Applying for a credit card
Read answers to frequently asked questions, including how long it takes to receive a new card.
If your application's been approved, your card will arrive within 7 working days. Your PIN will arrive separately within 5 days.
Your credit limit depends on affordability and credit history, so it's individual to you.
We're a responsible lender, so we'll review your credit report and what you can reasonably afford to repay before we give you a decision.
If you're approved, your new credit limit will be available straightaway. If you're not approved, it's a good idea to wait at least 6 months before making another application. Otherwise, the answer is likely to be the same and could have a negative impact on your credit record.
Most customers can find out their estimated credit limit before applying by using Clever Check - our credit card eligibility checker.
Find out more about building and maintaining a healthy credit rating on our credit reports explained page.
If you think we’ve recorded anything incorrectly, please write to:
Customer financial assistance
PO Box 30
Chester Business Park
You’ll need to include the relevant sections from your credit report, so it’d make sense to get a copy of that first. There are various credit reference agencies you can contact, but the main ones are Experian, Equifax, or Callcredit.
Before you apply, use Clever Check - our eligibility checker to find out which MBNA credit cards you're eligible to apply for; it’s quick and it won’t affect your credit rating.
Once you've done this and know which MBNA credit cards you're eligible to apply for, you can go on to make a full application.
To apply you must:
- Be a UK resident, aged 18 or over, with a regular annual income.
- Provide up to 3 years’ address history, an email address and phone number.
- Provide your main bank account number and sort code.
- Be free of County Court Judgements (CCJs), Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVAs) or bankruptcies.
- Not be unemployed or a student
- Not have been declined for an MBNA credit card within the last 30 days.
We also consider things like:
- Your credit history, both past and present, including previous full credit searches.
- Affordability based on your income.
If you apply online, after reading all of the legal information you’ll tick a box to provide an electronic signature, which is the only one we need from you.
You should get 2 emails:
- Pre-contract information - this is the legal contract we give before you accept the terms and conditions.
- Adequate explanation and Credit Card Agreement - these are the terms and conditions you’ve signed online. We’ll send this once your application has been completed.
It's a good idea to wait at least 6 months before making another application, otherwise you're likely to be declined again, which could have a negative effect on your credit file.
Improving your credit rating over time means you're more likely to be approved in future. Find out more on our applying for credit page.
The eligibility check asks for information about your financial responsibilities, employment status and home address. We use these details, a snapshot of your credit record, and any information we already hold about you, to decide how likely you are to be accepted.
There are still no guarantees that your full application will be successful. You could still be declined based on information you provide after the eligibility check, and after a full credit application search and other checks have been completed.
Learn more about why an application might be turned down.
An eligibility check helps you find out cards you're likely to be accepted for before you complete a full application. Because this involves a 'quotation search' (also known as a ‘soft search’) rather than a full credit search, although visible on your credit file, it won’t affect your credit rating.
Use Clever Check – our credit card eligibility checker to find out which MBNA credit cards you could be eligible to apply for.
If you choose a card and complete a full application, a full credit search will be made and registered on your credit file. Amongst other things, the result and frequency of applications and full credit searches could affect your credit rating, which in turn might affect your chances of being approved for credit in future.
You can find out more about your credit file, and how to maintain it on our credit reports explained page.
Yes, you can apply using Clever Check, our credit card eligibility checker, as normal - just give your BFPO address in the ‘Where I live’ section.
Many lenders show you a range of credit card offers up-front, but it’s important to bear in mind you might not get the advertised rate if you don’t meet their eligibility criteria.
The MBNA website is a little different. Before you see any credit card offers, you’ll need to take a Clever Check – our credit card eligibility checker. Your results will include the exact offers and representative APR you’ll get, if you go on to complete a full application and you’re approved.
For more information, read our guide to representative examples and representative APRs.
The eligibility check asks for some basic information on your financial responsibilities, employment status and home address. These details, along with a snapshot of your credit record and any information we already hold from current or previous accounts, gives us sufficient information to give you an initial decision on how likely you are to be accepted, all without conducting a full credit search or affecting your credit rating.
Use Clever Check – our credit card eligibility checker and find out which MBNA credit cards you could be eligible to apply for.
We believe the decision to be correct; however, if your full application was not successful, you’re entitled to appeal this decision.
This process may include a further credit search being carried out which could be recorded on your credit file.
Our second review is final, so make sure you include all information that supports your application. Formatting or spelling errors might affect your result, because the information won't match your credit file, so it's important to check everything's correct before you submit.
Please write to:
Personal Lending Decisions,
Three City Park,
Remember to include your contact number in your letter.
Multiple applications over a short period of time, outstanding debts, or a limited credit history can negatively affect your application. If you think one of these reasons might be why your application was rejected the first time, it's a good idea to wait before trying again.
Please note: the content of this page is not intended to be taken as financial advice or recommendation from MBNA. You should seek independent financial advice if you're unsure about your financial needs.