Some Advice About Applying for a Credit Card

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
Updated: November 16th, 2011
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

If you are considering opening up a new credit cards account, there are a few things to think about beforehand. While you may notice many appealing offers circulating, some touting generous-sounding sign on bonuses, rewards programs or no interest on new purchases for a specified period of time, it’s best to analyze your particular spending habits and credit history before selecting which one to keep in your wallet.

How’s your score?

In order to qualify for a card with a the lowest available APR, the least amount of fees and the best rewards program you must have a good to excellent credit score and a credit history indicative of financial responsibility. If your credit score is poor or nonexistent, it is still possible to obtain a card but your options will be more limited. Have a sense of your credit card score before applying for a new card so that you will be able to realistically pick which one to choose.

Have you been prompt with payments?

Go over the credit card statements for any cards you currently carry. Have you made your payments on time every billing cycle? Have you ever been late paying your bill or missed out on making a payment altogether? If the answer is yes to either or both of those questions, realize that any perks, bonuses or rewards on the card you hope to acquire may be rendered null and void if you exhibit sloppy payment behavior. You may also be subject to penalty fees, so make sure you read the fine print to know what you are getting into and assess your payment habits honestly.

Do you use your credit cards often?

If your card is always warm to the touch because you use it so often, consider setting it aside and letting it cool down for a bit before applying to open up a new account. Lenders may perceive you as “over using” your credit cards, which will make it less likely that you will qualify for the new card that has all the features you want the most.

The flip side to that is if you have not been using credit recently – you have either been opting to pay for purchases in cash or with a debit card – that also make it more difficult for you to open up a new account. It’s important to use (not overuse!) your cards on a regular basis in order to establish and maintain a positive credit history. The saying “it takes credit to build credit” is absolutely true.

Review Your Report

Lastly, it is an excellent idea to take a peek at your credit report to better assess where your score stands. Look out for any unfamiliar activity or errors, and if you find any contact the credit bureau and corresponding card issuer immediately to have the mistakes rectified. Also see to it that your responsible payment behavior has been duly noted as well. Because your report is that first thing a potential lender looks at when considering you as a candidate for a new card, you want to make sure that is is an accurate representation of your best financial self.

All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.

Latest Other Card Guides

How I Ended My Toxic Relationship With Credit Cards February 27th, 2018

Do you know the signs of a toxic relationship? You feel out of control, just not yourself anymore.

Continue »
What You Need to Know About EMV Chip Credit Cards October 6th, 2017

If you’ve been reading about the changes in credit card payments lately, you might be wondering how it’s going to affect you.

Continue »
How To Spring Clean Your Finances March 24th, 2017

When the weather starts to warm up and the snow starts to melt, most people are ready to throw open their windows and tackle the dust and grime that have built up over the winter months. Likewise, it’s a great time to open up your budgeting spreadsheet, log into your bank accounts and credit card accounts, and take a look at what kind of clutter may have accumulated in your financial life during the past year.

Continue »
Credit Card Rewards You Could Be Missing Out On April 26th, 2015

Are you getting all you can out of your credit cards? If you’re collecting rewards points and not using them, you are missing out on one of the best perks of having a credit card.

Continue »
How to Evaluate Credit Card Offers October 13th, 2014

When you see a credit card offer how do you know if it’s a good one? With so many different credit cards on the market, it can be difficult to know where to begin in evaluating the latest credit card offers.

Continue »
Best Credit Offer
First Access Visa® Solid Black Credit Card
Check off the cards you want to compare. Then click the Compare link to go to the comparison table.
Consumer Rating: 4 / 5
Horizon Card Services Horizon Gold Credit Card
Copyright © 2001-2019 All Rights Reserved.

*See the credit card's terms and conditions on the online application page. Note that this website may be compensated by credit card issuers when the visitor applies for a card through the links on this website. We do our best to maintain all information accurate and up to date. However, we do not warrant the credit card information won't change. Click the "Apply Online" button and review the current info on the secure credit card terms page.

Information in these articles is brought to you by Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles.

The webpage is a free service and an information resource for credit cards and financial products and services available to eligible United States consumers. does not offer any warranties and is not a direct service. There are no guarantees for approval or offers when applying for a credit card. Please refer to the application if you would like more information on each credit card. When you click "Apply" for a particular credit card, please take the time to review the terms and conditions of the product/service at the issuer's website. All logos on the website are property of their respective owners.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all info is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for terms & conditions. makes every effort to keep information up to date and accurate. However, the information regularly changes and is presented without warranty. Therefore, we strongly recommend all our readers to visit the credit card application page by clicking "Apply Online!" button to review the detailed credit card's terms and conditions. Note that may be compensated by the credit card issuers when the readers apply for a credit card through this site. is an independent, advertising-supported website which receives compensation from the credit card issuers and companies whose offers appear on the site. Compensation may impact how and where products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear on the site pages. does not review or list all available financial or credit offers.

Disclosure: Not an access card.

You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Thank you for providing this information! We will make sure our letters are useful for You.

User Generated Content Disclaimer: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.