What happens after I've applied for a credit card?
After you submit your credit card application, the credit card issuer will assess your credit history and current finances in order to determine whether or not you are eligible for the card. They also use this process to determine how much credit they will offer you (in the form of your credit limit).
Providing you meet all the key application criteria, you could get conditional approval for the card within 60 seconds of submitting an online application. If not, you may get a follow up call or email from the credit card issuer asking for further information.
Providing supporting documentation
When you're conditionally approved for a credit card, the issuer may also ask you to submit supporting documents to complete the application process. The sooner you provide this information, the faster you'll get your card. The documents you'll need may vary between providers, but generally include some or all of the following:
A copy of your driver’s licence or passport
Recent bank statements
Your most recent Tax Assessment Notice or PAYG summary
A letter from your employer or accountant verifying your employment and/or financial details
What do I need to do when I get my credit card?
After completing the whole application process, your credit card will usually come in the mail within the timeframe outlined by your provider. In some circumstances you may also be asked to go to your nearest branch to pick it up for security reasons.
Your new credit card issuer will also put together a "welcome pack" for you containing valuable information about the bank, the credit card and its terms and conditions of use. The welcome pack will either arrive before the card or come with it. Make sure you read through the provided information thoroughly before you start using your new credit card.
How do I activate my credit card?
Depending on the issuer, you may be able to activate your new credit card online, over the phone or in person. Information about card activation will also be included in your welcome pack and usually takes just a few minutes to complete.
Remember to sign your card
The signature panel on your new credit card gives you the legal authority to use the it and protects you against unauthorised transactions if it’s lost, stolen or compromised. So make sure you sign it when you first activate the card.
While it is exciting to be approved for a new credit card, there are a few more steps you need to know about before you can start using it. Being prepared for this process means you can tick all the boxes along the way and start using your credit card as soon as possible.
Compare credit cards with 60-second approval
Rates last updated November 19th, 2019
Frequently asked questions
Yes, most banks do have a feature that allows you to save an application and complete it at a later date. Just check first to see how long they will store your application and make a note of any reference number you may need to provide when you want to complete the application.
Credit card issuers usually assign you an application number when you apply for a credit card online, and will be shown on the application page. It may also be emailed to you once you have submitted your details. This number can be used to complete the application later, check your application status or upload supporting documentation.
As with any loan-based product, you will need to give details about your income and expenses along with your personal information.
Yes, all cards issued will need to be activated before they can be used. This is done to verify that they were delivered to the correct person.
This will depend on the bank you are getting the card through. Some prefer to mail it as a way of confirming your physical address.
If you haven’t received your card in the specified time frame, call the issuer and let them know. They will be able to review your account details and provide you with information on the status of the card and when you should receive it.
Yes, an unsigned credit card is not considered valid. Plus, you want to be protected in the event of a theft.
Amy is an editor and writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.
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