credit card for chrsitmas

How to get a credit card in time for christmas

Information verified correct on December 5th, 2016

If you’re planning to put this year’s Christmas shopping on your new credit card, here’s how to make sure it arrives on time.

Christmas is a time of giving and feasting, cozy family get-togethers and fabulous end-of-year parties. It’s also most certainly a time for spending, and if you’re looking to finance your Christmas gifts and festivities with some choice plastic, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve applied for your new credit card with plenty of time to spare. This guide will tell you how much time you need to give your application and how you can speed up the process. It will also suggest some appropriate credit card type options for covering your Christmas costs if you haven’t already set your heart on one.

How long will it take to apply for a credit card and when will I receive it?

Card providerApplication timeApproval timeEstimated

time to receive card

American Express10 minutes60 seconds5 to 10 business days
ANZ10 to 15 minutes60 seconds5 business days
BankSA5 to 10 minutes60 secondsUp to 7 business days
Bankwest15 minutes60 seconds5 to 10 business days
Bank of Melbourne5 to 10 minutes60 seconds5 to 10 business days
Bank of Queensland10 to 20 minutesWithin 2 business days7 to 10 business days
Citibank15 minutes60 seconds7 to 10 business days
Commonwealth Bank10 minutes60 seconds5 business days
HSBC15 minutes60 seconds5 to 10 business days
ME Bank15 to 20 minutesWithin 2 business days5 to 10 business days
NAB15 minutes60 seconds5 business days
St.George10 to 15 minutes60 seconds5 to 10 business days
Suncorp Bank10 minutes60 seconds5 to 7 business days
Virgin Money10 minutes60 secondsUp to 10 business days
Westpac10 minutes60 seconds5 to 10 business days

How can I quicken the application process?

The above time frames are only estimates, and can be shortened or drawn out depending on certain factors of your application. You can help speed up this process by making sure that you meet all the card’s eligibility requirements and by organising all the necessary documents before you apply:

Eligibility requirements

  • Age. Applicants must usually be at least 18 years of age.
  • Residential status. Most cards require that applicants are Australian citizens or permanent residents, but some cards cater for certain visa holders.
  • Minimum income. This varies among cards, but the minimum is usually at least $15,000 per annum. Make sure to check that you meet your chosen card’s income requirement.
  • Credit history. Most credit cards will require that you have a very good credit history and credit score. Having a poor credit history and rating will likely result in your application being declined.

Necessary documents

  • Proof of identification. These will include copies of your driver’s licence and passport.
  • Financial information. These can include bank statements and other proof of finances.
  • Employment details. These generally include your employment contract and recent payslips, or tax assessment documents if you’re self-employed.
  • Assets, liabilities, etc. These could include proof of your listed assets and liabilities.

Types of credit cards suited to Christmas purchaseschristmas credit card

0% purchase credit cards

0% purchase credit cards offer an interest-free period on your purchases, usually for a fixed time between 3 and 15 months, and up to 18 if you’re lucky. This means that you’ll pay 0% interest on all purchases made with the card during this promotional period, but watch out for the reverting interest rate when this period ends.

Rewards credit cards

A good rewards credit card can work in two ways for you during Christmas. Firstly, it can be a great way to earn reward points or frequent flyer points on all that Christmas shopping, which translates into future rewards and savings. Secondly, it can sometimes come with free bonus sign-up points which you can immediately use to redeem for items on your Christmas gift list. Be aware that rewards credit cards can charge high annual fees for their rewards benefits.

No annual fee credit cards

No annual fee credit cards offer an opportunity to save by avoiding the yearly administrative fee. While some cards offer an annual fee waiver for a promotional period, such as the first year or two, others come with $0 annual fee for the life of the card. These cards may offset the absence of an annual fee with a high interest rate, though, so make sure that these costs don’t outweigh the yearly savings.

Balance transfer credit cards

If you’re already carrying some debt on your existing credit card(s), a balance transfer credit card could be just the thing you need for Christmas. This type of card allows you to transfer your existing credit card debt onto the new card at a lower or 0% interest rate for the promotional period. With introductory offers lasting between 6 and 20 months (or even 24 if you’re very lucky), this means you’ll get a breather from paying interest on your existing debt and can shop easier knowing that you’ve got more time to make repayments without having to worry about interest accumulating.

Whichever card you choose, make sure that you give yourself ample time to apply and wait for your new card delivery. It can be an easy and quick online process these days, just as long as you have all your documents scanned and ready to upload with your application.

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