How to Get a Joint Credit Card

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For better or worse, families tend to share just about everything. That includes finances, such as bank accounts and mortgages, which often means joint accounts. Can your family also have a joint credit card?

Although joint accounts exist, they are not common. If you find a joint credit card you like, make sure you know how it works before you sign up, as well as other ways you could share an account.

What Is a Joint Credit Card?

When you open a credit card, you’re authorized to charge purchases to it. You’re also responsible for paying those charges with interest if you carry a balance month to month.

A joint credit card works the same way, except two people share the ability to make purchases and pay them off. It doesn’t matter who spends what: If you charge $100 to a joint card, both cardholders are liable for the bill.

That means both of your credit scores are also on the hook for card use. If one person misses a payment or maxes out the credit limit, for example, both account holders will see their scores take a hit. On the other hand, if you make all the payments on time, both of you can build a positive credit history.

For these reasons, weighing the pros and cons of a joint credit card before opening one is a good idea. A joint account can be convenient, but it can also lead to problems if both users don’t manage it properly.

What Are the Pros of a Joint Credit Card Account?

  • Simplify your finances. A joint credit card can help two people manage their finances together easier. A joint account can be ideal for married couples or parents and their children.
  • Help someone access credit. If one person doesn’t have the good credit needed for a low interest rate or high credit limit, he or she can leverage the other person’s credit for better card terms.
  • Improve your credit. By making on-time payments and keeping credit utilization low, both account holders will benefit and see their scores improve.

What Are the Cons of a Joint Account?

  • One person could harm the other’s credit. If one person mismanages the card by racking up a high balance, paying bills late or skipping payments, the other account holder will suffer the consequences.
  • Credit card debt could strain your relationship. If account holders don’t agree how to use the card, disputes can arise over paying the bill or overspending. Plus, if you decide that you no longer need or want the joint account, splitting up the debt can be complicated, especially if the reason is divorce.
  • Card choices are limited. That might mean you can’t choose cards with the best rewards or perks. You’ll need to decide whether the convenience of a joint account or the flexibility to choose a card with the best features is more of a priority…..Read more>>