When used properly, having a credit card can be hugely beneficial to your financial health. Many credit card companies offer generous sign-on bonuses in addition to attractive rewards programs on purchases. The biggest benefit is the ability to build credit history by paying off the total outstanding on time every month. Here’s how to apply for a credit card.

Choose a Credit Card That Suits Your Needs

Applying for a credit card is pretty straightforward. Before you can apply for one however, it’s important to take the time to look for a card that suits your needs.

Different cards offer different types of rewards programs. Some offer cashback on your purchases, others allow you to convert your points into flying miles. Think about what you’re most likely to use. If you travel frequently, a card that offers flying miles would help you save a lot on plane tickets. However, if you don’t travel much, this card may not be as useful for you. You’d be better off with a credit card that offers cashback on your purchases.

Compare Credit Card Offers

Once you’ve figured out which type of card is right for you, do a search for all credit card companies that offer that type of card. Compare the terms and conditions, minimum credit requirement and interest rates of the different credit cards. Select one that is most beneficial for you based on your spending habits and the rewards you’re most interested in.

Here’s one we recommend you check out:

Check if You Qualify

Eligibility criteria differ from one card to another. Look through the requirements of your shortlisted cards to determine if you meet their eligibility criteria. If you don’t meet the requirements of a certain card, delete it you’re your list. This will help you narrow down your shortlist some more.

Get Pre-Approved In Advance

Most credit companies allow you to see which of their cards you’re pre-approved for before submitting your application. Doing this requires only a soft credit pull, which won’t damage your credit score. Getting a pre-approval increases your chances of being approved when you submit your application.

Fill & Submit the Credit Card Application Form

You don’t even have to go to the bank to do this. You can fill and submit the credit card application digitally.

All credit card applications will ask you for some basic details including your full name, mailing address, Social Security Number, phone number and email address. Your mailing address cannot be a P.O. Box. It has to be your residential address.

You will also have to provide some basic financial details such as your total annual income and monthly expenses towards rent or mortgage. If you have a bank account you will need to provide details on the total balance in your account.

After you’ve filled in all the details, click to submit your application. That’s it. That’s how to apply for a credit card.