Do I make enough money to get a credit card?
Compare options with low minimum income requirements and find the right credit card for you.
When you apply for a credit card, your income is an important eligibility requirement that the issuer will use to assess your ability to repay. Minimum income requirements generally start at $15,000 p.a. gross (before tax), so there are some low-income options to compare. However, you'll need to provide proof of income and meet other eligibility criteria to receive approval. Use this guide to learn how much you'll need to earn to apply for a credit card in Australia and the other requirements you'll need to meet to get approval.
What are minimum income requirements?
Minimum income requirements are the lowest amount of money you need to earn before tax per year to apply for a credit card.
Credit card income criteria help banks and card issuers reduce the risk of lending. It also means that people are only approved for products that are appropriate for their financial situation. In turn, you can use these requirements to help you choose and apply for credit cards that suit your individual needs. If you apply for a credit card with a minimum income requirement that is higher than what you earn, you'll be declined and this can hurt your credit score.
Compare credit cards with a low minimum income requirement
How can I find out what the income requirement is for a credit card?
On Finder, the details are listed in the ‘Application requirements’ section in the product reviews for individual cards.
Some issuers also include this information on their websites or product pages, so you can double-check before you apply for a particular credit card. Other lenders don't outline minimum income requirements, so you won’t see this information for every credit card you look at.
If you can’t find minimum income requirements for a particular card, you can try calling the issuer to ask about your eligibility.
Why are some income requirements so much higher than others?
The relationship between income and credit cards can influence a wide range of credit card features, from the credit limit and interest rate of the card right through to complimentary extras or rewards programs. In general, cards with high minimum incomes will have a lot more features than low income credit cards, but there are still many different credit cards you can choose from if you make a relatively low income.
Comparison: High vs low minimum income requirement
The following table shows the differences between a card with a high minimum income requirement and one with a low minimum income requirement. In general, high income credit cards offer more “other features”, while low income credit cards are good for basic money management.
|Credit card||Minimum income||Minimum credit limit||Purchase rate||Other features|
|Citi Prestige||$150,000||$30,000||21.49% p.a.|
|Virgin No Annual Fee||$25,000||$2,000||18.99% p.a.|
The examples in this table also show that high minimum income credit cards also tend to have bigger minimum credit limits and more expensive purchase rates. These features, as well as the complimentary extras, are designed to benefit people who earn and can spend more money. They're also suited to people who regularly pay off their balance in full to avoid interest rates.
In comparison, credit cards with lower minimum income requirements tend to have smaller credit limits and fewer features as well as more competitive purchase rates and fees.
Other factors that affect your credit card application
Credit card issuers consider a range of other factors before approving or denying your request for credit, including:
- Credit score. Your credit history or credit rating outlines details of your current and previous loans, cards and other credit accounts (such as utilities). Generally, you need to have at least a 'good' credit rating to apply for a credit card. If you don't know what your credit score is, you can get a copy of your credit report for free through Finder.
- Age. You must be at least 18 years of age to apply for a credit card.
- Residency status. While credit card issuers generally prefer people who are citizens or permanent residents of Australia, there are some credit cards available for people with temporary residency status. These cards may have higher minimum income requirements to help meet lending standards.
- Employment status. While credit card issuers typically prefer people to have full-time employment, you could still be eligible for some cards if you work part-time or casually, are self-employed, are a student or if you have a pension.
- Income vs expenses. When you apply for a credit card, you will have to provide information about your current income, spending habits and any existing debts to help issuers determine whether or not you can manage more credit.
Credit card income requirements help issuers assess the risk of lending and give you an idea of what cards are available to you based on your financial situation. So, now that you have a better understanding of minimum income requirements, you can compare and apply for a card that fits your needs. If you're unsure if you'll be approved based on your income, contact the bank beforehand to discuss your options and don't risk applying for the card if you think you'll be declined.
Other guides you might also be interested in
Ask an Expert
Credit Cards Comparison
* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.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.