Institutions that allow joint account credit cards

Discover which banks offer joint credit cards so you can share an account with your partner.

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There is a number of credit card issuers in New Zealand that allow you to apply for a joint credit card with your partner or a family member. As well as giving you and your partner access to all the credit card’s features and benefits, you are both responsible for managing and paying off the account.

Use this guide to compare which credit card issuers offer joint accounts; plus the pros and cons of opening a credit card account with another person.

How do joint credit card accounts work?

A joint credit card gives you and another person the same account access and status, which means you can both use the card and share financial responsibility for the account.

When you apply for a joint credit card, the issuer considers the personal and financial details of both you and your partner. If your joint application is approved, the details of the account are recorded on both your credit files and can impact on your individual credit ratings.

What are the pros and cons of a joint credit card account?

Pros

  • Can help get your application approved. If you have a poorer credit score and credit history than your partner, a joint credit card application can improve your chances of being approved. This is because the credit card provider assesses both applicants jointly and a strong credit score can balance out the weaker one.
  • More flexible credit limits. The combined income of two people usually results in a higher credit limit, or a more flexible one, than the limit you might be offered when you apply individually.
  • Can improve your credit score. If you’re approved for a joint credit card account, you can use it to help repair your credit score (or your partner’s) by making payments on time and avoiding carrying a debt. Learn more about how to improve your credit rating.
  • Reduces bills and fees. Having a joint credit card account means you get one bill each month instead of two or more. This makes it easier for you to manage your finances and saves on costs such as interest and annual fees.

Cons

  • Application risks. If you or your partner has a terrible credit score, your application for a joint credit card could be declined. This is because the credit card provider assesses both applicants jointly and a bad credit score may outweigh an average or good one. In this case, the result could be a rejection for both applicants and a black mark on both your credit reports. Learn more and check your credit score for free.
  • Overspending. With two people spending on one card at the same time, there is a higher chance of going over your credit limit. Make sure you both track the account balance and share spending details so you can avoid fees and other issues that come from maxing out a card.
  • Shared debt. Sharing legal responsibility for the joint account credit card means you also run the risk of taking on debt that is not your own. If one party is not able to manage their spending and repayments responsibly, both cardholders will suffer the consequences for it – including possible legal repercussions and a bad credit rating.

What other options are there for sharing a credit card account?

Most credit card issuers give you the option to request a supplementary or additional card for someone. In this case, you become the “primary cardholder”, and your partner becomes the “secondary cardholder”.

The primary cardholder is the only person responsible for managing the account. The supplementary cardholder, on the other hand, is just an “authorised user” and has no liability for the debt owing on the credit card.

Joint account credit cards are a handy tool for couples who want to share a budget and take on the equal responsibility of a credit account. However, as not every bank offers joint bank accounts, you need to compare your options to determine which card is right for you and your partner.

Frequently asked questions

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