The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Cash Cow Couple: 5 Best Credit Cards for Couples & Tips for Maximizing Rewards as a Team

Cash Cow Couple Shares Best Credit Cards For Couples

credit card advice

Lauren Keys
By: Lauren Keys
Updated: October 19, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

In a Nutshell: Not many 20-somethings can say they financed their entire honeymoon on credit card rewards. Jacob and Vanessa did just that, and created their Cash Cow Couple blog as a way to track their financial progress shortly before they were married. Today, they teach 70,000 readers how using credit cards wisely can result in rewards such as free hotel stays and high cash back returns, in addition to a wide range of financial tips, tricks, and reviews. When it comes to credit as a couple, Jacob suggests selecting the right type of account for your relationship and using multiple cards to earn greater returns. Keep reading as Cash Cow Couple shares the best credit cards for couples.

Credit card rewards can take many forms, from cash back to gift cards to plane tickets. Savvy and responsible credit card use can even land you an entire vacation financed by rewards.

The Cash Cow Couple logo

While many couples have to save for months or years before they’re able to get away together, the Cash Cow Couple has been able to take several vacations on credit card rewards alone. The couple’s credit card points even covered their honeymoon in Aruba and a two-week excursion in Thailand.

Jacob and Vanessa started their blog, Cash Cow Couple, right before they got married to track their financial progress and inspire other couples to take control of their financial future using the credit card and other finance hacks detailed on the blog. We recently spoke with Jacob about how he and his wife make the most of their credit card rewards, and how other couples can do the same.

Communication & Trust Come First When Sharing Finances

First and foremost, Jacob believes couples have to be on the same page financially before they can work toward financial goals together, such as maximizing credit card rewards.

“We made the decision when we got married that we were going to handle all our finances, including credit cards, together,” says Jacob. “And it has actually been a great part of our marriage.”

A photo of the Cash Cow Couple, Jacob and Vanessa

Jacob and Vanessa share financial tips on their blog, Cash Cow Couple.

When committing to share your finances, or just your credit card accounts, with your partner, he cautions that you need to have a certain level of transparency to ensure you share a similar mindset and intent. If one side of the relationship spends more than the other, then your finances can veer off track.

Jacob and Vanessa stay on track by maintaining a list in Google Docs, a free cloud service for Gmail users, to remind themselves which of their cards to use for certain purchases. “You can access it on any device, so you can check it while you’re out,” Jacob explains.

Even if you only use one card between you and your significant other, you still have to agree on what and how to use it and who’s responsible for paying the bill. Since Jacob and Vanessa’s finances are joint, they prefer to use the auto-pay feature most issuers offer that drafts payments automatically from a bank account. This convenient feature helps to ensure payments are always made on time and for the right amount.

Jacob’s Top 5 Credit Cards for Couples

“The credit card industry is so competitive right now, I think that it’s usually wise to seek out those cards that are going to offer you a benefit for the hard inquiry on your credit,” says Jacob, adding that he typically looks for a large signing bonus.

It’s also important to consider the kind of spending you’ll be doing. For example, Jacob and Vanessa run their blog together, so they qualified for a business card that provides 5% rewards when they use it at office supply stores and on utilities, among other benefits. They also use several cards with different rotating 5% categories as well as a credit card that earns them a consistent 5% cash back on groceries.

Jacob suggests couples strategize using multiple cards at a time to make the most of the rewards each card offers. The five cards listed below, he says, work well together to earn rewards on different categories of spending throughout the year:

Chase Freedom FlexSM Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Discover it® Cash Back

This card is currently not available.

Cash Back Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening – which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time, and no expiration on points
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees while earning points to use for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Introductory 0% APR offer on purchases
  • Preferred Rewards members earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 2.62 points for every $1 you spend, everywhere, every time.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles
N/A
14.99% - 22.99% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Enjoy a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Introductory 0% APR for your first 12 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening (balance transfer fee applies)
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 billing cycles
0% for 12 billing cycles
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

As for business cards for couples, the fifth option Jacob suggests is the American Express SimplyCash Plus Business card.

“It’s important to find complementary cards that each have their place in your wallet,” says Jacob.

Determine the Right Type of Account for Your Relationship

There are three ways you can approach your finances as a couple:

  • Using a joint account
  • Adding your partner as an authorized user
  • Single account holder credit card

Each of these options comes with advantages and disadvantages, so you’ll need to determine what matters most to you.

Using Joint Accounts to Share Responsibility

These types of accounts are rarer among credit card companies today, although some banks still allow you to apply with your significant other for a joint account. In fact, that is one of the ways to know if you truly have a joint credit card account — if you both had to apply together.

With a joint account, both parties are held responsible for activity on the card and receive equal reporting to the bureaus, which can be positive and negative. On the plus side, you and your partner have equal access to request account details and share the boost in credit score from responsible card use. However, if either of you forgets to pay the bill, you’ll both be penalized.

Adding an Authorized User to Your Card

You can add anyone as an authorized user to your credit card, including a spouse, roommate, business partner, or child. Unlike a joint account, however, only the primary cardholder is responsible for repayment of the charges.

If the primary user has a higher credit score, an authorized user may see a positive change in his or her credit score. Additionally, credit bureaus are less likely to report negative activity, such as the primary cardholder overcharging the card or missing a payment.

Making your husband or wife an authorized user on your credit card provides the same reward as joint card ownership with less risk, albeit with less access to account details. However, Jacob points out that this approach can help you earn more rewards because each person in the relationship can sign up for separate cards and add the other as an authorized user.

Applying Individually for a Single-User Card

Jacob says that sometimes he and Vanessa sign up individually for a credit card without ever adding the other as an authorized user. Depending on what the card has to offer, and whether or not you’ll use it long-term, it might not be worth the hassle of adding your significant other and waiting for a card to come in the mail for him or her.

Learn Finance Hacks on the Cash Cow Couple Blog

In the few years since they’ve been married, the Cash Cow Couple has documented their financial journey and the lessons they’ve learned by merging their finances and setting goals.

The two often write about lifehacks for saving more money, such as cutting your phone bill with WiFi-based cell service and how to best shop for car insurance. Jacob and Vanessa’s Cash Cow Couple blog now inspires more than 70,000 readers.

A collage of photos from the Cash Cow Couple's Thailand trip

Photos from the Cash Cow Couple’s Thailand trip, which was made possible through credit card rewards points.

Their blog offers an in-depth travel rewards guide for racking up enough points to travel internationally, stay at top-rated resorts, and enjoy the luxury of flying first class. They also started another blog, Tightwad Travelers, solely dedicated to earning vacation rewards. “I didn’t get to travel much growing up,” Jacob tells us. “And credit card rewards have been a great way for us to travel together.”

Grow Your Credit, Your Relationship, & Your Rewards

Instead of dropping spare change into a travel fund jar, you can strategically plan around credit card offerings to make the most of today’s competitive rewards market. The Cash Cow Couple uses multiple cards to earn more rewards, and the two actively work to stay on the same page about spending.

“It pays off,” Jacob says about striving toward financial goals with his wife. They have already taken two trips completely on credit card rewards, and he tells us they’re planning another.

With a little research and active communication with your partner, you may find that rewards can translate into a free vacation, or several.

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