5 Things to Know About a Joint Credit Card Account

By Stephen Fisherton on July 26, 2012

Things to Know About a Joint Credit CardJoint credit card accounts are opened in two people’s names, usually for blood relatives or people related by marriage.

Here’s what you need to know about joint credit card accounts before you enroll:

1.You’re both on the hook. Contractual obligations are contractual obligations – both parties named on a credit card account are liable for charges made on the account. One person cannot opt out of paying a balance created by another person. Thus, only open a joint account with someone you know to be responsible with their personal finances.

2.It affects everyone’s credit. A credit report contains information on all accounts you have as an individual, and those that you share with other people. A misstep by one person on a joint credit card account will affect both people.

3.Authorized users may be the better alternative. Authorized users can use a credit card but are not liable for making payments. This may be better for people who want to get a credit card but may not want to be liable for the other person’s spending habits.

4.Joint accounts can have higher limits. Because there are two people on a joint credit card, a joint card usually has a higher spending limit than a credit card for an individual. Two incomes and two credit scores makes it possible for a joint account to be issued with a higher-than-average credit line.

5.Rewards build faster with a joint credit card. Not only is it easier for two people to get a credit card than it is for one person, it is also easier for two people to build up rewards points faster for smoother redemption. A couple that shares a credit card will likely hit the payout minimum twice as fast as a couple that has individual credit cards.

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