Why would a millionaire pop star have to use her bodyguard’s credit card? Because she’s reached the limit on her own. Britney Spears proved that she couldn’t handle her own finances, so her money is controlled by a conservatorship. According to TMZ, Britney has a weekly spending limit on her credit card of $1500. When she maxed out her spending limit, she just used her bodyguard’s credit card.
It’s certainly not okay that the sales clerk allowed the celebrity to use a credit card that didn’t include her name just because she’s Britney Spears. The real owner of the credit card could dispute the charges and the store would lose that money. The clerk could even lose her job.
Britney, who’s demonstrated time and time again that she can’t handle her own finances, broke the number one rule of money management: Don’t spend more than you can afford. If your budget is $1500 / week, you shouldn’t spend more than that, even if someone lends you their credit card.
Things can go wrong when someone uses your credit card
The one who really stands to lose in this debacle is the bodyguard. It’s his credit that’s on the line. If you loan out your credit card, you have no control over what’s done with the card, but you are responsible for everything that’s charged.
They could max out your limit. Unless you’re right there with your credit card borrower, you don’t know what they’re charging. If you have a credit card with a limit (vs. a charge card with no preset spending limit) your card’s borrower could max out your credit card, leaving you with an over-the-limit fee and a penalty interest rate. Charging too much of your available credit also damages your credit score.
They could skip out on the bill. When someone else uses your credit card, you cannot guarantee they’re going to pay the bill, even when they have as much money as Britney Spears. Your credit card borrower could charge up more than you can afford to pay and, in the end, your credit card company is holding you responsible. Late payments lead to late payment fees, higher interest rates, and a damaged credit score.
They could lose your credit card. Your credit card borrower might not be as careful with your credit card as you would be. They could lose your credit card and the thief could leave you with a staggering credit card bill. It’s true that you can dispute stolen credit card charges, but it’s trouble that could have been avoided. Even after disputing, you could still be liable for up to $50 of the fraudulent credit card charges.
I can’t think of a single time that you don’t face a risk when you loan someone your credit card. No matter how much money they have or how sincerely they promise to pay the bill, there are no guarantees. In the end, loaning your credit card to a parent, friend, spouse, or even your employer is a bad idea.