It can take anywhere from less than a minute to a few weeks to get approved for a credit card. The amount of time depends on how you apply, how good your credit is relative to the requirements of the card, and whether the issuer can immediately verify your information. You could be … read full answerinstantly approved if you apply online and are obviously qualified. But if you don’t get instant approval, it’ll typically take at least 7-10 business days to hear back.
Here’s what affects how long it takes to get approved for a credit card:
The way you apply. You can apply for most credit cards by mail, by phone or online. If you apply by mail, that’s going to add an extra 1-7 days just for your application to get there. The other two methods both allow for instant approval.
Your credit and income. No credit card guarantees instant approval. You’ll only get it if you exceed the issuer’s credit, income and other requirements. If you’re right on the border of qualifying, the issuer will probably take longer to consider your application. The typical wait time is 7-10 business days, which translates to around two weeks.
Your personal info. You’ll need to enter details like your name, date of birth, address and Social Security number when you apply for any card. That information also is present on your credit reports, which the issuer will check during the approval process. If the information on your application doesn’t match the information on your report, or if it gets flagged as fraudulent, it will hold up the process until the issuer can verify your identity.
So the standard timeframe in which you can expect to be approved for a credit card and receive it by mail is approximately 3-4 weeks. If you’re not approved instantly, count on 7-10 business days for approval and 7-10 business days for delivery. And if you’re itching to get your card faster, don’t forget to ask the issuer about expedited delivery.
Instant credit card approval and use is rare. Instant approval is always possible when you apply for a credit card online or in person, but only American Express provides an instant credit card number with every card they offer. The instant credit card number allows you to use the account before your physical card arrives. With other issuers, you could get instant credit card approval and a card number to use right away but only for specific transactions. If a store invites you to apply for their card, they will often approve you instantly and let you use your card for purchases in their stores the same day.… read full answer
Some credit card issuers don’t offer any instant use credit cards. Others have only a few. Each issuer has their own restrictions for when you can get instant use.
Instant Credit Card Approval and Use by Issuer:
American Express: All cards have the potential for instant credit card numbers, but only if you apply online. If you are approved instantly, you will have a short amount of time to write down your account info. If you don’t, you have to wait for your card by mail.
Bank of America: You can instantly use the Alaska Airlines Credit Card to book a flight through Alaska Airlines if you apply online and are instantly approved.
Barclays: If you apply for the Uber Visa through the Uber app and are approved, you can immediately use the card for Uber purchases as it will be linked to the app.
Blispay: If you are approved for the Blispay Visa, you will be able to access and use a digital version of your card right away. You can use it online or at any store that is set up to accept digital Blispay cards. You will also get a physical card by mail.
Capital One: You can see account details for any Capital One card through its mobile app, even cards you’ve just been approved for. However, you must have an existing Capital One card account for this to work. You can’t do it for your first card. Also, this feature only appears on some accounts, not all.
Chase: You can instantly use the Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card and United Credit Card. But this is only if you book a flight through the airline website and apply for the card during checkout. If you’re approved, you can pay for that flight only with your card before it comes.
Citi: You can only get instant use for the Costco Anywhere Visa. If you apply in store and are approved right away, the representative will give you a temporary code to scan at checkout. It functions as your card until the card arrives.
Discover: There are no options for instant credit cards to use right away.
First National Bank of Omaha: You can get an instant number with an M Life Rewards Mastercard, but only if you apply in person at an MGM resort M Life Rewards Desk. You can only use it on MGM properties until you get your physical card.
Synchrony: If you’re instantly approved for a Synchrony-issued store card, you may receive an instant number or at least be able to complete your purchase using the card.
USAA: You can instantly use any USAA credit card, but only for purchases made through USAA. For example, you could use it for USAA auto insurance. But any purchases outside USAA have to wait until you get the card.
U.S. Bank: There are no options for instant credit cards to use right away.
Wells Fargo: There are no options for instant credit cards to use right away.
Store Cards: You can also ask your favorite retailer if their store card works instantly after you’re approved. Some stores such as Target will issue a temporary store card that you can use right away.
Even if you’re not able to find a credit card that will approve you instantly and give you an instant credit card number for immediate use, don’t despair. At most, a credit card will only take 7-10 business days to arrive after you’re approved. And many credit card companies provide expedited delivery for a small fee or sometimes even for free.
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