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Credit card application tips

Hint: your credit history and debt ratio will play a role.

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When you want a new credit card it only takes around 10 to 20 minutes to apply online, and you'll usually get a response within 60 seconds of submitting the application. But if you rush your application, it could hurt your chances of being approved and leave a mark on your credit history. So here are 7 tips to help increase your chances of being approved.

7 tips to boost your chances of credit card approval

Gift card icon1. Check your credit score.
When you apply for a credit card, lenders check your credit score to determine how creditworthy you are. Before you make your application, check your credit score first to understand where you stand and how likely the lender is to approve your application. If your score is less than perfect, you can work towards improving it before you apply to increase your chances of approval.

Book now and pay later icon2. Pay bills on time and work on improving your score.
If your score is low, work on improving it before you apply. Your score could be low for a range of reasons, including bills you haven't paid or delayed repayments for another loan. You can start by ensuring you pay all your bills on time. Or you can find out more about applying for a credit card with a low credit score.

flexibility icon3. Pay off smaller debts.
If you have a number of open credit accounts, including another credit card or a buy now pay later (BNPL) arrangement, work towards paying it off. Regular repayments can help improve your score. You should also look into closing off smaller credit accounts by paying off those debts. A high ratio of debt can impact your credit score, so the more you pay off the better your chances.

bills payment icon4. Check eligibility criteria.
Lenders will consider things like your age, citizenship and credit score. There will also be income and employment requirements to ensure you're able to repay the loan. Find a card that you're eligible for, and don't apply if you don't meet their minimum requirements.

Picture not described5. Don't apply for too many cards at once.
If you've narrowed down your options, it may be best to pick a single card and lender. This is because every credit application results in a hard credit check. Too many applications will result in many hard credit checks, all of which will be recorded on your credit report. Not only could this bring down your score, but the lender will also consider it a red flag.

Tax saving icon6. Apply for a reasonable limit.
Aim to keep your debt ratio low and apply for a reasonable limit. It may be nice to have a card with a $10,000 limit, but your chances of approval are higher if you keep your limit low. Ensure the limit is well within your ability to repay it.

Merch icon7. Try to avoid using BNPL too much.
Buy now pay later services offer interest-free finance and flexibility, but lenders don't like to see too many BNPL transactions in your bank statements. It can indicate that your spending habits are not responsible.

And finally, don't forget to compare credit cards to ensure you're getting the best deal and the features you want.

Compare and apply for a low rate credit card

1 - 20 of 23
Name Product Purchase rate p.a. Interest-free period Balance transfer rate p.a. Annual fee

Citi Rewards Card - Purchase and Balance Transfer Offer

Citi Rewards Card - Purchase and Balance Transfer Offer
0% for 14 months, reverts to 21.49%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 14 months
$0 for the first year ($149 thereafter)
Save with 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, $0 first-year annual fee.

Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card

Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card
0% for 12 months, reverts to 18.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 12 months
$0
Save with a $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months.

Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard

Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% for 15 months, reverts to 9.9%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 15 months
$0 for the first year ($49 thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (with no BT fee). Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.

St.George Vertigo Card

St.George Vertigo Card
13.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 32 months
$0 for the first year ($55 thereafter)
Get a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 32 months (with no balance transfer fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.

Coles Low Rate Mastercard

Coles Low Rate Mastercard
12.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 36 months
$58
Enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 36 months (with no balance transfer fee).

ANZ Low Rate

ANZ Low Rate
12.49%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 30 months
$0 for the first year ($58 thereafter)
Now eligible for Cashrewards Max. Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months (with no BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.

Citi Clear Card - Cashback Offer

Citi Clear Card - Cashback Offer
14.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 15 months
$49 for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Get $250 cashback when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, free wine when you dine and purchase insurance cover.

Citi Clear Card - Balance Transfer Offer

Citi Clear Card - Balance Transfer Offer
14.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 36 months
$49 for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 36 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and complimentary insurance covers.

Great Southern Bank Low Rate Credit Card

Finder Award
Great Southern Bank Low Rate Credit Card
11.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 33 months
$0 for the first year ($49 thereafter)
Save with a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 33 months, $0 first-year annual fee, and a low variable 11.99% p.a. purchase interest rate.

NAB Low Rate Credit Card

NAB Low Rate Credit Card
12.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 32 months
$0 for the first year ($59 thereafter)
Get a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 32 months (with no BT fee). Plus, save with a $0 first-year annual fee.

BankSA Vertigo

BankSA Vertigo
13.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 32 months
$0 for the first year ($55 thereafter)
Offers 0% p.a. for 32 months on balance transfers (with no balance transfer fee). Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.

Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Card

Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Card
13.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 32 months
$0 for the first year ($55 thereafter)
Save with a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 32 months (with no balance transfer fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.

American Express Business Explorer Credit Card

American Express Business Explorer Credit Card
3.99% for 6 months, reverts to 19.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
$149
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 100,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.

American Express Essential Credit Card

American Express Essential Credit Card
14.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
Get a $200 credit when you spend $1,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.

American Express Low Rate Credit Card

Finder Award
American Express Low Rate Credit Card
8.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
Offers a low ongoing interest rate of 8.99% p.a., up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and global card support. Ongoing $0 annual fee.

St.George No Annual Fee

St.George No Annual Fee
0% for 12 months, reverts to 20.74%
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
Save with a 0% p.a. interest rate offer and a $0 annual fee. Plus, a minimum credit limit of $500.

ANZ Platinum Credit Card

ANZ Platinum Credit Card
0% for 25 months, reverts to 20.24%
Up to 55 days on purchases
21.24%
$0 for the first year ($87 thereafter)
Now offering Cashrewards Max. Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 25 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.

Citi Premier Qantas Card

Citi Premier Qantas Card
0% for 6 months, reverts to 21.49%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 6 months
$175 for the first year ($350 thereafter)
Get 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 90 days and a 0% purchase rate offer. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount.

Westpac Lite Card

Westpac Lite Card
9.9%
Up to 45 days on purchases
$108
Keep credit card costs low with a maximum credit limit of $4,000, a 9.9% p.a. purchase interest rate and no foreign transaction fees.

NAB StraightUp Card

NAB StraightUp Card
0%
$0
Save with 0% interest charges and 0% foreign transaction fees. Plus, $0 monthly fees when you don't use the card or carry a balance.
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What happens after I submit my application?

If you applied for a credit card online, you should get a response within 60 seconds of submitting your completed application. When you're successful, you will receive account details and your new card should arrive in approximately 10 business days (although it could be longer in some cases). If the card issuer requires more information, your application may be tentatively approved and you might need to supply further details. If you haven't had a response within a few days, you can usually contact the bank or check the status of your application online.


Applying for a credit card is a relatively simple process and can take as little as 15 minutes. To improve your chances of approval, compare your options, check that you meet the eligibility criteria and take the time to review your application before you submit it.

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22 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JenFebruary 20, 2018

    Hi. I just applied for Anz rewards black card today. After talking back and forth with the Anz consultant about converting my rewards points to Qantas frequent flyer points. She said this can be done. But after reading all the fine prints and on here. Anz rewards black card cannot be converted to Qantas points. My application is not approved yet as had to provide more info.

    My questions are:
    1. can I cancel the application as it is clearly miscommunicated to me and not what I am after.
    2. what ramification does this cancellation have if I want apply for a credit card that suits at a later date
    3. Does this affect my credit rating. If so, Should I just keep it for 12 months then cancel?

    Thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanMarch 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Jen,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      1. You can cancel this application by contacting ANZ customer service. We would recommend asking for a record of your interaction with them, preferably by email.

      2. The general rule is not applying for more than one credit card per 3 months.

      3. Credit ratings take your loan applications into account. Whilst we cannot comment on exactly how much this affects your rating, we can say that banks see what you have applied for which may impact your chances of being approved if you apply too frequently.

      It is possible that you could ask ANZ to shift your application to the ANZ Frequent Flyer black, which provides Qantas instead of Rewards points.

      Best,

      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    DaneAugust 25, 2017

    Hi
    Is it best for me to change my license over to the state I have moved to before applying for a credit card?
    Thanks

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanAugust 26, 2017

      Hello Dane,

      Thank you for your question.

      It is not necessary for you to change your license. Most (if not all) creditors would weigh more the authenticity and correctness of your identification and the other documents.

      Please take note that there are credit card companies that may request a proof of your residence. If this happens, you only need to provide them an updated paperwork for verification. Don’t forget to talk to your issuer if you need to move out in the future.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  3. Default Gravatar
    HayleyJuly 1, 2017

    Hi, I have just accepted an international teaching position for 2 years and leave Perth in August. Is there any chance that an Australian bank would give me a credit card based on my foreign employment contract for the 2 year period Aug 17-Aug 19? Obviously, it would be more difficult to obtain a credit card from a foreign bank in the country I’m moving to, so just wondering what my chances are here before I leave Australia?
    Thanks.

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJuly 1, 2017

      Hi Hayley!

      Thanks for reaching out.

      We do have a list of credit cards for temporary residents. Please check that list and explore your options. ​After you’re done comparing your options, you can then select the “Go to Site” button to learn more.

      Most of the card issuers would require your passport, visa, proof of employment with at least 6 months remaining, and pay stub.

      Kindly ensure you meet minimum eligibility requirements.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

    • Default Gravatar
      HayleyJuly 1, 2017

      Hi Jonathon, thanks for your reply. My original post wasn’t very clear…

      I am an Australian – born here and lived here all my life. I have accepted a teaching position in China for 2 years, so will be moving there in August. I was trying to find out if any of our Australian banks would even consider giving me a credit card, knowing that I’ll be out of the country for 2 years and working for a foreign company.

      Thanks

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJuly 1, 2017

      Hi Hayley!

      Thanks for getting back to us and clarifying your inquiry. We do appreciate that! :)

      You may visit this our page about some of the best credit cards to use overseas. This is our guide and list of card issuers that may approve you for your plans to use this card overseas.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    SelvaApril 26, 2016

    I recently applied for ANZ credit card, what is the status on my credit car application?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayApril 26, 2016Staff

      Hi Selva,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Please note that you have come through to finder.com.au we are a financial comparison website and general information service and we do not represent any credit card company like ANZ.

      As we don’t have access to your application, I’m afraid you may need to get in contact with ANZ directly to follow-up your application. For your convenience, I’ve forwarded to your email the phone number of ANZ.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,
      May

  5. Default Gravatar
    CorTanFebruary 9, 2016

    I recently applied Citibank signature and got rejected. It is not related to the credit rating though. And they just simply said have not met our credit criteria. Would like to apply for another card with different provider. Is it safe to apply or should I wait? How many is too many in a specific period of time?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      SallyFebruary 10, 2016Staff

      Hi CorTan,

      Thanks for your question and we’re sorry to hear about your rejected application.

      You may not have met the eligibility requirements (such as income, credit score, provided necessary documents) when applying.

      No, it’s not a good idea to apply for another credit card straight away as applying for multiple credit cards within a short period can reflect badly on your credit score and decrease your chances of approval in the future.

      You should wait a few months before applying for another card. In the mean time, you can start comparing other credit cards and making a shortlist of cards you’re eligible for. Make sure to read all of the relevant product disclosure statements and contact the providers to discuss your chances of approval before applying.

      I hope this helps,

      Cheers,

      Sally

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