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Credit Card Offers – Know the Income Requirements Before You Apply

Written by and posted on December 10, 2009


The amount of money that you earn can make or break your credit card application, particularly when you apply online.

But the income requirements are not usually the first thing we think about when applying for a new credit card.

While you probably research credit card offers before applying, know the interest rates and annual fee; any rewards programs and even the current introductory offers, how much money you need to earn for a particular card is often brushed over.

Most credit card companies, however, have specific minimum income requirements you must meet to even be eligible for credit card approval.

These conditions relate specifically to anyone applying for a credit card, so if you are not the main breadwinner in your household, then it could mean looking for a card that fits with what you actually earn or becoming an additional cardholder on your partner’s credit card.

So even though the minimum income isn’t always easy to find, it’s one of the most important pieces of information you need before applying.

Why do you need to know the income requirements up front?

You need to know a credit card company’s income requirements before you apply so that your application is not rejected straight away.

Now that there are so many online applications offering an outcome within 60 seconds, listing an income below the minimum required is almost guaranteed to lead to a fast rejection of your application.

Worse still is the fact that every credit card application you submit is added to your credit file as a credit enquiry.

Those applications stay on your record for several years and any rejections on your credit file can make you appear to be a bigger credit risk to others, potentially hurting your chances of being approved for a more relevant credit card offer.

Where can you find the minimum income requirements?

Not all credit card companies make their income requirements readily available before applying. Most, however, seem to include them on the first page of their online applications.

Income requirements vary significantly depending on the type of card that you are considering, so we have compiled a table (below) with some of the most popular cards and the minimum income needed to apply for them.

Credit Card                          Minimum Income Required

ANZ Low Rate Card $15,000
HSBC No Annual Fee card $20,000
BOQ Low Rate $25,000
BOQ Platinum $35,000
Citibank Clear Platinum $35,000
Virgin Flyer Card $35,000
NAB Premium Card $50,000
HSBC Qantas Platinum $60,000
Virgin High Flyer $75,000


As you can see from this table, the minimum income varies significantly with different cards and these examples highlight some key points about different credit card options.

Firstly, credit cards considered more “classic” or “no frills” options – such as the ANZ Low Rate credit card and the HSBC No Annual Fee card – typically have relatively low minimum income requirements.

These cards are designed to offer affordable credit to people who may not pay with plastic often. Some basic rewards cards could also fit into this category, such as the Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard, which requires a minimum income of $15,000.

Then there are platinum credit cards, which will have a higher minimum income requirement because they are aimed at attracting frequent and/or big spenders. Not only do platinum cards have higher income requirements, they also tend to have higher minimum credit limits to make more frequent spending easier to manage.

As well as platinum cards, there are other premium cards that may offer rewards as well as complimentary extras, like the HSBC Qantas Platinum or Virgin High Flyer, which have much higher minimum income requirements than the more basic credit card options.

These examples could help you get a better idea of the types of cards you can apply for based on your own income when comparing a few different options, although it is important to look at the specific requirements for any card you decide to apply for.

What if you can’t find income requirements for a credit card?

If you come across a credit card where this information is not available online before you apply, consider calling the credit card company directly. They should be able to tell you.

If they can’t, or won’t, it might be a good idea to start over and look for another comparable credit card offer. That way you can reduce the risk of adding “bad” history to your credit file, and increase the chances of getting credit card approval as quickly as possible.


About the author

Roland Bleyer

Roland has years of experience in the financial industry and is the founder of the Credit World group. He has overseen Credit World grow to become the number one reseller of retail banking products. He is a regular contributor to this blog and and aims to help people make the most of their money and help the consumer find the best possible product. Roland dedicates his time writing finance articles to provide people with information they need. You can find him on Google+ & twitter

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