Wondering if you'll get approved?
Only 9% of Australians say they've been rejected for a credit card, according to our consumer sentiment tracker (November data). 80% of Australians say they've never been rejected for any products at all.
In Australia, you can apply for a credit card if you're 18, have a good credit history and meet the card's eligibility criteria.
You can usually apply for a card online, over the phone or in a branch and it should only take around 10 to 20 minutes to complete the application. Here's what you need to know.
You can usually complete an online credit card application form in around 10 to 20 minutes and get a response within 60 seconds of submitting it. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you get there.
The first step is to consider what credit cards are available so you can find the right card for you. Start by thinking about what you want a credit card for and then consider the features, rates and fees applicable to different cards.
If you're comparing credit cards on Finder, you can use the tables to view features and fees side-by-side. There are also reviews of individual cards if you want more detailed information.
Each credit card has its own requirements, also known as eligibility criteria. You'll find these details on the card's review page and at the start of the online application.
This part usually takes around 10 to 20 minutes online.
You can also save some time by having the details and documents you need ready to submit. So, here's a checklist of what you typically need when you apply:
You may also be asked for supporting documentation once your online application is submitted. This could include:
After you've completed the online credit card application form, check that all the information is accurate and submit the application.
Most credit card providers offer a response within 60 seconds of applying. This includes online applications with ANZ, CommBank, NAB and Westpac. There are typically 3 potential outcomes: approved, conditionally approved or declined. The bank may also ask for more information before making its final decision.
If you're approved, you can usually expect your new credit card to arrive in the mail within a week or so.
If you're not approved, spend some time comparing other options and improving your credit score before you apply for another one.
Either way, a credit enquiry will be recorded on your credit file once you've applied.
Ask yourself these 3 questions to help you find a credit card that works for you:
But make sure the card you apply for is affordable for you. If you're unsure, you could call the credit card provider to talk about your circumstances before you apply, so you can decide if the card is worth it.
You can't use any new credit card until you've activated it. And the application details will still be listed on your credit history (this is the case even if you're not approved).
What happens next depends on the provider and the terms and conditions that you agree to when you apply and submit your application. In some cases, your account may be set up as soon as your application is approved, especially for digital or virtual cards.
For example, the MONEYME Freestyle Virtual Card terms and conditions state that the card "will be activated and ready for use once MoneyMe has approved the opening of your Account", while Bankwest states its digital cards don't need to be activated.
If you don't want to activate or use a credit card after you've applied and been approved, you should call the provider as soon as possible and explain that you have changed your mind and no longer want the account. In most cases, this will void the card and the account before you have accepted it.
There is no set credit score requirement that you need to meet before you can get a credit card in Australia. But many credit card providers will say that you need to have "good" or "excellent" credit history.
Your credit score can give you a sense of whether you meet this requirement. If you don't know your credit score, you can check it for free through Finder – and even view your chance of approval for credit cards and other financial products like loans.
It's possible to apply for a credit card when you're a casual worker, as long as you meet all the eligibility requirements and can provide supporting documentation of your regular income. This typically includes:
The credit card provider will also consider the length of time you've been employed, any other sources of income and your household assets and expenses as part of the application. As a general guide, including as much detail as possible gives you a greater chance of approval.
It's sometimes possible to get two of the same credit card but it depends on the lender's application criteria and assessment. Some lenders might be concerned that a second application for the same account was a case of identity theft.
Also keep in mind that introductory bonus point and promotional interest rate offers are typically reserved for new credit card customers. Most providers explicitly state that you won't be eligible if you hold a similar account with them.
So, it's often easier and more practical to look at other options that fit with your goals. This could include:
Ready to get a new credit card, start by comparing your options. Once you find one you want to apply for, click through to the online application, follow these steps and wait for the response.
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