A credit card is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to pay for your purchases. You can buy anything from a gold necklace to groceries on your credit card and pay for it by borrowing the money from the credit card issuer. It is a fairly simple and straightforward process to apply for a new credit card. If you use your card responsibly, it could be one of the safest and most convenient methods to pay for your purchases.

How do I apply for a new credit card?

If you are applying for the first time, it is important to only apply for a card which you have a good chance of being approved for. Any rejection of your application can have a negative impact on your credit score. Research the major cards that are available on the market and select the one that best suits your requirements in terms of the interest rate, rewards programme, safety features in case of fraud or theft, the various fees and charges, and that you are eligible for. Many banks have a feature which let you know which card offers you qualify for.

Once you decide on a new credit card, you can apply for it in two ways: You can log on directly to the bank’s website. If you fulfill the criteria for the card you can apply for it online.

Alternatively, you can visit the bank for details or ask for a representative to contact you regarding the process and the documentation required. 

Once you submit your application, you will be given an application reference number. Many banks will allow you to track the status of your application online with this reference number.

Things to keep in mind if you are a new credit card user:

If you are new to credit cards, then it is important to ensure that you maintain a healthy credit history and use your card wisely to avoid any damage to your credit profile. Here are some tips to ensure that you remain credit-healthy:

  • Always pay your bills in full and on time. Every single late, missed or incomplete payment is reported by your bank to the credit bureaus. This will negatively affect your credit score.
  • Do not buy things that you cannot afford, even though you have easy access to credit.
  • Do not spend more than 50% of the credit limit on your card.  
  • Keep your credit card details and your card issuer’s phone number with you in a safe place so you can immediately report any theft or misuse of your card.
  • Retain your credit card sales slips so that you can check it against your monthly credit card statement. Any discrepancies or mistakes should be reported immediately, as they can be reversed.
  •  Read all the terms and conditions carefully when you first get your credit card so that you are aware of the interest charges, fees and other terms of agreement on the card.