TPG reader question: Am I eligible for a welcome bonus on a credit card if I’m already a supplementary cardholder?

Jul 18, 2021

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Editor’s note: This article is part of a weekly column to answer your credit card, points and miles and general travel questions. If you would like to ask us a question, tweet us at @thepointsguyuk, message us on Facebook or email us at tips@thepointsguy.co.uk.


Credit card welcome bonuses can be an easy way to boost your points and miles balances and reach your travel goals faster. The offer is simple: If you are eligible, you can earn a set amount of bonus points and miles for reaching a spending requirement within a specific time period.

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For example, some of the best welcome bonuses available right now include:

Now, with such generous bonuses to entice new cardmembers, naturally, there are rules around these bonuses. Some card issuers have fairly generous rules that state you will be eligible for the bonus provided you haven’t held the card in the last six months. American Express has very strict rules around eligibility, which you can read about here.

This brings us to this week’s TPG reader question:

My wife is currently a supplementary cardholder (I am the main cardholder). Can we reapply next year so that she is the main cardholder and I am the supplementary one and if we did, would she earn the welcome bonus? I’m not sure if her having held a supplementary card would rule her out.

Chris, TPG reader

Adding a supplementary cardholder to your account can be a great way to earn more points, especially if you’re already sharing finances with a spouse, relative or very close friend.

Remember, as the primary cardholder, you are responsible for repaying any charges your supplementary cardholders make, so make sure you only give it to someone you trust!

Related: The best UK miles and points credit cards of 2021

The great news is that for both American Express and Virgin Money credit cards, the welcome bonus rules only apply to the primary cardholder, not the supplementary cardholder. This means Chris’ wife could apply for her own card and still be eligible for the welcome bonus, even though she was a supplementary cardholder on her husband’s card.

My partner has been a supplementary cardholder on my British Airways American Express Premium Plus Credit Card for many years. He was recently approved for an American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card and earned the welcome bonus on the card, while still being the supplementary cardholder on my BA Amex as he met the other eligibility requirements for earning a welcome bonus.

Featured image by Josh Gribben/The Points Guy

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. 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.