Loan Singh Explains: Supplementary Credit Cards



The joy of being carefree, makes us all go “Ah! What a Life!” Imagine a situation where you can flaunt a credit card at payment terminals or shop online & someone else pays the bills (read “your family member”). That is exactly the kind of financial freedom a supplementary credit card gives you or your family members. There is a catch though, but more on that later.

The concept of a supplementary credit card is a disputable one. Some say it is a dream product to have, especially for the family of the primary card holder, and at times it is also seen as an unwanted financial burden. A supplementary credit card, as the name suggests, is issued under your original or primary credit card. Issued for family members, parents, spouse or children above 18 years of age, the supplementary credit card is an add-on credit card. It is issued depending on the terms and conditions attached to your primary credit card. The supplementary credit card is issued in limited numbers. The credit limit issued differs from one card issuer to another. Loan Singh helps you to know more about the supplementary credit card.


Working of a Supplementary Credit Card

Unlike the primary credit card, a supplementary credit card has its own purpose and criteria. Let’s look at its working with an example.

  • All supplementary cards are issued in the primary cardholder’s name. The transactions will be directed to the primary cardholder’s account and the dues have to be paid against the primary card, itself.
  • Usually the limit on a supplementary credit card is lower than that of the primary credit card. You can set the sub-limit for it.
  • Also, in case of multiple supplementary cards, the sub limit for these cards would be equally distributed among the supplementary cards.
  • The payment and transaction information with regards to each supplementary credit card will be recorded on the primary account itself. This helps keep track of each supplementary card’s usage easily as the statements would appear on the primary card account.
  • You must remember that since you are the primary credit card holder, it is your responsibility to take care of the dues incurred by the supplementary credit card.
  • It’s a great instrument to keep your aged parents financially independent.
  • The same is applicable for children studying outstation or abroad.



Even if you own multiple supplementary credit cards, for family member or spouse, the card issuing company treats all the supplementary cards as a single account. Suppose your primary credit card limit is Rs. 1,00,000, then this amount is further divided into each supplementary credit card. So, if you opt for the first supplementary credit card, then the Rs.1,00,000 gets divided between your primary credit card and the supplementary credit card.

The primary card holder can also set a custom limit for the supplementary credit cards. In this case, for a primary limit of Rs.1,00,000, the holder can set a sub-limit of Rs.25,000 (or any other amount depending on the need) for the supplementary credit card.


Charges Associated With Supplementary Credit Card

Usually there is no fee involved for supplementary credit cards. Sometimes, banks or credit card companies issue free complementary cards up to a limit, above which a fee is charged.

Your credit report will show the information with regards to your primary credit card so it is important that you make payments towards your primary card and supplementary credit cards before the due-date each month. Not doing so can lead to a hit on your credit score. A digital lending platform, such as Loan Singh, will look at how the primary credit card holder made payments towards his/her credit card. This helps build a good credit history for personal loan approval.


Advantages of Supplementary Credit Card

Some of the advantages of getting a supplementary credit card are

  • All transactions pertaining to your supplementary credit card are recorded over the primary credit card. So, all the information needed is available in a single credit card statement.
  • Banks and credit card companies offer reward points for usage of both primary and supplementary credit cards. These can then be redeemed for an assortment of rewards – including air miles.
  • Supplementary credit cards can be used abroad (depending upon the card policy) along with being used for online or offline payments.
  • Withdrawal of cash from ATM terminals is possible via a supplementary credit card. The withdrawal limit could be the same or lower for the supplementary credit card.


Who Offers Supplementary Credit Cards in India?

Many banks and credit card companies offer this add-on privilege card in India. Some of them are

  • Supplementary Credit Card by ICICI Bank
  • Citibank Add-on Credit Card
  • Global Gold Credit Card by Indian Bank
  • HDFC’s Add-on Card
  • HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card
  • IndusInd Add-on Card
  • Axis Bank Add-on Card
  • Kotak Mahindra’s Add-on Card


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