Report Authorized Users to Credit Bureaus?

Yes, Capital One notifies the credit bureau when authorized users are added to any credit card account. This can be an easy way to help build someone’s credit history. However, you should think twice if you plan on applying for multiple credit cards in the near future or if the primary cardholder has fair credit.

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11 Comments On "Does Capital One Report Authorized Users to Credit Bureaus?"
  1. James|

    I am an authorized user on my mom’s Venture card from years ago, and I have my own Quicksilver card. I would like to apply for a SavorOne card, but being an authorized user prevents me from getting another Capital One card. The Venture card has a much higher limit than any of my personal cards.

    If I ask my mom to revoke access, will my credit score be affected negatively?

  2. Lynne|

    I called Capitol One to find out if they report authorized users. After a very long wait on the phone it was a no to that question.

  3. np|

    I just got off of the phone with capital one and I was informed that they do not report authorized users’ credit to credit bureaus if it’s not your spouse. So adding a family member or girlfriend/boyfriend to your account will not boost your credit at all.

  4. Anonymous|

    Capital one may or may not report an authorized user to build credit. The discretion is theirs. I signed my 4 year old daughter up as an authorized user and capital one literally notified me that they would report her to credit bureaus. Don’t bank on what employees may say, they often don’t know or don’t care to find out.

  5. capital what|

    I just got approved for a Capital One Walmart card after receiving a pre-approval letter in the mail. my score was at a 540-570 range. I have about 8-11 items in collections with a majority of them being Dr bills along with about 15k in federal student loans. So needless to say I was shocked when I was approved. Anyways, I added my roommate who’s credit ive been trying to help him build, and in one month he went from a 580 to 679! And the only thing that changed on his report was him becoming an authorized user on my Capital One account. So I just wanted to write and say all this cause literally every single scenario I’ve ever read about on any of these forums has basically said that everything that’s happened with me won’t happen with Capital One (like the low score approval, multiple collections approval, reporting authorized users, etc). But I’m proof that sometimes none of that stuff matters, so good luck everyone

  6. RG|

    From the Capital One website regarding reporting of data to credit bureaus for authorized users:

    If you use your Capital One card responsibly, you’ll give your authorized users a steady credit boost. Every time you make an on-time credit card payment, it will be reported to the national credit bureaus of Experian, Equifax and TransUnion not only in your name, but in the names of your authorized users as well.

    And for those authorized users who haven’t yet built a credit score, these regular reports to the bureaus can help them establish enough credit to finally generate one. That’s why parents often add their children as authorized users: It’s a way for parents to help their children build or improve their own credit scores.

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Yes, that’s correct. It’s a good way to build up credit history for children, etc.

  7. Ellie|

    I added a young relative as an authorized user and 2 years later he still had zero credit history to apply for his own card with Cap 1. Spent $300 for a secured card and he had $1,500 within months. I should have added him to BofA. If you’re trying to help someone build credit, definitely don’t consider it a given that you’re accomplishing anything with Cap 1. For reference; used to charge $3000+/mo and paid in full every single month. Now use a card with much better perks and charge nothing on this card anymore.

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Agreed. Thanks for the data point.

  8. Sherri Kolo|

    I have all my children on my capital one card for school bills and for emergency uses. My daughter graduated college last year and is buying a house. The lender is showing her as the account owner on my card with the full balance. Capital one gives authorized users their own account number so I’m not sure why they don’t report the authorized user’s account number and balance? That would make sense. The lender is asking her to pay off the balance and we are submitting documentation to let them know she is not the account owner or responsbile party. Her user balance was $80 on an almost $3000 monthly bill. So the credit number boost was good, but the balance is hurting her.

  9. Rb|

    I disagree. I’m an authorized user on my moms account and it started reporting immediately. I have been an auth user for several years now and it still reports. Actually looking to be removed as I’ve built up enough of my own credit now.

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