Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

Joint credit cards

The pros and cons, who's responsible, how to apply and the 7 Australian banks that offer joint credit card accounts.

A joint credit card is a type of account where two people have access to all the credit card's features and share responsibility for managing and paying it off. Only a few credit card providers in Australia allow you to apply for a joint credit card with your partner or a family member. So, let's take a look at your options.

Financial institutions that allow joint-account holders

This table shows the banks that accept joint credit card applications in Australia – plus any specific conditions for the application process.

Banks that allow joint-account holdersConditions
Hume BankYou can apply for a joint credit card account through the Hume Bank website. The secure application form includes a question about whether you're applying on your own or with someone and you'll then need to provide their details as well.
Community FirstThe online credit card application includes a section for joint applicants.
People's Choice You can choose between an individual and joint application when you apply through the People's Choice Credit Union website.
Heritage BankYou may be able to apply in a branch or by calling 13 14 22. Both of the joint applicants would need to be present at the time of the application.
Bank Australia As Bank Australia is not currently accepting credit card applications from new customers, log in to your account or call 132288 to discuss your options.
The downloadable credit card application form on the Australian Military Bank website includes a section for a second applicant.

How do joint credit card accounts work?

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

When you apply for a joint credit card, the bank or issuer will consider the personal and financial details of both you and your partner. When you apply, the details will be listed on both your credit reports and can impact your individual credit scores.

Pros and cons of a joint credit card account

Pros

  • Increased chance of approval. If you have a lower credit score than your partner, a joint credit card application can improve your chances of getting approved. This is because the credit card provider will assess both applicants jointly and a strong credit score could 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.
  • 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 shared bills and also saves on costs such as interest and annual fees.

Cons

  • Limited options. Only a few credit cards offer joint accounts, which means you have fewer options to choose from and compare.
  • Overspending risks. 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 that you can avoid fees and other issues that can come from maxing out a card.
  • Shared debt. Getting a joint account credit card means you are both responsible for it. So even if only one of you uses the card, you could both face legal repercussions and bad credit scores if there are issues with the account.

Finder survey: How many credit cards do Australians of different ages have?

ResponseGen ZGen YGen XBaby Boomers
144.94%50.27%54.93%50%
040.45%22.83%25.33%25.85%
212.36%21.74%16.45%17.61%
32.25%4.08%2.96%5.11%
40.82%0.85%
50.27%0.33%0.57%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1113 Australians, December 2023

What is the difference between joint-primary cardholder accounts and secondary cardholders?

It's important to understand both of these terms when you plan on sharing a credit card account with your partner or someone else, as it can have an impact on the balance transfer options as well as your legal rights.

Joint-primary cardholder accountsPrimary cardholder accounts with secondary cardholders
Two people have applied for a credit card under the cardholder's name and both have complete access to the account.One person has applied for a credit card in their name but wants to share the account with a partner (without joint account status).
Both have the ability to change credit limits, request account freezes or close the account.Primary cardholder can request to add a secondary or additional cardholder but only the primary cardholder has control over credit limit changes, account freezes or account closure.
Both partners have regular sources of income and good credit histories.Only the primary cardholder's income and credit history is assessed.
Both parties remain liable for all transactions and payments made on the card.The primary cardholder is legally responsible for all transactions and payments made on the card, even if a balance has been transferred from an account held by the secondary cardholder.
If the closure of an account is the result of a divorce or a separation, both partners might have to pay half of the debt each, no matter who made which purchase.In the event of a separation or a divorce, know that you, as the primary cardholder, would be liable to make repayments towards the entire account.

How does having a joint account affect my credit score?

When you get a joint credit card or loan account, the details are listed on each person's individual credit file. This information is very similar to what's added when you apply for an individual credit account and includes the following:

  • A credit enquiry for each application you make
  • The type of account you're approved for (a credit card in this case)
  • The total credit limit for that account
  • The repayment history for the account

The main difference between individual and joint accounts is that the other person will be listed as a joint applicant when these details are added to your credit file. Their credit file will also show you as a joint applicant and joint cardholder.

Joint account holders also share legal responsibility for the account. This means the way that it's managed can have an impact on both of your credit scores over time.

For example, if repayments on the account are made on time each month, it could have a positive impact on your credit scores. But if neither of you make a minimum payment by the due date, it could hurt both of your credit scores.

Credit limits

As with any credit card, the credit limit is determined based on the issuer's lending criteria and assessment. The limit you're offered on a joint account could be different to the limit offered to you for an individual account as there are 2 people's details to consider.

But keep in mind that the total credit limit for the joint account would be listed on both of your credit files. Depending on the other credit accounts you have, this could impact both of your credit scores. It could also affect your chance of approval for other loans or products, even if you apply as an individual.

Tip: As the impact of a joint account can affect you and your partner differently, it's a good idea to talk through your goals before you apply.

Other ways to share a credit card account

Most credit card issuers give you the option of requesting a supplementary or additional card for someone. In this case, you become the "primary cardholder" and your partner becomes the "secondary cardholder".

This means you are the only person responsible for managing the account and paying it off. The supplementary cardholder, on the other hand, is just an “authorised user” and has no liability for any debt owing on the credit card.

Compare credit cards that offer free additional cardholders

1 - 10 of 163
Name Product Balance transfer rate p.a. Purchase rate p.a. Bonus points Annual fee Amount Saved
Kogan Money Card – Exclusive Offer
0% for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee, then 21.74%
20.99%
N/A
$0
No savings
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months with a 1% balance transfer fee. Plus an ongoing $0 annual fee.
Citi Clear Card - Exclusive Offer
0% for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee, then 22.24%
14.99%
N/A
$49 first year ($99 after)
No savings
Offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 24 months (with 1.5% balance transfer fee) and a $49 first-year annual fee.
Westpac Low Rate Card
0% for 28 months with 2% balance transfer fee, then 21.49%
13.74%
N/A
$59
No savings
Save with a 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for 28 months (with a 2% BT fee). Plus, a low 13.74% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Citi Premier Card - Cashback Offer
0% for 6 months, then 22.24%
21.49%
N/A
$300
No savings
Receive $600 cashback when you spend $2,000 through Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay in the first 3 months.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
23.99%
60,000
$450
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, a yearly $450 Travel Credit.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Cashback Offer
13.74%
N/A
$59
A no-frills card offering up to $350 cashback: $50 each month you make at least $1,000 of eligible purchases for the first 7 months.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard - Bonus Points Offer
0% for 6 months, then 19.99%
20,000
$0
Get 20,000 bonus Flybuys points (worth $100 Flybuys Dollars) and 0% interest on purchases for the first 6 months.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
23.99%
20,000
$249
Get 20,000 bonus Qantas Points and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year, plus complimentary travel insurance.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
23.99%
100,000
$375
Get 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus a return domestic flight each year.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
0%
170,000
$450
(ABN holders w/ $75k revenue). Earn 170,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $6,000 in the first 3 months.
loading

Frequently asked questions

Back to top

More guides on Finder

  • Finder Credit Card Report 2024

    Finder's Credit Card Report investigates the emerging consumer behaviours and industry trends in Australia's credit card market.

  • Credit cards for pensioners

    Learn how to apply for a credit card when you're retired or on a pension and compare cards to find one that suits your needs.

  • Credit Card Surcharges

    Compare the surcharges that you can expect when you pay with a credit card and pick up tips to avoid these extra fees.

  • You deserve the best credit card

    While there isn't one best credit card, you can find a card that suits your needs by comparing the features, deals and offers that are trending here.

  • Horizon Bank Visa Credit Card

    This low-cost card offers the same interest rate for all transactions and a $0 annual fee for life.

  • How long does it take to get a credit card?

    From submitting the application and getting approval to receiving the card in the mail, here's how long it takes to get a new credit card.

  • Easy credit cards to get approval for

    When you apply for a credit card online, you could receive a response within 60 seconds. Find out how you to find a card that you're eligible for and increase your chances of approval.

  • Custom credit card options in Australia

    As well as credit card companies that let you choose your design, there are stickers and covers that you can get to customise your card.

  • Credit card vs debit card

    While a credit card is linked with a line of credit, a debit card is connected to your own money. Compare the differences between the card types in this guide.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

    Find out how you can keep your overseas spending costs down by comparing credit cards with no foreign transaction fees and no currency conversion fees.

Go to site