How to Apply for a Credit Card
Applying for a credit card is fairly simple. Most applications are completed online, on the card issuer’s website. The site will walk you through the process and it will ask you questions about your employment, income, past and present addresses, and other information. Make sure you complete this information accurately, as the issuer may want to verify it.
It’s best to resist any temptation you may have to apply for more than one card at a time, as this can result in inquiries on your credit and also, you may end up with more credit cards than you can properly manage, so choose your card wisely.
When looking for a new credit card, people generally ask themselves some of the following questions:
- What type of APR comes along with the card?
- What are the card’s fees?
- What type of rewards does the credit card offer?
- Do I have good enough credit to apply for the card?
- What do other users say about this card?
- What am I going to use this credit card for?
Below, there’s a list credit cards that have made it onto several “best credit cards” lists. Some of these cards are designed for those with “not so perfect” credit. These are a few options you may want to check out if you’re just starting to build credit, or if you have a few negative items on your credit file. If you have bad credit or no credit, a secured card — a card that requires a deposit — is a good place to start as your options may be somewhat limited.
Excellent or Good Credit
Citibank Citi Diamond Preferred Card
- 0 percent intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers
- Regular APR: 11.99 to 21.99 percent
- Fees: 0
- Additional benefits like Citi Deals, 24/7 Concierge Service, Citi Private Pass, Citi Identity Theft Soltuions
- Excellent user reviews and ratings
- 0 percent intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
- Regular APR: after the introductory period ends, a variable APR of 12.99 percent, 17.99 percent, or 22.99 percent
- Balance Transfers: 0 percent intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers
- Additional Benefits like fraud protection and 0 percent annual fee
- Above average user reviews and ratings
Fair or Decent Credit
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card
- 0 percent APR for 12 billing cycles
- Regular APR: 9.99 to 23.99 percent
- $0 annual fee
- Other benefits like fraud protection, user-friendly online banking services
- Average credit score approved: 712
- Lowest credit score approved: 649
- High user ratings and reviews
- Not too many bells and whistles, straightforward card
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
- 0 percent intro APR until May 2015; 22.9 percent variable APR after that
- Annual fee: $39
- Rewards: 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase every day
- Cash Advance Fee: 3 percent of cash advance; not less than $10
- Benefits like fraud liability, roadside assistance
- Average credit score approved: 618
- Lowest score approved: 573
- Those with good credit can apply for Capital One Quicksilver card, instead of QuicksilverOne card
Bad Credit or No Credit
Capital One Secured MasterCard
- Refundable security deposit as low as $49
- 22.9 variable APR, no transfer fee
- Credit line of between $200 – $3,000; minimum security deposit gets you a $200 line
- Annual fee: $29
- Average credit score approved: 566
- Lowest credit score approved: 516
- Good for rebuilding credit
- Reviews for this card are above average
USAA Secured Platinum American Express Card
- When you apply, you open a 2-year CD. The minimum deposit is $250.
- Your CD is your security deposit, and that amount you put up front is also your credit limit
- You earn interest on you CD. This means, your deposit grows.
- Borrow money at 9.9 percent variable APR
- Annual fee: $35
- Good for those with bad credit or no credit. It helps you build and improve your credit score
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