Whether you are applying for your 1st or your 5th credit card, it’s always an exciting process. There are a number of things you can do to help get your credit card application approved. Our guides provide credit card application tips, pointing out the important things to consider when completing your credit card application.
Using your existing bank as a credit card company is an excellent idea.They have all of your history at their fingertips already. They also have more knowledge about you and your spending habits then can be learned just by reading your credit file like other credit card providers.
You might not realize it but often your current bank can be the ideal credit card provider. Often people overlook their own bank because they view them in a different light then they do credit card companies. However, in most cases your bank has several credit card products available and would be more then happy to build on their relationship with you by also being your credit card company.
One of the best reasons for using your existing bank as a credit card company is that personal connection. There’s an old story about using the local mom and pop store every once an a while because when you are in a pinch you will be glad that they know you. The same can be said about credit cards. To most credit card companies you are just an account number, but to your local bank you have a name and a face. Sure, your bank has online services that you will be able to use, but not much can replace actually knowing a person. Just keep that in mind as you are researching credit cards and take a few minutes to find out what your current bank has to offer. You might be surprised at what you find.
We’ve hand picked our best articles that provide Credit Card Application Tips just for you – enjoy!
- Help! Why was my online credit application declined?
- How to stop your credit application from being rejected – Applying for a credit card can be a waste of time if you don’t fill in your application correctly. You want to ensure that you paint the best picture (truthful ofcourse!) of your financial situation to the bank you are applying with. This article provides some good tips to reduce the chance of your application being disapproved.
- Apply Credit Card Common Sense: Your Application Checklist – It takes common sense to apply for a credit card. Every Australian should be savvy enough to review the terms & conditions of a credit card offer. We have put together a check-list of items to go through when applying for your credit card.
- How to successfully apply for a student credit card – What is it that banks look for when you apply for a credit card? Which aspects of your credit card application are most important? Our guide to applying for a student credit card will help you avoid bad-debt pitfalls and ensure you complete the best possible card application to give you the best chance of getting approved.
- How to Increase Your Credit Limit – If you are after a higher credit limit for your credit card, it’s important that you complete your credit card application to show that you are in a healthy and stable financial situation. The higher the credit limit you can have approved, the more reliable you will appear in being able to pay off your debts to other loan companies.
- Student Credit Cards – Getting a Student Credit Card can be easy if you follow a number of key steps and meet all the requirements. Follow our guide to make your card application a breeze.
Terms used in credit card applications:
- Finance charge – This is an actual dollar amount you will pay to use your credit card. Finance charges include interest fees and cash advance fees.
- Annual Fee – The annual fee is the yearly charge for ownership of your credit card. Some companies include no annual fee deals on credit card applications or they will waive them in order to earn your business.
- Annual percentage rate or APR – This is the yearly percentage rate of your finance charges. These rates can be either fixed, which means they always stay the same or variable, which means they adjust with market rates. You might also be offered an introductory rate which is a low interest rate that lasts for a short period when you first own the card.
Follow the 4-step approach to apply for a credit card in your lunch break:
You can use your lunch break to do this and before your day has come to an end you’ll have the answer of your bank.
Step 1: First you need to commit 15 minutes of your lunch break to complete a credit card application. This is possible even for the busiest of workers. It means you cut your lunch short for the one day during your week and the sooner you dedicate some time to this, the quicker your new card will arrive in the mail.
Step 2: Get your information ready for your application. You’ll need the following handy before you start. Please note that the requirements vary from provider to provider:
To be eligible for an Australian credit card, you must be:
- Over 18 years of age.
- Have a good credit rating.
- Have a permanent Australian residency
- Earn a minimum of $15,000; or
- If you are a non-permanent Australian resident you must earn a minimum of $50,000.
Documents you may need to complete an application:
- Driver’s licence (if applicable).
- Your employer’s address and contact number (as listed in the White Pages).
- If self-employed, your accountant’s name and contact number.
- Details of your income (often past pay slips or proof of income letter), assets and liabilities.
Step 3: Choose a credit card. You can choose from a credit card from the following guides:
- Low balance transfer card
- Low interest rate credit card
- Rewards program credit card
- No annual fee credit card
- Or simply the best of the best credit card for your needs
Step 4: Apply and save money with the right card! The great thing about online credit card applications is that you will most likely hear back from your bank (or the provider you applied with,) before your lunch break is over. This makes the whole process straightforward, easy and quick.
Important Information To Be Aware Of Before Applying For A Credit Card
When applying for a credit card you often don’t know if the deal you are considering is actually the best deal out there. Even so the Consumer Credit Code has been designed to give you the most important information, it is often confusing to sort through all the details during the credit card application process.
First, learn how the CCC can help protect you, so that you get the right information upfront when applying for a credit card.
Here are some of the things you can expect to know:
- How much credit will be given to you by the lender.
- How much you pay in APR (annual percentage rate) or other charges.
- When interest is charged to you and how it will be calculated.
- How much in interest you pay in total if the contract is paid off in full within seven years.
- Charges and credit fees.
- How changes of contract will be relayed to you (usually with a letter.)
- Whether you need to pay a default rate of interest. If so, how this interest is calculated by the lender.
- How often you will receive account statements.
- Additional information whether a guarantee or mortgage applies to your situation.
- Specific information about credit related insurance to do with your contract.
As you can see, while applying for a credit card you are given ample information that protects you legally and assures you are being given accurate details by the lender.
All applicable information needs to be presented to you in the so called Precontractual Statement. This statement gives you detailed guidelines about all the fees and charges involved during an application for a credit card. Further to this, the Information Statement also outlines your obligations and rights.
Here is a list of questions you should be able to answer before you sign up for a new credit card:
- Is there an introductory offer on the interest rate? You must know what this is and whether it applies to purchases, balance transfers, or both. You must also know over what period the offer is for so you can budget your payments accordingly.
- What is the ongoing rate after any introductory period? This is the important figure once your honeymoon rate comes to an end.
- Is there a fee for applying? There shouldn’t be.
- Is there a fee to process the application? Again, there should not be one of these.
- Is there an annual fee? This is quite normal, although some cards do not have one. If not, you should check if the interest rate is any higher to compensate.
- Is a fee imposed for late payments? This is pretty standard as this would be considered defaulting on your debt, but you should establish how much it is.
- Are you charged for exceeding your credit limit? This is quite likely, but you need to know how much.
- What other fees can be charged, and how much are they? A fee to transfer a balance is almost certain.
- If the APR is variable, how and when might it be changed?
- Are there interest-free days? Most cards offer up to fifty-five days interest free on accounts that have a cleared balance from the previous month.
- How is the customer informed of any changes to the terms and conditions?
- Will you receive a warning if you near your credit limit?
- What action is taken if you exceed your credit limit?
- Is the provider happy to discuss matters if financial difficulties arise? They should be.
- Is an online banking facility available? It would be a strange company in this day and age that does not provide online account access. This can be used to pay bills off on a weekly basis to keep any per-day interest charges to a minimum.
Find out as much as possible when you sign up for a new credit card. Most large, reputable providers should not provide any cause for concern, but you should still always read the terms and conditions, dull as that may sound, to make certain that the credit card will work as you expect. Don’t just go by the headlines in the advert. Online credit card reviews and forums can be a useful resource, but bear in mind with forums that they will usually be a platform for people to complain, not congratulate. Nevertheless, if plenty of people are complaining about the same issue, you might want to investigate further.
Use the Internet to Find Your Credit Card
If you are a busy person then sifting through your post for the best credit card offers is not the ideal way to spend your time. You want something that is fast and convenient. Did you know that you could apply for credit online? And, the best thing about it is that in only takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
Online credit card applications are safe and easy. Because everyone wants their information to be secure, companies that offer online credit card applications have taken the necessary precautions to ensure that your information is kept safe and sound. There are links that will take you directly to the credit card company’s website so there is no risk of submitting your information through a third party website.
When your money runs short often the best option is to consider a credit card and apply. Credit card online applications are fast, easy and often get approved within second, provided your credit rating is OK.
You can choose from many online credit card providers to make sure you get the best card for your needs. Learn how easy it is in this article.
Tips for When You Apply for a Credit Card Online:
To apply, credit card online providers give you helpful tools to determine which of the cards are best suited to your needs. You can use the handy credit card calculator to work out how long it would take to pay back an expense you are thinking of purchasing.
Here are some of the benefits of doing these applications online:
- Fast, you usually get a response within 10 to 20 minutes.
- No complicated form filling required.
- No need to stand in a queue at your bank for hours on end.
In most cases, you should receive a conditional approval within minutes. This means your approval is conditional upon you providing income verification and some personal identification to a bank staff member, and then signing the credit contract agreement forms.
Lenders Give You Straight-Forward Information:
You’ll be informed about the interest rate p.a., the cash advance rate p.a., the annual card fee, any bonus offers such as rewards points and whether the card gives you interest-free periods on purchases such as the Citibank Clear 55-day interest free card.
Finding the best deal is easier than you think. If you look at our credit card comparison chart you’ll see all the offers on the one page, making it easy for you to choose the best card.
You can choose from the best:
- Low balance transfer card
- Low interest rate credit card
- Rewards program credit card
- No annual fee credit card
Pay attention to the cost of your card, the rewards you’ll be getting – if any, and the interest rate p.a. as those are where you’ll either benefit from your card or not. Many credit cards give you a lot of bonus deals that help you save money or earn additional credit such as the rewards cards. The idea is to choose a card that will work for your personal circumstances giving you what you can actually use.
With this choice you are bound to find and get the right card when you apply. Credit card online comparison charts are the fastest way to get hold of a card when time is short and money is needed.
Find The Best Deal
Everyone wants to feel like they are getting the “best deal” no matter what they are buying. But, how do you find the best deals online? When you apply for credit online, you will find that choosing the best credit card for you is actually quite personal. It completely depends on your situation and what you are trying to get out of having a credit card. Here are some things to consider when searching for a credit card.
- Understand fully how your credit card works. You may be surprised to discover that depending on when you made a purchase, you can have up to 55 days of no interest on your credit card. Knowing this fact can help to tailor your purchases accordingly.
- If you are going to use your credit card often then applying for a card that offers rewards may be the best option for you. There are many to choose from and you can find one that offers perks and benefits from airline miles to cash back.
Advantages To Having A Credit Card
Having a credit card is extremely convenient and can even be a life saver in certain circumstances. When you are a little short on cash, having a credit card can make all the difference. When you apply for credit online you can make your life that much easier by streamlining the process. And, if you know how to use your credit card wisely, you will continue to build your credit rating and increase your ability to purchase with low interest.
The Importance Of Applying For The Correct Credit Card
If you’re thinking of applying for a credit card, always invest a little bit of time and effort into making sure you’re getting the right type of credit card to suit your own financial needs.
This means you should have an awareness of which credit card types will be more likely to benefit your own style of spending and repayment frequency before you submit your credit card application.
Customers Who Pay the Balance in Full Each Month
If you’re the type of customer who pays the balance off completely before the due date every month, you can benefit from an array of credit cards. Applying for a credit card with interest free days can mean you’ll never pay any interest on the amount you spend, as long as you continue to keep repaying your balance each month.
Customers with High Spending Amounts
Some customers use their credit cards a lot during every month. These customers include people with high incomes, who might benefit from the extra perks offered with Gold or Platinum Cards.
This category may also include those very disciplined customers using a credit card in conjunction with a mortgage offset account to minimise the amount of interest they pay on all their debts, along with an auto-sweep facility to repay the entire credit card balance monthly.
For these customers, choose a credit card application that will offer you a great rewards program. Often the higher-tiered credit cards will have extra perks, such as complimentary insurances as well. Search for cards that allow you those interest free days too.
Customers with Large Outstanding Balances
If you’re the type of customer who regularly carries a balance over from month to month, you could benefit from applying for a credit card with a very low interest rate on balance transfers.
Customers with a budget that doesn’t seem to stretch far enough to make a dent in their credit card debt can benefit from a balance transfer credit card. This is because they’ll be reducing their interest costs, which can make it easier to get your credit card debt back under control.
Customers Who Only Use Credit Cards Rarely
If you’re the type of customer who prefers only to use a credit card for emergencies, hunt down a no-frills credit card. Many of these should have very low or no annual fee and a low purchase interest rate, but they often won’t have some of the other perks available. Completing a credit card application for a no-frills basic account can mean keeping your costs and fees down, but you’ll still have access to emergency funds if you need them.
Sometimes when applying for a credit card these statements are given to you as part of your credit card contract, and other times separately. Take some time to read through the small print to familiarise yourself with these stipulations.
Why choose your existing bank to provide your new credit card?
- They have your personal information. When you apply for a credit card they look at your credit file as it is, taking no grey areas into consideration. Your bank, on the other hand, might know that even though you had some late payments in the past you are doing fine now. Moreover, they know how much money you usually keep in your accounts which can make you a less risky investment then you appear on paper
- Your current bank knows you personally. When you really think about it your bank knows a great deal about you. They know who your employer is, how often and how much they pay you. They know how much you have in investment accounts and savings accounts at their bank. They also know your typical banking history, like whether you overdraft on cheques or do you always spend within your means.
- You trust them. Obviously, you trust this bank with your money or you would take your business elsewhere. You have probably developed a personal relationship with the people who work at the branches you frequent. Why not trust them with your credit cards too? Because of this personal connection you may be more likely to get a deal on interest rates or even minimum requirements for the credit card.
Avoid Becoming a Credit Card Statistic
It isn’t at all uncommon to hear or read tales of woe when it comes to people who have financially drown themselves in credit card debt. However, it is possible to avoid joining their sad ranks, as long as you familiarize yourself with the details of credit cards and learn how to make credit work for you, rather than the other way ’round. The truly clever customer will learn the details about how credit cards work in advance, before starting to use them. The old adage about “an ounce of prevention” definitely applies to financial decisions and credit cards, so pay close attention to these twelve credit card tips for dummies suggestions:
Must Read Tips
- Pay close attention to the credit card limit, and do not exceed it! The fees for this type of overage are terribly high.
- Make certain that you understand the interest rate on your credit card, as well as all of the fees and the schedule for payments.
- Watch out for zero percent teaser rate offers, which tempt customers with a low initial rate while trying to get them to spend more than the budget can bear. Remember that these low rates are introductory, and many of them will go to higher levels later!
- Understand the exact period of time during which an introductory interest rate is in effect.
- Have a well-defined monthly budget for your credit card spending, which will help you to avoid interest charges every month.
- Create an excellent credit history by making all of your payments on time – or even early! This is important even if you are unable to pay in full during a difficult month.
- Be careful about co-signing on a credit card for any friend or relative. If they get in any sort of financial difficulty, or behave irresponsibly with their credit, you will be held accountable for the results!
- Know the specific rates and fees for any late payments and exceeding the credit limit.
- Unless there are significant extenuating circumstances, pay the card off in full each month. In the event there are difficulties which will not allow you to pay in full, try to at least send more than the minimum monthly payment. Then pay it off as soon as possible. Interest charges are not in your best interest!
- Carefully review credit card statements each month to make sure that the terms have not changed without your knowledge. This is also a good way to tell whether criminals have been using your credit card accounts!
- Make a complete list of your debts before using any credit card, just to remain mindful of your present finances.
- Take a look at secured credit cards, which can be a safer option for many people than traditional credit cards.
Here’s hoping these credit card tips for dummies can keep you out of credit card hot water!
Four Basic Profiles – Which One is yours?
If you cannot control your spending habits, then most likely you will struggle with your monthly credit repayments. If this is the case with you and you operate with a revolving debt, then try to get a low interest rate card with a zero annual fee.
Same strategy as of the habitual spender will work here; get a low rate card with a low or no annual fee. Using your card on "Christmas style’"occasions, then spending the next few months after your huge shopping spree just trying to pay off the balance with a regular card doesn’t make much sense.
If your credit card accompanies you with your everyday shopping, like gas and groceries, and you are punctual in paying off the credit balance each month, then you don’t need to worry much about interest rates. So try to get a card that offers features that match your needs at lowest possible cost.
If you are a big shopping machine and always pay your due balance on time, then you should probably go for that card which offers exclusive perks. Additional benefits that you might seek are travel insurance, rewards points and concierge service.
Other Points to Consider
There are other features of credit cards that are not displayed with neon signs. For these, you need to read the details of the card offer. Let’s have a look at a few:
- Understand the terms and guidelines of balance transfers, introductory rates and their periods.
- Reward programs are the “ï¿½icing on the cake’, but beware, they cost a lot. Only opt for this baby if your benefits outweigh your total annual spending.
- Completely comprehend the terms and features of currency conversion fees, minimum repayment criteria and penalties for skipping and late submission of due charges.
- Be aware that your card may charge interest rates on new purchases when you don’t pay your previous due balance.
- Beware! Some cards consider and treat BPAY transactions as cash advances, meaning really high interest rates.
- Know that reward cards usually charge an additional annual fee. Some rewards programs waive it, if you have spent a great deal with your card. (Usually there is a threshold for this)
- Some cards also offer you to earn rewards points through BPAY and cash advances.
- Try to pay off your due balance each month in full. At least pay double the minimum requirement (this will help you far and wide).
- Get rid of many cards. Try to combine them into one (if possible at your bank). This will lower and even eliminate certain charges, like the ongoing fees.
- Try to avoid store credit cards. They usually have high interest rates.
- Do not consider increasing your credit limit unless it is absolutely necessary.
- Certain banks offer “package deals” on their cards. They offer lower interest rates and some other benefits (you need to qualify according to your bank’s criteria to be able to use them).
Balance Transfer Offers
This is a life-saving technique. If you are struggling with your many debt payments, try to combine all your different card payments (with different rates and payment dates) into just one card. This debt consolidation will enable you to only make one payment in a month to take care of all those payments. This is called a balance transfer.
The great thing is, when you do the balance transfer, the final amount that you need to pay is put at a lower interest rate. This way you get double benefits; low rate and just one payment. So whenever you start struggling with your debt payments, do consider the balance transfer offer.
You can also go for this feature just for the ease of making one single payment instead of keeping track of all the monthly payment dates and rates.
Credit Card Security
Immediately report your stolen or lost credit/debit card to your bank. The sooner they know the better it is for you. Remember, credit cards hold your money, you are responsible for it. Even after a proven case of unauthorized use of your card, you will still have to pay for some of the amount that the thief had used.
Keep a keen eye on your card while you’re making purchases. Never let it out of sight. Card swiping should be done right in front of your eyes.
When you plan to travel abroad, notify your lender of your intention to travel. This will alert them and they will not mark your card transactions from overseas as suspicious. It will prevent your card from getting deactivated while you are in some other country enjoying your holiday. This can save you from some serious unwanted nightmares whilst on holiday.
Be very careful when you shop online. Only enter your card information in well reputed sites.
You can read the help menu of your Internet browser for more information on this. Many smart Internet browsers are available that offer better Internet security measures.
Knowledge of credit cards can save you money and make your spending much smoother. Its a simple matter of information and its application, that you can have the most affordable and most useful credit card.