Posted by Chuck on September 13, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on September 13th, 2016 | by Chuck

28

Card Issuers that Issue Unique Card Numbers for Authorized Users

All personal and business credit cards have the ability to add secondary cardholders to the same account. For personal cards, we call it “Authorized User” cards, or AU for short, and for business cards it’s known as “Employee” cards.

[ReadHow Does Being An Authorized User Affect Your Credit?]

Sometimes the secondary card will have the same card number and CVV as the primary card while other times each card gets a unique number. In this post, we’ll go through card issuers to see how each one works in this regard.

Amex

All secondary Amex cards, personal and business, come with a unique card number.

This is well-known, and many people use this as an easy way to rack up multiple Amex Offer deals by enrolling multiple cards in each offer. Since each card has a unique card number, every extra secondary card is another eligible card for Amex Offers purposes.

It’s also visible online and on the monthly statements which transactions were made with which AU/employee card.

Bank of America & FIA

Personal AU cards come with the same card number and CVV as the primary.

Business employee cards come with unique numbers.

Barclay’s

Both personal and business secondary cards come with a unique card number. Barclay’s also shows the AU transactions separately on the monthly statement, though not in the online login.

BBVA

BVVA AU cards have the same number as the primary card.

Capital One

Both personal and business secondary cards come with a unique number. It’s also visible online and on the monthly statements which transactions were made with the secondary card.

Chase

Personal: Comes with the same number as the primary card.

Business: Comes with a unique number.

Citi

Personal AU cards have the same number as the primary card.

The exception to this is the Citi Costco card which gives a unique number for AU cards. This seems to vary, however, since others get the same number on AU card as on the primary card for Costco too.

All business employee cards come with a unique card number.

City National Bank

Each CNB AU card come with a unique card number.

Comenity

Comenity AU cards have the same number as the primary card.

Discover

Discover AU cards have the same number as the primary card. (Note that they do show the AU spend separately on the statement.)

Business employee cards – please let us know.

Elan

Elan AU cards have the same number and CVV as the primary card.

FNBO

FNBO AU cards have the same number and CVV as the primary card.

Synchrony

Synchrony AU cards have the same number as the primary card.

TD

TD AU cards come with a unique card number.

US Bank

U.S. Bank AU cards have the same number as the primary card. This is true on both Visa and Amex versions.

Business employee cards come with a unique card number.

USAA

USAA AU cards come with a unique card number.

Wells Fargo

Personal AU cards have the same number and CVV as the primary card.

Business: Please let us know.

Summary

To summarize, all small business cards seem to have a unique card number for employee cards while personal cards sometimes come with a different AU card number and sometimes the same.

Thanks to numerous friends who helped out with the info in this post, especially E* from Demflyers for lots of data points



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Penny
Penny

For multiple AMEX offers, do we just create multiple twitter account? Or also create an account on amex?

Sue
Sue

We use separate account logins at amex site. AU cards are not guaranteed to see the same offers so it’s necessary to check individually by logging in. At least as far as I know…….

Mark
Mark

Citi’s Costco accounts have a unique number for authorized user/employees.

DigitalPop
DigitalPop

In my very recent experience, employee cards for a business US Bank Visa credit card will have a unique number from the main account Visa credit card.

Izzy
Izzy

So do you think AU should give it a shot for 10k bonus points for extended payment plan by calling up with promo code?

italdesign
italdesign

Do you happen to know, for banks that issue the same card # to AU, can they tell whose card (primary vs AU) was swiped at a cash register? I was surprised that Citi has this information, which caused some awkwardness on a call in which I assumed otherwise.

andres17
andres17

Issuers probably get the name on the card when you do the transaction, so they all probably can differentiate an AU transaction from a principal card owner transaction.

It would be nice if all issuers made statements that show the AU transactions in a different list from the card owner transactions, like AMEX does. That way, your AU know how much they owe.

Carlos
Carlos

TD bank has a tottally different number for an authorized user.

Dani Lynn
Dani Lynn

USAA Visa Signature unique card number.

Ben
Ben

Just curious, why does it matter if AU cards have different numbers?

Mark
Mark

If you are overseas with your significant other, one of your cards is stolen, your significant other has a card to get you through.

Dave
Dave

DP: FNBO AU cards have the same # and CVV

James Eastwood
James Eastwood

Hello DoC,

In addition to the Citi Costco card having a unique and “different than the primary” card number, the AU can also be granted online access in which the AU can have their own login, see their transactions and make payments on their transactions similarly to how Amex handles AUs and their ability to have online log-ins.

I’ve used the Amex AU system before but for Citi and their less-than-stellar IT reputation to offer this ability is a nice touch and hopefully a sign of things to come for future Citi cards.

James

William Charles

Fingers crossed!

James Eastwood
James Eastwood

First things first William, if you’re in OH on east coast time, get some sleep! Secondly, would it be worth it to expand on this topic of AU cards and take the online account access part a bit further. For example, BarclayCard has unique numbers but AUs can’t create their own online accounts to view their transactions or make payments as far as I know.

What do you think?

William Charles

Might be a good idea, if readers request it i’ll look into it more.

Al Crawford
Al Crawford

Having the same account number on authorized cards can be a pain in the butt for authorized users!

Not to mention the difficulty the primary card holder may have when trying to distinguous which card was used for individual charges, but the associated authorized card holder with the same card number as the primary card, must also remember the billing zip code for the primary card holder (instead of their own zip code) when requested, such as at gas pump, etc. and there may be other headaches too.

This can cause frequent denials or errors if the authorized card holder resides in a different zip code area, city or state when the associate card holder mistakenly enters their own zip code during a transaction.

I recommend to never seek a secondary authorized card for someone unless the authorized card will be issued with a unique number of it’s own. Furthermore, it is commonly known that some authorized card holders can boost their credit scores too if the primary credit card holder has a better credit score, but obviously if the card issuer isn’t even differentiating one card from the other, it is also likely the authorized user will not be considered or distinguished for credit scoring purposes either.

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