There are advantages and disadvantages of joint credit cards. First, having a joint credit card means the two people involved can make charges to the credit card and the card’s history is included on both party’s credit reports.
The two people involved, are also responsible for the credit card payments. If the card payments become delinquent, the credit card issuer can go after either cardholder for payment.
If you are about to make the decision of getting a joint credit card either with a partner, spouse, or child, knowing the advantages and disadvantages inherent in it will guide you in making a decision.
Advantages of Joint Credit Cards
Help your partner get a better credit
If you are adding a spouse or family member with bad credit to your credit card, it can help them get better credit. If the person you wish to have a joint credit card with has bad credit, it may pose a problem for them while applying for a credit card on their own. Having a joint credit card only works if the credit card is managed right (i.e.) if the bill is paid on time and the balance is kept low.
Help one person get a credit card/good interest rate
With a joint credit card, you can help your partner get a credit card/good interest rate where they otherwise wouldn’t. This might be the only way to get your spouse a credit card or to get a low-interest rate, especially if one spouse has a bad credit score.
If the person you are co-joining with is your spouse, and you have one rent, one electricity bill, one cell phone bill, it is normal to share a credit card bill. Since you have one bill to pay, it goes to say that, it can actually allow you to make the most of your income. Also when it’s time to pay off your debt, you’ll have an easier time deciding which card to pay back first.
Disadvantages Of Having a Joint Credit Card
Breakups or divorce make it difficult to manage joint credit card
This is true in the case where the ex-spouse isn’t paying his or her share of the credit card bills. Your credit card will be affected because no matter what the divorce decree says, the credit card issuer will hold you to the original credit card agreement.
Both of you are legally responsible for making the payments
What this implies is that the card issuer can take legal action against you for charges you might not have made to the credit card. You may even be sued and have your wages hit if the credit card payment becomes delinquent.
One person could use the credit card to hurt the other
After a breakup, one cardholder can decide to get back at the other by indulging in a spending spree, which leaves the other cardholder with the bill.
At the end of the day, it is your choice to make. You can either keep a separate credit card and manage your account as you deem fit. But if you want to go for a joint credit card, make sure you evaluate your reasons for sharing a credit card. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a joint credit card, and ensure that you and the person you wish to share the credit card with understanding the effect a breakup may on your credit history.