Can I Get a Secondary Card on a Prepaid Debit Card Account?

Many people use prepaid debit cards to transfer money to family or friends. For example, one of the most popular uses of prepaid cards is as a family card, where the parents open an account and get a secondary (or “authorized user“) card for their children. Then, the parents can easily control how much their kids spend (and see what the kids are spending their money on). Not all prepaid cards allow you to get additional cards, however. Here’s how to find out.

Secondary, or additional cards are called “authorized user” cards. To find out if your prepaid debit card program allows you to get a secondary card, you’ll need to read the terms and conditions of the card program (or, just read the prepaid card reviews on GetDebit.com to skip the legal language!).

If you check the terms and conditions, look for a paragraph called “Authorized Users”. (Here’s a tip — read the terms and conditions online, and then just do a search for the words “authorized users”).

Here’s an example of the legal language from several different prepaid card programs.

AccountNow’s Prepaid Visa Card has the following rules about authorized users:

Authorized Users: You may request an additional Card for another person. You may also permit another person to have access to your Card or Card number. However, if you do, you are liable for all transactions made with the Card or Card number by those persons. You must notify us to revoke permission for any person you previously authorized to use your Card. You are responsible for all transactions and fees incurred by you or any other person you have authorized. If you tell us to revoke another person’s use of your Card, we may revoke your Card and issue a new Card with a different number. You are wholly responsible for the use of each Card according to the terms of this Agreement.

Translation: You can get a secondary card with AccountNow. But be aware that you are liable for any transactions and fees resulting from your authorized user’s use of the card.

Some card programs allow secondary cards to be issued, but charge a fee to create and mail you the secondary card. Here’s an example.

The READYDebit Select Prepaid Visa allows you to get a secondary card, but charges you a $10 fee to obtain the secondary card. Here’s the fine print from their terms and conditions:

Authorized Users: You may request an additional Card for another person. You may also permit another person to have access to your Card or Card number. However, if you do, you are liable for all transactions made with the Card or Card number by those persons. You must notify us to revoke permission for any person you previously authorized to use your Card. You are responsible for all transactions and fees incurred by you or any other person you have authorized. If you tell us to revoke another person’s use of your Card, we may revoke your Card and issue a new Card with a different number. You are wholly responsible for the use of each Card according to the terms of this Agreement.

Authorized user, or secondary cards can be a great way to go, allowing you to share access to a single account. They are particularly useful for families who need shared access to funds. If you know that you will need a secondary card, make sure to read the card details before picking a card plan.

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