When you start thinking about getting a new credit card, you’ll probably take the time to do a lot of research. After considering a range of factors on what’s important to you in a card – such as the interest rate, if you want a card with rewards or the additional insurance coverage that’s offered – you will likely be ready to apply for your card. Once you decide on the best card for you, you will want the quickest application process so you can get approved, get your card and start using it.
What Types of Application Methods are there?
Since credit card companies want to make it as easy as possible for you to apply for a credit card, they typically offer a range of methods for applying. Traditional application methods include using a paper application or applying in person with a financial representative at your financial institution. You can also apply for a credit card with your existing financial institution over the telephone, which can assist those who may prefer speaking to a customer service representative. In recent years, most financial institutions and credit card providers will allow you to apply through an online application process. With this paperless process, credit card applications in Canada couldn’t be easier.
Information you’ll need to provide…
Regardless of how you apply, you’ll need to provide the same details in order to give the credit card firm the ability to assess your ability to pay back your credit card. Typically you’ll be asked to provide your contact information, source of income and you can also add in your social insurance number (SIN) to speed up the process.
How does the application approval process work?
Once you provide the required information, your application will be submitted and the credit card agency will do a search on your credit rating. If you have sent your application in through the standard mail, you will have to wait until the application is received by the credit card firm. Your details will be entered into a computer system by a member of the credit card company. From here, the process works the same as it would if you applied online or through the phone.
After your details are entered, your information would be extracted from a relevant credit agency. This credit agency would give you a score based on your past credit history. Depending on what the score was, the credit card firm would approve or reject your application. If approved, your credit history may also determine the credit limit assigned to your account.
Which Application Method is Best?
As common with a number of things in life – including shopping – doing a credit card application online can be quick, easy and secure. You can easily search, compare and apply for the card that’s right for you by filling out a credit application form online. Then, you can also receive a credit decision right away or within a few days of applying for a card.
Areas to Consider
If you aren’t sure which the best application method is for you, you should consider a few elements before you apply. First of all, you need to understand if you have a basic knowledge of technology. Although it is quite easy to apply online, you will still need to know a bit about how websites work. You wouldn’t want to start an application and then have issues partway through the process. Additionally you should think about how quickly you want the credit card. If you would like to get it quickly, the online method may be best for your needs.
Applications Online – some examples
Much of the application process relies on which type of credit card you decide to apply for. Credit card applications in Canada vary on whether you are applying for a VISA or MasterCard or if you are applying for an AMEX.
If you are applying for an American Express card in Canada, you will be applying for credit directly from the Amex Bank of Canada. With this process, any online applications will typically require follow up documentation to be sent. This process is often required with AMEX as they are not a retail financial institution and sometimes do not have easy access to this information. Once you provide these documents to AMEX, they will review your information and make a decision based on all these factors.
If you make an application for a VISA or MasterCard, you’ll most likely apply for this card through a financial institution or retail outlet. From an online application perspective, this may mean that you can get approved instantly as the bank can expedite the decision making process.
To apply for a VISA card you typically need to meet the following criteria:
Be a Canadian Citizen or Landed Immigrant
Have reached the age of majority in your province/territory (18 years in AB, MB, ON, PE, QC, SK. 19 years in all others)
Not have declared bankruptcy in the past seven years
Have a minimum gross monthly income (amounts vary)
To complete this application you will need to have the following information available:
- Personal/contact information – name, address, phone numbers, SIN (as stated this is optional but very helpful)
- Employment information – employer name, phone number and time employed
- Gross monthly income
- Monthly housing costs – monthly rent or mortgage payment
- Other monthly obligations – spousal or child support
- If you are applying with a co-applicant they will typically need to meet the same conditions and provide the same information
Online applications take approximately 5 to 10 minutes to complete depending on if you apply with a co-applicant. If you are not approved instantly and you provide an email address, the card firm will send you an update shortly after (typically within 24 hours) of submitting your application. A mail response will normally arrive in a few days.
Credit card applications in Canada have got a lot easier over the years with the increase in telephone and online applications. If you’re looking for a new credit card, try out a different method of applying to see what you prefer most.
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