Best First Credit Cards for Couples

Patrick Beckman
November 7th, 2019 | 4 minutes
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You’ve taken the leap and asked your partner to move forward in your financial relationship by getting a credit card together. By combining forces, you can take advantage of the many benefits that come with a joint credit card. And by spending as a team, you’ll get double the points or cash back (and always have a partner to help you cover the bill).

When it comes time to pick the best credit card for your shared lifestyle, know that not all credit cards are created equal. In fact, selecting the best credit card starts with understanding what priorities are most important to you and your partner. For example, if you’re trying to establish credit with a starter credit card or thinking about buying a house soon, you might end up with a different card. Every couple is different so you want to make sure you choose the credit card that’s right for you.

Let’s explore a few credit card options that can help you get to your goals.

For The Couple Who Travels

For couples who are looking to experience all that the world offers, you’ll want to find a card that offers points on travel purchases and rewards that can be used toward hotels and flights. You'll also want a credit card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.

Recommendation: Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has tons of rewards for travel lovers. This card offers protections against travel headaches, such as lost luggage and trip cancellations. Additionally, the Priority Pass Select membership grants you and your partner free access to many airport lounges, which, when used regularly, can be worth hundreds of dollars by itself in food and alcohol. Good to know -- All travel purchases earn a minimum 4.5% back.

An important note: while the Chase Sapphire Reserve does have an annual fee of $450, a $300 annual travel credit offsets much of that expense, effectively making the annual fee $150. This rewards card is perfect for couples looking to rack up major bonuses while creating new memories around the globe.

For The Couple Who Loves to Eat Out

If food and drinks are your love language, the two of your will want to pick a credit card that maximizes rewards when enjoying a night out. With the right credit card, you won’t need to worry about earning the most cash back or points on dining purchases when it comes time to pay the check.

Recommendation: Capital One Savor Cash Rewards

Savor is a fitting name for a credit card that pays great rewards on food, whether you're dining out or staying in. The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards card enables you to earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining; 4% cash back on entertainment; 2% cash back at grocery stores; 1% cash back on all other purchases. Capital One Savor makes it easy to max out your restaurant purchases with no spending caps. There’s no limit on the amount of rewards you can earn, and you can redeem rewards in any amount.

Alternatively, you could also get a credit card from your favorite restaurant, ensuring you’ll get the maximum usage out of your rewards. For example, the Starbucks Visa credit card will get you extra Stars everywhere you go. Make sure you pick a brand that you truly love, or the benefits may not be worth your while.

For The Couple Focused on Their Savings

If you’re trying to stretch your joint finances a little further, a cash back card may be perfect for you. By putting purchases on these types of credit cards, couples can see major returns on everyday purchases, such as trips to the grocery store, movie tickets, and more.

Recommendation: Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom Card is a great no annual-fee card, but it’s the rotating bonus categories that make this card stand out from the pack. This card has a traditional signup bonus, which gives $150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

Unlike many other cards with rotating bonus categories, the Freedom bonus categories are for places where you may already be spending, such as gas stations, grocery stores, wholesale clubs (like Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJs), and department stores.

Cash back-friendly cards are a solid option if travel or dining perks don’t appeal to you or your significant other. The simplicity of the rewards structure can be a big advantage for many couples; you don’t have to think about how to leverage the credit card to get the most bang for your buck, it just happens automatically.

Choose a Card You’ll Both Love

Just like every couple is different, every credit card is different. Make sure to find one that aligns with your financial priorities. Additionally, couples rarely sit down together to talk about their financial beliefs and goals, so use this moment as an opportunity to get on the same page with your partner and having a money date.

By working as a team to tackle your finances, you’ll be better off in the long run.

Patrick Beckman is the Contributing Finance Editor for RAVE Reviews. Leveraging his educational training in engineering, Patrick has developed his own consumer finance strategies for household saving and credit card optimization.

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