Merge or seperate credit cards after marriage?

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Merge or seperate credit cards after marriage?

Postby Grip » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:48 pm

Hey all,

Long time reader, first time poster.

So the lady and I are finally (FINALLY!) going to be married in a few months, which got me thinking...what are the best card setups for married life?

I know I could add her onto mine and try to pool our resources (we have similar spending patterns, wouldn't be a problem), but what's the drawback? Assuming we still pay it off every month as normal, will this affect her credit? (After all, we'll want to buy a house in a couple years, so that credit score really matters now!) How best to maximize our rewards?

(I should note we both have a decent income, have pretty good credit, and tend to pay everything off every month/not hold balances. I'm also interested in hearing about pie-in-the-sky setups to shoot for, even if we possibly can't get the required cards right away or something.)

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Postby Grip » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:06 pm

No takers? So this forum is a bunch of swingin' bachelors (and bachelorettes), eh?

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Postby LadyinRed » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:56 pm

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

I got married a year ago and we actually got a card together when we got engaged. He had "fair credit" and I had "excellent" credit. I applied for a card with me as the primary and made him an authorized user. His utilization went down and the fact that I'm anal about not missing payments helped him a lot (missing payments was his biggest thing). Two years later he now has "good credit." Though I only suggest this if you REALLY trust the other person won't ruin your credit.

However, if you and your girl have a similar credit score then it probably won't effect it much at all. But for the sake of being married it's a lot easier. Having separate credit cards would be sort of a pain to pay and also could add a bunch of stress with charges you or your wife might not know about, who pays for the groceries this time... etc. When you get married "my money" becomes "our money" and it's just a lot less stressful to combine bank accounts, credit cards, etc. It also helps you manage your money as "My husband probably wouldn't want me to buy this" stops me from buying a lot of crap I don't need.
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Postby Snowman » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:07 pm

If I were you, I would say separate. My parents have kept things separately and it works. My mom pays for groceries, utilities, if we go out and eat, school related stuff etc. My dad pays the car payments and mortgages and such as well as clothes etc. We have a system and it works.
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:50 pm

I'm completely on board for separate credit cards. I would do joint accounts for boring places like home depot or something. I want my future wife to buy any purses or shoes or trips she wants without me having to worry about it.
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Postby websteth » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:53 pm

I know my parents both have separate accounts for the most part but, they do have a couple of shared ones like Macy's. Same goes for checking and savings too. It's not that they don't trust the other it just keeps things even. The joint account for savings/checking paid all of the family bills.
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Postby murakami » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:46 am

My wife and I have a set up where most of our paychecks go into joint our checking/savings accounts and I have a number of cards that she is an AU on that we use on any combined expenses. On top of that, we both have our own checking accounts that get a little bit of scratch each month for personal spending.

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