The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Monday, May 20, 2024

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
Lauren Keys

Written by: Lauren Keys

Lauren Keys
Lauren Keys

Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro
Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience to the CardRates team. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Florida. Today, Lillian edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

See full bio »
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 Flex℠

This card is currently not available.

Chase® 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

Additional Disclosure: The information related to Chase Freedom Flex℠ credit card has been collected by CardRates.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 17.24% to 28.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
17.24% - 28.24% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn a 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
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 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
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (Balance Transfer Fee 3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4%)
19.24% - 29.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
$0
Excellent/Good

Additional Disclosure: Bank of America is a CardRates advertiser.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.
  • Choose 3% cash back on gas and EV charging station, online shopping/cable/internet/phone plan/streaming, dining, travel, drug store/pharmacy or home improvement/furnishings purchases.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn 3.75%-5.25% cash back on purchases in your choice category.
  • No annual fee and cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (Balance Transfer Fee 3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4%)
19.24% - 29.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
$0
Excellent/Good

Additional Disclosure: Bank of America is a CardRates advertiser.

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.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.