Joint credit cards might seem like a useful option for couples and families. But in the UK, there's no credit card version of a joint bank account. An additional cardholder could be the answer.
Sharing a credit card account is a handy way of sharing a household's finances.
The additional cardholder can use the card as normal, but the main cardholder has complete control over the account. The additional cardholder may have access to the secure parts of the account, and the main cardholder can cancel the additional card at any time.
There are other sorts of situations where an additional credit card could be useful.
Parents might want to give their 18+ children access to some credit, even if it's just for emergency use. It gives peace of mind when they leave for university to know they'll be able to do a shop.
It's important to remember that adding extra cardholders is not like having a joint bank account. With the credit card, there’s one main cardholder and all additional cardholders are using that person’s credit.
Although you may or may not want additional cardholders to pay back what they spend, all liability is yours. If they go on a spending spree and can't pay it back, it's your money and your credit score at risk. So it's sensible to only give a card to people you trust and lay down a few ground rules too.
Additional cardholder applications will go through a basic credit check to make sure there's nothing that would invalidate the application, and this can result in a rejection in some cases.