Your mom doesn't feel well but there's not much food in the house. She gives you her credit card and asks you to run to the supermarket. You sign the electronic receipt at the check-out and everything's fine, right? Not really. If you're not an authorized user on her account, signing for her payment isn't permitted.

Not Exactly Legal

Technically, signing your mother's name to her card, even with her permission, is fraudulent use. You might think of fraudulent use as a stranger stealing the card and forging the signature, but only the cardholder can sign for the account. However, there are legal ways that you can use another person's credit card.

Legal Options

If you want to allow another person to use your credit card, you can set up an authorized or joint account with your credit card company. There's a big difference between the two. You're responsible for paying any charges incurred by the authorized user, while both parties are liable for bills run up by joint account holders. While authorized users have permission to use your account, they sign their own names. They can't change any passwords, PIN numbers or any information on your account. They also can't request credit line increases.