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A Guide to Sharing a Credit Card with Your Partner

iStock_000002994585SmallThere are many different financial products you can apply for jointly with your partner or spouse, such as bank accounts and savings accounts for example.

However, it isn’t actually possible to apply for joint credit cards, as these do not technically exist. What you can do, however, is to apply for the credit card and then add your partner as an authorised user. Your partner will get their own credit card to use, but you stay in charge of the credit card account.

Things to consider before sharing credit cards

The most important thing to remember when considering sharing a credit card is that although you and your partner will both be using the account, it is you, as the person who applied for the card, who will be solely responsible for paying the bills. If you and your partner split up, you will be left with whatever charges your partner has run up. In messy break-ups, credit cards can even be used as weapons against each other, as one partner runs up a huge bill for the other to pay.

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You should also bear in mind that by adding your partner as an authorised user on your credit card account, you will be linking your financial history with theirs. So, when you check your credit report, you will find details of your shared credit with your partner. If your partner has been reckless with the card, running up bills that you can’t afford to pay off, your credit score could be damaged as a result. This could also mean that when you apply for credit card deals in the future, you could be rejected.

Alongside all of these negative points about sharing credit cards, there are still plenty of positives. If you are the owner of the credit card account and you split up with your partner or want to limit their access to the account, you have the power to cut off authorised users. This gives you the control over the account. You can also use shared credit cards to make the most of cashback and rewards offered by some credit card providers. For example, if there is a cashback offer on fuel but your partner is the only one who uses the car, you can both earn some cashback by giving your partner access to the card whenever he or she goes to fill up the tank.

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