Most couples end up asking the same question at some point in their relationship: accounts, better together or apart? Some opt for an intermediate solution: keep their personal accounts and open a joint one to manage common expenses.
The truth is that joint accounts facilitate the domestic economy. Holders often use them to direct household bills, pay for grocery shopping and other common expenses, or save for the next vacation. And at the same time, they maintain their individual accounts, in which they receive their payroll. "It's a way of managing the family economy without losing financial independence," explain the experts at the financial product comparator HelpMyCash.com, who have compared the best joint accounts.
In any case, for this formula to be successful, the joint account must be prioritized over the personal one. Before opening it, it is convenient to define what use is going to be given to it, how the expenses are going to be distributed and how much money each member of the couple is going to enter. And then, of course, you have to do it.
The Finances For All portal of the CNMV and the Bank of Spain points out that couples must "reach an agreement on what has to do with the distribution of expenses (flat, car, trips) and the contribution of income".
In order not to forget about the joint account, a monthly automatic transfer can be scheduled from the personal account.
A clear advantage of this system is that it helps simplify finances and spread expenses. Otherwise, the members of the couple should be continually doing calculations to know how much each has paid and pay off their debts. “If the members of the couple live together, the coming and going of Bizums, transfers and bills can be exhausting if an account is not shared”, the experts point out.
When many couples decide to open a joint account, it is time to find the best one. How much will it cost? Will the bank give a free card to each holder? “The key to finding the best joint account is first to decide what it is going to be used for and second to compare,” HelpMyCash explains.
An attractive joint account should be, at a minimum, free. And there is a wide range of checking accounts that admit several holders that do not charge maintenance fees even if the holders do not direct deposit their salary. These accounts are a good option for those who want to keep their individual accounts and who are only looking for a joint account to direct bills, make payments and deposit money from time to time.
The BBVA Online Account has no fees and can be opened alone or accompanied (up to two account holders are allowed, although both must be new customers of the bank). Each member of the couple will receive their own free debit card. It is used to cover all day-to-day needs and can be used to pay household bills, save, pay for purchases, send money through Bizum, etc.
Another alternative is the Abanca Clara Account which, like the previous one, admits up to two holders, who must also be new clients. There are no commissions and the bank provides a debit card to each cardholder without issue or maintenance fees.
Also noteworthy is the new NoCuenta Account without ING commissions that can also be opened with a co-owner. Cardholders will receive a free debit card each, but virtual, so they can only use it with Apple Pay or Google Pay. On the other hand, the maximum balance of the account is 30,000 euros.
Neither BBVA, nor Abanca nor ING oblige to domicile a salary, or receipts or to maintain a minimum balance.
Other entities also offer accounts without commissions for two holders. The problem is that many only give a free card to the first holder. If the second also wants one, he will have to pay an annual fee. It is a point to take into account if both members of the couple want to have a card, but it can be a secondary matter if, for example, the only purpose of the account is to direct bills and pay the rent.