When applying for a new credit card, does financial institutions know you have cards from other institutions?

When applying for a new credit card, do companies know if you hold another credit card with a different supplier/bank?


They know! Before approving your credit card application, companies are allowed to check your credit record, which includes information about which credit cards you already hold.

They will also, of course, ask you to provide information about other credit cards you hold when you apply, and knowingly supplying false or misleading information, or withholding information, could be considered fraud which is a criminal offence. It’s best to be absolutely truthful in your answers to all questions when you’re applying for a new card.

Hope this helps!

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Thanks! @sixtyeight

I just applied for an Amex essential credit card a few weeks ago and was approved. I was looking to apply for a second credit card (visa or MasterCard) with a high bonus as a secondary card as I’ve got a few large purchases coming up. Went for the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black credit card with the 130k bonus points but got rejected.

Just backtracking as to why I got rejected.

  • 78,500k annual salary
  • paying board (living with rents)
  • 0 dependencies
  • HECs loan
  • small personal loan of 3k left from 8k

Digging through the comments of other forums, this card typically is quite strict with regards to the credit limits. So you might have to lower the limit on some of your cards to get approved.

With that said, the whole credit card approvals game is a mystery that not even people within the bank could tell you very clearly why you got rejected. Just know that ANZ is one of the more rigorous ones.


ahh fair enough. when would it be a good time to re-apply if rejected? I can see right now that Westpac and Nab have a similar bonus offer but their annual fee is a little higher.

Credit providers do see multiple applications in a short space of time as evidence of possible “financial distress” and will be less inclined to approve cards.

I would advise doing at least one of the following (and it would be safer to do both):

  • Apply for a credit card with a much lower credit limit (eg. a “platinum”-level card with a limit of $6000). Many of these cards can still give quite hefty sign-up bonuses.

  • Wait for 3-4 months before applying for your next card.

Re Westpac… Westpac may well give you a discount or waive the annual fee for the first year if you’re already a customer with them. Try opening a no-fee or low-fee savings account before applying and you may find yourself pleasantly surprised. Both NAB and Westpac will waive the annual fee if you already have a home loan with them, but that might be a little harder to organise!