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Apply for a Credit Card Online [Bad Credit Ok]

David Warner

David Warner

Financial Advisor

Best Credit Cards to Apply For: Overview

Credit Card Ideal For Editor's Rating

Our Top Pick for 2020

HSBC Gold MasterCard® Credit Card

Zero Interest and Balance Transfer
Credit One® Cash Back Rewards Credit Card
Cash Back

HSBC Gold MasterCard® Credit Card

Editor's Rating

Credit Score Required:

Good to Excellent

Our Review

The HSBC Gold MasterCard® Credit Card is a powerful credit card that comes with 18 months of zero interest on purchases and balance transfers. That makes it an idea card to consolidate your debt or to use for a major purchase you’ve been looking forward to (or dreading!). There’s no annual fee and there’s no APR penalty for missed payments.

What We Like

18 month zero-interest period on purchases and balance transfers

No APR penalty for late or missed payments

$0 Annual Fee

Credit One® Cash Back Rewards Credit Card

Editor's Rating

Credit Score Required:

Poor to Average

Our Review

The Credit One® Cash Back Rewards Credit Card is an excellent option for people looking to apply for a credit card. One of our favorite features is that you’ll be able to increase your credit limit as you pay your bill on time. Combined with a cash back system that makes it easy to save, there’s a lot to love about this card!

What We Like

You can earn a larger credit limit over time by paying your bill on time

1% cash back on all eligible purchases added to your statement every month

$0-99 annual fee depending on membership agreement

Given the reputation and negative connotation that surrounds the credit industry, it can be an intimidating thought and experience to apply for a credit card. In previous articles, we discussed how the national debt for an average American household is quickly nearing $8,000. With that being said, the best way that you can apply for a credit card with confidence is through enhancing your knowledge, so you may set yourself up for success. What you might not realize is that these character traits are precisely what credit lenders are looking for. So, if you are in the market or thinking about opening a credit card, one of the first things you need to do is research.


In all honesty, given the digital age we live in, to make any financially sound decision, you should be doing extensive research. Be sure to give great thought as to whether this idea is feasible, given your budget and personal finances. Regardless, the most thrilling part about the entire experience is all the different options that are available to you; they are endless! Do you want a cruise credit card? How about your favorite clothing store’s new credit card? Do you fly often? How about airline credit cards with no annual fee?

Before you can begin the entire process though, there are a few measures that you must take into consideration, and this is where we come into the picture. In this article, we are going to explore all the different facets of applying for a credit card, including those with no credit, poor credit, and even excellent credit!

Apply for Credit Card

Things to Know Before You Apply

With endless amount of information out there, applying for a credit card is not as simple as giving your name and getting approved. There are different factors that correlate to whether you will be approved for that new piece of plastic. With that, let’s look at things you need to know before you apply for a credit card for both newcomers and people with established credit lines:


Newcomers with No Credit

When applying for a credit card, newcomers will have a much harder time getting approved than a person with established credit. Although not as difficult for a person with bad credit, a newcomer needs to take a couple things into consideration.

1. You Can Only Apply for Certain Credit Cards

For many companies, through proper research, you can find exactly what kind of credit score you need to apply for specific credit cards. Specially formulated credit cards for certain credit brackets will not be accessible to newcomers. With that said, it is important to do your research and find out which credit card companies are the best for people with no credit. One of the best options are typically student credit cards, store-based credit cards, or secured credit cards. Compare the best credit cards for college students.

2. You Will Have a High Interest Rate

Since you are now building credit, if you want to apply for a credit card, it is important to note that you will have a higher interest rate. Since credit card issuers consider you a risk, given they have no history of your past financial decisions or habits, they charge a high interest rate for the first 6 months to a year of your having your new credit card.

3. You Will Be Approved for a Low Amount

The chances of you being approved for a credit card with a high amount is almost unlikely. The reason for this is because credit card companies want to start slow, so they can begin trusting you and your spending habits. Essentially, with them taking a risk by lending you money, they are taking a risk of you not paying it back. Once you begin to pay it back through monthly installments, you can request a credit increase within a year or two. Certain financial institutions will automatically increase your credit after a certain amount of time with good standing.

4. The Next 6 Months Are Crucial

As a newcomer, the next 6 months are crucial. Therefore, it is of utter importance that you pay your credit card on time. We highly suggest trying to pay more than the minimum balance, and, if you can, pay the entire balance each month. One word of caution though: don’t apply for any new credit lines at this time.


For Seasoned Credit Card Holders

The rules of the game are much different for seasoned credit card holders. Unlike newcomers, you have established credit. Whether good or bad, this will affect if you get approved when you apply for a credit card. Let’s look at how applying for a credit card affects people with both bad and good credit.


People with Bad to Low Credit:

1. You May Not Be Approved

With bad or poor credit, credit lenders are taking an insightful look as to your spending habits, how responsible you are, and different aspects of your character. This will tell them whether you should get approved for a credit line.

2. You Will Have High Interest

Like newcomers, taking a risk on a person with poor or bad credit can leave a financial institution uneasy. Their way of ensuring payment is by adding more strict rules such as heavier late fees and higher interest rates.


People with Good to Excellent Credit:

1. You Can Negotiate the Amount and The Interest

Having great credit is something many people strive for and, with excellent credit, you receive many perks that come from being a responsible person. Think of these perks as the benefits of paying credit lenders their money back on time and more than expected. These perks include the power to negotiate the amount you want and even the interest rate for a designated period.

2. They Will Look at Your Records

As with people with poor lines of credit, all financial institutions will look at different aspects of your credit history. If in good standing, these records will prove that you are responsible, pay back in time, and have established a relationship with credit insurers.


The Application Process

The application process varies for people depending on the situation. However, they ultimately use the same method as to whether you will be approved. With that, before you apply:

  • Search for the best credit card lender that meets your interests.
  • Get to know the fees and interest rates of the credit card.
  • Ask about the application process.
  • Ask if it will affect your credit score when you apply. Numerous companies will do a soft inquiry to see whether you are eligible.
  • Search the best perks and opportunities certain credit card companies offer.

Once you have found the best credit card company for you, it is time to apply. During the application process you will be asked information ranging from your name to your social security number. This information is used to take a deep insight into your personal information when it comes to banking, financial history, and credit standing. This then totals your FICO score. If you have not had the time to learn more about credit score, here are the factors that comprise your FICO score:

  • Credit History
  • Credit Utilization
  • Outstanding Debt
  • Have You Ever Been Late?
  • Credit Mix

These different factors then are tallied into a number, ranging from bad to excellent. The number range are as follows:

800 and Up – Excellent
740 to 799 – Very Good
670 to 739 – Good
580 to 699 – Fair
579 and Lower – Poor

After the credit lender assesses your FICO score and your personal finance history, they will decide whether you are approved. Of course, if you are approved, it is a moment to celebrate. However, do not be discouraged if you were rejected.

The only thing is now, if this credit card application process has been published as a hard inquiry on your credit, which chances are it has, it is important to not apply for another credit card for at least 4 – 6 months.

The Aftermath of Your Approval

Getting approved for a credit card is celebratory worthy. Whether it’s your first credit card or one of many other credit cards, it is important to be financially smart with your new credit line. Note that this new credit line was a hard inquiry, therefore your credit went down, most likely, by one point. With that said, there are many benefits now that you got approved for another credit card that you will notice through time.

It Will Show Up on Your FICO Score

This new line of credit will show up on your FICO score the next time you inquire about a credit check or a company does. This may happen during the process of buying a house or purchasing a car. If in good standing, this new line of credit will be another example of how responsible you are and how you can handle borrowed money.

It Will Diversify Your Credit History

Diversity, as far as credit, is one of the most important aspects of determining your FICO score. One credit line alone is not enough to determine whether you are great at handling credit. Therefore, through time, building more lines of credit, such as a car loan or home loan, will help create more diversity, which will help credit issuers see that you handle credit.

It Builds a Cushion of Emergency

Credit alone is extremely helpful during emergency cases. Having another credit card overall gives you piece of mind that, if something does occur that you need the money for, you can use that money and pay it back over regular installments. Another line of credit gives you piece of mind that you can use it as a safety net.

Last Tips to Manage Your New Credit Card

No “everything you need to know” article would be completely without some last tips. These tips will ensure that you successfully build your credit or keep your credit in good standing. For your new credit card, it is important to:

  • Never max out the card completely.
  • Keep your availability below 50% if possible.
  • If you can pay the whole card in 30 days, do so. With this, you will not accrue interest payments.
  • Never allow yourself to be late on a credit card payment.
  • Always go over your monthly statements to make sure of no fraudulent charges.
  • If you cannot pay more, at least pay the minimum payment every month.
  • Negotiate the interest rate of the credit card once you’ve had it for a while.
  • Be aware of all the late fees, interest charges, and potential yearly fees.
  • Do not apply for a new credit card within 6 months of good standing with this card.
  • Do not apply for a car or home loan within 3-6 months of opening a new line of credit, unless you have to or your credit is in good to excellent rating.
  • Find out if you receive one monthly free credit check from the credit card company. If so, check it every 3 months or so to see how you credit has increased.

Is Applying for A Credit Card a Good Idea?

The reality is, no one knows your true ability to handle a new credit card, except yourself. Your credit history serves as a window into your financial habits and ability to handle money and numerous services. With that said, if you want to apply for a credit card, it is important to know the company you are applying for and the requirements. For a newcomer and a person with poor credit, being picky is not an option. However, there are plenty of reputable and successful credit card companies that will accept you into their family. For a seasoned credit card holder, ensuring that you keep track of your money to make sure it only affects your credit score in a positive way only leads to successful results. Whether you are new or have great credit, apply for a credit card if you know you can manage the responsibility!


Credit Card Application Basics

If you are in the process of applying for a credit card, you might have several questions about this process. This section has the information you need to know to make the application process seamless.

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How to apply for a credit card?

The first step is to check your credit score as it is one of the most important factors that card issuers look into. It is also important to do comparison of credit cards to find the best match for your needs. Once you have chosen, check the different requirements set by each company.

How to apply for a credit card online?

Many credit card companies are now able to offer online application for interested applicants. You can visit the individual websites for your specific credit card company to know the qualifications and processes. If you're going to be traveling much then look for credit cards that have travel insurance.

How to apply for a business credit card?

If you want to apply for a business credit card, you must provide your employer identification number (EIN) during application. But for small businesses with sole proprietorship, you can use your social security number instead. If you received business credit card offers already then just follow the instructions to apply.

How to apply for a secured credit card?

If you are applying for secured credit cards, you must provide a deposit. This will help build your credit as it is reported to the credit reporting agencies. Almost all major credit card companies offer secured credit cards.

When to apply for a credit card?

You should apply for a credit card when you need to. For example, if you are a business that need extra source of funding, a business credit card can help finance your business. You can use the best credit card to rebuild credit.

What do you need to apply for a credit card?

Typically, you must be at least 18 years of age to apply for a credit card. You will also be asked to provide proof of income, assets, and other documents to prove your identity. You also need a decent credit score otherwise you'll want to look at credit cards for poor credit score.

Should I apply for a credit card?

When used responsibly, there are several benefits to owning a credit card. You can use it to build a good credit history. This is one of the examples of when it is a good idea to apply for credit card. You may want to consider the best cash back cards.

How often to apply for credit cards?

The ideal frequency for applying for credit card is 3 months. Avoid applying for multiple credit cards in a short amount of time. This includes applying for pre-approved credit card offers too.

Can you apply for a credit card online?

Yes. Many credit card companies have made application easier for interested applicants by allowing online applications. Look for the best signup bonus credit cards.

Is it safe to apply for a credit card online?

Yes. The credit card company websites are encrypted to ensure the security of your personal information.

How to apply for first credit card?

To apply for your first credit card, you must meet the age requirement. A proof of stable income is also a must, along with good credit score. The last two requirements are what credit card companies focus on when reviewing credit card applications. If you satisfy these requirements, you have higher chances of getting first credit card approvals.

How to get someone to apply for a credit card?

If you want someone to build their credit using credit cards, it is a good reason to apply for one. But it is important to emphasize the need to use the credit card responsibly. If their score is low then have them look at the best credit cards for average credit.

Can I apply for more than one credit card?

In general, you must avoid applying for more than one credit card at once. This is not a good practice as your credit score will most likely suffer from the multiple hard inquiries. 

Is it okay to apply for multiple credit cards?

This must be avoided, whenever possible. You need to wait at least 3 months in between each application so you will not hurt your credit score. If you have no credit score yet then look at a credit card no credit required option.

Should I close credit cards before applying for a mortgage?

No. Experts advise against closing your credit card before applying for a mortgage because it can hurt your credit score. Your credit score is largely determined by credit utilization ratio; when you close your credit card, you significantly reduce your available credit. You can try to pay off your credit card balances instead of closing it.

Does applying for a business credit card affect personal credit?

No. Credit card issuers will not report your business credit card activities so it will not have an impact on your personal credit.

How long to get credit card after applying?

It will vary depending on your credit card issuer. Most companies can send your credit card in 5 to 10 days.

Can you apply for a credit card twice?

Yes, you may re-apply for a credit card if you had been rejected. But make sure to review the information supplied thoroughly to ensure that you did not accidentally put in the wrong information to make you look less credit-worthy. If the information is correct, you might want to consider other credit cards that would be a better fit for you before re-applying.

What is an invitation to apply credit card?

You can receive mails from various credit card companies stating that you had been “pre-approved”. However, this does not mean that you are automatically approved for a credit card, it is an invitation to apply. This is usually sent to people with good credit standing or long-time customers (with good credit history) of certain credit card companies or banks. This can happen with retail stores too. In fact check out the best store credit cards.

Where should you start when applying for a credit card?

The best place to start is with the bank that you have a savings or checking account in. They will have access to your personal information and banking information that can boost your chances of approval. Look at a credit card for fair credit if your score is lower.

What to know when applying for credit card?

You need to check the annual percentage rate (APR) for the credit card you are applying for, as it will determine the amount of interest you must pay. Also check the annual fee and other charges on purchases made. For example cash back rewards credit cards may come with higher interest.

Choosing Credit Card

Want to apply for a credit card but not sure about which one to choose? Find the most commonly asked questions that will enlighten you about your options.

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What is the best credit card to apply for?

Choosing a credit card will vary according to 1) your current financial situation, 2) financial needs, and 3) purpose for getting a credit card. Use these factors to see how credit cards compare when choosing which credit card to apply for.

What credit card should I apply for?

You need to do a research to compare various types of credit cards. Even one credit card company has many options available. Choose the one that best fits your financial needs and standing. For example, if you're wanting to move to a new card from an existing one then zero interest balance transfer credit cards may be a good choice.

Where to apply for a credit card?

There are several banks that offer credit cards such as Capital One, Discover, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, to name a few.

How to apply for a Capital One credit card?

You can visit the Capital One website to find the available credit cards to choose from, and apply. There are different qualification requirements for each card, too.

How to apply for Chase credit card?

Chase offers a variety of credit card options. You can visit their official website to learn about the specific requirements for each card.

How to apply for Discover credit card?

Discover offers a wide range of credit cards. You can send in your application online at their website.

How to apply for a visa credit card?

If you need to apply for a visa credit card, choose the card type and identify a card that would match your credit score. There are various qualifications for each card type. You can learn about applying for a Visa card here. Take a look at no annual fee credit cards with rewards.

How to apply for Bank of America credit card?

There are multiple types of credit card offered by Bank of America. You can check the qualifications or apply online.

How to apply for American express credit card?

You can send your application for an American Express credit card online. Fill out the form online and provide the necessary requirements. But first, you have to choose which card you wish to apply for.

How to apply for Wells Fargo credit card?

Wells Fargo accepts online applications for credit cards. You can fill out the application here. There are numerous credit card options so make sure you choose the right card.

How to apply for credit card in HDFC netbanking?

To apply for an HDFC netbanking credit card, go to the company’s credit cards page. You must enter your customer ID and mobile number. Online applications for credit cards are accepted. Or, you can visit a local branch.

How do I apply for a major credit card?

Getting approved for major credit cards can be a bit more difficult as larger card companies have stiffer requirements. Know your credit score first before you apply and see if it can qualify with the company’s requirements. You can also try to get pre-qualified to see if you can get approved before actually sending in your application. If you think you will be going on any trips you may want to compare the best rewards credit card for travel.

How to apply for secured credit card with Bank of America?

You can apply for a secured credit card with Bank of America to build your credit. You must provide a minimum security deposit (refundable) of $300 in order to open this credit card account. You can learn more about the process of applying for a secured credit card here.

Who can apply for American Express credit card?

The following criteria must be met in order to qualify for an American Express credit card: 1) must be at least 18 years old, 2) good credit score and history, and 3) must be operating for at least 1 year (for self-employed).

What credit card should I apply for to build credit?

There are several credit cards that you can apply for to build credit such as Capital One Secured Mastercard, Citi Secured Mastercard, and Surge Mastercard Credit Card, to name a few.

How to apply standard chartered credit card online?

To apply for a Standard Chartered credit card, go to their official website. You can find information about the different types of credit cards on offer and the requirements for each.

Who can apply for USAA credit card?

In order to qualify for USAA credit card, you must be an enlisted personnel of the US military (whether active, retired, or honorably separated). Look for the best 0 interest credit cards.

How to apply for credit card online for SBI bank?

To apply for a credit card from SBI bank, you can visit their online application page. There are up to 18 credit cards to choose from so find the best match for your needs. You must comply with the specific set of requirements listed for each card type.

How to apply for Navy Federal Credit Union credit card?

When applying for Navy Federal Credit Union credit card, you will be asked to fill out a form with your personal information. You must also provide your housing information and source of income. A credit check will be performed during your application to see if you qualify.

Qualifying for Credit Card

Credit card companies impose strict qualification requirements. If you are unsure whether you qualify, this section has all the questions and answers you need to know if you are qualified.

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Does applying for a credit card hurt your credit?

Yes, applying for a credit card can hurt your credit score due to the hard inquiry placed by the credit card company. But this won’t be a significant hit.

How to apply for a credit card with no credit?

Qualifying for credit card if you have no credit is difficult but possible. The first step is to look for credit card companies that will approve people with no credit. You can also get pre-qualified or find a co-signer.

How to apply for a credit card with bad credit?

When you have bad credit, try looking for credit cards or card issuers that specialize on people with bad credit. It pays to know your credit score, too. Each credit card company has different credit score requirements that you must meet. Do not apply for multiple credit cards as it can further lower your credit score. Other than that its a fairly normal process to apply for credit card with bad credit.

Is it bad to apply for multiple credit cards?

It is not a good practice to apply for multiple credit cards, especially if you do not want your credit score to dip.

How old to apply for credit card?

You must be at least 18 years of age to apply for credit card. But you can get a credit card if an adult user adds you as an authorized user.

How to apply for a credit card if self-employed?

If you are self-employed, you can qualify for a credit card if you have proof of steady income (in order to meet payments). You will be asked to provide certain documents such as income tax return or a profit and loss statement (for business owners).

Can I apply for credit card without job?

Getting approved for a credit card when you are unemployed is difficult but possible. The credit card company will look at your credit history and credit score, along with your existing debts (if any). You must also provide any income you have access to, even when you do not have a job.

Can you apply for credit card without SSN?

If you do not have SSN (social security number), you can apply for an ITIN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. This will enable you to fulfill the requirements of a credit card.

What are the requirements to apply for a credit card?

There are different set of requirements for each credit card issuer. The general requirements that may or may not be applicable to all credit cards are the following: must be at least 18 years old, social security number, positive credit score, and proof of income.

Can you apply for credit card after bankruptcy?

After bankruptcy, your credit card options are limited. The best option for you is to get a secured credit card. This will give you the opportunity to rebuild your credit. But please be informed that you should never rush into applying for a credit card soon after bankruptcy. Use this time to re-consider why you fell into bankruptcy and what you can do to manage your credit better in the future.

David Warner

David Warner

Financial Advisor -

David is our in-house financial advisor with years of experience in the credit card industry. He became interested in credit cards after working for several years at a major bank. He holds a Masters Degree in Finance.