How to get approved for a credit card? - General FAQ


ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE: is an independent, advertising-supported web site. receives compensation from most credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Credit Card Applications » Questions » FAQs » General » How to get approved for a credit card?

How to get approved for a credit card?

Answered on | Updated on January 16th, 2018
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Today applying for a card is as easy as just clicking on a button ‘apply’. On the other hand, getting approved for a credit card is not that simple. Credit card issuers review different criteria when they decide whether you qualify for a card. And in this situation, you are left with a choice – either you leave it up to fate, or take everything in your own hands and try to influence your bank’s decision. And here we are to advise you on these issues.

So, what do you need to improve the chances of getting a credit card?

1) Know Your Credit Score

Credit score is a key element for issuers that defines your eligibility for a credit card. It’s important to know it and to monitor any changes in your credit report. Typically the cards with best perks and bonuses are available for people with good and excellent credit, and if you have a credit score lower than that, you need to build it first using secured credit cards or cards for poor credit. If you don’t know what your credit score is, check it. Nowadays you can do it, using a variety of online services. Most issuers use the FICO scoring model. In this system your credit score may be bad, fair, good or excellent (these are the most common options, but there may be differences).

In general, scores fall along the following lines:

  • 350-639: Bad credit
  • 640-699: Fair credit, also called “average credit”
  • 700-749: Good credit
  • 750 and up: Excellent credit

Note that your credit score may vary depending on which credit bureau’s data you choose, because they use different formulas. If the number is lower than you expected, check your credit report to see what’s causing the problem and then try to improve it.

2) Compare the offers

There’s no need to rush and pick the first hot offer you see. That way you may well end up ruining your credit. For example, instant decision cards or cards too easy to get may leave you with fees that will make you eternally curse the day you decided to go with this card. On the other hand, it’s also imprudent to apply for the cards that you have low chances of approval for. Don’t forget that each credit card application ends up on your credit report, and you may lose points. Carefully examine the credit card’s requirements. The things that may alienate a credit card issuer are the following:

  • you are under 18
  • you have never had a credit card before
  • you have a short credit history
  • you have an undischarged bankruptcy
  • you have debt
  • you have a bad or limited credit score
  • you have recent late payments in your credit report
  • you have no or low income
  • you have too many recent applications for credit cards.

Before you apply, go through this list and put ticks against the things that may hinder you in getting a credit card. Knowing more about yourself as a potential lender will improve your chances of approval.

However, if after this simple guide you are still in the dark, don’t give up, we are here to help you even more. Our credit card navigator will analyze your situation and come up with a solution that will make a decision a piece of cake and you’ll instantly see which cards you have the most chances to get approved for. Go ahead and don’t let doubts stop you from applying for the right credit card.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.
The Citi Rewards+SM Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap.
Excellent, Good Credit
Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
Excellent, Good Credit
Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you when others won’t
Fair/Bad Credit

Other Questions in

You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Your Credit History
Themes you are interested in:

By providing this information you help us make our news letters more useful and informative. Thank you!