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

Be sure to meet eligibility requirements before you apply.

Updated

Fact checked
Woman holding credit cards

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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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® Diamond Preferred® Card
N/A
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$0
Long 18 months intro APR periods on purchases and balance transfers. Plus Citi Entertainment℠ for deals on dining and going out.
Citi® Double Cash Card
Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)
13.99% to 23.99% variable
$0
This one of the most valuable flat cashback cards. It comes with 2% cash back (1% when you buy plus 1% when you pay) and 18 months to pay off transfers.
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See issuer's website
See terms
Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
TD Cash Credit Card
3% on dining, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other eligible purchases
0% intro for the first 15 billing cycles (then 12.99%, 17.99% or 22.99% variable)
$0
3% on dining and 2% on groceries make this a valuable card for food purchases. Use it while traveling, too, with no foreign transaction fees. Available in: CT, DC, DE, FL, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VA, VT
Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card™
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1% for cash back
14.99% variable
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
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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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