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Q: I’m about to get married, and my future wife and I have been talking about using the same credit card once we get married. Is this a good idea?
A: That depends on a number of factors. These can include whether or not you participate in the card company’s rewards points program, if each of you are aware of how much the other is spending, and your individual credit histories.
If your card company has a rewards points program; that is, a program whereby you earn a certain number of points for every dollar you spend, of course the more you use the card and the more you charge, the more points you will earn. And, since the rewards redemptions often include such things as free airline tickets or even cash back, you can actually receive a lot of “perks” for these points. So, using the same card can have advantages in this respect.
If, however, at the end of each month when you open the credit card statement, you are amazed at how much your wife has charged, and you are finding it harder to make even the minimum monthly payment, it might be a good idea for you to take charge of the card usage for a while, at least until the balance has been reduced some. During this time, you should of course respect your wife’s feelings, and not make her feel as though she has to beg for money.
If either of you have a credit history that is “less than perfect”, it may be a good idea for you and your wife to have separate cards. In this way, any late or missed payments will only affect the credit of the one who is responsible for them occurring.