Best Joint Credit Cards

A closer look at what joint credit cards actually are.

Updated: March 29, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

 
CompareBanks is reader-supported. When you click through some links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Whether it's for your significant other or a business partner, there are plenty of reasons why you'd want to share the same credit card account as someone else.

Aside from the more obvious reasons you'd want additional cardholders, like combining your purchasing power and generally keeping track of spending, have you ever considered how a joint credit card can help you build credit?

Furthermore, have you ever wondered what credit cards are the best option for sharing with someone?

Well, throughout this article, we'll be taking a closer look at what joint credit cards actually are and how they work in the UK — not to mention the various pros and cons that come with having a joint credit card account. Let's get started!

ServiceScoreRegister
1. HSBC★★★★★Click Here
2. Barclays★★★★★Click Here
3. American Express★★★★★Click Here

What is a Joint Credit Card?

In essence, a joint credit card is simply a credit card account that multiple individuals share.

It's worth noting here that within the UK, joint credit cards aren't typically a thing per se — what you have is an ordinary bank account that simply has an additional cardholder that bears half of the responsibility of owning a credit card.

Still, this is technically an “unofficial” responsibility on behalf of the other cardholders, as it is the main cardholder who is actually liable for any of the charges that are made on the card you sign up for. So, while you most likely trust the other joint account holder, it's ultimately you that would be accountable for things such as monthly payments as far as the law is concerned.

How Do Joint Credit Cards Work?

No Extra Responsibility or Liability

As mentioned, the joint credit card holder doesn't have the same ownership of one of these cards that you have, meaning you are still responsible for whatever charges or debt are incurred on the card.

Consolidated Rewards

Because you're both spending money at the same time with one of these accounts, it also means you're able to accumulate rewards at a faster rate, too.

Consolidated Statements

In addition, all the transactions made by each cardholder will appear on the same bank statement at the end of the month, making it far easier to collectively manage your finances.

Pros and Cons of a Joint Credit Card Account

Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of sharing a credit card rather than both you and your partner having your own credit card.

Pros

1. Convenience and Accessibility ✔️

Generally speaking, there's an added layer of convenience with these accounts since multiple people have access to the credit line.

If you're living in the same house, for instance, this helps a lot with shared expenses, such as household bills or family purchases, since you no longer need to make constant transfers or coordinate all your payments — you can do it in one location.

2. Access to Higher Credit Rating ✔️

If you or your partner has a lower credit score than the other and then becomes an additional cardholder, they're now able to benefit from the primary account holder's already established credit history, which means they receive a higher credit limit than what they would be eligible for on their own.

Remember, this isn't a credit builder card, though, as the additional cardholder's credit isn't affected by the primary cardholder.

3. Emergency Situations ✔️

These cards are also good for any unexpected expenses or even financial hardship that the other cardholder faces since the shared credit provides them with immediate assistance without having to apply for another credit card or loan, basically acting like a safety net.

4. Streamlined Budgeting ✔️

Above all, they're also great for budgeting with your partner. Since you share a credit line, you're able to coordinate your expenses and ultimately set collective financial goals far more efficiently.

This can be massively useful when it comes to financial planning and increases transparency within the group in general.

Cons

1. Limited Control ❌️

Unfortunately, additional cardholders often have limited control over certain aspects of the account since it's the primary/authorised cardholder that generally retains the authority to make any changes to the card (such as the credit limit, the ability to add or remove cardholders, or even modify spending restrictions).

Naturally, this can result in a slight power imbalance within the account which could end up being problematic in the future.

2. Financial Disputes and Trust Issues ❌️

You're typically going to need a high level of trust and open communication whenever you add additional cardholders to your credit card account, so it's not advised you enter this dynamic without serious consideration.

Disagreements about things like spending habits and financial decisions can easily lead to unnecessary conflicts and strain your relationship.

3. Individual Credit Impact ❌️

Furthermore, don't forget that it's the primary account holder's credit history that's being affected by any of the actions made by the additional cardholders. This means all the debt and personal loans taken out by one of the cardholders ultimately apply to you if they fail to make their monthly repayments.

4. Difficulty in Separation ❌️

Like ending a relationship, closing a joint credit card account can be pretty complicated — especially if there's an outstanding balance on the account. If you're looking to separate financial responsibility from each other, make sure you're always closing the joint account and settling any unresolved financial disputes before doing so.

Best Joint Credit Card — Reviews

As mentioned earlier, there isn't a specific product in the UK labelled as a “joint credit card”; there are just credit card issuers that also offer shared credit card accounts.

Let's dissect a few reputable options at your disposal here.

1. HSBC

First off, we have HSBC, which offers various different credit cards that can essentially be used as joint accounts. Aside from some of the perks offered with this card, like rewards programs and travel benefits, HSBC also offers quite competitive interest rates.

In the interest of responsible usage, they also provide some tools for managing your joint expenses and allowing you to monitor spending habits.

Still, before applying for a credit card with HSBC and adding another cardholder, always check the specific terms and conditions of each card so you can find one that properly aligns with both of your financial goals.

2. Barclays

Barclays is another well-known institution that provides an option to add additional cardholders to your credit card.

Similarly to HSBC, all their joint credit card accounts can be managed online, which makes it far easier to set spending limits and generally track your expenses. Make sure you take advantage of their introductory offers, too, so you can start the account with an existing card balance.

3. American Express

Lastly, we have American Express, which also allows joint account holders to share credit cards. Now, in comparison to the other credit card options on this list, one of the more notable differences is how impressive American Express's Membership Rewards program is.

Of course, AMEX also provides their customers with the same account management features as the latter options, but the loyalty program is really what makes this option stand out the most.

As mentioned earlier, one of the leading benefits of a joint credit card is the ability to earn rewards faster due to the additional spending.

American Express, in particular, allows their cardholders to earn points which can then be redeemed for some impressive rewards — think of things such as travel bookings, gift cards, or even statement credits.

How to Choose Joint Bank Accounts

Account Features

Ultimately, you'll always want an account that offers basic features like online banking and joint expense tracking tools. If you're going to be sharing an account with someone, the least you should settle for is simple financial management tools that give you the ability to monitor and control your shared expenses.

Fees and Charges

Try to consider all the fees involved before signing up, things such as maintenance fees, ATM fees, and overdraft charges, too. The latter charge is especially important for the primary cardholder in case any of your additional cardholders exceed their balance.

Account Ownership and Control

Decide who's ultimately having control of the joint bank account before signing up. You may have an understanding with your other cardholders, but it's the primary cardholder who bears the burden of responsibility.

Final Thoughts

To wrap things up, the benefits are undoubtedly there when you opt for one of these accounts.

Still, it's important not to get caught up in things such as travel perks and other reward schemes without first considering the impact on your personal finances and credit score if any problems arise.

Only you (the primary cardholder) will suffer if, for instance, you and your partner split up and there's an unresolved debt or financial obligation that still lingers.

So, ultimately, always be very hesitant with who you grant permission for your card so you can avoid any problems further down the line.

Related Guides:

Related Articles

Business Credit Card Statistics: Trends & Facts in 2024
Your business credit card provides an easy way to handle expenses for your company....
Best Instant Approval Credit Cards for Businesses
As a small business owner, you may need to make frequent purchases or handle unexpected...
Can You Get a Starling Credit Card?
Generally speaking, the type of credit card that you're using every day, regardless...
Most Exclusive Credit Cards In The World
If you've ever wondered what it's like to experience luxury when you're out shopping,...

Mentioned Banks

About Barclays Bank Barclays is a British multinational investment bank and financial services company. It was founded in 1690 and is headquartered in London. Barclays originated...
Learn More
About HSBC Bank HSBC is a British banking and financial services company. It is the largest bank in Europe and the seventh largest bank in the world. The bank originated in Hong Kong...
Learn More