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Last updated: 23/07/2020 | Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Why can't I get the best credit cards?

If you’ve recently had your application for a credit card turned down, you might harm your chances of getting another one by re-applying right away.

Instead, read this guide to find out why you might have been turned down, and how to make yourself a better candidate for credit in the future.

In This Guide:

How can I get the best credit cards?

Given the variety of cards available, it’s hard to give a one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how to get the best one. There are however, some general pieces of advice you can follow to improve your application.

First and foremost, you will want to clear all of your outstanding debts, if you have any. Having existing debts will not paint you as a favourable candidate to a credit card provider – they simply want proof that you can afford to pay off the credit you borrow before they issue you with a card.

You can also somewhat improve your credit report by making sure that you are on the electoral roll, and that the address you are using on your card application is matches that on the roll.

Finding the right card to suit you

The first thing you should do before you apply for a credit card or any kind of loan is to work out exactly why you need to borrow, and to pick a product accordingly.

Before anything else, you should work out if the credit you borrow is something that you need to stay afloat or just something to ease your regular financial burden and increase flexibility.

If you need to borrow money just to get by, then a credit card might not be the best idea for you. You might, instead, want to consider a debt management plan or a straightforward personal loan.

Where credit cards come into their own is when they are used to generally enhance financial flexibility and to allow you to make certain purchases between pay cheques that would otherwise be impossible. Irresponsible use of the wrong kind of credit cards can lead to large debts that just pile up and up, and so it’s important to be careful.

If you’ve been turned down for a credit card due to problems with your credit report, then you might want to opt for a specialised credit building credit card.


These cards come with relatively low credit limits and a relatively high APR - due to the increased risk being taken by the card provider. They are designed to help people build up and improve their credit rating by allowing them to make regular and low repayments.

Whatever you need a credit card for, the chances are that there’s a product out there that suits you, and by applying for the right kind of card, you’ll find that your chances of being accepted will go up.

Credit report

The biggest factor that will decide your eligibility to take out a credit card is your credit report.

Your credit report is essentially like your financial footprint – it is a record of your ability to pay back any debts you’ve had in the past, as well as of any applications you’ve previously made for credit cards or loans.

Unsuccessful attempts to take out a credit card will leave a negative mark on your credit report, and this is why continually re-applying when you’ve been turned down is not such a good idea.

The same applies to any payments you’ve missed in the past, whether it’s a phone bill, mortgage or anything in between.

You’ll need to contact a credit checking agency like Experian or Equifax to find out your credit score, and each will calculate it slightly differently. When you receive your credit score, you’ll also be given a key to work out exactly what it means and how good (or bad) it is.

You’ll also be offered advice regarding how to improve your credit rating if yours is considered poor.

Compare credit cards online

To get the best deals on credit cards, whatever your situation and whatever your reasons for needing one, head over to our credit card comparison page and see what kind of spending limits and APR you could expect when you apply.