Things to Keep in Mind before Applying for a Credit Card

Applying for a credit card is as simple as entering your information into an online form and clicking ‘Submit’. But getting approved for a credit card is not as easy as it looks. Different card issuers have set different eligibility criteria in terms of age, occupation, income and so on. The requirements also vary for different credit cards from the same bank. For example, when you apply for HDFC credit card, you will find that the minimum income for HDFC Regalia Credit Card is Rs. 90,000 per month while for HDFC IndianOil Card, the minimum income is only Rs. 10,000 per month.

This is why it is important to research on what it takes to get approved before applying for a credit card online. Here, we talk about some important aspects of qualifying for credit cards in India and things to keep in mind when applying for them.


Qualifying for a Credit Card

The two factors that majorly impact your credit card eligibility are: 1) Credit Score and 2) Income.


Credit Score

When the credit card companies issue credit cards, it comes with an agreement that you will repay what you charge. Your credit score and history tells the credit card issuer about your repayment capacity. 

A good credit history means that you are responsible when it comes to paying back what you have borrowed and on time. A poor credit history means just the opposite.

The better your credit history the more likely you are to get approved for a credit card. For borrowing instruments other than credit cards, a higher credit score can result in a lower interest rate and a bigger credit line.

Your credit score is one of the most important factors in your credit card issuer’s decision to approve your application. The banks differ in parameters of approving but scores are generally classified as follows:

Credit Score


720 and up

Excellent credit

690 – 719

Good credit

630 – 689

Average credit

300 – 629

Bad credit

Majority of credit cards require a good or excellent credit score. Also, not all issuers offer credit cards to those who are new to credit. So, if you want to get started on your credit journey with a credit card, you must choose from banks or NBFCs that offer cards to those without credit history.



Your income plays an equally important role in credit card approval. Banks usually set the minimum income requirement on each of their cards. Some issuers share the income requirement on their website while others choose to keep it hidden and share only when you show your interest in a particular card.

The credit card issuers use the income to calculate the debt-to-income ratio, which helps in determining your repayment capacity as well as the credit limit that the bank offers to you. Hence, it is important to include all your income in your credit card application.


Comparing Different Credit Card Options

Comparing different credit card options can help you find the one best suited to both your spending needs as well as your credit profile. 

When comparing credit cards, start with the features and benefits first. Ask yourself what are you looking for in a card? If you are looking for rewards, you need to decide what type of rewards you would like to earn i.e travel miles, points or cashback.

Next, compare the annual fee, interest rates, cash advance fee and other fees and charges associated with the card. Also consider the foreign transaction fee, if you are planning to travel overseas. 

Once you compare the preferred variants and have an idea of what type of card you are looking for, consider how likely you are to qualify for it. If you have already checked your credit score you can use that as a guide for choosing the ideal card.


Don’t Apply for the first card you see

You must shop around before choosing a particular card. In case you have a bad credit score, you may not get approved for a card with large signup bonuses and high value rewards. So, you will have to either go for a basic card or a secured one. You can also consider using an online tool to check your eligibility. 


How to Apply for a Credit Card?

There are many ways in which you can apply for a credit card, however, the easiest of them is the online application process.  For example if you wish to apply for HDFC Credit Card online, you can do the same via the bank’s official website or offline by visiting the nearest HDFC Bank branch.


Online Application Process-

After you have checked your eligibility for the preferred credit card and studied all the features and terms and conditions related to the card, follow the below-listed steps for online application:

Step 1- Visit the official website of the preferred bank.

Step 2- Compare the different credit cards offered by the bank and choose the one best suited to meet your spending habits.

Step 3- Fill out the online application form providing all the required details including the name, email id, income, address, etc. and upload the documents if asked to.

Step 4- After submitting the form, you will get a call from the bank’s representative regarding the further process of verification. 

Majority of the banks provide you with the option of applying for a credit card via the mobile app. Check with your bank before initiating the process.


What if your Application gets Rejected?

In case you do not get approved for a credit card on your first try, the issuer company will notify you in writing along with the reasons. If your application was rejected because of poor credit score, you should work on improving the score and apply again after a few months.

Keep the above discussed points in mind before applying for a credit card and improve your chances of approval.