How to apply for a credit card

Things to consider before you apply

Are you eligible


You can apply if you:

  • are aged 18 or over
  • have a regular income
  • are a UK resident
  • are not currently declared bankrupt, have any county court judgements or subject to an individual voluntary agreement.
  • haven't already applied for a card and been declined in the last 30 days.

See how likely you are to be accepted for a Bank of Scotland credit card without harming your credit score.

Check your eligibility

What you will need


To apply, you will need your:

  1. Current UK address details, and your previous address if you have moved in the past three years
  2. Phone number and email address
  3. Annual income (before tax)
  4. Main bank account number and sort code
  5. Details for any non Bank of Scotland credit or store card(s), if you want to make a balance transfer as part of your application.

Choosing the right card


It's important you find a credit card that's right for you. Our guide on choosing a credit card explains the things you'll need to consider before selecting a card.

If you already have a card with us, you can apply for a second card* or swap your existing card.

*Second cards excludes customers holding or applying for a Classic or Student Card. Conditions apply.

Compare our cards to make sure you find the right one. We even have a card selector to help you choose.

During your application

You can apply for a card online, in branch and over the phone, however some balance transfer offers are available exclusively online. You’ll find out if you’re successful about halfway through the application. Applying through Internet Banking will make your application quicker and easier. The application form is designed to work on your desktop, smartphone or tablet.

How we make a decision


When making a lending decision, these are some of the things we consider:

  • Your current level of borrowing and existing financial commitments.
  • Your employment status (e.g. if you are unemployed, or have only been in your job a short time).
  • Your residential status (e.g. if you have lived at your current address for a short time or have not been listed on the electoral register).
  • Whether you have kept up with loan or credit card payments.
  • The length of time you have held a current account.

Making a balance transfer


A balance transfer is the process of transferring a balance from one credit or store card to another. You can do this from most non-Bank of Scotland credit cards and some store cards.

Apply for a balance transfer during your application for a new credit card. Or after you have received your card, by logging in to Internet Banking, visiting your nearest branch or calling us.

More about balance transfers

After you have submitted your application

If you are accepted


Your card will arrive within seven working days and your PIN will arrive within five working days. If your card hasn't arrived within two days of your PIN, please call us on 0345 964 5645.

You will also receive two emails:

  1. Pre-contract information - This is the legal contract we provide to you before you accept the terms and conditions.
  2. Adequate explanation and Credit Card Agreement - This is the terms and conditions you have signed. We will send this once your application has been completed.

If you are declined


There are a number of reasons why you might have been declined, for example:

  • You don't have enough disposable income to afford the repayments for the credit card you have applied for.
  • Your credit history shows missed payments on mortgages, loans and credit cards, or high levels of existing borrowing in relation to your income.
  • You have applied for a card within the last 30 days, or have an application pending.

Making sure you get a fair deal


We want you to find a product that's right for your circumstances, which is why we adhere to the Standards of Lending Practice, which are monitored and enforced by the Lending Standards Board.

To find out more you can read the statement of responsibilities, which details whats expected of us, the lender and you the borrower.