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No joint credit cards at Chase

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Posted: 11 am ET

Chase is no longer offering joint credit card accounts, according to a company spokesman who confirmed a Tuesday report from CNNMoney.com.

"We are continually trying to simplify our offerings to customers," says Chase spokesman Rob Tacey. He also noted that the move by Chase doesn't affect existing joint account holders.

Chase joins American Express and Capital One, both of which don't offer joint accounts. Bank of America, Discover and Wells Fargo do.

Joint account holders are equally liable for the outstanding balance on a credit card. This can be appealing to couples, but it can quickly become trying if the relationship between the two account holders sours, such as in a divorce.

That's because both parties are still legally responsible for the account, even if a divorce decree or agreement between the two places the payment obligation on one person. If that person doesn't pay the account, the issuer can go after the other party for the debt and report negative items to the credit reports of both parties.

Another alternative is authorized user, or AU, accounts, which Chase still offers. A primary account holder adds an AU, such as a spouse, to the account. That person gets a card in their name and is approved to make charges on the account. The AU not only gets the account added to their credit history, but is also not responsible for paying the debt. Only the primary cardholder is obligated to make payments.

If the relationship goes south or the AU turns out to be a spendthrift, the primary account holder can remove the AU from the account. No permission is needed from the authorized user.

Do you have a joint account? What are the pros and cons?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron.

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