Choosing a Joint Credit Card as a Couple

Last Friday my HB and I sat down, looked at the list of topics I came up with, and decided to talk about choosing a joint credit card together. As I’ve mentioned before, when we lived together back in Vancouver, we kept all of our finances separate.

It was just easier that way, and whenever a joint expense came up, one of us would pay for it then let the other person know how much they owed them. Now that we’re married and are trying to make things a bit easier by combining our finances, we decided to get a joint credit card to charge all of our expenses to.

Here’s the thing, joint credit cards are essentially a thing of the past. We ended up calling one of our credit card companies to find out what the deal was, and we were told that in order to get a credit card for you and your partner, one person has to apply for it as the primary card holder, then add their spouse onto the account as an authorized user.

Yahoo Finance wrote about this too, explaining that many companies like Chase, HSBC and Capital One used to offer joint credit cards but are now getting rid of them. TD Bank and American Express apparently never offered them. Personally, this doesn’t really affect our plans, however it did get us talking about whether one of us should apply for a new credit card and add the other person onto it, or just get a spouse card on one of our existing accounts.

Since I wanted to make sure we didn’t just choose any credit card at random, I drew up a spreadsheet of all our cards so we could find out which one was the best deal.

Just an FYI, technically the Costco AMEX card doesn’t have an annual fee, however you do need to be a Costco member to apply for a card and that annual fee is $55. As we kind of suspected, my HB’s MBNA Mastercard is the best deal in that it has no annual fee and has the best rewards program.

However, my HB uses that as his main credit card for his personal and business expenses, so he didn’t want to use that as our joint card. Since none of my cards have especially amazing rewards programs, I started looking at what other cards were out there.

There are a ton of great credit card comparison sites out there to help you, I used a couple different ones in my research, so it’s really not that hard to find the best card for your situation these days. I didn’t really care what card offered the best interest rate since I don’t think I’ve ever been late on a payment, so I was primarily looking for the card with the best rewards program.

I knew we wanted a card that didn’t offer points but was purely cash back. And although it wasn’t a total deal breaker if the card had an annual fee, I wanted to make sure that the fee would essentially pay for itself. After comparing every card, I could think of, wouldn’t you know it the no-fee MBNA Smart Cash Mastercard was still the best deal.

So that’s the card we’ve decided to go with. I’m going to be the primary card carrier and I’ll add my HB onto it. Man, I’m so glad that’s all done! We’ve seriously been talking about getting a joint credit card since June!

Next week I’ll be writing about our grocery bill. I know, I know, you can hardly contain your excitement, but we haven’t tracked our grocery spending since we arrived in Toronto, and I just know we’re in for a rude awakening. Have a great Friday everyone!

Do you share a credit card with your partner? How did you decide on your particular credit card?

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