Whether it is a designer handbag, a television or a secret credit card bill, have you ever made a big purchase without telling your significant other?

Ariane Bélisle, ThinkStock

Surprisingly enough, 7.2 million Americans, including 4.4 million men and 2.8 million women, have hidden a bank or credit card account from their spouse or partner, according to report by CreditCards.com released on Jan. 21.

According to the report, one in five Americans have spent $500 or more on a purchase without their partner's knowledge, with men being much more likely to have done so.  In fact, 26 percent of men have made a large purchase without notifying their significant other compared to just 14 percent of women.

Those most likely to spend secretly have annual household incomes between $50,000 and $74,999, and are between the ages of 18 and 29.

"These secrets are a recipe for disaster," said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst with CreditCards.com. "If you and your significant other aren't honest with each other about what you're spending, you never really know how much money you have and that can lead to big problems."

Many Americans say they are perfectly fine with their spouse or significant other making big purchases without telling them. Nearly one in three men, or 31 percent, are okay with secret spending compared to 18 percent of women.

However, that all Americans are comfortable with such secrets. About 31 percent do not believe their spouse or partner should be able to spend more than $100 without telling them. That includes 37 percent of women compared to 23 percent of men.

Stereotypically, women have always gotten the reputation for secret purchases, when in fact, it is just the opposite, according to Schulz. "We did a survey on impulse purchases a while back and found something similar to this survey that when men buy, they tend to buy big and they are more likely to impulse buy than women," he said.