She shares your house, your car, your food and even your last name. But can she have the same 0% interest credit card as you?
Why a 0% interest card?
A 0% interest credit card offers cardholders an introductory period (typically between six and 18 months) during which no interest is charged. After this window, the card’s APR, or annual percentage rate, goes into effect. If you have one of these cards and your husband or wife envies that shiny piece of plastic in your wallet, he or she just might be able to get the same one as you.
You may have just about everything in common with your spouse, but one thing you don’t share is your credit score. Everyone has his or her own credit score, which means you can apply for a card and your spouse can apply for the same one. When it comes time to find out whether you’re approved, you’ll each be judged on your own credit history.
Sounds like happily ever after, right? Just remember that applying for a card and being approved for a card are two different things. If your spouse’s credit score is lower than yours, he or she might not be qualified for the same card you opened. Generally, 0% interest credit cards require cardholders to have a good credit score to be approved. Not everyone falls into this good-credit bracket.
But don’t fret: Your spouse isn’t out of luck if his or her credit score isn’t stellar. If you already have a 0% interest credit card, you can add your spouse as an authorized user on the account, even if he or she has no credit or bad credit. In this situation, however, it’s important to note that your credit score will be on the hook for your spouse’s spending behavior. If your significant other racks up charges you can’t pay off, as the primary account holder, your credit rating will be affected.
Something to think about
Just as you likely didn’t jump into your marriage unprepared, you don’t want to jump into a relationship with a credit card without making sure it’s the right fit for you and your needs. Credit cards with 0% interest are ideal for balance transfers or for making a single, large purchase. As the zero-interest period on these cards is limited, it’s not recommended to make lots of purchases with them – especially if you won’t be able to pay off those purchases before the no-interest window ends.
Before you apply for a lot of different cards, decide which one would be best given your financial situation. If you ‘re looking for a 0% interest credit card, start your search by checking out NerdWallet’s Best 0% and Low Interest Credit Cards.
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