Supplementary credit cards or add-on cards allow primary credit cardholders to assign additional cards to their beneficiaries, typically friends and loved ones. The supplementary cards share the same credit limit as their primary cards.
People under the age of 18 are not eligible for credit cards on their own, so their parents or guardians can apply for a supplementary card and assign their child, allowing them to enjoy the benefits and convenience of the supplementary credit card.
The degree of how the card is applied may differ from one service provider to another. If you are looking for the best supplementary cards for your kids or partner, here is all you need to know before you apply for them.
Supplementary Credit Cards and How They Work
A supplementary credit card is designed to help credit cardholders share their credit card benefits with family members such as spouses or children. Using supplementary cards is also an excellent way for supplementary cardholders to gain additional credit by raising their total credit limit.
Supplementary credit cards are linked to their primary credit cards, sharing the same reward structures. This means that the supplementary cardholder enjoys the same advantages and privileges as the primary cardholder. However, applying for the supplementary credit card may vary from one provider to another.
Pros and Cons of Getting a Supplementary Credit Card
They Earn Help You Earn The Perks Faster
Credit cards accrue rewards the more you use them. So the more transactions you make from your cards, the faster you earn them/
Supplementary credit cards have their card transactions combined with the primary cards, which boosts the qualifying values for the transactions. This way, supplementary cards help you earn rewards much faster.
Supplementary Cards Have Reduced Annual Fee
Most service providers offer the first supplementary cards free of charge. So instead of applying for two primary credit cards of the same type, a household may use a supplementary card to save on the total annual fee charged.
It Can Be Used as An Emergency Fund
Supplementary cards can also be used as a source of emergency money. You can use the card when you require funds on short notice.
A good example is giving your child studying overseas a supplementary card to use in case they are short of money rather than having to call home when they don’t have money.
Before applying for a supplementary credit card, make sure it has the fraud protection feature that helps you monitor any suspicious charges from the card.
Great for Teaching Child Financial Concepts
Credit cards work very differently from money, making them a great tool to teach your child vital financial concepts that they will use later on in life.
You can train your kids about the credit and debt concept. This will help them track their finances much better instead of borrowing anytime they run out of money.
Supplementary cards have adjustable credit limits, teaching your child how to manage their budgets.
They Help Pay for Necessary Services
When your children have a supplementary card, and they can easily access essential services. These services include online food delivery or ride-hailing when they need to get somewhere safely.
Providing a way for children to pay for their food and transport can help wean coming-of-age children from relying a lot on their parents or guardians. It encourages them to be more independent.
Supplementary cardholders can use the supplementary card for their emergencies as well.
It Helps Children Learn About Credit Cards Early
When you introduce credit cards early to your kids, and they understand how credit and loans work. When you do it right, your child will learn the different benefits of using a credit card without putting themselves at the risk of being overly dependent on credit cards.
Some Have Additional Fees
As incredible as a supplementary card may sound, it also has its downside. Please take note that getting a supplementary card might also require you to pay additional fees. However, some banks waiver the fees but only for the first and second cards.
You can visit the bank’s websites to check the charges applicable from the different financial institutions.
Creates A ‘Spend First” Mentality Towards Money
Using a credit card is borrowing money from your bank to pay for your expenses. On the other hand, using a debit card uses the money you already have in your bank account to pay for your expenses.
On the downside, your child might get used to spending money first, especially if they use a supplementary card to pay for all their bills.
When they get a personal credit card in the future, they might keep using the credit card for all their expenses and forget that they pay for their bills with an added interest.
You can try to prevent this from happening by enforcing that your child pays back a portion of their supplementary card bills within a given period. This will make them think before they swipe their card.
Risk of Overspending
It is essential to remember that the primary credit cardholder is liable for the entire credit card balance from the linked supplementary cards. If your beneficiary fails to exercise financial prudence, they run the risk of racking up a huge credit card bill that you will have to pay.
Careless spending from the supplementary cards and the primary cards (Own credit card) can also exhaust the credit card limit, leading to other bills and other financial obligations going unpaid.
In some cases, you will have to pay extra admin fees to help rectify the situation.
Therefore, it is crucial to set the credit card limit for each supplementary card to keep that from happening. The primary credit card holder should always review any request to increase the credit card limit.
Reward Points are Directed to the Primary Cardmember.
All rewards earned from supplementary cards are funneled back to the principal account statement balance. These include cashback: air miles, and reward points.
Supplementary cardmembers may feel entitled to the benefits since they helped earn these rewards. However, dividing the rewards may be troublesome and difficult since all the cards are linked to one bank account.
The primary account holder makes points every time the supplementary cardholders spend money.
No Increase in Rewards Due to Caps
In some cases, some benfits such as cashback are capped at a specific amount and do not increase with supplementary cards.
If the primary card is already reaching the rewards cap, you cannot gain much from adding supplementary cards unless they are unlimited cashback rewards or air miles cards.
5 Best Supplementary Credit Cards to Get
|Card||Annual Fees||Rewards and Perks||Website to sign up|
|Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card||First 5 cards free||1.5% cashback on all spends, no cap||Sign up here|
|UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card||First 2 cards free |
S$128.40 per card after that
|20,000 miles with a spend of $50,000 per year||Apply here on the company site|
|UOB One Card||First card free |
S$96.30 per card after that
|Spend S$2,000/month for three consecutive months and earn 5% cashback |
Spend S$500 or S$1,000/month for three straight months and earn 3.33% cashback
|Apply here on the company site address|
|Citi PremierMiles Card||First 2 cards free||1.2 miles per dollar on local spends |
2 miles per dollar on overseas spends
Miles never expire
|OCBC 365 Credit Card||Free for up to 2 years |
S$96.30 after that
|6% cashback on dining and online food delivery |
3% cashback on groceries, online travel, transport, and recurring telco and electricity bills
1. Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card
The SCB Unlimited Cashback Card offers 1.5% cashback on all your spending. So, the more you use it in your transactions, the more you save. This makes it one of the best cards for you and your family members.
It also waives the annual fee for the first five cards. However, you will need to pay the full annual fees for the subsequent cards.
With the SCB card, the principal cardholder has to complete the application form and submit it for approval.
2. UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card
The UOB PRVI Miles card has the industry-leading local spend earn rate of 1.4 miles for every dollar you spend. The American Express variant makes having a supplementary card quite rewarding.
You are awarded 20,000 air miles when you spend more than S$50,000 in a year. If you struggle to reach the credit card limit, you can use the cards and help your family member.
This reward encourages most users to have more cards. However, it is essential to note that only the first two cards have their fee waived.
It is the responsibility of the principal cardholder to keep paying for the credit card bills from all the cards. They also approve their beneficiary eligibility.
3. UOB One Card
With the UOB card, spend at least S2,000 dollars per month for three months and earn a maximum cashback of 5% (Inclusive of GST). So, when you keep your spending high, you will enjoy loads of promotions and discounts.
This is where supplementary cards come in handy. These cards are typically used by a spouse or a child. However, only the primary cardholder can redeem the valid promotions on the credit card.
4. Citi PremierMiles Card
The Citi PremierMiles Card helps you earn 1.2 air miles for every dollar spent locally and 2 miles for every dollar spent overseas. The best part about Citi is that it offers all cards free for life. So you lose nothing when you get your family members the cards.
On top of that, the air miles from Citi do not expire. Citi has more examples of supplementary cards on their profile that you can look up on their website.
5. OCBC 365 Credit Card
The OCBC 365 card offers up to S$80 cashback every month, but you will need to spend more than S$899 per month to get the cashback.
This card has a slightly higher than average minimum monthly spend, but users like it since there is no definite limit on cashback earning, unlike other cards.
Supplementary credit cards allow primary credit cardholders with their beneficiaries, such as spouses or the child. The card help will help you earn rewards much faster than when using one card. Some service providers also offer reduced annual fees with supplementary credits cards meaning they are a great option rather than getting another primary card.
- Supplementary credit cards have reduced annual fees
- Supplementary cards can help you teach your children critical financial concepts
- The cards can be used as a source of emergency money
- The principal cardholder is responsible for paying off the supplementary card debts
- Supplementary cardholders share the same limit as the principal card holders
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