Discover whether you earn enough to apply for a credit card and compare low income options.
When you apply for a credit card, your income is an important eligibility requirement that the issuer will use as one way to assess your ability to repay. Minimum income requirements generally start at $15,000 p.a., so there are some low-income options to compare. Use this guide to find out how much you'll need to earn to get a credit card and to compare credit cards you're eligible to apply for.
What are minimum income requirements?
Minimum income requirements let you know the lowest amount of money you need to earn to apply for a credit card. The actual minimum income varies from card to card, with the smallest income you need to apply for a credit card starting at $15,000 p.a.
Credit card income requirements help issuers reduce the risk of lending and allow them to offer you products that are appropriate for your financial circumstances. In turn, you can use these requirements to help you choose and apply for credit cards that suit your individual needs. As long as you earn at least the minimum income listed, you will be eligible to apply for a credit card.
Compare credit cards with low minimum income
How can I find out about credit card minimum income requirements?
Credit card minimum income details are listed in the ‘Application requirements’ section 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 credit card issuers prefer not to outline minimum income requirements at all, 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. It’s also a good idea to compare credit cards and look at the different application requirements, including minimum income information, to help you find a card that fits your circumstances.
Why do minimum income requirements vary?
This 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 don’t earn a lot of money.
Comparison: High minimum income requirement vs low minimum income requirement
The following table shows the differences between two cards with high minimum income requirements and two with low income requirements. 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|
|ANZ Frequent Flyer Black||$75,000||$15,000||19.99% p.a.|
|Citi Prestige||$150,000||$30,000||20.99% p.a.|
|Coles Low Rate MasterCard||$25,000||$500||12.99% p.a.|
|Virgin No Annual Fee||$25,000||$25,000||18.99% p.a.|
The examples in this table also reveal that high minimum income credit cards also tend to have higher minimum credit limits and higher purchase rates. These features, as well as the complimentary extras, are designed to benefit people who earn and can spend more money. In comparison, low income credit cards tend to have lower minimum credit limits and fewer features, which can make it easier to avoid overspending.
Other factors that affect your credit card application
Credit card issuers weigh up a whole range of other factors before approving or denying your request for credit, including:
- Age. You must be at least 18 years of age to apply for a credit card.
- Credit rating. 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.
- 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 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 circumstances and needs.