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Credit cards for retired and pensioner applicants

Want to get a credit card when you're on a pension or retired? Compare your options and learn how to apply here.

There is a range of credit cards you can apply for when you're on a pension or retired. But you may be required to meet some extra conditions and provide additional documents before a credit card company will approve your application.

This makes it important to do your research before applying for a credit card as a pensioner or retiree. You can use this guide to learn about the Australian credit card providers that accept retired and pensioner applicants, as well as the documents you’ll need to improve your chances of approval.

ProviderRetiree and pensioner application details
American Express
  • Retired applicants: You’ll need to provide your financial details (annual income excluding superannuation, total superannuation balance, accountant details to confirm income).
  • Pensioner applicants: Your annual income (excluding superannuation) and total superannuation balance are required. An external source (such as your accountant) is also required to confirm your financial details.
ANZ
  • Retired applicants: Your income details (such as your most recent superannuation details) are required.
  • Pensioner applicants: Your income details (such as your most recent Centrelink statement) required.
Bank Australia
  • Retired applicants: If you are pre-approved, you will need to supply a superannuation income statement.
  • Pensioner applicants: Pension benefits are accepted as eligible income. You’ll need to provide evidence of your income such as your Centrelink statement.
Bankwest
  • Retired applicants: As long as the minimum income requirement is met and you have a good credit rating, you are eligible to apply.
  • Pensioner applicants: Yes. You will need to supply an income statement from Centrelink.
Bank of Melbourne
  • Retired applicants: Self-funded retirees are eligible to apply. Those on a government or age pension are also eligible. You’ll need to provide proof of your income such as your superannuation statement or Centrelink statement.
  • Pensioner applicants: The following pensions are accepted:
    • Disablement pension
    • Returned servicemen
    • Single parent
    • Unemployment pension
    • Other pension (contact Bank of Melbourne to clarify whether your specific pension is covered)
  • You’ll need evidence of your income such as your Centrelink statements.
BankSA
  • Retired applicants: If you’re a self-funded retiree, you’ll need to provide a statement from your super fund as proof of your income.
  • Pensioner applicants: Applicants on a pension will need to provide a Centrelink statement from the last 3 months.
Bank of Queensland
  • Retirees and pensioners: You’ll need to provide any of the following options: annual superannuation statement, which includes an indexed pension amount, your most recent pension statement, 3 months of personal bank statements showing regular credit or cash deposits, your most recent self-managed superannuation tax returns less than 15 months old.
Bendigo Bank
  • Retirees and pensioners: You need to provide your income, how regularly you’re paid and what type of income you receive. Examples they provide include shares, superannuation, family tax benefit and Defence Reserve payments.
Citi
  • Retirees and pensioners: You may need to provide: A letter from Centrelink showing your name and the permanent government pension amount, your three most recent bank statements showing proof of regular payments, your annual superannuation statement, which includes an indexed pension amount, or your most recent self-managed superannuation tax return (must be less than 15 months old).
Coles
  • Retired applicants: Eligibility will depend on your income. If you’re a self-funded retiree with a superannuation income, you’ll need to provide a recent superannuation statement. If you have a term deposit, you’ll need to provide your term deposit statement. If you have an investment property, you can submit the three most recent rental income statements.
  • Pensioner applicants: Eligibility depends the source of your pension. If it’s from Centrelink, you’ll need to provide a pension statement. If it’s from the Department of Veteran Affairs, you’ll need to provide statements from there.
Commonwealth Bank
  • Retired applicants: Two most recent superannuation statements.
  • Pensioner applicants: Two most recent Centrelink payment summaries.
Emirates
  • Retired applicants: Provide a letter from Centrelink showing the applicant's name and the permanent government pension amount is required, or you can provide one of the following:
  • Three most recent bank statements showing applicant's regular Centrelink payments
  • The annual superannuation statement which includes an indexed pension amount
  • One most recent self-managed superannuation tax return less than 15 months old
  • Pensioner applicants: Provide three most recent bank statements showing applicant's regular Centrelink payments.
Latitude Financial Services
  • Retired applicants: Self-funded retirees need to provide a recent superannuation statement. If you have a term deposit, you’ll need to provide your term deposit statement. If you have an investment property, provide rental income statements for 3 months.
  • Pensioner applicants: Eligibility depends on the source of your pension. If it’s from Centrelink, you’ll need to provide a pension statement. If it’s from the Department of Veteran Affairs, you’ll need to provide statements from there.
HSBC
  • Retired applicants: Your most recent superannuation statement will be required.
  • Pensioner applicants: A bank statement will be required to prove your pension claims.
Jetstar
  • Retired applicants: Details of your accountant are required.
  • Pensioner applicants: As long as you meet the application requirements.
ME Bank
  • Retired applicants: Income details required.
  • Pensioner applicants: Income details required.
NAB
  • Retired applicants: Accountant’s contact details are required.
  • Documentation: Existing NAB customers who have their pension going into the account regularly may not require supporting documentation. New NAB customers may be asked to provide their most recent pension benefit statement.
St.George
  • Retired applicants: If you’re a self-funded retiree, you’ll either need to provide information of your assets or a recent superannuation statement.
  • Pensioner applicants: St.George will require you to provide your most recent pension statement. Please note that St.George doesn’t accept all pensions as an eligible income. For example, carer’s pensions aren’t an accepted form of income, but an age pension is. You may want to contact St.George directly to confirm whether your pension is eligible.
Suncorp
  • Retired applicants: If you’re retired, you’ll need to provide a recent copy of your superannuation statement or asset details.
  • Pensioner applicants: If you’re on a pension, you’ll need to provide your most recent Centrelink statement.
Virgin Money (Citi)As Virgin Money credit cards are issued by Citi, they follow the same rules as the bank.

  • Retired and pensioner applicants: A letter from Centrelink showing applicant's name and the permanent government pension amount, three most recent bank statements showing applicant's regular Centrelink payments, your annual superannuation statement, which includes an indexed pension amount, or one most recent self-managed superannuation tax return less than 15 months old.
Westpac
  • Retired applicants: If you’re a self-funded retiree, you’ll need to provide a copy of your superannuation statement or information regarding your assets.
  • Pensioner applicants: If you’re on a pension, what you need to provide will depend on your financial situation. If you have a pension, you’ll need to provide your 2 most recent Centrelink statement.
Woolworths
  • Retired applicants: If you’re retired, you need to provide your gross annual income (before tax and including super) and provide your most recent superannuation statement.
  • Pensioner applicants: If you’re on a pension, you’ll need to provide your most recent Centrelink statement.

Mistakes to avoid when applying for a credit card

Not doing research on credit cards for pensioners and retirees

pensioners-apply-credit-cardWhen you apply for a credit card as a pensioner or retiree, you'll need to meet specific eligibility requirements and submit a range of documents to support your application. Comparing credit cards and researching your options before you apply will help you make sure you meet these requirements and can increase your chances of approval.

If you’re unsure of what you need to provide for a specific credit card, you can read the relevant product disclosure statement (PDS) or contact the provider to confirm any queries you have before applying. Keep in mind that rejected applications will have a negative impact on your credit file, so doing this research will help maximise your chances of approval.

How to ensure your credit card application is approved?

Applying for several cards in a short time period

If your previous credit card application has been rejected, don’t immediately apply for another one. Instead, consider why you weren’t accepted. If you hadn’t organised the necessary documents, confirm which ones you’re missing before applying again. If you were rejected because of your credit history, you’ll need to take some time to improve your credit score before applying again.

Learn how to improve your credit score here.
If you’re retired or on a pension, there are a variety of credit card options to choose from. However, as you’ll need to meet some extra terms and conditions, it’s important to do your research and compare a range of cards so you can apply for one that fits your circumstances and needs.

Pictures: Shutterstock

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Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is an editor at finder.com.au who is a credit cards, frequent flyer and travel money expert by day and music maven by night.

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8 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    October 7, 2017

    Hi,,Which option is better financially to apply for a credit card ($10k)with low interest rate or to purchase an item worth approx 10k from a large retailer via their preferred financial institution advertising for their products as follow: purchase **** for 10 k with no deposit and 48 month,s interest free subject to finance application approval on line.
    Note: The item can be purchased for approx $1300 less if I pay cash, not to mentioned there is possibly a monthly on going fees and charges by the retailer financial preferred institution,,, in other words there is no such things as no free interest,,,,.
    Cheers,,,thanks,,,Aboud(Self funded retiree),,,NSW

    • Default Gravatar
      GruOctober 7, 2017

      Hello Aboud,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      Please note that finder is a comparison website and general information service.
      As we do not represent any of the companies featured on our pages, we can only provide you with general advice and guide you in making an informed decision.

      In terms of deciding if you should go with using a credit card with low interest rate to purchase an item or purchasing somewhere else using the merchant’s preferred institution (but at a discount) would ultimately be up to you.

      We would all want to get the best deal and save money. To really end up with the best decision financially, you would have to get all the fees and charges that both options have, compare them side-by-side and then choose the one that would best suit your needs.

      Hope this helped.

      Cheers,
      Gru

  2. Default Gravatar
    August 18, 2017

    Hi,please could you guys list the banks that accept disability pension?as I’ve spent 5 years of debt repayment,and have a 860 credit score now,and don’t want to make any mistakes,thank you.Alex.

  3. Default Gravatar
    SharonJune 28, 2017

    I recently applied for a credit card on line and was told I do not fit the criteria As I have a self managed Super Fund retiree and take a lump sum each year. Is this the case with most banks ?

    • Staff
      JhezelynJune 28, 2017Staff

      Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for your comment.

      If you are a pensioner, some credit providers may think of you as a high risk applicant. They may not take into account the income you earn from super or elsewhere, and would only see the risk that you may not be able to pay back your credit card spending and interest. The banks will take in a range of factors when looking to approve such as your assets v liabilities, income v expenses, your savings history, your credit history etc.

      You may want to check your options with the list of the banks above. Check the eligibility and the documents needed when applying.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  4. Default Gravatar
    jenniferNovember 29, 2016

    Is it ok to put down a guarantor

    • Staff
      AnndyNovember 29, 2016Staff

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you are referring to having a guarantor on your credit card, yes you can do so. You can refer to this page for more information on how it works.

      At the bottom of the same page, you can also find a link to institutions that offer joint credit cards where a person can co-sign on the credit card debt or act as a guarantor for the person.

      Cheers
      Anndy

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