When you get married, you’ll share a lot more than ever with your significant other. It’s not unusual to get a joint credit card together. While this is a great way to build an even deeper relationship with your spouse, it’s important to be wise when you share a credit card. Here are five tips that can help.
1- Choose the Right Card for Both Your Needs
It’s important for you and your spouse to choose the right card for your needs together. What are your priorities with a credit card? For example, if both of you fly often, you might want to consider getting a card that lets you earn miles on your airline of choice. Or perhaps a card that gives you cash back on gas or grocery shopping is the better option for you. Be sure to discuss these perks and coordinate on what works best for you before signing up.
2- Decide How Payments Will Be Made
While both you and your spouse will be using the joint credit card, you will have to determine how payments on it will be made. You might want to choose to pay on a 50/50 basis where one of you pays one month while the other pays the next months and so forth. If you prefer, you can both contribute each time a payment is due and set up automatic payments from a joint checking account.
Another option is for each of you to simply pay for the things you buy separately with the card.
3- Set Limits on How the Card is to Be Used
You and your spouse may want to discuss how the credit card will be used. Perhaps you prefer to keep it for bare essentials and not frivolous purchases. Whatever the two of you agree on is fair game. If you decide it’s best to use it for buying things for your children or your home, make sure you stick to that. On the other hand, if it’s decided that you’ll each buy fun things or anything you need or want, that’s fine, too, as long as you agree on it.
4- Set Limits for Your Spending
Although all credit cards have a credit limit for your spending, it’s important to decide how much you and your spouse will spend when using yours. Keep in mind that you will also want to stay within the 30 percent or less credit utilization ratio as it will benefit your credit score. For instance, neither of you should go overboard and spend thousands of dollars in purchases when your credit limit is $1,500.
5- Be Honest if You Make Rogue Purchases
Nobody’s perfect, so it’s only natural that once in a blue moon, you and your spouse might end up spending too much or buying something you really didn’t need with your joint credit card. When this happens, it’s important to be honest. Own up to it by telling each other. An occasional slip-up is acceptable. However, don’t make a habit of it. You can always get back on track with your credit card usage and honesty is the best policy.
These tips can help you and your spouse to share a credit card. When you work together, you’ll build a good credit reputation and score and it can even improve your relationship.