Applying for Your First Credit Card

When applying for your first travel credit card, there’s some things you’ll want to know before you dive in. Here are some things to be aware of as you begin your Travel Hacking journey.

Getting into this hobby it’s important to remember that it helps to have a credit score above 700 before applying. If you’ve opened a lot of cards in the last two years, let’s talk about best strategies for applying. What if you’re carrying debt on any credit cards?

Before Jumping In

I cannot stress enough the importance of paying off any outstanding balance(s) before considering this hobby. Carrying balances and paying high interest rates will negate any benefit you’d receive from Travel Hacking. I will always encourage the most fiscally responsible use of credit cards in participating in Travel Hacking.

What to Expect when Applying for Your First Card

I’m glad that we got that out of the way. Now you’re sitting at your computer looking at the credit card site and about to apply for your first card. What’s amazing in this day and age is that you can complete a credit card application on your computer. Often you get an instant decision from the credit card company. It’s magical to see “Congratulations you’ve been approved” for XYZ credit card right after pushing the send button.

However, sometimes, you’ll receive a message which reads something like “thank you for applying; we’ll be in touch by mail”. At this, point, it becomes a game of patience. Often, you will be approved shortly after applying. Sometimes, your new credit card will arrive in your mailbox before the official approval letter. Once in a while, you’ll receive a letter asking for additional information.

Business credit card applications can sometimes require more information. This helps to authenticate your business. Whatever happens, do not panic or rush to call the credit card company to find out what’s going on. It can take as long as 30 days for approval or rejection.


What if you do receive a rejection letter?’s still the possibility of being approved for that specific card. Read the letter carefully. Find out why you were denied. Now that you know the reason, you can decide if it’s worth calling a credit card company’s reconsideration number to talk to a specialist.

Often, it’s a matter of answering a few questions. Or, you need to provide additional information. You can request to move credit around if you happen to have more than one credit card from the company to which you’ve applied.

Methods of Appeal

Try appealing your case to the customer service representative. Do this by explaining how much all the great benefits and perks of the credit card for which you’ve applied mean so much to you. It is worth pleading your case. Many people are able to get approved even having received a rejection letter. I’m happy to guide you through the process if this happens to you.

In all cases of approval (Congratulations!), make sure to note the date on which you were approved. This date appears on the paperwork that comes with your new credit card. It might be the date you applied if you received instant approval. Or, you can check your on your account which will list the date the credit card account was opened.

Remember that the 90 day window (in most cases) for meeting the minimum spending requirements starts on the date of approval. It is not the date you receive the actual card. I always put a reminder on my calendar for 80 days after approval. This assures that I complete my minimum spending in the 90 day window.

What if you are still denied for the credit card? Let’s talk about the reasons why and what your next steps are to still get in the game. Happy to help you out with this.

Now you know some valuable information before applying for your first credit card. It’s time to take that first step and apply for your first credit card.

Please scroll down and leave a comment and tell me which card will be your first Travel Hacking Credit Card.

If you’re not sure, I recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It is still my go-to first credit card for most people getting into Travel Hacking.

Published by Lisa Joy Phillips

I have a passion for Travel Hacking using Points and Miles to Travel for Pennies on the Dollar.

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  1. Lisa, ordered my first card today. It is a Capital One Venture. Wish me luck on meeting the spending goals so I will get my initial big batch of miles.

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