The 8 Best Credit Cards for Couples [2021]

Couple paying at counter with credit card

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One of the signs of a serious relationship is the slow and steady merging of personal finances. And while many couples maintain separate finances entirely, you should at least consider crafting a strategy that takes into account each person’s situation.

A solid couples strategy has the potential to unlock much more value in credit card rewards as well as making award travel planning much easier.

So whether you’re looking at booking luxury travel together or focusing on cash-back, you’ll want to have a fit-for-purpose credit card with your significant other.

Let’s take a look at what factors you should be emphasizing in a credit card for couples.

What To Look for in a Credit Card for Couples

The days of applying jointly for credit cards are gone, for the most part.

While some banks still permit these types of applications for some credit cards, they are generally limited to Bank of America, PNC, and U.S. Bank.

Nowadays, the most common practice is to follow one of these strategies:

  1. Apply for a credit card and add your significant other as an authorized user
  2. Have each person apply for his/her own card

Both of these options have their merits, but the short of it is if you opt for #2, you will be eligible for twice as many bonuses (at the added cost of paying for twice as many annual fees).

We generally recommend option #2 to maximize rewards.

Let’s take a look at our complete list of the best credit cards for couples.

The 8 Best Credit Cards for Couples

Couple paying at cafe with credit card
Image Credit: Kalim via Adobe Stock

1. American Express® Gold Card

The Amex Gold card is our favorite card for couples, thanks to the second-to-none points multipliers it offers, an enticing welcome bonus, and ongoing perks!

Even though the welcome bonus you can earn is extremely attractive and pays for many years worth of annual fees, the most alluring aspect of the Amex Gold card is the ability to earn big rewards from the bonus categories:

  • Earn 4x Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; 1x points thereafter)
  • Earn 3x Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel
  • Earn 1x Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on all other purchases

Based on our valuations of 2.2 cents per Amex point, you would be getting a return on spend of 8.8% if you earned 4x points and 6.6% if you earned 3x points, which is absolutely phenomenal.

On top of that, you will get up to $120 per year in dining statement credits upon enrollment at Boxed, (our personal favorite) GrubHub, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, and participating Shake Shack locations.

Also, get up to $120 in Uber Cash every year ($10 per month), usable towards Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S.

The Amex Gold card gets you access to the American Express Hotel Collection, plus baggage insurance, secondary rental car insurance, and more. Shopping perks include purchase protection, extended warranty, access to Amex Offers, a complimentary ShopRunner membership upon enrollment, and more.

This card has no preset spending limit, no foreign transaction fees, and up to 5 additional cards for no annual fee (see rates and fees).

Why We Like Earning American Express Membership Rewards Points

We are die-hard supporters of Amex Membership Rewards, which is American Express’ proprietary points system.

Because of how useful Amex points are, we value them at 2.2 cents each. The best way to maximize point value is to transfer them to travel partners to book business and first class flights!

But if you’re looking for other ways to use your points, you can redeem them for cash-back, charitable donations, gift cards, Pay With Points for travel bookings via Amex Travel, statement credits, and more.

Bottom Line: Whether you’re planning a date night or booking an upscale hotel stay, the Amex Gold card is our favorite card for couples to use!

2. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the best credit cards available and our favorite beginner rewards credit card.

Indeed, this card earns solid rewards, has fantastic benefits (like the new $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal), and is easy to understand!

To hit the ground running, the magnificent welcome bonus will turbocharge the points earned — you’ll also earn up to 5x points:

  • Earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on all travel booked via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • Earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on Lyft purchases through March 2022
  • Earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on dining purchases, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services
  • Earn 2 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on all other travel worldwide
  • Earn 1 Ultimate Rewards point per $1 everywhere else

Why We Like Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are among the most valuable — worth around 2 cents per point by our valuations, you can use your Ultimate Rewards points for gift cards, cash-back, statement credits, Amazon purchases, travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, and for Pay Yourself Back.

So earning 5x, 2x, and 1x points is equal to a 10%, 4%, and 2% return on spend, respectively.

But what makes this points system so valuable is the fact that you can transfer points to airline and hotel partners for luxury travel!

3. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card is American Express’s flagship cash-back credit card. This credit card boasts some of the highest cash-back rewards in the business, designed to help you save big on everyday expenses.

To start off, this card earns you a solid welcome bonus — also, get up to 6% cash-back:

  • 6% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (1% after that) and on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash-back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (includes taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more)
  • 1% cash-back on other purchases

What you’ll notice is that this credit card offers amazing cash-back rewards for couples who generally spend most of their money on in-home entertainment (streaming), groceries for eating in (U.S. supermarkets), and commuting (U.S. gas stations and transit).

So if you’re a big saver that essentially just goes to work, cooks at home, and stays indoors, then this card is a massive boon with you.

In addition, this credit card gets you fraud protection, secondary rental car insurance, and return protection.

4. Citi Premier® Card

The Citi Premier card offers incredible travel rewards. If you’re looking to rack up a ton of points and don’t have much of an eye for travel benefits like insurance and lounge access, this is the best choice for you and your partner.

In addition to an eye-opening welcome bonus, you’ll earn:

  • 3 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on air travel, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and gas
  • 1x points per $1 spent everywhere else

Other perks include the $100 annual hotel savings benefit, which gets you $100 off of a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, when booked through or over the phone at 800-THANK-YOU (once per calendar year).

You can also enjoy benefits from World Elite Mastercard, Citi Concierge, and Citi Entertainment, plus purchase protection, extended warranty, and zero liability fraud protection. This card has no foreign transaction fee and no annual fees for authorized users.

Why We Like Earning Citi ThankYou Rewards Points

Citi ThankYou Rewards is an example of an underrated points program — a flexible rewards currency by nature, there are many ways you can spend your points!

We value Citi ThankYou Points at around 1.6 cents per point, so earning 3x or 1x points would be equivalent to getting a 4.8% or 1.6% return on spending, respectively.

The best way to achieve top-notch value is to transfer your points to airline partners for incredible flight redemptions like Emirates first class or Lufthansa first class.

Other ways to redeem your Citi ThankYou Rewards Points include booking travel via the Citi ThankYou travel portal, cash-back, gift cards, Sears Shop Your Way transfers, merchandise, and mortgage or student loan payments.

2 women shopping online with credit card
Image Credit: Wayhome Studio via Adobe Stock

5. The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum card is a legendary card, perhaps most associated with prestige and luxury travel. And that’s exactly what you’ll get with this card.

You’ll hit a huge welcome bonus, and earn 5x Membership Rewards points for flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel (up to $500,000 per calendar year) and on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel.

Now, let’s get into the immense list of travel and lifestyle benefits:

Statement credits include up to $200 airline fee credit, up to $200 prepaid hotel credit, $179 in CLEAR credits, up to $100 in Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits (2 credits of up to $50 semi-annually), up to $300 in Equinox credits, up to $200 in Uber Cash credit, and up to $240 in digital entertainment credits. Enrollment may be required for select benefits, so get the most from your card by ensuring that you’ve explored your American Express account.

This card also has purchase protection, extended warranty, zero liability fraud protection, and no foreign transaction fees.

6. Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is one of our favorite credit cards for couples and young adults, particularly those that eat out often, travel a lot, and use Lyft.

Looking at this card, there’s an awesome welcome bonus to incentivize you to sign up for this card, in addition to all-around solid earning categories of up to 10x points:

  • 10x Ultimate Rewards points on car rentals, hotels, and dining booked via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 10x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on Lyft purchases
  • 5x Ultimate Rewards points on airfare booked via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 3x Ultimate Rewards points on all other travel and dining purchases
  • 1x Ultimate Rewards points on all other purchases

Your 10x, 3x, 5x, and 1x Ultimate Rewards points are worth an approximate return on spending of 20%, 10%, 6%, and 2%, respectively.

Plus, the best benefit is the $300 annual travel credit every card anniversary year, which, though December 31, 2021, can be used towards grocery store and gas station purchases, too!

In addition, this card entitled you to the following extra benefits:

  • Priority Pass Select membership (activation required)
  • $120 in Peloton Digital and All Access Membership statement credits through December 31, 2021
  • $60 in DoorDash statement credits and complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership
  • Complimentary Lyft Pink membership, which also includes Grubhub+ and Seamless+
  • Access to the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with no foreign transaction fees and offers the best travel insurance on a credit card, including primary car rental insurance, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, trip delay reimbursement, baggage delay reimbursement, lost luggage insurance, roadside assistance, emergency evacuation and transportation, emergency medical and dental coverage, travel accident insurance, and more.

7. Capital One Venture Rewards Card

The CapOne Venture is Capital One’s premium rewards credit card, offering the ability to get cash-back rewards or luxury travel bookings, depending on your preferences!

This credit card has a large welcome bonus, the ability to earn an unlimited 2x Capital One miles on your purchases, a $100 Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee credit, and no foreign transaction fees.

You’ll get terrific travel coverage, ranging from roadside dispatch to travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, secondary car rental coverage, and travel assistance services.

Lastly, make use of the purchase security, extended warranty, zero fraud liability, and access to Capital One Miles.

Why We Like Earning Capital One Miles

Capital One Miles is one of the newest flexible rewards points programs, which we value at around 1.4 cents per mile. When earning 2x miles per $1 spent, that’s equal to a return on spending of around 2.8%.

While most of Amex’s and Chase’s transfer ratios are 1:1, Capital One’s transfer partners have a 2:1, 2:1.5, or 1:1 transfer ratio, which explains why these miles are less valuable than Amex Membership Rewards points or Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Nonetheless, it’s feasible to achieve amazing value by booking business and first class flights!

8. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Our very last credit card is the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card. If you are totally averse to the idea of an annual fee and only want cash-back rewards, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card is the best option for you.

You’ll earn a decent welcome bonus and enjoy up to 3% cash-back as follows:

  • 3% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 1% after that)
  • 2% cash-back on U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash-back on everything else

Also, there’s a sweet 0% introductory APR promotion currently available (regular APR, as shown above, will apply after the introductory period). You’ll even get purchase protection, fraud protection, secondary rental car coverage, access to the Global Assist hotline, and access to American Express Experiences.

Final Thoughts

All in all, your focus should be to find the best all-around rewards credit card for your situation. Try to earn the most valuable points by following the points programs of Chase, Amex, Citi, and Capital One.

Leverage your spending habits (and those of your partner) to rack up points using the right credit card. But if you’re looking for cash-back, there are options for you, too.

Now, the next step is to go ahead and open that shiny new credit card you’ve been eyeing!

The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, click here.

Frequently asked questions

Can couples get a joint credit card?

In general, you can no longer apply for a joint credit card. This was possible in the past, but nowadays, there must be only 1 primary cardholder responsible for paying off bills. You may add authorized users to your card, which allows your partner or significant other to use the same card.

What credit cards allow joint applicants?

Most issuers do not allow joint applicants, but a few nationwide banks like Bank of America, PNC, and U.S. Bank still do, at least for some credit card products.

Will adding my wife to my credit card affect her credit?

Yes, it may benefit her or it may hurt her — it depends on the underlying history of the credit card. If this credit card has a negative history with lots of missed payments or irresponsible credit behavior, it will probably hurt her credit. On the other hand, if the payment history is perfect and the card is well-aged, her credit will probably go up.

Can my wife and I apply for the same credit card?

Yes, you can, almost all of the time! You both can generally qualify for your own welcome bonuses, too, doubling up on your rewards.

Is it better to apply for a credit card jointly or separately?

It’s generally better to apply separately. That way, each person can access their own welcome bonus, and you can maximize your rewards there.

How many credit cards should a couple have?

There’s no hard and fast rule. However, having 2 or 3 per person is generally a good idea to maximize rewards, bonus categories, and the like.

What are the best credit cards for couples?

The best credit cards for couples are the Amex Gold card, Chase Sapphire Preferred card, Amex Blue Cash Preferred card, Citi Premier card, Amex Platinum card, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, CapOne Venture card, and Amex Blue Cash Everyday card.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

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