How to get a Credit Card

Whether you need financial flexibility for a big purchase, or just a safe and easy way to make everyday transactions, a Credit Card or Charge Card is your loyal companion. Here’s all the information you’ll need to find the right product for you, and to apply.



How to choose a Credit Card


Whether you want to collect points, get cashback, enjoy travel rewards or premium entertainment and lifestyle experiences, American Express has a range of Credit Cards that offer various rewards and benefits.


Discover more about our different Card types.


Important factors to consider before applying for a Credit Card


Ready to start the application process? Take time to consider the following:


Understand important Credit Card terms


Make sure you’re familiar with credit limits and Annual Percentage Rates to avoid unpleasant surprises, as rates may vary on your individual circumstances and your credit score. Understand how much you can spend and the rate you must repay, to avoid going over your credit limit, and consider fees and possible interest charges


Check your credit score


To consider your application, lenders will review your credit score which will help them understand if you’re a reliable borrower who can repay them. This will help them decide how much they can offer and the interest rate you’ll be charged. The better it is, the more choice you’ll have when it comes to credit cards.


Keep in mind that unsuccessful applications could affect your credit score, so make sure you know your score before starting the process.


Find more about how to check your credit score.


Consider how much you can afford to repay each month


Explore your repayment options but remember to be realistic about how much you can afford to spend without struggling to pay off your balance.


How to get your first Credit Card


The process for a first-time Credit Card applicant is the same as if you’ve had one before. Follow the steps below, remembering to check your eligibility before you apply.


How to apply for a Credit Card


If you have all the required information to hand (outlined below), you can apply for a Credit Card online in as little as 10 minutes. 


Once you’ve chosen a Card:


  1. Read the important information and Terms and Conditions on the Card page and click on the ‘Apply now’ button to start your application.
  2. Fill out the form with your personal details (such as name and contact information) and financial details (employment status, personal and household income). Click ‘Save and continue’.
  3. Fill out a few additional details.
  4. Read everything through and submit your application.


If your application is approved, you'll receive your new Card by post in the next 10 business days. Your PIN will be sent separately as it'll arrive a couple of days before the Card. You’ll also receive information about your benefits and how to manage your Account online. Any Supplementary Cards requested will be delivered separately, and you should receive these within five business days of receiving your Welcome Pack.


Want to check your likelihood of being approved prior to submitting a formal application? It won’t affect your credit rating.


What do I need to apply for a Credit Card?


When you submit your Card application you’ll be asked for the following:


  • Personal information: including your name, email address, date of birth and nationality. 
  • Contact details: including your phone number and current address. If you’ve lived at your current address for less than three years, you will also need your previous address.
  • Financial information: including your annual personal income and any other household income, your employment status and employer contact details, as well as how long you’ve been with your bank or building society.

We want you to know how we collect, use, share, and keep information about you, as well as your choices when you request our products or services. Read the American Express® Cardmember Privacy Statement here.


How to know if you’re eligible?


To apply for a personal Card in the UK you need to meet certain eligibility criteria. As well as our eligibility checker, you can use the following checklist:


  • I am aged 18 or over
  • I have a current UK bank or building society account
  • I have a permanent UK home address
  • I have no history of bad debt

 You may need to provide additional details for some of our Cards, as criteria for approval varies.

Want to learn more about Credit Cards?

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Credit Card interest and APR

What is Credit Card interest and APR? Learn when you need to pay Credit Card interest and how it is calculated