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How to get a credit card when retired or on a pension
Am I eligible to apply for a credit card if I am retired or collecting a pension? Yes you are. Learn how in this guide.
Yes! The majority of Canadian credit card issuers just want to see that you have some form of annual income and are able to make repayments on what you borrow. So if you can show proof of a pension or some other kind of retirement income, you’re likely eligible to apply.
Some of the best credit cards for seniors in Canada
|Credit card||Min. income||Interest rate||Annual fee||What makes it good for seniors?||Apply now|
|American Express Cobalt Card||$0||20.99%||$155.88|
With cards like this one that don’t list a minimum income requirement, you just have to be able to prove you can afford repayments with typical types of retirement income.
|Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card||$12,000||19.95%||$0||
|American Express Green Card||$0||20.99%||$0|
With no listed minimum credit score requirement, it’s possible to get approved even with a lower score.
|Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card||$12,000||19.99%||$399|
Enjoy travel medical, trip cancellation or interruption, flight delay, lost or delayed baggage, rental car collision loss or damage and accident insurance. Emergency travel medical up to $2 million.
|National Bank World Mastercard||$60,000||20.99%||$115||
If you’re retired, your income may be limited to a pension and Old Age Security (OAS). Some retirees may also have income from investments, part time work or self-employment endeavours. Whatever the case, it’s likely that you’ll be able to find a credit card that suits your income, financial needs and spending habits.
In fact, you can apply for a variety of different types of credit cards as a senior, including:
Before applying for a credit card, compare different cards to find the best one for your needs. When making your comparisons, consider the following factors:
- Purchase interest rate. This is the rate you will be charged if you don’t pay off your balance in full each billing cycle. Some credit cards offer low rates on purchases, while others may have rates sitting around 19.99%.
- Fees. Some credit cards come with annual fees, while others are $0 annually. Some providers may waive the annual fee for the first year of the card, while others may not.
- Cash advance rate. If you withdraw cash using your credit card, you will face the cash advance rate, which is usually higher than the purchase interest rate. What’s more, this rate is charged from the moment you withdraw the funds, whereas the interest rate for purchases is charged after the grace-free period, which is typically 21 to 55 days later.
- Rewards. Depending on the card you choose, you may be offered rewards including points per dollar spent, cash back rewards, concierge services and more. Choose a card that offers rewards that you will actually use.
- Insurance coverage. Many credit cards offer complimentary insurance, including travel insurance coverage, purchase protection, fraud protection and more. Cards with an annual fee usually offer more comprehensive insurance packages.
Compare credit card options for retired seniors
We’ve rounded a selection of different types of credit cards you may be eligible for as a retiree.
Once you’ve compared different credit cards and have found the one you’d like to apply for, you will need to make sure you’re eligible for the card and gather the necessary documents. You can then apply online via the provider’s secure website. The application process usually takes between 10 to 15 minutes if you have all of the necessary documents on hand.
- Age. You will need to be at least 18 years of age, or the age of majority in your province or territory.
- Residency. You will need to be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident with a valid Canadian address.
- Credit score. Meet any minimum credit score requirements. Many providers require you to have a score of 650 or higher.
- Income. Your pension, OAS payments and other income may need to amount to a minimum amount in order to qualify for the card.
- Personal information. You’ll need to provide your personal information, including your full name, address, phone number, contact information, SIN number and provide a copy of your Government-issued ID.
- Financial information. Provide details about your assets, liabilities and expenses. Assets include property, land, vehicles, etc.
- Income documents. You will need to provide proof of your pension and OAS payments, as well as any other income documents. If you have any investment or self-employment income, be sure to list it on your application.
1. Applying without researching
Rejected applications can negatively affect your credit report, so be sure to confirm the information you’ll need to increase your chances of approval. Read the terms and conditions or contact the provider to answer any questions you have before applying.
2. Applying for several cards quickly
If you are rejected for a credit card, don’t immediately apply for another one. Instead, consider why your application was denied. If you didn’t submit the required documents, research and find which ones you’re missing. If you were rejected because of your credit report, you’ll need to take some time to improve your credit score before applying again.
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