Credit Card

Eligibility criteria for obtaining a credit card in Canada

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what age can I get a credit card?

 In Canada, the age of majority is set at 18 or 19 depending on the province or territory.

Is there an income requirement?

Many credit cards have a minimum income requirement. However, some cards have no income requirement or may provide flexibility in this regard depending on your financial situation and credit rating.

If you already have a bank account, loan, or other financial product with a bank, the bank may be more likely to approve your credit card application. Additionally, you may be able to include your combined household income in your application. Another possible option would be to obtain a secured credit card, for which you will have to make a deposit as security.

Even if you don’t have a job, you might qualify for a credit card. Lenders sometimes accept sources of family income other than a fixed annual salary. This is particularly the case for employment insurance benefits, investment income and spousal income.

Remember that your employment status is only one of several factors that will be taken into account in the approval of your application. Different criteria can be added, such as your other debts and your financial obligations.

Do I need to have a minimum credit score to be able to get a credit card in Canada?

Before approving your application or not, the credit card issuer will check your credit history. Your credit rating plays an important role, but it is not the only factor that is taken into account. Even if you don’t have a good credit rating or no credit history, you may qualify for certain types of cards. However, if you want to get a card that offers competitive interest rates, rewards or other superior benefits, you may need to show that you have good credit. Having a good credit rating could attest to that.

When you apply for an American Card, your application is subject to a credit assessment, which includes a review of your credit history based on criteria such as:

  • your ability to make payments on time and to repay borrowed funds;
  • your current financial responsibilities, such as your rent or mortgage payments;
  • the likelihood that you will pay late.

There are many different types of cards . To find the card that best suits your needs, first determine how you will use it.

Do you want to get points for your next trip? If so, a travel rewards card can give you benefits for flights, hotels and more.

If you’re less interested in points, you could opt for a cashback card that will allow you to earn cash back on your eligible purchases.

Do you plan to build your credit history so you can apply for a bigger loan in the future, such as a mortgage? With basic no-annual-fee cards , you have fewer fees to pay, which can make it easier to make your payments on time (which can help improve your credit rating). Before you apply, assess your financial goals to choose the card that will help you achieve them the most.

Before deciding on a card, it is also important to know the interest rate and the fees associated with it. If the annual fee exceeds the value of the rewards you could get, it may be more beneficial for you to apply for a card with no annual fee. For fees associated with American Express Cards, please refer to the individual cardholder agreements .

How to get a credit card

Once you have found the American Express Card you would like to obtain, simply click on the “Apply Now” button. You will be asked to read the Terms and then you will be required to provide at a minimum:

  • your legal name;
  • your current address;
  • information about your employment and income.

How long does it take to get a credit card

Once you have submitted all the required information, the application process should take less than ten minutes of your time and you will receive a response almost instantly. If your application is approved, your credit card will be mailed to you.

How to use your new credit card

Depending on the approval of your credit card application, you can use certain strategies to maintain or improve your credit report while obtaining attractive rewards on your purchases.

First, learn how a credit card works . If you understand the effects of the Annual Interest Rate (AIR) on your debt and know how to build your credit rating, you can use your card strategically instead of just haphazardly

Next, if your card includes a rewards program , learn how and when bonus points are applied to your spending, then target purchase categories that give you such rewards to maximize your credit card performance.

Then make it a habit to check your monthly billing statement. Make sure it doesn’t show any unauthorized transactions and find out how your card’s AIR applies to outstanding balances, if any. Try to limit this type of interest charge as much as possible.

Finally, take advantage of the additional benefits offered by your card. Some American Express Cards include travel privileges, cash back programs or access to memorable experiences created especially for Cardmembers through American Express .

You’ll quickly see that a credit card is more than just a payment method. To get the most out of it, try to find and use a card that will provide you with rewards, protections and financing solutions to achieve your greatest life goals.

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