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Credit card application tips

Your credit history, income and the actual credit card are just some of the factors that influence an application. So here are 7 tips to increase your chance of getting approved.

Credit card applications only take around 10 to 20 minutes online and you can usually get a response within 60 seconds. But if you don't know what you need to apply or are worried about being approved, these credit card application tips are a starting point that can help you increase your chances of approval.

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 report as part of their assessment process. You can also get a copy of your credit score and report for free to get an idea of what the lender might consider.

Book now and pay later icon2. Pay bills on time and work on improving your score.
If your credit score is low, paying bills on time is one way to help build good credit history. It also shows lenders that you're responsible with money, even for bills that aren't on your credit report.

flexibility icon3. Pay off smaller debts.
If you have existing cards or debts, paying them off or closing some of them can help improve your chance of approval. This is because lenders consider your financial commitments when you apply. So having fewer bills can help show that you're able to service a new credit card.

bills payment icon4. Check the eligibility criteria.
Before you apply for a credit card, you need to confirm your eligible for it. The criteria typically includes your Australian residency status, income, employment and credit history. If you don't meet all the requirements, choose a different credit card or work towards becoming eligible.

Picture not described5. Don't apply for too many cards at once.
Applying for a few cards in a short amount of time can have a negative impact on your credit score, because each application is listed on your credit report. Most lenders also consider multiple applications as a red flag, regardless of your credit score.

Tax saving icon6. Apply for a reasonable limit.
As part of Australia's credit card regulations, lenders must assess your ability to repay the entire credit limit over 3 years (with interest). So while it may be nice to have a card with a high limit, your chance of approval can increase if you keep your limit low.

Merch icon7. Avoid using BNPL too much.
Buy now pay later (BNPL) services offer interest-free finance and flexibility. But too many BNPL transactions in your bank statements can indicate that your spending habits are not responsible.

Wondering if you'll get approved?

Only 9% of Australians say they've been rejected for a credit card, according to our consumer sentiment tracker (November data). 80% of Australians say they've never been rejected for any products at all.

What happens after I submit my application?

When you apply for a credit card online, you should get a response within 60 seconds of submitting your application. If you're successful, you will receive account details and your new card should arrive in 5 to 10 business days.

But 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 10 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.

Finder survey: How many times do Australians typically apply for a credit card?

7 or more2.88%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1113 Australians, December 2023

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22 Responses

    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?


      JonathanMarch 12, 2018Finder

      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.



    Default Gravatar
    DaneAugust 25, 2017

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

      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.


    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?

      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.


      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.


      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.


    Default Gravatar
    SelvaApril 26, 2016

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

      MayApril 26, 2016Finder

      Hi Selva,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Please note that you have come through to 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.


    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?

      SallyFebruary 10, 2016Finder

      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,



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