USAA Bank Survey Finds Partners Who Join Finances May Have Stronger Relationships

Survey finds Millennials talk more about their finances than any other generation.

December 12, 2022

SAN ANTONIO – A new USAA Federal Savings Bank survey took a closer look at how couples talk about their finances and found an astounding 99% of couples report having open conversations about finances – and nearly 83% argue about them. However, Millennials (1981-1996) were found to talk about their finances more than any other generation and are having open discussions with their partners about choosing credit cards, credit card rewards and establishing budgets for holiday gifts.

“Having open and direct conversations about finances with your partner is key to building a stronger financial future,” said Ryan Bailey, senior vice president at USAA Bank. “Common goals and even friendly arguments and discussions can help strengthen a relationship and how you manage your finances.”

According to the survey, 90% of couples discuss purchases above a certain price point and 49% discuss when to redeem credit card rewards. Interestingly, 65% of men versus 50% of women said that combining their finances made their relationship stronger and more men (42%) than women (36%) have an established budget with their partner for buying each other holiday gifts.

“It’s important to continue to have open and honest conversations with your partner as you go through life changes and stages,” said Bailey. “Adding children and other life events increases discussions about finances and budgeting but can also lead to an increase in arguments. Keep communicating to make it through more stressful periods, like military deployments and moves or Permanent Change of Station.”

The survey also found that factor such as income level, marital status and generation can impact couples’ openness about their spending and finances. Additional findings include:

  • 49% of those making under $50,000 have joint accounts, while 84% of those making over $100,000 have joint accounts.
  • 75% of married couples have joint credit card accounts versus 39% for unmarried couples.
  • Gen Z couples (1997-2012) are less likely than other generations to have a joint credit card account with only 54% saying they do, compared to 68% overall. But when they do work together financially, more than two thirds of Gen Z couples (67%) said that doing so made their relationship stronger (versus 57% overall).
  • Topics that continue to drive arguments include the volume of holiday spending and the spending habits of partners in general. Six in ten couples (61%) don’t have an established budget for buying each other holiday gifts.
  • Of those with joint credit card accounts, nearly two-thirds (63%) said they learned ‘a great deal’ about their partner’s spending habits.

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KRC Research conducted the USAA survey using an online survey of n=571 U.S. adults ages 18 and older who were married or living with a partner. The study was fielded between Oct. 31 – Nov. 2, 2022.

About USAA
Founded in 1922 by a group of military officers, USAA is among the leading providers of insurance, banking and investment and retirement solutions to nearly 13 million members of the U.S. military, veterans who have honorably served and their families. Headquartered in San Antonio, Tex., USAA has offices in eight U.S. cities and three overseas locations and employs more than 37,000 people worldwide. Each year, the company contributes to national and local nonprofits in support of military families and communities where employees live and work. For more information about USAA, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@USAA), or visit