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.