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Why it may be easier to be approved for a credit card if you already have an account with the issuer

Looking to open a new credit card but don't know where to begin? Talk with a representative at your bank to see what you may qualify for.

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When you apply for a credit card, issuers consider a number of factors, such as your credit score, credit history, income and monthly rent or mortgage payment. 

Though these all influence your approval odds, there's another factor you might not be aware of.

If you already have a good relationship with your bank or credit union — meaning you have a checking or savings account and no history of overdrawing on your account — you may find that it's easier to qualify for a credit card with them.

Below, Select explains why you might want to apply for a card issued by your bank and what you should consider before applying.

How applying for credit with your bank may help you get approved

Visiting the bank where you already have an account with may help your chances of getting approved for a credit card because they already know you and may feel more confident extending you a line of credit, especially if this is your first credit card.

It's always smart to shop around for the best credit card based on your credit score and your financial capacity, but Bruce McClary, a spokesman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), tells CNBC Select that there are some circumstances where you may have extra incentives to start with the financial institution where you already have an account.

"This may be especially true if you have a less than stellar credit history but have an account in good standing," McClary says. "That credit issuer may be more likely to consider your recent account history with their credit card as an overriding factor against other past credit setbacks related to other accounts. The more recent your financial troubles, the less of a guarantee that your creditor may be as flexible as you might like."

Depending on how good your banking relationship is, it may even help you score a better interest rate, lower fees, a longer promotional financing period or a sign-up bonus if you are approved for the credit card. Make sure to ask about any benefits for new applicants. Some issuers waive annual fees or offer statement credits for new cardholders.

If you get approved, having a credit card at the institution where you already bank could also make it easier to pay your monthly bill on time since you can simply transfer funds between accounts versus between issuers, and it removes the hassle of having to set up a different profile on another issuer's website. 

What to look out for when applying for a credit card through your bank

Once you ask a representative at your bank about opening a credit card, you'll want to first review any card offers before officially applying. You should compare any card offer with what is advertised online or any offer you may have received in the mail. Remember, applying for new credit requires a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can temporarily ding your credit score a few points.

If you anticipate having a difficult time getting approved for a credit card and want to see what your bank can offer, it may help to know what CNBC Select ranked as the best credit cards for bad credit, fair and average credit and for building credit.

Below are just a handful.

Don't miss:

Information about the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

Petal 2 Visa Credit Card issued by WebBank.

Click here to view the Cardholder Agreement for the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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