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Suppose you have a credit card and would like for your son, spouse, or parents to also enjoy the benefits of the card. You can apply for an add-on credit card and the card issuer will send over a supplementary card that can be used by your loved ones. 


The benefits and features of these add-on credit cards are the same as those of the primary credit card. As the credit limit is shared, the primary cardholder has complete control over how much the add-on cardholder can use. Knowing the add-on credit card meaning is important if you have dependents. Getting an add-on credit card also makes it easier to get the full benefit of your card.

How Do Add-on Credit Cards Work

Add-on credit cards are quite similar to the primary card in the way they work.

 

Here are some points to note:

  • Credit limits are shared between primary and additional cards 

  • You can choose the limit for the add-on card used by your dependents

  • You can monitor add-on card transactions on your app or credit card statement

  • Defaults or high credit utilisation on an add-on card can lower your credit score

  • Policies vary across issuers, so it is best to check with yours before obtaining an add-on card

Who Can Apply for an Add-on Credit Card?

If you own a credit card, you can request an add-on credit card for your immediate family members who are above the age of 18 years. These can include your:

  • Spouse

  • Children

  • Parents

  • Siblings

 

Note that the eligibility and other criteria for these cards may vary across issuers. You can check the details on the issuer’s website or contact the team.

Features and Benefits

With an idea of how these cards work, here are some of the common features and benefits:

Credit Limit Management

Add-on cards share the same credit limit as the primary card. Some issuers allow setting specific limits for each add-on card.

Reward Points Accumulation

Reward points accumulate on add-on credit cards at the same rate as the primary card.

Airport Lounge Access

Access privileges vary; some issuers extend benefits to both primary and add-on cardholders.

Exclusive Offers

Offers typically apply to both primary and add-on cardholders independently.

Cost-Effective Family Solution

Reduces overall credit card maintenance costs within the family. Grants a credit card to members above 18 years of age.

Features at No Extra Cost

Add-on cardholders enjoy credit card features without additional charges. Primary cardholders can control credit limits on all add-on credit cards.

Expense Tracking Simplicity

All add-on card transactions appear on the primary account, simplifying expense tracking.

Financial Independence

Grants financial independence to dependent family members.

How to Apply for Add-on Credit Cards

You can apply for add-on credit cards online by following these simple steps: 

  1. Go to the official website or app of the issuer 

  2. Navigate to the section for add-on credit card application

  3. Ensure that the add-on cardholder meets the eligibility requirements 

  4. Fill out the form accurately with the required details

  5. Submit the documents requested by the financial institution

  6. Activate the card once delivered 

 

Note that these are general steps, and the process may vary depending on your issuer. You can visit their official website or contact them to know the exact steps to be followed.

Things to Keep in Mind While Using Add-on Credit Cards

Keeping the following points in mind will help you have a pleasant experience with add-on credit cards: 

  • Shared Access

Despite being separate, the primary cardholder has full access to add-on card transactions. Management of credit limit and transaction value cap is often granted to the primary cardholder.

  • Primary Cardholder Responsibility

The primary cardholder is accountable for the add-on card. They must pay the bill for the primary card as well as the add-on cards. All associated fees and charges also fall under the primary cardholder's responsibility.

  • Credit Score Impact

Repayments on the add-on card don't contribute to the add-on cardholder's credit score improvement. However, defaulting on add-on card dues affects the primary cardholder's credit score.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many add-on credit cards can I get on a credit card?

The maximum number of add-on credit cards that you can get will depend on your credit card type and the issuer’s policies. Generally, you can get 3 to 5 add-on cards per credit card.

Is there any separate PIN for add-on credit cards?

Yes, each card will have its own PIN.

How can I cancel add-on credit cards?

The add-on card cancellation process will vary from one card issuer to another. So, it’s best to get in touch with your card provider on how you can go about cancelling your add-on card. 

 

On that note, it’s worth keeping in mind that when you close or cancel your primary card, the add-on card will most likely be cancelled too.

How long does it take to get an add-on credit card?

The turnaround time for add-on credit cards will vary from one issuer to another. But generally, you should get it within a week or two. Check with your card issuer to get an exact idea about timelines.

What is the benefit of an add-on card?

An add-on credit card can help you enjoy the benefits of a credit card without going through the hassle of getting a brand-new card. It’s also a great way to manage and track your and your family’s expenses.

How do I get an add-on card?

You can apply for add-on credit cards through your net banking account, via the issuer’s mobile app, or by visiting the issuer’s branch.

How can I cancel/close an add-on credit card?

Closing or cancelling your add-on credit card is quite easy. Reach out to your card issuer and let them know that you’d like to cancel your add-on card. They will guide you through the entire process.

Whose credit score will get impacted if add-on credit cards are misused?

Add-on credit cards are linked to the primary credit card, and hence, any activity registered on the add-on card will only affect the primary cardholder’s credit score.

How many add-on cards am I allowed to have?

The number of add-on credit cards that you can get is dependent on your credit card type and the issuer’s policies.

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