Discover which banks offer joint credit cards so you can share an account with your partner.
There is a selection of credit card issuers in Australia 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 will both be 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.
Comparison of credit cards that allow joint applications
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 share financial responsibility for the account.
When you apply for a joint credit card, the issuer will consider the personal and financial details of both you and your partner. If your joint application is approved, the details of the account are listed 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?
- 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 getting approved. This is because the credit card provider will assess 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 credit score) by making payments on time and avoiding carrying 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 bills and also saves on costs such as interest and annual fees.
- 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 will assess both applicants jointly and a bad credit score can 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 change 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. 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 spending and repayments responsibly, both cardholders will suffer the consequences for it – including possible legal repercussions and a bad credit rating.
Comparison between institutions that allow joint-account holders and those that don't
|Banks that allow joint-account holders||Banks that don't allow joint-account holders|
What other options are there for sharing 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 a the "secondary cardholder".
This means you are 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 any 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’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.