Build Your Own Credit
Married or not it is important to build a diversified credit history that stands on its own. This means that you should have your own cards where you are the primary account holder. Make sure you choose a few cards that meet your needs. If you are the non-working spouse don’t worry you can still apply. The law states you can list any “Income you have a reasonable expectation of access too” on your card application. What does that mean in plain English? If your spouse’s paycheck goes into your joint checking account, you can include it on the application.
Once you decide to build your credit, choose the cards that best fit your needs. The best card could have the lowest rate, cash back, or reward points and miles.
Maximize Reward Points
A married couple that pools their points can find great benefits. Imagine each receiving 50,000 sign on miles for American Airlines. You can book a lot of trips with 100,000 miles. Other options might be for one person to get a Chase Hyatt Card and the other get the American Express Hilton card. The multiple hotel cards will get you status at two different hotel brands covering most if not all the places you would stay when traveling.
The benefits of using an authorized user cannot be understated. There are many cards that pay you a bonus for adding an authorized user. In addition, if both of you are spending on one account it may be easier to hit hurdles that earn you status. Delta airlines allows you to earn Medallion spending by making purchases on your American Express Delta cards.
Being an authorized user on an elite rewards cards allows the authorized user to receive the benefits without having to pay the annual fee which can be up to $550. If you have the Citi Prestige the authorized user can get lounge access and access to the fourth night free program. If you have the American Express Platinum the authorized user can receive Centurion lounge access, SPG and Hilton Gold status, and access to the Boingo wifi network at no charge.
The Bottom Line
There are great benefits available to all couples when using credit. Just remember to build your own credit and make sure you maximize the points, rewards, and benefits available to both of you.