The best credit card you can use instantly is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. You can access the card number immediately after being approved for an account online, then begin to make purchases until you receive the physical card in the mail.
Blue Cash Preferred offers up to 6% cash back in certain spending categories and a $300 statement credit for spending $3,000 in the first 6 months. It also requires a minimum of good credit for approval. Just remember that you’ll only have a short period of time to write down your card information once you’re approved for this credit card. People who miss this window of opportunity will need to wait until they get the card in the mail.
Instant approval is always possible when you apply for a credit card online or in person, but credit cards that you can use instantly are uncommon. Some credit card issuers don’t offer any credit cards you can use instantly, while others have only a few.
Instant use is available for people who add certain Chase cards to a digital wallet upon approval. Eligible cards include Chase Freedom Unlimited®, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and the Chase Freedom® Student credit card, among others.
Standard shipping time for new cards is 7-10 business days.
If you’re not able to get a credit card you can use instantly, don’t worry. Credit cards usually 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.
For most of them, you do have to wait for them to get to you. But you might lucky with a few store cards, and a couple issuers that give access through their apps or website. I think Capital One was one of them.
If you need a credit card today, you should apply for an American Express card, Capital One card and some store cards that offer instant use. While it’s pretty common to get approved for a credit card the same day if you apply online, you’ll still usually have to wait another 7-10 business days before your card comes to use it.… read full answer
All American Express cards give you the potential for an instant card number after approval, which will give you access to part of your credit line until your card arrives. Capital One cards also provide instant use through the Capital One app, but that’s only possible if you’re an existing Capital One cardholder. Store cards, such as the Target Credit Card, may give you an instant number or code to use as a temporary version of your card.
Here are some of the best credit cards you can get today:
Bad credit – Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card: Requires a minimum security deposit of $49, $99 or $200. Your credit line will always be at least $200. No rewards. $0 annual fee. Must be an existing Capital One customer to see your card information through the app.
Limited credit – Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: 5% cash back on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, as well as 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. $39 annual fee. Must be an existing Capital One customer to see your card information through the app.
Fair credit – Target Credit Card: 5% discount at Target and Target.com. 30 extra days on returns. Free -day shipping. $0 annual fee. Gives a temporary number after approval to use until your card comes.
Good credit (miles) – Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: 75,000 miles for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Unlimited 5 miles per $1 spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and 2 miles per $1 on all other purchases. $95 annual fee. Must be an existing Capital One customer to see your card information through the app.
Good credit (cash back) – Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: $200 bonus when you spend $500 in the first 3 months. 5% cash back on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, as well as 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. $0 annual fee. Must be an existing Capital One customer to see your card information through the app.
Good credit (cash back) – Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: $200 statement credit for spending $2,000 in the first 6 months . 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent per year), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% back on all other purchases, earned as statement credits . $0 annual fee.
Excellent credit – Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi: 1 - 4% cash back, depending on the type of purchase. $0 annual fee but must be a Costco member. Gives a temporary code to scan at checkout until the actual card arrives.
While there’s no guarantee these options will get you a credit card today, they’ll certainly give you your best chance. Don’t forget that if you get approved for a Capital One card you’ll need to both already have another Capital One card open and have downloaded the app. Unfortunately, this option isn’t available to every Capital One customer, but Capital One doesn’t disclose who is eligible for instant card information. In the same way, all Amex cards give the potential for instant numbers, but aren’t guaranteed to give you one.
And if you’re interested in a store card, make sure to ask if they offer instant use first. Lastly, when your physical card arrives by mail in 7-10 business days, be sure to activate it right away.
Yes, you can use a credit card before it arrives in the mail, but only with certain cards. If you want to use a credit card early, you must either have an American Express or Capital One credit card or one of a handful of other offers, including the Apple Card… read full answer, and some store credit cards. Normally, you can’t use a credit card without restriction before it arrives, because you can’t see the full credit card number, expiration date and CVV until you have the card in hand.
Credit cards that you can use before arrival
Cards from certain issuers: If you need to start using a credit card today, you’ll likely want to consider applying for an American Express credit card. Amex is one of the few card issuers that will give out a full card number that can be used anywhere upon approval of an application. Capital One credit cards are also sometimes available for immediate use via the Capital One mobile app. But not everyone is eligible for this feature.
Co-branded cards: Some credit cards that you can use before the actual card arrives - like the Apple Card - only allow you to add the card to a merchant-specific digital wallet. So you’ll only be able to use it with that merchant until the card arrives in the mail.
Some store cards: There are a few credit cards that you can use instantly after approval, like the Fingerhut Credit Card. But you can only use this card for purchases at Fingerhut.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that you can ask a credit card issuer for expedited card delivery – in some cases, this will get the card to you the next day. Finding a card that you can use before it arrives in the mail might seem less important with that in mind.
The easiest unsecured credit cards to get generally work best for minor emergencies. You will only receive a small amount of spending power, after all.
Unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit also tend to be very expensive, charging lots of fees and high interest rates. So, if you don’t need a small emergency loan, the best course of action is to improve your credit inexpensively with a secured card. Secured cards are cheaper than unsecured cards, build credit just as effectively, and offer the closest thing you’ll find to guaranteed approval.
In a rush, eh? I know Cap One gives you the details through their app.
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