Sharing for the Greater Good: Credit Card Strategies for Modern Couples

wedding-ring-390771_640If you are half of a couple, you may be wondering if and when to share a credit card with your significant other. Some share to reap better reward points. Some share out of a sense of wanting to provide for the other. Should you share a credit card with your partner? Maybe, maybe not.

Love and money

Should a single credit card account be shared between romantic partners? It depends on the couple, and it depends on who you ask. A shared credit card is a huge commitment and one not to be taken lightly. Once you share a credit card, each person may become privy to private financial info not previously divulged. Sharing a credit card may be a bigger deal then co-signing a lease or sharing a phone plan, so say money experts at Forbes.

On the plus side, sharing a card offers the convenience of seeing all your charges in one place. Bill consolidation is one reason people like sharing a credit card with someone they love, says Forbes. On the other hand, a credit card in the possession of a brokenhearted spouse may lead to big financial trouble for the other half of the couple, if and when they break up. Vindictive overspending may be the number one reason people wind up regretting that they shared a credit card with someone else.

Fixing credit together

It’s not exactly easy, but damaged credit can be rebuilt, and you can do it as a couple. If your scores at Experian, Transunion and Equifax are less than stellar, a secured card might be the best way to go. Do it right, and you might repair your broken credit in record time, say the money wizards at It’s a good idea for a couple to apply for different types of credit and to make payments on time always.

A revolving line of credit generally has a fixed amount the couple can spend and monthly payments based upon the amount owed plus interest. An installment credit line offers a set fee and payment schedule. Either can be a good way for a couple to build or rebuild their credit, as long as they pay attention to the fine print in the credit card contract and make slightly larger than required payments.

A few words about sharing rewards cards

The best part about sharing a credit card that offers rewards is that the two of you can rack up points in about half the time. If you’re trying to earn rewards for an upcoming vacation or major purchase, a shared card might be just right for you and your partner.

Keeping two rewards cards in separate names is a good idea in case the card issuer devalues their frequent shopper points.

Only you and your partner can be sure if sharing a credit card is right for you as a couple. Give it a try, and if it doesn’t work out, go back to keeping separate cards in your own names.

Katherine Buckley works as a personal finance consultant. She shares some top financial tips with an online audience.

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