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Opening a joint current account

Joint current accounts can help you manage your shared finances with your partner or family member.

You can each have a debit card to make cash withdrawals and purchases, you can set up Direct Debits for paying bills, and you can budget and track your spending via online banking.

In this guide, we look at who can open a joint current account in the UAE, what documents you'll need to apply, and provide some tips on managing your finances jointly.

Who can open a joint account?

You can apply for a joint current account, also referred to as a transaction account, in the UAE if you:

  • Are 18 or over
  • Are a UAE resident

What about expats moving to the UAE?

If you're moving to the UAE but haven't yet arrived, you won't be able to open a current account just yet.

You'll need to wait until you've arrived and got your UAE residency visas before applying. Both account holders need residency visas to be eligible for a joint account.

In the meantime, you could consider opening an international bank account if you don't already have one. This is not a current account.

Explore: Moving to the UAE - what you need to know

What documents do you need to open a joint account?

At the minimum, all account holders usually need to supply these documents to be eligible for a joint current account:

  • Your original passports
  • Your Emirates Identification cards
  • Your UAE residence visas (for non-GCC nationals)
  • Proof of your residence in the UAE - for example, a utility bill, the title deed for your property, your rental agreement or employment letter

To be eligible, many current accounts in the UAE also require you to earn a minimum monthly salary and have it paid into the account.

If you're applying for an account with a minimum salary or salary transfer requirement, at least one of you will usually need to provide:

  • Your original trade licence (if you're self-employed)
  • Your salary certificate (if you're employed by the government or in the public sector)
  • Your salary transfer letter (if you're employed by a private company)

Joint current accounts - common questions answered

1. Can joint accounts be used by one person at a time?

When you apply for a joint current account, the default option is usually to allow each person to control the account individually for convenience - excluding certain actions such as closing your account.

This means you won't need all account holders' permission to make payments, set up Direct Debits, and transfer money - you can use the account by yourself.

However, most joint accounts do allow you to specify that permission to use the account is required from all parties if you'd prefer this option.

2. Can you have a joint overdraft?

Yes, you can have a joint overdraft.

All account holders will need to apply for the overdraft, be subject to the eligibility criteria and give their consent to the arrangement.

Explore: How overdrafts work

3. Does your credit score matter?

When opening a joint current account, all applicants will be subject to a credit check.

So, it's important to check your credit reports before you apply, and make sure the information held for you is accurate and up to date.

You can check your UAE credit scores and reports on the AECB website.

Tips for using a joint current account

Know the risks

It's important to be comfortable with the risks of combining money with a partner or family member.

If one of you takes your account into an unarranged overdraft, you'll both be responsible for the interest charges and it could affect both of your credit scores.

Similarly, all account holders will have access to the money you put in, and anyone can make as many withdrawals and payments as they wish - unless you opt for joint consent for all transactions.

Set some ground rules

It's good to set rules for how you'll use your joint account.

Think about how much each person will put in, how much you can spend each month, and what kind of things you'll agree to pay for with your account.

Consider your existing debt and borrowing

If you or your partner have existing debt, talk to them about how you'll repay it. Think about the following questions:

  • Does repaying the debt need to be prioritised over saving and spending?
  • Who will be responsible for making repayments?
  • Is it affecting your credit scores?

Joint savings and investment accounts

If your main goal of combining your finances is to save money, consider opening a joint savings or investment account as well.

While joint current accounts are great for managing your spending and controlling your finances together, you won't be earning much interest on your balance.

Explore: Our savings accounts

Explore more

Find out what bank details to give your employer to get your salary paid into your current account.
Learn about the benefits of switching your current account and whether it’s worth the hassle.

Everything you need to know about overdrafts, from charges to what they're used for.