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Elijah Reed
Elijah Reed

Credit Card Required

Credit is important at every stage in life, from getting your first apartment and buying your first car to refinancing your home and qualifying for a travel rewards card. Creditors will look at your entire financial profile, including your credit score, to determine your qualification and your rates or terms.

credit card required

With the FICO Score Simulator you can view the impact to your credit score if you miss a payment, close an account or increase your credit usage. Additionally, our "See What's Changed" feature makes it easy to spot new information in your credit report. You'll be able to quickly see changes in your total debt levels, modifications to accounts, the opening or closing of new loans and/or credit card accounts, new inquiries or credit checks in regard to applications for new loans or credit. These report changes will also include annotations so you can quickly see if they're helping or hurting your FICO Score.

When a company checks your credit report when you apply for new credit, such as a credit card or a loan, the process is called a "hard inquiry." This credit check remains on your credit for 2 years but has a short-term impact. After a few months, the impact to your credit scores should start to decrease. If you have multiple credit checks, outside of rate shopping, the impact to your credit scores could be greater.

Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on the site, including for example, the order in which they appear within listing categories. This site does not include all credit card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Many major credit card companies, financial institutions and loan servicers offer a monthly credit score for no extra fee for cardholders. You can often simply log into your account and check your credit score. Keep in mind different issuers use different scoring methods which means you may have slightly different scores across different cards.

Before applying, consider your goals with the card. Do you need the card to help establish credit? Earn rewards? Pay off some debt? Knowing your goals will help you narrow down options. For example, if you want an easy-to-use cash-back card, the right fit could be one that offers the same flat rate on all purchases. Someone seeking their first credit card may fare best with a secured credit card.

If the card has an introductory 0% APR, the agreement will outline the exact details of the offer, including how long you have after opening the card to make a transfer or purchase without incurring interest.

Applying for a business card is easy but requires research. First, you should determine if your business is eligible. Your business is not required to have incorporated in any way to qualify for a business credit card and the size of your company does not matter for basic card eligibility.

As with unsecured cards, you need to fill out an application for a secured credit card. The main difference between the two is secured cards will require your bank account and routing number in order to process a refundable security deposit. The amount you deposit becomes your credit limit.

Chauncey grew up on a farm in rural northern California. At 18 he ran away and saw the world with a backpack and a credit card, discovering that the true value of any point or mile is the experience it facilitates. He remains most at home on a tractor, but has learned that opportunity is where he finds it and discomfort is more interesting than complacency.

You should determine what your goal is for getting a new credit card. Are you hoping to use it to build your credit history? Do you want to take advantage of a promotional APR offer with a credit card balance transfer? Understanding what purpose the card will serve can help you target your search.

A rewards credit card can be a valuable tool for earning miles or cash back on purchases. Someone who does a lot of flying, for example, may want a travel rewards card. On the other hand, if you make most of your credit card purchases at the grocery store, a cash back credit card might make more sense. Note that some rewards cards come with an annual fee, but Discover has no annual fee on any of our cards.

Signing up and having your credit card application approved can be an exciting way to gain access to credit and start building your financial future. You can set yourself up for success by researching the best credit card for you and using the tips above to help you use the credit card responsibly.

A gift card is a type of prepaid card (or other electronic access device) typically purchased by one consumer and given to another as a present or to express appreciation or recognition. Merchants and vendors are increasingly opting to use electronic gift cards instead of paper certificates because of lower costs and because electronic cards are less vulnerable to fraud or counterfeiting.4

Gift cards are generally categorized as either closed-loop or open-loop. Closed-loop gift cards, which represent the majority of the gift card market,5 are accepted at a single merchant or group of affiliated merchants as payment for goods and services and cannot be reloaded with additional value after issuance. Open-loop gift cards are branded with a payment card processor network such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover, and are generally issued by financial institutions. An open-loop card can be used at merchants participating in the payment network and are more likely to be reloadable.6

Cards for telephone services are excluded. However, the final rule interprets telephone services narrowly, so the exclusion does not apply to cards redeemed for prepaid Internet access and similar technology services.10

In certain cases, multiple parties may be involved in a card program. For example, a retailer, such as a grocery store or a drug store, may be marketing the product and not the card issuer. Display racks at the retailer may make gift cards available as well as general-purpose reloadable cards and telephone cards; therefore, the retailer is offering both excludable and nonexcludable products. In this case, the card issuer may not always be able to verify how excludable cards are displayed at each retail outlet to ensure that they are not being marketed as gift cards or gift certificates through signage, advertisements, or otherwise.13 Recognizing the compliance risks involved when multiple parties are involved in a card program, the final rule provides that the exclusion applies so long as a certificate or card is not marketed or labeled as a gift card or certificate and if persons subject to the rule maintain policies and procedures reasonably designed to avoid such marketing.14

Loyalty, award, and promotional gift cards are typically not funded by the consumer but by the entity sponsoring the card program. To qualify for the exclusion, the card must meet three requirements. It must 1) be issued on a prepaid basis primarily for personal, family, or household purposes to a consumer in connection with a loyalty, award, or promotional program; 2) be redeemable at one or more merchants for goods or services, or it can be used at an automated teller machine; and 3) make certain disclosures. To facilitate compliance, comment 20(a)(4)-1 provides seven illustrative (but not exhaustive) examples.

This exclusion applies when the only means of issuing the card, code, or other device is in paper form.21 For example, the exclusion would not apply if a bar code or certificate number is provided to the consumer in electronic format and can be reproduced in paper form because the information necessary to redeem the value was initially issued to the consumer in electronic form.22

This exclusion is limited to cards, codes, or other devices that do not state a specific monetary value but instead are redeemable for admission to an event or venue. Furthermore, the exclusion covers any goods or services that may be obtained at specific locations affiliated with and in geographic proximity to the event or venue.

Requirements for Disclosures on Card/Certificate and Before Purchase. To ensure that consumers are aware of dormancy, inactivity, and service fees before purchasing a gift card or certificate, disclosures must be made available pre-purchase and appear on the card or certificate itself. In some circumstances, a single disclosure will satisfy both requirements, but in other cases, two sets of disclosures are required: those on the card/certificate and those made available pre-purchase. For example, if the disclosures on a certificate or card required by 12 C.F.R. 1005.20(d)(2) are obstructed by the packaging, the disclosures would also have to appear on the packaging sold with the card or certificate. But if the disclosures were visible to the consumer without removing the packaging, additional disclosures would not be required.27

The expiration date of the underlying funds of a gift certificate, store gift card, or general-use prepaid card must be no less than five years after the date of issuance (in the case of a gift certificate) or five years after the date of last load of funds (in the case of a store gift card or general-use prepaid card).28 No person may sell or issue such a certificate or card with an expiration date unless the person has established policies and procedures that provide the consumer with a reasonable opportunity to purchase a product that has an expiration date at least five years from the date of purchase. Note, however, that this requirement ceases to apply once the certificate or card has been fully redeemed.29

The expiration date for the underlying funds, or a statement that the underlying funds do not expire, must be disclosed on the certificate or card.30 Additionally, as applicable, the issuer must disclose on the card or certificate a toll-free number and a website, if one is maintained, that a consumer may use to obtain a replacement card or certificate after expiration if the card or certificate expires before the underlying funds expire.31 041b061a72


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