How to Sign Up for a Free Credit Card

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Credit cards are widely available to people of all income levels and credit scores. Although it's easy to obtain a credit card, particularly if you have a good credit history, it's equally as easy to get into debt. Through careful selection, you can get a credit card with benefits such as frequent-flyer miles or cash-back rewards. There are cards to suit a variety of users, depending on individual reasons for getting a credit card. Use your credit card wisely and it can be a helpful tool for financial planning. Use it carelessly and you can find yourself up to your ears in credit cards and bad debt.

  • Research which credit card you'd like to apply for. Websites like CardRatings.com allow you to compare different cards based on categories like low interest, balance transfer fees and student status.

  • Choose a card with no annual fee that fits the criteria you're looking for. Ideally it will also have a low interest rate of around 12 percent or a 0 percent APR on purchases for a set time frame. This means that you'll pay less interest on your purchases or, in some cases, no interest at all.

  • Apply for the credit card of your choice, either by applying through a comparison website or directly on the card provider's website. Click on the card you'd like to apply for.

  • Enter all of the required information, such as your name, address and annual income. These details will be used to process your application and to determine whether or not you qualify for your desired card.

  • In some cases, the decision will be instantaneous and you'll be notified online immediately after you apply. In other cases, you'll be notified of the decision by letter or email within 10 days of filing your application.

  • If you're approved, expect to receive your credit card in the mail within two weeks. If you've been denied, begin the process again from Step 1 until you find a company that's willing to issue you a credit card.

Tips & Warnings

  • Talk to a representative at your current bank to find out what kind of credit card offers it has available. Your bank may be able to offer you a lower rate or user rewards.
  • Carefully read the terms and conditions that come with your new credit card. There may be hidden stipulations, such as an increased interest rate after a certain period of time.

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