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Chase stops offering joint credit card accounts

Sign of the times? Chase becomes the latest big bank to nix its joint credit card option.

By MSN Smart Spending editor Sep 26, 2013 3:36PM

This post comes from Christine DiGangi at partner site

MSN Partner siteLike a handful of banks before it, Chase announced joint credit cards are no longer an option for its customers. Existing accounts won't be affected, and cardholders can still add authorized users to their accounts.

CreditCard © Tara Moore/Getty ImagesWhile some consumers may see this as fewer products to choose from, the change shouldn’t impact someone's access to a credit card. The CARD Act, which went into effect in 2011, instructed card issuers to consider a consumer's income when processing a credit card application. This initially hampered stay-at-home spouses’ ability to get credit cards in their own name. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made an adjustment to the act last year, which allows an applicant’s household income to be taken into account.

In an email, Chase Director of Public Relations Steve O’Halloran said the move was part of the bank’s effort to continually "simplify our offerings to customers." The bank joins several other institutions, including American Express and Capital One, that discontinued or never offered the feature.

The benefits of joint credit card accounts

Joint credit cards allowed couples to build credit with one account, but one can also build credit by being an authorized user on a spouse’s account, too. If the joint account holder is a spouse, then generally it must "count" the same way for credit scoring purposes as required by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. If you already have a joint account, it may not make sense to close it unless you think you are at risk, for example, of splitting up with your spouse or partner who is the other account holder (but more on that later).

Jason Steele, a contributor who specializes in credit cards, said some cardholders may be disappointed in Chase’s decision if they are, "told that they cannot dispute a charge, or report a card lost or stolen, because he or she is not the primary account holder."

But couples can take advantage of separate cards, he added. For instance, they could earn two sign-up bonuses by applying for the same card and maximize the benefits of their joint finances.

The risks of joint credit card accounts

Individuals shouldn’t overlook the importance of having their own credit cards. For one, if someone’s only credit card is an authorized user card from their spouse’s account, they could find themselves without a card if the primary cardholder removes them from the account or dies.

The possibility of such occurrences beyond a consumer’s control is why individuals should have at least one credit card in their name, according to’s Director of Consumer Education Gerri Detweiler.

Plus, joint accounts can be a pain if happily ever after doesn’t work out.

"In a divorce, one spouse may be assigned the debt in the divorce decree, but if they don't pay it, the other spouse is often shocked to learn they are still on the hook," Detweiler said. “It's usually easy to remove an authorized user, but if you want to remove a joint account-holder, you must typically pay off and close the account -- then open a new one."

For consumers looking to get their own cards, it’s crucial for them to understand their financial situation. Access to certain credit cards and their benefits depends on credit history and credit score, so before card shopping, an individual should gather their credit information -- including their credit score and their credit reports. With that information, people can search for credit cards that best meet their needs.

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Sep 26, 2013 10:50PM
No joint account should mean that if one spouse doesn't pay their debt, the credit card company can't come after jointly held asserts or the assets of the spouse!!!
Sep 27, 2013 2:36AM
I had a Credit card before marriage for several years with Bank of America.  When I married, I added my husband (not a joint account).  When I divorced, they would not remove him from my account.  I did not use the account for a couple years, it had a zero balance for that time.  When I tried to close it, they said they needed HIS signature.  I said good luck finding him.  This was 28 years ago.  I didn't do business with that bank since, until they bought MBNA.  Thanks, MBNA.  I still don't like the way they do business.
Sep 26, 2013 11:25PM
the best credit card account is one that doesn't exist.   
Sep 26, 2013 7:59PM
Yes, there are lots of pros and cons for having a credit card or joint card.  In the case of my elderly mother, she had never had a credit card other than a revolving credit card for a local department store.  At the time my dad died, she was advised to sign for and use a credit card regularly to establish credit in her own name.  After fifty years of sharing everything in my dad's name, it was quite sad to learn that after all those years of marriage, of sharing a home and all the bills to live, she had no credit history.   Credit card companies can worry about one or the other card holder skipping out but customers also have had bad experiences, not necessarily because of bad credit but because of the lifestyle they selected. 
Sep 27, 2013 10:33AM

What ever happened to a thing called customer service? It used to be that banks offered services the consumers wanted. Somewhere along the line it changed to you get what the banks offer and like it or else. It's the same for the government. They no longer represent what the people want. You take what your president or congressperson wants and like it or else. The world is going to HeII in a hand basket. No morals and no more customer is always right.


Sep 27, 2013 11:15AM
I wouldn't have a Chase card on a bet.  They pulled one of their mid-game rule changes on me a few years ago when I used one of their promotions to consolidate some debts.  Their change tripled my payment, so I dug into a retirement stash, wrote the #$#@$#!s a very fat check, and mailed them the shards of my former credit card.  They've sent me invites to "come back" over the years and I keep telling them to kiss my sternsheets.....
Sep 27, 2013 11:35AM

Yeah watch out, better yet, don't ever get a joint account or think Chase will Ever Help you out if your an innocent Victim!!  My ex hung onto a credit card that I was on. I didn't know the card even existed until I applied for a home loan and it was on my credit score. I contacted Chase because I knew it was not mine since I only have 1 credit card that I use. Surprise, the card was in my name as well as my ex's. After researching it   WAIT    for this, the card had been inactive since 2006, then maxed out July of 2012. I thought it was fraudulent in the beginning so I started researching it and found a female was using the card for the nail salon, cloths etc.  I had copies of signed receipts with her signature. However after more research I found out that my ex was sitting on the card, got a new women and let her max it out. All this information was sent to Chase, INCLUDING MY DIVORCE PAPERS showing I WAS DIVORCED in 2003.  In the middle of trying to purchase a new home, a safer environment for my 2 year old little girl and then this. I did everything Chase asked me to do, Including tracking my ex down (being a good person does pay off, his own family gave him up to me) to give him a form to sign to have me removed from the card and him accepting responsibility for the amount owed on the card. Can you believe it, he actually did. Only because I had some of my husbands family w/ me and he probably didn't want them to see the JERK that he is. Regardless, CHASE came back and said he did not have Good Credit so they would not remove me. What a HORRIBLE Co. CHASE is, really. So unless I wanted to hurt my excellent  credit score I would have to pay it, which I did. I needed my good credit to provide my daughter a new home in a Safer environment. I had to take it out of my savings since I would never run my bills up to where I couldn't pay them. You wanna talk about a emotional break down after almost nine years, having to deal with my Ex and the UNCARING, UNETHICAL company by the name of CHASE. It was a long, stressful, tearful, sickening situation that lasted almost a year.  Believe me there is a lot more that can be said, I just don't have the time. Just Please stay away from Joint accounts or make sure you keep records of what you have in both names. When I married I believed in till death do you part, until he cheated which then God allowed me out. 

Sep 27, 2013 12:45PM

Chase...I have two and one is paid off.  Try and close these things thou?   I spent 2 hours on the phone and an hour on there web site.   No where on the web site do they list how to close the account.

On the phone, then send you in circles never allowing you to speak to someone, and "close the account" is not a listed opinion.   Eitherway, I will get it closed and in the process of paying off the other and then CHASE goes forever.  This company does nothing but look for ways to ripe people off!

I have one other with Citi and they are thiefs too.  It goes!!!  FOREVER!

People these banks are not your friend.  Join a good credit union!  I get the best service and honesty with my credit union!   make sure thou you find a good one ....and forget PENN FED....they suck!


Sep 27, 2013 10:38AM
Oh great! Now I'll start getting even more calls from those buttheads who can 'lower my credit card interest rates'. Now they will probably pitch applying for an individual CC account as well. 
Sep 27, 2013 3:42PM

The best day of my life was when I go rid of Chase  I paid off their fricking credit card, I paid off my home loan, which was bought out by Chase and I got rid of Chase.  I don't get a lot of junk mail and junk phone calls because Chase was selling my info to everybody, many of whom run credit check without my permission and soon I had a lowered credit score because of all the credit checks.  When I looked into the matter I realized it was all coming from Chase.  How did I know?  Chase had made an error on my last name, all the junk mail and the junk phone calls had the same identical error in how they spelled or pronounced my name.

I don't have to fight with Chase for payments I legitimately madeand their erroneous add on charges which took a lot of my time.  In one year, Chase tried to hit me with 3 grand of fake fees or mistakes by their computes, or late fees accidentally put on my account even though they had cashed the check ten days prior.

Screw Chase and get rid of them. I went to some property and I was told the loan would go through Chase I walked away. Chase can chase my money and kiss my a**

Sep 27, 2013 1:59PM
The credit card companies finally made a dunb move in my opinion. Why not issue joint accounts so that both people will be on the hook when they decide they don't wanna pay thier credit card payments?
Sep 27, 2013 4:18PM
Sep 27, 2013 2:59PM
When my husband of many years died, I called BAC (Merrill) to inform them that my husband had passed away.  Very curtly and accusing, she told me the credit card would be cancelled since it was opened based on his credit.  Had I known that, I would not have paid the last medical bills that were on there.  A company not to do business with.
Sep 27, 2013 1:06PM
So if you married and not working in a entireties state, they can never collect on these cards.  Strange decision.
Sep 27, 2013 3:55PM

I've decided to be done with credit cards and created several me, we, our cards instead.  It is fairly simple.  I don't need credit.  Been there done that.  Rather, some places offer multiple choices to cover needs.  Bank accounts that refuse to go over your limit and not create a bounce, or my favorite is the graces given its customers for oopsies.  Whatever the way, make a debit card account and run it as credit.  Build up your own money, and set your own limits, 'charge something' and pay yourself back with some really high rate of interest.  As long as I have the free access to these services, that is how I'll do it. 


And Chase is right.  Too many people part ways.  So it is smarter for some who are from the as long as you will generation to simplify accounting.  If a person isn't willing to commit to a marriage, how will they be committed to paying off finances from the partnership?  Now we've been together since the stone age, so I'm not concerned about that, but what money we can manage to put away is best spent for our own interests, not the profits from a lender.  But, then, everyone looks at 'the credit score' in a different way.  Me?  I could care less.

Sep 27, 2013 6:29PM
They were only getting 1 interest payment with a joint account but now if 2 wants a card, they get double interest payments!!
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