How and When to Change Your Name on a Credit Card

Yep, a legal name change means updating your credit cards, too.

A woman speaking on a smartphone smiles as she changes her name on her credit card.
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 Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty Images

Changing your legal name isn’t something you do very often, so when it’s time to change your name on your credit cards, you may not have a clue where to start. You might change your name after getting married or divorced. Some adults legally change their names either taking their father or mother’s last name. Or, some people even change the name given to them at birth to a name that better suits them. Once you’ve gone through the legal process of changing your name, you’ll also need to change your name on your credit cards.

Credit card issuers have different requirements for changing your name on your credit card. If you simply need to correct the spelling of your name or add a middle initial, you may be able to complete the process online or with a quick phone call to customer service.

For a major name change, you may need to call or send documentation to change your name on a credit card. The process can be time-consuming depending on the number of credit cards you have. Before you change your name on your credit cards, you’ll have to legally change your name on your Social Security card and your driver’s license.

Before You Call Your Credit Card Issuer

Changing your name on your social security card requires a trip to the Social Security office. Before you go, print and fill out an Application for a Social Security Card. Take your completed application and proof of your name change to the Social Security office to complete the process. Name change proof includes a marriage certificate, divorce decree, certificate of naturalization showing your new name, or court order approving your name change. You’ll also need to take something proving your identity with your previous name, like a driver’s license for example.

In a few weeks, you’ll receive a new Social Security card with your updated name and the same Social Security Number as before.

Once you’ve changed your name on your Social Security card, you can change your name on your driver’s license. Take a drip to your nearest DMV, with your name change documents, your old driver’s license, and your corrected social security card to be on the safe side.

Changing Your Name on Your Credit Cards

Now, you’ve officially changed your name. You can contact the credit card issuers to change your name on your credit card. Once you’ve completed the process, your credit card issuer will mail a new credit card to you with your new name embossed on the front.

Of the credit card issuers who post online instructions for changing your name on your credit card, only American Express allows you to change your name online. You can simply fill out a name change authorization form and upload a copy of your new identification, such as your new driver’s license, to complete your request. If you live near a Bank of America location, you should take your government-issued photo ID plus any additional documentation to a Bank of America financial center or call customer service to complete your request.

A Name Change Won’t Impact Your Credit Score

Details about your personal information don’t affect your credit score, so your credit won’t be affected when you change your name on your credit card. If you’re recently married, you and your spouse will continue to maintain separate credit files. Unless one of you is made an authorized user on your accounts, your credit cards will remain separate.

For other credit card issuers, calling the number on the back of your credit is the best way to initiate the process. Be prepared to mail, fax, or mail copies of your documentation to complete your name change request.

Changing the name on your credit card doesn’t change anything else related to your credit card account. You’ll maintain the same account number, credit limit, balance, and all other credit card details.

Changing Your Name on Your Credit Report

You don’t have to notify the credit bureaus of your name change. When your creditors update your credit report information, your new name will be sent to the credit bureaus along with the rest of your account information. Your name will appear in the personal information section of your credit report along with any other variations of your name.