How to Transfer a Credit Card Balance From a Joint Account to a Single Account

Some couples are better off keeping their finances separate.

Some couples are better off keeping their finances separate.

It is probably best to close a joint credit card account if it's doing nothing but causing arguments between you and your better half. Pooling resources isn't for everybody, so there is no shame in throwing in the towel if linking your finances hasn't worked out as planned. Getting some level of financial independence back could put an end to any cash-related bickering.

Check out your joint credit card statements and decide who is responsible for how much of your outstanding balance. You may decide that one of you should clear the whole lot, or you might agree to split responsibility equally.

Contact issuers of other credit cards you currently hold individually to see if they're willing to give you some balance transfer checks. If they are, and provided any checks you can use carry a low rate of interest and don't charge a huge balance transfer fee, use these to pay off the balance of your joint card. You can each use balance transfer checks from separate cards in your own names if you want to split the balance.

Shop around for a new balance transfer card if you can't move debt to any of your existing accounts. Again, either one party can cover the entire amount, or you can each take out a new card to pay for your share of what you owe. Use comparison services such as those provided by websites like Bankrate.com, Google Advisor and Nerd Wallet to help you sniff out the most competitive deals and lowest balance transfer fees.

Call the issuer of your joint card and ask how much you'll need to pay to clear your account. You could be left with some residual interest if you pay the amount on your card statement because of the way lenders calculate the interest they add. Tell your card issuer to close your joint account if you don't want to use it again.

Tip

  • Any single application you make for a new card will be based on your credit score alone. If you took out a joint account because you wanted to use your partner's good credit score to boost your own, you may find it difficult to land low-interest balance transfer deals.

About the Author

Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.

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