Applying for a credit card may sound like a simple and straightforward process, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. There are a number of steps involved in this process, and although they aren’t necessarily complicated, you do need to follow a few procedures and keep a few things in mind when you apply for one of them.
We’re going to give you a few pointers on how you can apply for the credit card that you’ve always wanted in a seamless manner.
3 Simple Steps to Getting Your Card
In our experience, we feel that the following 3 steps will help you get the card you need - finding out your eligibility, comparing your options, and applying for the card. Let’s look at these steps a little more in detail.
Find Out If You’re Eligible to Apply
The first step in this process is to see if you’re eligible to apply for a card in the first place. There’s no point in getting everything else ready and then finding out in the end that the card you want is not available to you, is there?
The usual eligibility criteria that all cards come with include:
- Your age (21 years and above, except for student cards).
- Your annual salary.
- Your residency status in Singapore (whether you’re a Singaporean, PR, or foreigner).
- The documents required (copies of NRIC, recent payslips, CPF contribution history, Employment Pass, Passport, and income tax assessment notice).
- Your credit score.
Different cards in the country require different annual incomes based on your residency status. It usually starts at a minimum of S$30,000 per year for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. Also, certain cards are meant only for those who earn a high income every year, sometimes as high as S$150,000 p.a. for example, the UOB Visa Infinite Metal Card. Some of them are available only on an invitation basis meaning you can’t apply for them unless you are invited to apply by the bank. For more information on eligibility criteria and whether you qualify for a particular credit card, head over to our applications page.
Compare Your Options
The next step is to compare the options available at your disposal. Take a look at the various cards that you get in Singapore and choose one that fits your needs in the best possible way. Some parameters that you can use for this are:
- The credit limit you need.
- Your spending patterns.
- The rewards and benefits offered.
- The annual fees.
Applying for Your Card
After you’ve passed through the first two steps, it’s pretty straightforward from there on. You can apply for your card in one of two ways:
Fill up the form and mail it: Get the application form from the bank or download it from the bank’s website. Fill up the form with the correct details, attach the required supporting documents, and mail it to the bank’s address.
Fill the form and submit it online: You can also choose to fill in the online form and submit it online. This way, you won’t have to physically mail it to the bank. Also, online forms usually don’t allow you to submit it if there are any bits of missing information, preventing you from submitting an incomplete form. Incomplete forms can delay the card approval process.
This should help you apply for a credit card without any hassles. Each card issuer will take a particular number of days to vet your details and approve your application.
But once you’re done applying and your application gets approved, is there anything else to know once you get your card? Yes, there is.
Keep These Things in Mind After You Get Your Card
Here are a few tips on how you can use your card well and to your advantage:
- Use accumulated rewards well: Some card rewards such as reward points are valid only for a particular period after which they expire. Make sure you use them within this time frame or you will automatically forfeit them.
- Make good use of card privileges: Make sure you utilise the benefits that your card offers. For example, if it offers you free airport transfers and complimentary access to airport lounges, use them when you take a flight.
- Be mindful of how much you spend: Card rewards are great, but don’t spend just to accumulate rewards. Keep an eye on how much you spend. Don’t spend more than what you will be able to repay at the end of the month when your credit card bill arrives.
- Your credit utilisation matters: Keep a close watch on your credit limit. Don’t exhaust your credit every month. This can affect your credit score. In fact, keeping your monthly credit utilisation at around 30% is a good way to get a good credit rating. Keep in mind that late repayments and over utilisation of your credit can affect your credit score.
- Maintain a good credit rating: This is one of the most important factors that determine your creditworthiness. If you don’t maintain a good credit score, you may find it difficult to get loans in the future.
Applying for a credit card is fairly simple. But, remember that there are a few things you have to keep in mind during this process. Submit the right documents, fill the form properly with accurate details, and most of all choose a card that’s right for you. Choosing a card that doesn’t fit well with your needs can make you feel dissatisfied. Get the one you want and use it well. It pays to be financially responsible, literally.