Posted on: May 27, 2024 Posted by: admin Comments: 0
Understanding Add-On Cards in Credit Cards

Add-on cards, also known as supplementary cards, are additional cards linked to the primary credit card account. They allow family members or trusted individuals to share the benefits and privileges of the primary cardholder’s credit card account. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the concept of add-on cards, their advantages, potential impact on credit scores, associated charges, and more.

What is an Add-On Card in a Credit Card?

An add-on card is an extension of the primary credit card account issued to family members, such as spouses, children, parents, or other trusted individuals. It carries the same card number and credit limit as the primary card but is issued under a different name. Add-on cardholders can make purchases using the card, and the transactions are billed to the primary cardholder.

Add-On Card in Hindi

एड-ऑन कार्ड क्रेडिट कार्ड का एक विस्तार है जो प्राथमिक क्रेडिट कार्ड खाते के लिए नामित व्यक्तियों को जारी किया जाता है। यह प्राथमिक कार्ड के संबंध में साझा कर्मचारियों को लाभ और विशेषाधिकारों को साझा करने की अनुमति देता है।

How Add-On Credit Cards Work?

Add-on credit cards function by linking additional cards to the primary cardholder’s account. The primary cardholder controls the credit limit and is responsible for all charges made by add-on cardholders. This setup allows for shared access to credit and benefits, while maintaining oversight and control by the primary cardholder.

Features of Add-On Credit Cards

  • Shared Benefits: Add-on cardholders can access rewards, cashback, and discounts available on the primary card.
  • Convenient Tracking: Transactions from all cards are consolidated into a single statement, simplifying expense tracking.
  • Controlled Spending: The primary cardholder can monitor and manage spending limits for each add-on cardholder.
  • Emergency Card Replacement: In case of loss, the primary cardholder can easily block and replace add-on cards.

Pros and Cons of Add-on Credit Cards


  • Convenience: Simplifies family or household financial management.
  • Shared Rewards: Allows the family to accumulate rewards points faster.
  • Emergency Use: Provides a backup financial option for family members.


  • Shared Liability: The primary cardholder is responsible for all debts incurred.
  • Potential Misuse: Risk of irresponsible spending by add-on cardholders.
  • Credit Score Impact: Negative usage by add-on cardholders can affect the primary cardholder’s credit score.

Things to Consider Before Getting an Add-on Credit Card

  • Spending Habits: Assess the spending behavior of potential add-on cardholders.
  • Credit Limit: Ensure the shared credit limit aligns with your financial capacity.
  • Fees: Understand any additional fees associated with issuing and maintaining add-on cards.
  • Control Mechanisms: Consider the control features offered by your bank to manage spending.

Advantages of Add-On Cards

  • Sharing Benefits: Add-on cards allow family members or trusted individuals to enjoy the benefits and privileges offered by the primary credit card, such as rewards points, cashback offers, discounts, and complimentary services.
  • Financial Convenience: They provide financial convenience by enabling multiple individuals to make purchases using a single credit card account. This can streamline household expenses and budgeting.

Risks of Add-On Credit Cards

  • Financial Liability: The primary cardholder is liable for all charges, including those made by add-on cardholders.
  • Credit Score Impact: Irresponsible usage by add-on cardholders can negatively affect the primary cardholder’s credit score.
  • Potential for Overspending: Shared credit limits can lead to exceeding the set limits if not monitored carefully.

Add-On Credit Cards by Different Banks

Different banks offer varying benefits and features for add-on credit cards. Some notable banks and their offerings include:

  • HDFC Bank: HDFC add-on cards share the same rewards and benefits as the primary card.
  • ICICI Bank: ICICI provides add-on cards with no additional fees and shared access to rewards.
  • SBI: SBI offers supplementary cards with unique features like individual spending limits.

Who Can Apply for an Add-on Credit Card?

Typically, family members such as spouses, children above a certain age (usually 18), parents, or other trusted individuals can apply for an add-on credit card. The primary cardholder must authorize the issuance of the add-on card.

How to Apply for an Add-on Card?

  1. Contact Your Bank: Reach out to your credit card issuer to request an add-on card.
  2. Provide Required Information: Submit necessary details about the add-on cardholder, such as identification documents and relationship proof.
  3. Approval and Issuance: Once approved, the bank will issue the add-on card and send it to the primary cardholder.

How Many Add-on Credit Cards Can Be Availed on a Credit Card?

The number of add-on cards allowed varies by bank and card type. Some banks allow up to five add-on cards per primary account, while others may permit more. It’s essential to check with your bank for specific limits.

Credit Card Issuer No. of Add-On Cards Permitted Annual Fee
HDFC Bank Up to 3 add-on cards Free for lifetime
SBI Cards Up to 2 add-on cards Free for lifetime
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 Bank Up to 3 add-on cards Rs.0 to Rs.599

Must read: Ways to Manage Multiple Credit Cards

Does an Add-On Card Improve Credit Score?

The usage and repayment behavior of add-on cardholders may indirectly impact the primary cardholder’s credit score. Responsible use, such as timely payments and maintaining low credit utilization, can contribute positively to the primary cardholder’s credit profile.

Are There Any Charges for Add-On Cards?

Issuance and Annual Fees

Banks may charge a one-time issuance fee for add-on cards, and some also levy an annual fee for each supplementary card. These fees vary depending on the credit card issuer and the benefits associated with the add-on card.

Who Pays for an Add-On Credit Card?

Primary Cardholder Responsibility

The primary cardholder is responsible for all transactions made using the add-on card. They are liable for repaying the outstanding balances incurred by the supplementary cardholders.

Add-On Credit Card Limit

Shared Credit Limit

Add-on cards typically share the same credit limit as the primary card. The primary cardholder determines the total credit limit for all cards linked to the account based on their creditworthiness and financial capacity.

Must read: Types of Credit Cards in India

Does Add-On Credit Card Give Lounge Access?

Eligibility for Lounge Access

Some premium credit cards offer complimentary airport lounge access as a benefit. Whether add-on cardholders are eligible for lounge access depends on the terms and conditions of the specific credit card and the benefits extended to supplementary cardholders.

Other Important Aspects of Add-On Credit Cards

  • Eligibility for Rewards: Add-on cardholders typically earn the same rewards points as the primary cardholder.
  • Fraud Protection: Add-on cards are covered under the same fraud protection policies as the primary card.
  • Lounge Access: Some premium cards offer lounge access to add-on cardholders, depending on the card’s terms and conditions.


Add-on cards provide a convenient way for family members or trusted individuals to access the benefits of a primary credit card account. Understanding the advantages, and potential impact on credit scores, associated charges, and other aspects is essential for effective credit card management. By making informed decisions and leveraging the benefits responsibly, cardholders can maximize the value of add-on cards while maintaining financial prudence.

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