Credit card strategies for couples:

 Credit card strategies for couples:

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When you start sharing finances with someone else, your approach to credit cards may need to be adjusted. Here are five strategies to help you and your partner take advantage of the added value of a credit card while avoiding some common mistakes.

Unite, don't unite

Among the couples I know who have pooled their financial lives, most of them appoint one person to be in charge of money management. This person performs day-to-day monetary tasks such as budgeting and paying bills, and is the primary user of credit cards and bank accounts. This can be as practical as a division of labor, but transferring your credit cards through one primary cardholder makes it impossible for you to have a second.

If you prefer to assign one person to be in charge of your overall finances, having more than one card applicant shouldn't be a hindrance. You can pay bills and solve many basic questions or problems, even if the account is not in your name, or get the status of an authorized user for more access.

Coordinate, do not duplicate

It might seem natural to get the same credit cards as your partner, believing that a card that's right for one of you should be good for both of you, but your approaches to earning rewards don't have to be the same. Instead, try to create a portfolio of cards between you with rewards and benefits that complement each other.

My advice to couples in general is to focus on earning rewards in the two main reward programs - for example, one of you might earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points and the other one Amex Membership Rewards points. Then target airline and hotel programs as needed based on your travel plans and upcoming plans.

Distribute rewards fairly, not equally

If you are going to earn credit card bonuses and perks together, you should agree on how you will spend them. One simple solution is to use all your points and miles together, whether you are investing cashback rewards for shared expenses or redeeming airline miles and hotel points for a vacation together. Equal cleavage is simple and creates a sense of cooperation, but not always practical or fair.

Pool rewards, but don't pay for the privilege

Many loyalty programs allow you to transfer rewards to other members, which can help you reach your redemption threshold faster. A growing number of programs offer these transfers for free, but many still charge fees (especially airline programs), and those that do not may impose other restrictions, such as limiting transfers for people who share an address, or limiting the amount. which you can translate annually.