How to get a credit card when retired or on a pension

Be sure to meet eligibility requirements before you apply.

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Woman holding credit cards

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Being self-employed, retired or on a pension doesn’t mean you can’t access credit. But do your research before applying for a card: You may be required to meet other terms and conditions and provide additional documents.

We’ve made a list of providers that accept retired applicants, as well as the documents you’ll need to improve your chances of approval.

Application requirements

Applying for a seniors’ card often requires the same information — including credit score and credit history — as a standard credit card application. Here are the detailed requirements from the most popular credit card providers.

ProviderWho can apply and the documents you’ll need
Amex
  • Retired and pension: Yes. Social Security number, address, total annual income including pension, a prior American Express account, credit history and a contact number. The credit card department may reach out directly through email or phone for extra information.
Citi
  • Retired and pension: Yes. Social Security number, a written application or invitation, address, email, contact number and total annual income including pension.
Barclays
  • Retired and pension: Yes. Application form, Social Security number or ID, total annual income including pension, contact number and email. The credit card department may reach out directly through email or phone for extra information.
Chase
  • Retired and pension: Yes. Name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and an ID document.
TD Bank
  • Retired and pension: Yes. Application form, total annual income including pension, address, Social Security number, email and contact number.
Wells Fargo
  • Retired and pension: Yes. Application form, address, Social Security number or ID, permanent citizenship, good credit score and total annual income including pension. The credit card department may reach out directly through email or phone for extra information.
Bank of America
  • Retired and pension: Yes. Address, contact information, date of birth and annual income.
HSBC
  • Retired and pension: Yes. Social Security number or ID, your address and total annual income including pension. The credit card department may reach out directly through email or phone for extra information.
PNC Bank
  • Retired and pension: Yes. Application form, Social Security or ID, address and total annual income including pension. The credit card department may reach out directly through email or phone for extra information.
Capital One
  • Retired and pension: Yes. Application form, Social Security number or ID, total annual income including pension, address and contact number. The credit card department may reach out directly through email or phone for extra information.
Simmons Bank
  • Retired and pension: Yes. Application form, total annual income including pension, Social Security number or ID, address and contact number. The credit card department may reach out directly through email or phone for extra information.
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Mistakes to avoid when applying for your credit card

Before you apply for a seniors’ credit card, avoid the following:

  • Applying without researching
    Rejected applications can negatively affect your credit report. Confirm the information you’ll need to increase your chances of approval.
  • Applying for several cards quickly
    If you’re rejected for a credit card application, 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 history, take some time to improve your credit score before applying again.
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Our pick for credit card offers

CardMatch™ from creditcards.com

  • Find card offers you are more likely to qualify for without impacting your credit score.
  • Save time by comparing matched offers from multiple partner banks.
  • You may be matched to special offers based on your credit profile.
  • See your matched offers in less than 60 seconds.
  • Get matched to the card feature that's right for you. Find cards with low interest, cash back, balance transfers, and travel rewards.
  • Users may not be matched with all offers or banks. Matches are based on a user's credit profile. See the CardMatch terms and conditions for more details.
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See Rates & Fees

Compare credit cards for seniors

To find the best credit card for seniors, consider whether you want an intro APR card, a rewards credit card or one with travel perks and benefits. Then, compare multiple options to find the right card for your needs.

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Citi Rewards+℠ Card
Earn 2x points at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 annually, then 1x points after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
$0
The only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.49% to 25.49% variable)
$0
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See issuer's website
See terms
Can't decide on a card? Get personalized credit card offers with CardMatch™.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
1.25x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at hotels.com/venture
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.49%, 19.49% or 23.49% variable)
$0
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Citi Simplicity® Card
N/A
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 16.24% to 26.24% variable)
$0
Enjoy one of the longest intro APRs on balance transfers, no late fees, no penalty rate and no annual fee.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

There are many credit card options for seniors, and the application requirements are often the same as the standard credit cards. Always compare credit cards before you apply for one.

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