It depends on the card you apply for. General credit cards do not usually charge an activation fee. If you apply for a secured credit card, you will need to put down a security deposit, which varies depending on the issuer, but is usually about $200. There also are shopping credit cards that may charge a processing fee which is determined by credit issuer. Besides the upfront fees, the issuer may require an active bank account or debit or credit card to approve you for the card.