Credit ratings and getting the right credit card
Unfortunately it is not that simple. In the words of Mick Jagger of Rolling Stones fame, "you can't always get what you want", though he did add that "if you try sometimes, well you just might find, you get what you need". Of course he wasn't referring to credit cards, but he might as well have been. You might well choose the credit card that you want, but it is the credit card company that will decide which one it thinks that you need and, amongst a few other factors, that decision will be based mainly on your credit rating as assessed by the card company.
In reality that last statement should be amended from "which one it thinks that you need" to which one it thinks that "they" need because, in the final analysis, the card company is in business to make money, and they will issue you with a card that it believes will make the most money for the company whilst concomitantly reducing the risk to which it is exposed.
This means that ironically some people with exemplary credit histories get turned down for the best credit cards simply because of the way they use their credit cards. For instance if all they ever do is transfer balances to zero interest balance transfer cards and then move the balance somewhere else once the interest free period has expired, and they never use the card to make a purchase, they may well find that they are refused similar cards in the future. In the worst case the credit card company may just cancel the card and request that it is returned. They are legally entitled to do this, and there have been very many reports of them having done so.
Credit card companies will use the credit history and rating as held by one of the major credit rating agencies (Equifax, Experian or Callcredit) as part of their assessment of your credit worthiness, and different credit card companies will have different criteria regarding this and other factors.
To be unfortunate enough to be rejected for a card can be very frustrating, particularly as the card company is under no obligation to explain its reasons to you, and even if they do give a reason it is likely to be very bland, for instance it is unlikely to be any more detailed than a simple statement that your credit rating isn't high enough. If this happens to you then the first thing you should do is check your credit record with the various agencies and make sure that there are not any inaccuracies. If there are then there is a simple procedure available to correct them.
There are a number of ways of improving your credit rating and we will deal with these in detail in a future article, but it is important to ensure that you appear on the electoral role, do not make too many applications as search will be recorded in your history, get any kind of credit card even if it is not ideal and use it properly, and reduce any debts that you might have. Missing payments is the major way in which people damage their credit histories.