Looking for the best credit cards for couples?
It’s the beginning of a new year and you might be wondering if you should get a new credit card. There are a lot of things to consider when getting a new card – how will it affect my credit? Which one should I get? How do I make the most of points and miles? Can I get one with my partner?
In this guide, I will answer all these questions and more, and let you know my top picks for the best joint credit card by category in 2022.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- Our favorite picks for 2022 by annual fee;
- Best strategies for couples;
- FAQs relating to couples and credit cards;
- Winners by category at the end of the day…
Our favorite Credit Cards for Couples for 2022 by annual fee
$0 annual fee
If you’re looking to add a card that won’t break the bank, these $0 annual fee cards might be the best option for you.
Rather than a set rate for cash back on all purchases, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a tiered approach, with 3% back on your choice of: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement; 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs; and 1% cashback on all other purchases.
This would be a great card to use primarily for things like dining and groceries to maximize your cash back.
Currently, there is a $200 sign up bonus after spending $1000 in the first 90 after account opening.
SavorOne rewards offers 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and at grocery stores, plus 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can also get a $200 cash bonus after spending only $500 on your card in the first 3 months from account opening.
SavorOne offers no foreign transaction fees making this a great option for those who want a no cost credit card to use while traveling internationally. You can also get a whopping 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats when using your card.
The newest card from Chase, the Freedom Flex is a great card to have in your wallet. You get 5% cash back on up to $1500 in bonus categories each quarter, as well as 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining, 3% on drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
Plus, you can get $200 statement credit after $500 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening, as well as an increased 5% cash back on grocery store purchases in your first year.
With unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase and a welcome bonus of $200 after $1000 spent in the first 3 months after card opening, the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is a great option. WalletHub voted this card the Best Cash Back Credit Card of 2021.
You can redeem rewards for purchases, to your account to lower your balance, at an ATM, or for gift cards at $25 increments. This card also provides up to $600 of protection against damage or theft of your cell phone if you use the card to pay your monthly cell phone bill.
If you’re working on building up your credit, this card by Wells Fargo could be the one for you. The current welcome offer is 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 18 months with a possible 3 month extension for on-time minimum payments.
This would be a great option if you’re struggling to pay down credit card debit because you can transfer your balance and not worry about adding on interest for up to 21 months. As with the Active Cash card, you get the same cell phone protection – a signature of Wells Fargo.
$95 annual fee
For a low annual fee of just $95, these cards provide increased benefits at a low cost.
Starting off strong, The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express gives you a whopping 6% cash back at supermarkets and U.S. streaming services and 3% cash back on U.S. gas stations and transit.
That means if you spend $1,000 in a month at the supermarket, you will get $60 cash back. In addition, this card is waiving the first annual fee, meaning you won’t have to pay the $95 until your first card renewal. You can also get $350 back after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months after account opening.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is consistently rated one of the best travel rewards credit cards on the market. You get 5x points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining, grocery, and streaming, 2x points on travel, and 1x points on everything else.
Currently, Chase is offering a sign up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months after account opening, but we recommend waiting. We’ve seen sign up bonuses as high as 100,000 points in the past year, which gives you an additional $500 towards travel.
The Citi Premier Card, a long time competitor of the Chase Sapphire Preferred, is another excellent addition to your wallet. Earning is pretty similar, with 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, and travel, and 1x points on all other purchases.
You also get $100 off a $500 or more hotel stay every year. The current sign up bonus is the exact same as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, making the decision between these cards even more difficult.
$250 annual fee
At just $250 annually, the Gold Card by American Express comes with substantial benefits. You earn 4x points on dining and grocery, 3x points on flights, and 1x points on all other purchases. Also, you get $10 Uber Cash every month ($120 annually), $10 monthly statement credits on dining ($120 annually), and no foreign transaction fees.
The statement credits, if used, come to $240 annually, which is just shy of the annual fee and does not factor in all the other benefits of using this card. The intro offer is an amazing 75,000 points after $4,000 spent within the first 6 months of card membership. The card comes in standard gold, or a beautiful rose gold.
$550 annual fee
As a diehard Delta fan, I am partial to the SkyMiles Reserve by American Express. This card, although a hefty annual fee, comes with some of the best travel benefits in the industry.
Earning is straightforward, with 3x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on everything else. You receive a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year. You get complimentary access to the Delta SkyClub, as well as 2 complimentary guest passes each year. Other benefits include complimentary upgrades, first checked bag free, and a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.
f you sign up now, you get 125,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM’s) after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
$695 annual fee
The Platinum Card from American Express has the highest annual fee of $695, but it certainly comes with premium benefits.
Benefits include, but not limited to:
- A yearly $200 statement credit after using your card to purchase a hotel through American Express Travel
- Up to $20 back each month when you purchase subscriptions at Peacock, the New York Times, Audible, or SiriusXM
- A $155 Walmart+ credit, which completely covers the cost of membership
- $15 in Uber Cash each month, along with a bonus $20 in December
- $200 airline fee credit to cover costs such as checked bags and inflight refreshments on your chosen airline
- $25 statement credit monthly to pay for Equinox membership fees
- $179 statement credit to cover the cost of CLEAR to move through security faster
- Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection
- $100 statement credit to cover Global Entry, which includes TSA Precheck
- 5x points on flights booked directly through the airline or American Express Travel
- 5x points on prepaid hotels booked on AmexTravel.com
- 1x on all other purchases
If you’re counting, the benefits of more than $1400 in annual statement credits far outweigh the $695 annual membership, as long as you’re able to take advantage of them. You can also earn 100,000 membership points after you spend $6,000 on purchases within your first 6 months after account opening.
Best overall credit card for couples and, newlyweds and married couples
American Express Gold Card
We picked the American Express Gold Card as the best card for couples because it comes in at a modest $250 annual fee, but provides value where couples would use it most. 4x points on dining, grocery, as well as monthly credits on dining and grocery push this card over the top.
Best credit card for cash back
TIE: Chase Freedom Flex and Blue Cash Preferred by American Express
When it comes to cash back, the market is saturated with options. However, we think these two cards stand out as terrific options. The Chase Freedom Flex has no annual fee and allows you to choose your 5% cash back each quarter on a category you’ll get the most use out of, which is very unique.
On the other side, the Blue Cash Preferred by American Express gives you 6% cash back on supermarkets and streaming and 3% on gas stations and transit, but comes in at $95 a year. When people are wanting a cash back card, they typically prefer something that won’t cost them anything.
Best credit card for miles
Delta SkyMiles Reserve by American Express
This category is very subjective, and it’s important to think about which airline you are most likely to fly. If you’re in an area that Delta heavily serves, this card cannot be beat.
We love the Domestic First Class companion ticket, as well as the 125,000 bonus miles when signing up. Delta is consistently rated the best U.S. airline, and we think this card is the best for miles.
Best credit card for points
Chase Sapphire Preferred
We think it would be a crime to not include the famous Chase Sapphire Preferred in our winners category. Chase has some of the highest valued points in the travel industry, and the Preferred packs a lot into a card with a $95 annual fee.
This card is a great intro card for those who do not want to break the bank but want to get their feet wet in the world of travel and points.
Best credit card for fees
The Platinum Card from American Express
It might seem a little bit ironic that the best card for fees happens to be the card with the highest annual fee on our list, but we think the massive amount of annual statement credits cancel out that fee.
If you are someone who frequently travels, uses subscription services, transits through Uber, and wants to travel more easily through programs like CLEAR, Global Entry, and access to a variety of lounges, then this card earns its annual fee back in a flash.
Best credit card for bad credit
Wells Fargo Reflect Card
This is the only card on our list that primarily focuses on 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers, making it the best option for those with bad credit.
This card is great for those of you that are struggling to pay off credit card debt and keep racking up interest on your balances. For up to 21 months, you can pay off your debt and gain no interest with this card.
Best strategies for couples and Frequently Asked Questions
What happens to my credit card when I get married?
Nothing happens to your credit card or even your credit score when you get married. Credit reports, history, and cards all remain separate after marriage unless you apply for a loan or open up a joint account together.
Can married couples get credit cards together?
Yes, married couples are able to get credit cards together.
The main difference between a joint credit card account and adding an authorized user is that both parties on a joint account are responsible for the balance, whereas only the primary card holder is responsible if they add an authorized user.
Can a spouse use my credit card when I’m not there?
Yes, a spouse can use your credit card when you are not there IF you have given explicit permission for them to do so. If you have not given them permission, then it is fraud and is illegal.
However, the best course of action would be to add them as an authorized user to your account, so that way they have their own credit card with their name on it to avoid any confusion or questions when trying to make a purchase.
Pros and Cons of adding an authorized user
An authorized user is someone on your account that is authorized to use your card. When you add an authorized user, they typically get their own credit card with their name on it, but it is linked to your account.
The main benefit in adding an authorized user is that you have someone else to help you collect points or miles through spending. However, this can also be a downfall – the user has full autonomy over purchases, so you have to make sure you trust the person you are adding and be clear about the limits to their spending.
Will adding an authorized user hurt my credit score?
The act of adding an authorized user will not affect your credit at all and will not show up on your credit report. However, you are now responsible for any and all purchases the user makes, so it could impact your credit if you are unable to pay the balance on your account.
Can you improve your credit as an authorized user?
If you are an authorized user on an account that is kept in good standing, this is a great way to improve your credit score or start out your credit journey as a young adult.
While this shouldn’t be the only tool you’re using to build credit, becoming an authorized user can help you learn about credit and manage your finances prior to getting a card in your own name.
Pros and cons of a joint account
A joint account is a great way for someone that doesn’t have great credit to get a credit card and work on improving their credit. For example, if someone with good credit opens a joint account with someone with bad credit, it will help the person with bad credit increase their score by being linked to someone that is financially responsible.
On the flip side of that coin, if you ever need to separate your finances from your partner, this can be tricky. Lenders might not want to remove one person from the account, so you would have to close the account altogether.
Pros and cons of having separate cards
Of course, the main benefit here is that you can be in control of your own credit. You don’t have to worry about anyone else recklessly spending money or forgetting to pay the balance.
The main drawback is if you don’t have good credit and have a difficult time getting approved for your own card. Credit is a tricky game that must be played carefully.
How many credit cards is too many?
This is a difficult question to answer, as it really depends on personal preference and an understanding of how your credit score works.
The most important thing is understanding your spending habits and paying your cards on time. There isn’t a hard and fast rule on too many versus too little cards. You also need to make sure you space out card inquiries, as submitting too many applications back to back can flag your credit.
At the end of the day…for the best couples credit cards
Building credit can be confusing enough for one person, but even more so for a couple. There are a lot of factors to consider, like spending habits, budget for an annual fee, and how you’d like to use your rewards. It’s all about what you feel comfortable with, so talk with your partner and see what makes the most sense for your household. Here’s to more points and miles in 2022!
Do you have a favorite credit card or other questions about credit? We’d love to hear them.