Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 2
...TWO people on the account.

Yep, that's the glitch. You could get a credit or debit card in your own name and get a 2nd card for your friend as an authorized user, but that would require giving the issuing bank his Social Security number. And there might be fees, or minimum balance requirements, depending on your credit score and history with your bank (or credit union), in addition to the wrinkle that his use of the card could affect your credit score.

The simplest, no-fee, method is to just give him access to an account of yours, which I'm not recommending even though I've done it:
Years ago, I gave my son the ATM card for my checking account for a one-week school trip abroad, and that worked well. (During that time, I used DH's checking acct for our household expenses, leaving only enough in my acct for DS.)

I'm doing something similar now with my sister, who's off the grid financially (very long story, and I don't have all the details anyway). She's doing eldercare for our dad, and I got a credit card in my name and gave it to her for that purpose. She's been using it for almost 2 years now, at grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, drug store, dentist, cleaners, Lowes, etc, as well as for house maintenance stuff, such as paying plumbers, carpet cleaners, HVAC repair people, stair lift repair, etc. She signs her own name, and the time will come when a swiper will flag that her signature isn't mine, but luckily for us the technology isn't there yet.
Of course, I keep an eye on the account online, and pay in full every month. The account has a $5k credit limit, so that's my maximum exposure.

I think any way you want help your friend will entail fees, or risk, or inconvenience. Personally, I'd just let the inconvenience fall on his side, and go back to sending money (PO money orders, I presume) or continue wiring (Western Union, I presume).
Print the post  


UGC Disclosure Notice Regarding Credit Card Posts
Community board discussions about credit cards are not provided or commissioned by banks who may have advertising relationships with The Motley Fool. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
TMF Credit Center
The Motley Fool Credit Center arms you with real tools and simple messages, that will help you in every credit situation.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.