A credit card can be a smart way to make purchases online, or to shop when you just don’t have the cash at hand. But what should you consider if you've decided the time is right to apply for a credit card?

Have you considered a debit card?

These days, many debit cards can be used for a lot of the same things that credit cards are used for, such as online shopping.

The primary difference between debit and credit cards is that when you use a debit card, you’re spending what you already have in a transaction account (for example, your savings account). 

By contrast, using a credit card is effectively borrowing money. You’ll have to pay back that money in the future, possibly along with interest, too.

So before you apply for a credit card, it could be worth considering whether you can get by with a debit card instead.

Build up your credit history

good credit score can be crucial when applying for a credit card or any type of loan. 

Making sure you pay your bills – such as phone and electricity – on time is a great start to building a positive credit report. It can also help to have some experience with another credit card but keep in mind that having a lot of credit applications against your name can work against your score.

Choose your type of card wisely

There are generally three types of credit cards: low feelow rate and awards.

In addition, CommBank Neo is an interest-free card with no late fees or surprise charges. Just a simple monthly fee.

It’s worth taking the time to consider what it is you really want from your credit card before you apply. Our credit card comparison page might help to give an idea of which card might suit you.

Always read the fine print

Once you’ve chosen the credit card you think will best suit you, read up on the fees and charges, as well as the terms and conditions.

Apply when you’re ready

You can apply for a credit card online at any time with CommBank.

New to CommBank or don’t have NetBank? We'll just need some of your personal details, photo ID and proof of income.

If you’re already a CommBank customer and registered for NetBank, you can save time by confirming your personal details before providing your proof of income.

You can also apply for a credit card at your nearest branch. Just make sure you remember to bring your ID and proof of income.

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Things you should know

Applications for credit cards are subject to approval. Full terms and conditions will be in our Letter of Offer. Fees and charges apply. This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice.