If you’re getting ready to apply for your very first credit card, you might be wondering what the best way to do that is. The truth is, there are four basic ways to apply for a credit card, and they all come with their own challenges, benefits, and more.
Those four ways are: by phone, by mail, online, and in person. The main things to consider when you are deciding which way to apply is whether the process is quick and easy, whether or not you get an instant decision on approval, whether and or not you can compare different offers across different cards and issuers.
When it comes to instant decisions, you can get that information through phone, online and in person. The only option where there is any delay is by the mail. When it comes to the ease of experience, applying online is obviously the way to go. Finally, online also wins when it comes to your ability to compare cards while you apply. While you will be able to go over different cards issued by an issuer while talking to them online, they certainly won’t want you to consider their competitors. While you search online, however, you can compare and contrast cards issued by a plethora of different companies.
It’s probably not too much of a surprise that applying online seems like the smartest way to go. Regardless of how you apply though, there are some simple rules that you should follow.
1.Get Pre-Approved First on a Credit Card
Major credit card companies will allow you to see which of their cards you will get pre-approved for before you actually submit your material. This requires just a soft pull of your credit card which will not hurt your score, unlike a hard pull which will. Also, getting pre-approved means you have a very high chance of being approved overall.
2.Compare Offers from Banks and Issuers
You never know what kind of offers are out there until you really spend the time to look. Before you apply to anything, do some online research and compare cards based off their minimum credit requirement, rewards features, promotional periods, and more.
3.Stay Up-to-Date on Your Credit Score
Whenever you plan to use your credit score to apply for anything, be it a loan, a mortgage, a rental agreement, or a credit card, it is always best to be in the know about your own score. This will help you zero in on cards that you actually will qualify for and won’t have you wasting time, and possibly damaging your own score, applying for cards that are simply out of your reach.
4.Pick the Best Credit Card That Fits Your Needs
Don’t get a card because it looks fancy or is made of metal. Get a card because you will get points and rewards for purchases that you will be making anyway! If you travel a lot, get a card that gives you miles or cash-back on purchases. If you spend a lot of money on your business, get a card that rewards those kinds of purchases. It’s an easy way to make your card work for you rather than the other way around.