What you need to apply for a credit card

Information verified correct on September 27th, 2016
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Before clicking “apply now” you need to make sure you can meet the bank’s eligibility requirements. Find out exactly what you need below.

A credit card can mean financial freedom and security, but you’ll need to meet the bank or provider’s requirements before applying. The exact requirements you’ll need to meet can vary from bank to bank, but there are a few general terms and conditions you’ll need to meet across the board. Understanding all of the information you need to provide will ensure your application process goes smoothly and will increase your chances of approval!

What information will I need to include?

Before you begin filling out the application there will likely be a small section to verify that you qualify and that you have read and understand the terms outlined by the provider. You could be asked to click that you are over 18 years of age, an Australian resident and that you have read the pertinent documents. Once you click yes to their list of eligibility requirements you will be able to continue to the full application.

Personal information

The first thing you are asked on a credit card application is details about your personal information. Ensure that all the information provided is correct:

  • Personal information. Full name and date of birth.
  • Proof of identity. Supporting proof of identification such as a passport or driver’s licence
  • Residential address. Current address and length of time there. In certain cases, you could be asked to also provide previous address information.
  • Contact details. Contact information including a valid email address for the bank to contact you at
  • Dependents. Number of dependents, such as your children.

Note that if you are applying for a joint credit card account, all of the same information will be required for the additional applicant.

Financial information

The financial information portion of the credit card application helps to determine if you qualify and for how much. Expect to be asked about the following:

  • Account details. Account details for savings and transactions along with the current balances.
  • Assets. Assets you may have in savings, investments and property.
  • Monthly expenses. Your monthly financial obligations including rent, mortgage and other living. expenses
  • Credit. Monthly credit payments and the amount of available credit you have.

Employment and income information

The financial institution that you are applying with may want to verify that you are receiving a steady income. To do this they will ask for:

  • Your occupation. For example, you’ll need to provide your title and the field you work in (e.g. media, education, management).
  • Employment. You’ll need to specify the amount of time with current employer and provide your employer’s name and contact information.
  • Income. Your annual income before taxes as well as any secondary income you may receive.
  • Self-employed. Individuals who are self-employed when applying for a credit card may need to provide their accountants information in order to verify income.

Residential status

There are a number of credit cards that are only available to Australian permanent residents and citizens. The provider may ask you to prove your residential status either with a passport or other documentation. Find out the information that temporary residents need to provide when applying for a credit card.

Card preferences

At some point in your application, you will be asked for your card preferences and given the option for a balance transfer.

  • Credit limit. Choose a realistic credit limit that you’re likely to be approved for, while also considering what will support your financial needs without tempting you to make unnecessary purchases.
  • Additional cardholders and their details. If you have a partner or children who you’d like to add as an additional cardholder, make sure to have their personal details ready.
  • Balance transfer. You will need to list the issuers of your current credit cards, the card numbers and the respective amounts you wish to balance transfer. You may not transfer the balance from a card funded by the same bank, which can be tricky because the funding bank for credit card brands is not obvious. See our credit card application tips for more.

Finally, you will be asked to review your details before hitting the ‘submit’ button. Thoroughly check your form for accuracy, and remember that the application cannot be recalled once submitted. It will trigger an enquiry mark on your credit file, so make sure it’s worthwhile.

What else do I need to remember when applying?

  • Eligibility requirements. This will include things like your age, residential status, and in some cases your salary.
  • Required documentation. Identifying documents with a photo will be required along with current pay stubs or tax documents to help confirm your income.
  • Document submission. Check how the process works for verifying your documents. In some cases, you may be able send copies via fax or you might have to bring them to a branch if you are applying through a local bank. Some providers will require that you submit supporting documents after the card has been sent in order to activate it.
  • Balance transfer. If you are applying for a credit card with a balance transfer offer, you will need to provide the details of the accounts you plan on transferring on your application.

How to get your credit card application approved

If you do the research first and gather together all of the information that will be asked of you, filling out an application online will only take a few minutes. Make your comparisons amongst the different cards you are interested in, and then study the application process before getting started. With the convenience of 60 second approval times, you could know within 15 minutes of clicking “apply now” whether you will be getting a brand new credit card.

Frequently asked questions

Why do credit card providers need details of my previous addresses?

Your previous addresses help with providing an accurate credit history. This is especially important with Australians who have common names that may be confused with another individual. This is also used to show what your history is as far as keeping up with your monthly payments.

Will I be able to check the status of my application?

Most banks will send you a confirmation email and reference number that allows you to track the progress of your application.

What if I don’t have time to finish the application right away?

You will be given the option of being able to save the application in a secure data base to be continued at a later date. Check for how long the provider will save that information before purging it from their system.

How will I know which documents I am going to need?

With most applications you will be provided with a list of the necessary documentation. Alternatively, you can also find this information at the bottom of finder.com.au credit card review pages.

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24 Responses to What you need to apply for a credit card

  1. Default Gravatar
    Neerj | March 9, 2016

    im from India, tell me how much amount of money do i need in my bank account?

    • Staff
      Ally | March 9, 2016

      Hi Neerj,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Kindly note that finder.com.au is an online comparison service.
      We compare different financial products in Australia and are not in a position to make personal recommendations.

      However, once you have chosen a bank to open an account with, it would be best to get in touch with that bank to find out about their requirements.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,
      Ally

  2. Default Gravatar
    Lipika | February 3, 2016

    is there any requirement to have some minimal balance in the account
    ??

    • Staff
      Sally | February 3, 2016

      Hi Lipika,

      Thanks for your question.

      Most credit cards come with a minimum credit limit and the maximum credit limit you’ll be approved for will depend on your income and credit history.

      You can start comparing credit cards here. When you click on the card you’d like to compare, you’ll be able to see the minimum and maximum credit limits available.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  3. Default Gravatar
    sebastian | March 24, 2015

    are the requirements different at each country?
    is it possible to those who are jobless (uni student / language exchange student)?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | March 24, 2015

      Hi Sebastian, thanks for getting in touch!

      Each country’s lending requirements for credit cads do vary so it is best to check with the lender’s policies in that destination. Generally credit cards require permanent residency/ citizenship status, making debit card services more ideal. Please see the following page for a list of debit cards and comparison.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    snaha | September 1, 2014

    Do we need to have fixed deposits on the bank to have credit card or do we need to maintain certain amount on our bank

    • Staff
      Shirley | September 2, 2014

      Hi Snaha,

      Thanks for your question.

      Your credit card application depends on a lot of things, here are just a few;
      - Your personal situation
      - Your financial situation (assets and liabilities) – this is when your savings are taken into account.
      - Your credit history
      - Your residency status.

      If you click through to our reviews, you’ll find that at the bottom we try to list the requirements to be eligible for the credit card.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  5. Default Gravatar
    komal | September 17, 2013

    Is it necessary to have a bank account for credit card use?

    • Staff
      Jacob | September 17, 2013

      Hi Kormal.

      It’s not necessary, however, one of the most popular ways of paying your credit card statement is via BPAY from another bank account. You can still pay your card bill in person or by cheque if you don’t have a bank account.

      Thanks.

  6. Default Gravatar
    Abhishek | July 29, 2013

    Kindly inform me how much minimum income are required and what is the document are required. Both salaried and self employed person.

    • Staff
      Jacob | July 29, 2013

      Hi Abhishek. Thanks for your question. You can find this information on each card’s review and application page. Please check the application requirements table at the bottom of the page for this information. Jacob.

  7. Default Gravatar
    E | May 25, 2013

    What is the salary level to apply for a credit card?

    • Staff
      Jacob | May 26, 2013

      Hi E. Thanks for your question. This will depend on the card itself. You can find this information in the eligibility requirements table on the credit card review and application page. Jacob.

  8. Default Gravatar
    Nitesh | May 14, 2013

    I want to apply for a credit card so i just want to make sure that what are the criteria or steps which should i need to follow ?

    • Staff
      Jacob | May 14, 2013

      Hi Nitesh. Thanks for your question. This video explains the credit card application process. Jacob.

  9. Default Gravatar
    mharla | April 24, 2013

    I just want to ask if I can get a credit card?? I’m working here in Hong kong as a helper…

    • Staff
      Jacob | April 24, 2013

      Hi Mharla. Thanks for your question. You need to be an Australian resident or a holder of a long stay visa to apply for a card. You will also need an Aussie bank account with proof of income. Jacob.

  10. Default Gravatar
    sumit | April 19, 2013

    I wanna ask a question. I’m working in an company and my salary is up to rs.10000, but i don’t have salary account….they give me my salary in cash. Can I apply for credit card?

    • Staff
      Jacob | April 19, 2013

      Hi Sumit. Thanks for your question – a few issues here – you’re not eligible to apply for any of these cards.
      1) to be eligible for a card you will need to have an Australian bank account where you’re getting paid AUD.
      2) If you’re getting paid cash, you’re not paying tax – this is illegal.
      Jacob.

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 27th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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