DEFINITION of ‘Conjoined Account’
An account that has more than one account holder. Conjoined accounts may be used with a variety of account types, including checking and credit card accounts. Purchases made by any conjoined account holder are reflected in the account’s balance, and all account holders are responsible for the overall balance.
INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS ‘Conjoined Account’
Individuals may want to open a conjoined account for a variety of reasons. For example, a married couple may prefer to only deal with a single credit card rather than both individuals having their own cards. Conjoined account holders are given equal status, and thus have equal access to the overall credit line. They are also able to transfer balances, request a credit line increase, and close the account.
Opening a conjoined account means that multiple individuals are sharing ownership in the same account. This means that the balance – whether a positive or negative balance – is shared between all parties. This is different from adding an authorized user to an account, as authorized users are allowed to use the account but are not responsible for the balance. Conjoined account holders often have increased access to account services that authorized users may be prevented from gaining access to.
Before opening a conjoined account, it is important to make clear what the account is to be used for, set up limits on account use, and determine when, if at all, a conjoined account holder should have his or her account privileges revoked. If ground rules are not set on conjoined account use, the entire account may be drained, as in the case of a checking account, or credit exhausted, in the case of a credit card account. Because all conjoined account holders are responsible for what happens to the account, misuse by one user may result in collections agencies contacting all parties for unpaid bills.