How to apply for credit cards online

23.04.2024 13:28

You want to apply for a credit card online, but don't know exactly how? We explain step by step how you can easily and conveniently apply for a credit card online. Whether you need a credit card for everyday use or for your travels, the process is simple and time-saving online.

The most important facts in a nutshell

  • Compare credit card offers online
  • Pay attention to annual fees, additional services, interest rates and acceptance
  • Select the credit card you want and start the online application process
  • Complete the online application form in a few minutes
  • After a positive identity and credit check, you will receive your credit card by post.

Content

  1. Research and comparison of credit cards online
  2. The online application
    • Fill in the application form
    • Credit assessment and credit decision
    • Legitimation check and proof of identity
  3. Which credit cards work without a current account?
  4. What to do if my credit card application is declined?
  5. Recommended credit cards online
  6. Conclusion

Research and comparison of credit cards online

The first step in applying for a credit card online is to find and compare different offers. There are many providers offering different credit cards with various features and benefits. This step takes the most time because there are many credit cards. To save you time, we have compiled a credit card comparison with the most popular credit cards. In order to find the right map for you from the nearer selection, pay particular attention to the following points:

  • Annual fee: Check whether the credit card has an annual fee and whether the fee is worth it for the services offered.
  • Additional services: Some credit cards offer attractive additional services such as travel insurance, cashback programmes or bonus points. Depending on your needs, decide which additional services make the most sense for you.
  • Fees for foreign assignments: If you plan to use the credit card frequently when travelling, be aware of any foreign transaction fees.
  • Debit interest: Find out about the amount of the debit interest if you also want to use the credit card for instalments.
  • Acceptance: Find out whether the credit card is accepted both at home and abroad. Especially with American Express cards, there can be significant restrictions in acceptance depending on the country. You can read more about this in our article on travel credit cards. Alternatively, you can recognise the acceptance points locally by the Mastercard, Visa or American Express logo on the ATMs and the shop's card machines.

You should also make sure which type of credit card is right for you. These differ from each other as follows:

  • Debit credit card: Debit cards are not real credit cards. They automatically charge all transactions to your current account. There is therefore no separate credit line and the debit is either immediate or within a few days. Your current account must show the amount paid.
  • Prepaid credit card: Prepaid cards are also not real credit cards, because you have to load money onto the card account and can only spend this amount. You are therefore not granted credit. These cards are ideal for minors and people whose credit rating is considered less good by Schufa and banks. However, if you do not belong to these groups of people, you should consider other cards, as prepaid credit cards often have a complex cost structure and can be very expensive. They are also not accepted by every hotel or car rental company.
  • Charge credit card: The way charge credit cards work is that the bank collects the amounts you spend with the card and debits them from your current account once a month. So you get a credit from the bank for a short time. However, you have to repay this credit in time before it is debited to avoid overdrawing your current account.
  • Revolving credit card: These cards are comparable to an instalment or framework loan: you have the option of repaying the money you have spent in instalments, with high interest charges. It is advisable to pay your debts in full on time and to rather do without this option in order to avoid high interest costs. However, revolving credit cards often offer very good additional services and, apart from the interest, very low or no fees.

The online application

After you have found the right credit card, click on the button "To Provider". This will take you to the online application form.

Online application
On our comparison page you will find all the information on credit cards.

Fill in the application form

The application form is the most important part of the online application process. Here you have to fill in your personal data, contact information and financial situation. It is important that you enter the data carefully, as incorrect information can delay the response or get you rejected. The exact information required can vary depending on the provider, but the following data is usually requested:

  • Personal data: Name, date of birth, address, nationality
  • Contact information: E-mail address, telephone number
  • Financial information: Information about your financial situation or existing credit

Credit assessment and credit decision

After you have filled out the application form, the credit card provider will carry out a credit check. This checks your creditworthiness and ability to pay. The provider usually uses information from the credit agency Schufa. Depending on the results of the check, the provider will make a credit decision. If your creditworthiness is sufficient, you will usually receive a positive answer immediately or within a few days.

Legitimation check and proof of identity

To confirm your identity and prevent fraud, the credit card provider will carry out a legitimation check in the next step. This can be done either online or offline. With online verification, you will be asked to confirm your identity via a video call or by using electronic proof of identity. Offline verification may require you to send a copy of your ID or other documents. In most cases, you can assume that the proof of identity will be verified online.

Which credit cards work without a current account?

Some banks, such as DKB, Comdirect or Consorsbank, offer the credit card together with the current account. If the account is free or you want to use it as your main account, this is a good option.

However, if the current account incurs costs or you only want a separate credit card, there are other options. Many providers offer credit cards individually. In this case, you need a reference account through which you pay the credit card bill. Recommended examples are the cards of Advanzia Bank and Novum Bank.

What to do if my credit card application is declined?

In most cases, banks require that customers are of age and financially stable in order to receive a credit card in the first place. They refer to this financial stability as a "good credit rating". If your credit rating is not considered "good", the credit card application can be rejected. However, there are exceptions, especially with debit or prepaid cards. This is because these can also be issued to minors or people with a bad credit rating. In such cases, the Schufa query is often omitted from the application.

However, it is also possible that there are incorrect entries in the Schufa, which in turn could lead to the customer being rejected by the bank. If you have difficulties applying for a credit card, we recommend that you check your Schufa record and have any errors corrected. Then you can apply for your credit card online again.

Recommended credit cards online

Here are some recommended credit cards that you can easily apply for online:

Gebührenfrei Mastercard Gold

Advanzia Bank

Annual Fee
0.00 €
Worldwide Payment
0.00 %
  • 0€ annual fee - forever
  • No Video-/PostIdent necessary
  • Pay worldwide without fees
Extrakarte Mastercard

Novum Bank

Annual Fee
0.00 €
Worldwide Payment
2.99 %
  • 0€ annual fee - forever
  • Immediate decision on your application
  • Free use in the euro area
Bunq Prepaid Kreditkarte

Bunq

Annual Fee
0.00 €
Worldwide Payment
2.00 %
  • Worldwide acceptance
  • Without credit rating query
  • Immediately usable
Barclays VISA

Barclays Bank

Annual Fee
0.00 €
Worldwide Payment
0.00 %
  • Free of charge worldwide
  • Works with existing bank account
  • Pay more securely than ever before
Amex Gold Card

American Express

Bonus: 144 €
Annual Fee
140.00 €
Worldwide Payment
2.00 %
  • Membership Rewards
  • Comprehensive insurance package
  • Free additional card included
Amex Platinum Card

American Express

Bonus: 200 €
Annual Fee
720.00 €
Worldwide Payment
2.00 %
  • Various annual bonuses
  • Exclusive premium services
  • 5 extra cards included
Amex Blue Card

American Express

Bonus: 25 €
Annual Fee
0.00 €
Worldwide Payment
2.00 %
  • €0 annual fee
  • Maximum transparency
  • Contactless payment

Conclusion

Applying for credit cards online is easy and convenient. By comparing different credit cards, you can quickly find the right card. Complete the application form in a few minutes and confirm your identity. After the subsequent positive credit check, you will receive your credit card in a few days and can enjoy all the benefits!