Applying for a credit card is both fast and easy. A card can be obtained online by filling out a short application form which asks for personal information such as current assets, monthly income, social security etc. Having a solid credit score will boost your chances of approval, and you can sometimes find out within a few days whether or not you have been approved. To apply for a credit card online, you first have to make sure your credit is in check and then determine what type of card you want. Different cards offer different rewards such as cashback bonuses, travel points, discounts and coupons. Different ones also have different annual fees, APRs, and other additional features.
Check Your Credit Score
To obtain a good credit card, you must first have a good credit score. You can check your credit score using websites such as FreeCreditReport.com, and compare your score with the FICO legend. Some credit cards may only require fair credit for approval, but the best cards go to people with excellent credit. If your credit score is below 600, you will probably want to build up your score a little more before applying for a credit card. This can be done by making payments on time, keeping old accounts open to increase your credit history, keeping your credit-to-debit (a credit-to-debit ratio under 15% is often best), and checking for errors. Another thing that will hurt you is closing or opening a lot of accounts in a short period of time.
Know the Company Your Dealing With
An important thing to do before you apply for credit card is to look into the different companies that offer them. Discover, Bank of America, Chase, etc. all provide similar credit cards, but each company has a different reputation. See which company has the best reputation for customer service, this way if you run into any problems or errors with your credit card, you know that the customer service you are contacting is well-suited to fit your needs and won’t leave you with a headache trying to resolve your problem. Ask your friends and family how their experience has been with their credit card company to get a good idea of which companies to stay away from.
Browse Your Options
The next step before you apply for a credit card is to look online at the different cards each company offers. Bank of America, for example, let’s you choose from credit cards that offer cash back bonuses, low interest rates, rewards, cards that are for building credit or cards for students. Another example is Discover, which will let you choose between Personal, Student, and Business cards, and then allow you to choose from their most popular cards of that category or compare all cards from that category. Clicking on each card will also give you a breakdown of the basic information, such as fees and APR percentage, as well as the benefits of the card, such as perks or additional security features.
3 Tips to Remember
Here are 3 basic tips to remember before you apply and during your application process:
1. Don't let your credit slip. Maintain it as high as possible before, during, and after the approval process.
2. Don't apply for too many credit cards at once. This shows up as an inquiry on your credit report and can damage your credit score.
3. Make sure you know how you will be paying off your balance. If you plan on keeping a balance on your card, you may want to opt for the lower interest rates. Don't go for high interest rates just for the rewards.