One of the easiest ways to earn frequent flyer points is to pay for your everyday purchases using a points-earning credit card – and to maximise the number of points you can earn, adding your partner or spouse to your credit card account as an ‘additional cardholder’ can be a great way to go.
That’s because you’ll earn points every time your extra cardholder spends on their card, in addition to earning points every time you swipe your own, with all points generally pooled to the primary cardholder’s rewards account.
From there, you can use those points to book flights or upgrades as usual – the advantage being that all your points are in the one basket, and can be used to make joint reward bookings without transferring points between accounts, or being forced to book flights separately.
Having an additional cardholder can also save you money on annual fees: so rather than each of you paying the full annual fee on your own credit card, you could maintain a single credit card account instead with the other partner as an additional cardholder.
Many points-earning cards will let you issue an additional card at no extra charge, including popular products such as the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card, AMEX Velocity Platinum Card, American Express Explorer Card and the AMEX Platinum Charge Card.
The same is true of the Westpac Altitude Black credit card combo, which gives the primary cardholder and one additional cardholder each their own American Express card to maximise their points, plus their own Mastercard to use everywhere else: all attached to the one account and credit limit.
Some banks charge a fee for additional cards – ANZ, for example, levies $65 per year per additional card if you hold an ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Visa or ANZ Rewards Black Visa – although paying that fee still costs significantly less than stumping up for a second, identical credit card.
Just remember that in most cases, the primary cardholder is financially liable for all spending on the account, including for transactions made by additional cardholders, so only give a card to somebody you trust completely (such as your spouse), and think twice before issuing cards to children.
Also keep in mind that any points capping or tiering rules will usually apply to the entire account rather to each card: so consider choosing a card with no earning limits or with a high capping or tiering threshold to ensure your strategy doesn’t end up costing you points!