Credit card application process

It is important to shop around before you apply for a credit card to ensure you get a card that suits your spending habits. Here are some tips to help you find a card that's right for your needs:

Choosing the right credit card

It might seem obvious but before you apply for a credit card evaluate your lifestyle and financial circumstances. Understanding the way you spend, save and your ability to repay debt will help to determine the features and type of card that is best for you.

For instance, if a card comes with a generous interest-free period or a rewards program, consider which fees are charged by the provider for these extras and then determine whether or not those features are important to you.

Selecting an inappropriate card can potentially result in you building a more substantial debt and paying significantly more in interest, so it pays to shop around before you sign on the dotted line.

Another trap with credit cards is the relatively simple application process, particularly when compared to a home loan. On-line credit card applications are popular with consumers and often take no more than 30 minutes to complete.

Apply for a credit card

New customers who apply for a credit card are required to verify their identity and in most circumstances, customers will need to supply personal identification of at least the value of 100 points. Lenders may request the following information:

  • Proof of income – salaries or wages
  • Usually two of your most recent payslips
  • Photo ID (your driver’s license, proof of age card or passport)
  • Additional assets and income (such as a savings account or managed investments)
  • History of credit such a recognition of debt default or bankruptcy
  • Details of any existing loans, such as personal loans, a lease or other credit cards

Self-employed customers who apply for a credit card may also need to include recent tax returns and additional documentation to prove their income.

Fees and charges

It is also important to note that applying for a credit card may occasionally come with unexpected charges such as application fees. Not all institutions impose these charges, but always read the fine print to ensure you avoid paying high credit card fees.

Once you know the features and type of card you need, use the RateCity credit card comparison tool to search some of Australia's top cards online. 

This is an information service. By browsing on the website and/or using our search tools, you are asking RateCity to provide you with information about products from multiple financial institutions. We will try to show you a range of products in response to your request for information. The search results do not include all providers and may not compare all features relevant to you, for further details refer to our FSCG. The rating shown is only one factor to take into account when considering these products. We are not a credit provider, and in giving you product information we are not making any suggestion or recommendation to you about a particular credit product. If you decide to apply for a product, you will deal directly with a financial institution, and not with RateCity. Rates and product information should be confirmed with the relevant financial institution, and you should review the PDS before you decide to purchase. See our terms of use for further details. This advice is general and has not taken into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Consider whether this advice is right for you.