Author Topic: Credit Cards - My name or my wife's name?  (Read 7319 times)

Pixelshot

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Credit Cards - My name or my wife's name?
« on: May 14, 2013, 04:50:27 AM »
Just getting ready to shift around my credit card situation and I have decided on the Amex Blue Card Preferred. When I started the application I came to the "employer" question and stopped.

My wife is a full timer. I am a happy full time dad, and part-time self employed. We live primarily off of her salary and save primarily from my less-frequent income. When applying for the card, I realized that there may be a disadvantage in putting the card in my name, which I would prefer to do, since it is her income/employment that will probably determine the credit limit. I would like a high-as-possible credit limit to help with our credit scores. We will have cards with both of our names.

Am I right? Should I put the card in her name instead? Generally speaking, are there Mustachian strategies, pros/cons, for whose name is the primary cardholder?

many thanks

madage

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Re: Credit Cards - My name or my wife's name?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 08:10:39 AM »
The limit is usually determined by "household income". I don't know that it matters too much whether the card is in your name or hers, unless one of you has a much better credit score than the other.

If you're getting the Blue Cash Preferred (great card, I love mine), you can get a $250 bonus instead of the normal $150 bonus. Click here: https://www.creditcards.com/cardmatch and fill out the requested info, except for SS#, which is not actually required. One of the featured offers should be a $250 cash back bonus after spending $1000 in three months.

Reepekg

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Re: Credit Cards - My name or my wife's name?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 09:09:43 AM »
You should be able to have a joint account. I have a credit card with my name, and my wife has one with the same number but her name. When you apply, it asks for household income. I'm not sure how it will affect your credit reports, but the limit will be based on what you can pay combined.

madage

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Re: Credit Cards - My name or my wife's name?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 09:15:39 AM »
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You should be able to have a joint account.

It's not actually a joint account. One person is the primary cardholder, the other an authorized user.

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I have a credit card with my name, and my wife has one with the same number but her name.
[/quote/

American Express actually uses different numbers for authorized users. They're the only issuer I'm aware of that does this.

Jamesqf

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Re: Credit Cards - My name or my wife's name?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 11:54:36 AM »
Why don't you each get a card in your own name?  If you get a $250 bonus for signing, then wait 3 months for her to get a card, and get another $250.

madage

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Re: Credit Cards - My name or my wife's name?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 12:08:39 PM »
Why don't you each get a card in your own name?  If you get a $250 bonus for signing, then wait 3 months for her to get a card, and get another $250.

A great idea. There's actually no reason to wait three months. You can run two separate applications through and get $500 back, provided $2,000 in credit card spending in three months is not a problem.

Pixelshot

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Re: Credit Cards - My name or my wife's name?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 01:18:48 PM »
Thanks for the advice. When I was halfway through the application it asked for Employer ("Self" in my case) then income. I chatted with the agent and they said it can't be combined by law. Of course I can assume that it means "household" but it was fairly clear that it was individual.

On the question of "why not?" apply for two cards? The reason is because of the $75 annual fee. If we put all of our items on one card, then we only lose $75/year to the fee instead of $150.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 01:25:34 PM by Pixelshot »

icefr

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Re: Credit Cards - My name or my wife's name?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 02:04:04 PM »
On the question of "why not?" apply for two cards? The reason is because of the $75 annual fee. If we put all of our items on one card, then we only lose $75/year to the fee instead of $150.

But there's also a free version of the card (Everyday) that gets you $100 for spending $1,000 in the first three months. It's only 3% groceries / 2% gas stations, department stores, but still gets you $100!

madage

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Re: Credit Cards - My name or my wife's name?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 02:12:06 PM »
On the question of "why not?" apply for two cards? The reason is because of the $75 annual fee. If we put all of our items on one card, then we only lose $75/year to the fee instead of $150.

It's not "lost", it just reduces your overall cash back percentage. Assuming you can manufacture enough grocery spending, you can earn 3.53% cash back on $12,000 spending. See more here.

grantmeaname

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Re: Credit Cards - My name or my wife's name?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 02:31:55 PM »
The $75 fee is for the number -- if she's the primary cardholder but you also have a card with your name and her number, you're another user of her card. There's no additional fee there. There used to be a good page on it but I can't find it at the moment, so you can read the terms and conditions instead:
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Additional Cards: Additional Cardmembers do not have accounts with us but they can use your Account subject to the terms of the Cardmember Agreement. You are responsible for all use of your Account by Additional Cardmembers and anyone they allow to use your Account. You must pay for all charges they make. You authorize us to give Additional Cardmembers information about your Account and to discuss it with them.

Make sense?

Jamesqf

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Re: Credit Cards - My name or my wife's name?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 07:57:37 PM »
There's actually no reason to wait three months. You can run two separate applications through and get $500 back, provided $2,000 in credit card spending in three months is not a problem.

But to me, spending $2K in three months does seem like a problem, unless you have some large expense coming up.

madage

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Re: Credit Cards - My name or my wife's name?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 08:48:24 PM »

But to me, spending $2K in three months does seem like a problem, unless you have some large expense coming up.

There are ways to "buy cash", if you're so inclined.

Pixelshot

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Re: Credit Cards - My name or my wife's name?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2013, 07:34:42 AM »
If I'm in a pinch to make the $1000 cutoff, I will start buying gift cards like Amazon which I will use eventually. I can also shift several of my monthly auto-pay items to the card. My understanding is that it's $1000 in 3 months to get $250 back:

"$250 Welcome Bonus: Earn 250 Reward Dollars after you make $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of Cardmembership on your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. 1Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
Get Cash back where you shop every day with a low annual fee of $75."

(from Amex site, when applying through this link: https://www.creditcards.com/cardmatch )