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How to apply for a credit card when you’re self-employed

Compare credit cards and the eligibility requirements that you'll need to meet if you run your own business.

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small business owner

If you’re self-employed, you can still apply for most credit cards as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. You may be required to submit some different documents than you would if you were retired or employed by a company. You can use this guide to compare credit card issuers who consider self-employed applicants and the documents you'll need to provide to apply.

Credit card providers that consider self-employed applicants

The following credit card issuers consider applications from people who are currently self-employed. We've listed the information that you may need to provide with your application below.

ProviderThe documents you’ll need
American ExpressYour accountant’s details are required.
ANZYour most recent personal tax return and corresponding ATO Notice of Assessment (less than 18 months old, e.g. a tax return from June 2014 can only be used until December 2015).
Bank AustraliaProvide your two most recent tax returns (both personal & business) along with the corresponding ATO official notice of assessments.
BankwestTwo of your most recent Notices of Assessment from the Australian Taxation Office showing your earnings for these financial years. You may also need to provide copies of your taxation and financial reports from your accountant. These must be from within 18 months of the application submission date.
Bank of MelbourneProvide recent tax information.
BankSAYou’ll need to provide an eligible tax return. If you haven’t been self-employed for more than a year, you’re not eligible to apply.
Bank of QueenslandYou’ll need to supply any one of the following options:

  • 2 most recent Notices of Assessment or 2 most recent income tax returns
  • 2 most recent business/company tax returns, or two most recent business/company profit and loss statements
Bendigo BankYou’ll need to provide your accountant's name and contact details as well as details of your income, assets and liabilities. This is where your most recent tax return statement would come in handy.
Citi
  • Your accountant's name, name of their accounting firm, and contact phone number.
  • Two most recent Tax Assessment Notices.

or

  • Two most recent Income Tax Returns.

or

  • Two most recent Business/Company Profit and Loss Statements.
ColesYou’ll need to provide your Notice of Assessment for the previous financial year. If you haven’t got that, then you’ll need to provide a tax return that shows your individual taxable income prepared by your accountant. If you haven’t been self-employed for a full year, you’ll need a letter from your accountant detailing the personal taxable income for the time you’ve been self-employed.
Commonwealth BankYou’ll need to submit your ABN and the title of your business. You’ll also need to provide two appropriate documents such as your most recent tax return, ABN registration certificate, trade or qualification certification, projected income statement from the accountant or tax return from before you were self-employed.
EmiratesOne of the following options are required:

  • Two most recent income tax returns
  • Two most recent Notices of Assessment

and

  • Two most recent business/company tax returns or
  • Two most recent business/company profit and loss statements
Latitude Financial ServicesNotice of Assessment for the previous financial year is required. If you haven’t got that, then the next document is a tax return, which shows your individual taxable income prepared by your account. If you’re not self-employed for a full year, you’ll need a letter from your accountant detailing the personal taxable income for the time you’ve been self-employed.
HSBCYou’ll be required to provide your most recent individual Notice of Assessment and HSBC may ask for further documentation if required.
JetstarYour accountant’s details are required.
ME BankYou will need to provide:

  • Last two tax returns.
  • Last Notice of Assessment.
  • Your accountant’s contact details.
NAB
  • An ATO Notice of Assessment(NOA) that's within the last 21 months.
  • Your most recent financial statements from within the last 21 months.
  • Your accountant's contact details.

Make sure all documents show both your full name and your agency/ institutions name & ABN.

St.GeorgeYou must provide a Notice of Assessment. If you’ve been self-employed for less than a year, you won’t be able to apply.
SuncorpIf you’re self-employed, you need to provide a recent tax statement or payslip. If you’ve been self-employed for less than 2 years, you’ll also need to provide information about your income before then. You’ll also need to provide your accountant’s name and contact details.
Virgin Money (Citi)As Virgin Money credit cards are issued by Citi, they follow the same rules as the bank.

  • Two of your most recent income tax returns or two of your most recent Notices of Assessment

and

  • Two of the most recent business tax returns or the two most recent business profit and loss statements.
WestpacMost recent Notice of Assessment that must be less than 18 months old and last 2 months of business bank statements.
WoolworthsYou’ll need to detail your trading name and trading address and provide your most recent tax statement.

What to consider before applying for a credit card when you're self-employed

When you're comparing credit cards for business or personal expenses, here are some of the factors you should consider:

  • Business or personal card. A personal credit card may be better suited if your business is in its early stages, if you don't have an ABN yet and if you're a sole trader with no employees. One of these cards might be better if you plan to use it for both personal and business expenses. If you have a registered company and multiple employees, you may want to consider a business credit card that offers a larger credit limit, more additional cardholders and accounting features.
  • Card features. If you'll use a credit card regularly and pay it off each month, you could reward your spending with a frequent flyer credit card. If you need a card to free up cash flow and plan to carry a balance from month to month, you could consider a card that charges a low interest rate.
  • Eligibility requirements. Many credit cards require you to meet a minimum annual income to apply. You'll need to provide recent bank statements, tax returns and your accountant's information to demonstrate your income. Some banks will only consider self-employed applicants if they've been in business for more than a year. If you're unsure if you meet the criteria, get in contact with the card issuer before applying to check if you're eligible.

Compare and find your next credit card

Compare credit cards available to self-employed applicants

Updated April 8th, 2020
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$45 p.a.
A no-frills credit card with a competitive annual fee and 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for the first 18 months.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
$450 p.a.
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations. Ends 14 Apr 2020.
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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    CamilleApril 23, 2017

    I just wanted to ask, what if im a self employed i have a business buy it does not registered to the b.i.r and i don’t have any bank account. . My business earn 45,000 monthly. . Am i still eligible to apply for a credit card ? Thanks in advance

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeApril 24, 2017Staff

      Hi Camille,

      Thanks for your question.

      Kindly note that our guide above is applicable only to credit cards that are available to Australian residents.

      The credit card brands in your country might have a different set of eligibility criteria when it comes to accepting credit card applications from self-employed. Generally, when you apply for a credit card, you’ll be required to show proof of your income, which could include a bank statement or income tax return.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

Credit Cards Comparison

Updated April 8th, 2020
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Earn flybuys points for your spending and save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
$450 p.a.
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations. Ends 14 Apr 2020.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months
$129 p.a.
Enjoy a balance transfer offer, yearly annual fee refund, airport lounge passes and complimentary insurance covers.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$45 p.a.
A no-frills credit card with a competitive annual fee and 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for the first 18 months.
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* 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.

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