How to get a credit card when retired or on a pension | finder.com

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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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.

Our pick for retirees: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.
  • NEW 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • NEW 3% cash back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations. 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • You spoke, we listened. Over 1.6 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2018.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.99% to 25.99%
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
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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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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
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
N/A
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 12.99% to 20.99% variable)
$0
An 18 months 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
1.5% cash back on all purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.24%, 22.24% or 26.24% variable)
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
$95
Earn $250 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
1.5% cash back after earning 3% on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.99% to 25.74% variable)
$0
Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent, then earn 1.5% cash back after that.

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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