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Institutions that allow joint account credit cards

Information verified correct on December 9th, 2016

Are you looking to open a joint credit card account with your partner? Discover which banks offer joint accounts and how you can get one.

A joint account credit card is a credit card held under the name of two people with equal status. Both cardholders have equal access to all the functions and benefits of the credit card account, and both are jointly liable for all debt on the account. The issuer considers the income and credit ratings of both parties during the application process.

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.

Comparison between institutions that allow joint-account holders and those that don't

Banks that allow joint-account holdersBanks that don't allow joint-account holders
tenants1tenants1
banksa-transparent-logoamex-sml-logo
community-first-sml-logoNAB
bank-of-melbourne-sml-logoanz-sml-logo
Peoples Choice Credit Union virgin-money-sml-logo
heritage-bank-logo2macquarie-bank-sml-logo
Bank Australia Westpac
lombard-sml-logocommonwealth-bank-sml-logo
Hume Banklatitude-financial-logo
bendigo-logohsbc-sml-logo
 
IMB
bankwest-sml-logo
Jetstar
suncorp-bank-sml-logo
Woolworths Everyday Money
me-bank-sml-logo
CUA

What are the strengths and weaknesses of a joint credit card account?

Pros

  • Improves chances of application success. Where one of the account holders has a poorer credit score and credit history, a joint account credit card application improves your chances of obtaining credit on more favourable terms. This is because the credit card provider will assess both applicants jointly, and a strong credit score can balance out the weaker one.
  • Increases your credit limit. Similarly, because both applicants are jointly considered, the combined income of two usually results in a higher credit limit than you’d otherwise get as individual credit cardholders.
  • Can improve your credit score. When approved, the joint account can help repair the credit score if one person had a weaker credit rating. This is an effective way of getting you out of a bad credit score rut, where the bad score could lead to credit application rejection, which leads to a worse score and even more rejection. Learn more for ways on how to improve your credit rating.
  • Reduces bills. Having a joint credit card account means you get one bill each month instead of two or more. This is administratively efficient, and also saves on costs such as annual fees.
  • Simplifies finance management. Sharing a joint account means you only have to manage one set of finances instead of two. This can be very helpful with budgeting, expenditure control and planning.

Cons

  • Application risks. If one of the account holders has a terrible credit score and credit history, the joint account credit card application may be hindered. This is because the credit card provider will assess both applicants jointly and the bad credit score can outweigh the 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 about good and bad credit ratings.
  • Overspending. With two people spending on one card simultaneously, the possibility of going over your credit limit is doubled. If you’re not careful to track your transactions and current balance, you could easily max out your card and attract unwanted fees for doing so.
  • Shared debt. By sharing your liability on the joint account credit card, you run the risk of taking on debt that is not your own. If one party is not able to manage spending and repayments responsibly, both cardholders will suffer the consequences for it – including possible legal repercussions and a bad credit rating.

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’ll need to compare your options to determine which card is right for you and your partner.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between a joint account credit card and a supplementary credit card?

Both account holders in a joint credit card account are legally liable for amounts owing on the account. A supplementary cardholder on the other hand is merely an “authorised user” and has zero liability for any debt owing on the credit card. In this instance, only the primary cardholder is responsible for amounts owed, and only the primary cardholder can make decisions on the account.

Who earns and enjoys the membership rewards on a joint account credit card?

Unlike a supplementary card – where the supplementary cardholder earns rewards which are accrued to the primary cardholder – both account holders in a joint credit card account have access to any rewards available on the joint account.

Must you be married to apply for a joint account credit card?

No. You can apply for a joint account credit card with literally anyone who satisfies the bank’s requirements. Just make sure they are trustworthy for your own sake.

Do you need the consent of both account holders when closing off a joint account credit card?

In general, yes. Both account holders need to consent to closing a joint account. An exception to this is when one account holder passes on. You should contact your card issuer to discuss your particular circumstances and specific account details.

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Jacob Joseph

Jacob is a writer and video journalist with finder.com.au. Credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts are his bread and butter, and he likes nothing more helping people understand the sometimes overly complex world of personal finance.

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8 Responses to Institutions that allow joint account credit cards

  1. Default Gravatar
    Peter | November 8, 2016

    What happens if one holder dies , does the credit card continue in the other holders name?

    • Staff
      May | November 8, 2016

      Hi Peter,

      Thank you for your question.

      Is that for a joint account you’re asking? If so, once the other account holder dies, the other member will become liable to pay the outstanding balance since both of the account holders have equal access to all the functions and benefits of the credit card account.

      In the case of an individual account, the liability will be paid out of the deceased’s estate. In case there are not enough funds to pay out the debt, then the bank will offer a payment plan to the deceased’s spouse or will write the debt off. You may like to read this article for more information.

      Cheers,
      May

  2. Default Gravatar
    Curious | October 2, 2015

    Hi

    What rules apply regarding cancelling a joint credit card in Australia? Can one of the two joint card holders cancel the credit card or do you need the other person’s consent to cancel the joint card?

    Thanks

    • Staff
      Sally | October 2, 2015

      Hello,

      Thanks for your question.

      The conditions of account closure will depend on the card you have and the bank you’re with.

      Generally though, you can’t close a joint account without the permission of both account holders.

      You may wish to get in touch with your credit card issuer to discuss your options in further detail.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Sally

  3. Default Gravatar
    Carolyn | January 9, 2015

    Could you confirm that this list is up to date in terms of which institutions have a joint credit card facility? Thanks

    • Staff
      Jonathan | January 14, 2015

      Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks for your question!

      We can confirm that the current list is up to date. While we do our best to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information, there are ongoing updates to our pages to ensure this accuracy is maintained.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    sandeep | October 22, 2014

    Hi,i gt anz credit card with my wife as additional card holder she gt credit card from st george bank can she do balance transfer of anz card,thx

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | October 23, 2014

      Hi Sandeep,

      Thanks for your question.

      Your wife will be able to apply for a balance transfer credit card with St George and bring over the balance from the ANZ card. When she applies for the St George card she will only be asked for the credit card number, so whoever’s name the account is in will not matter.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

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