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.
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.
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.
Your best options to get a credit card today are American Express cards, Capital One cards and some store cards. 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 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 REDCard, may give you an instant number or code to use as a temporary version of your card.
Here are the best credit cards you can get today:
Bad credit – Capital One Secured Mastercard: Requires a minimum security deposit of $49, $99 or $200. Your credit line will always be at least $200. No rewards. No annual fee. Must be an existing Capital One customer to see your card information through the app.
Limited credit – Capital One QuicksilverOne: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. $39 annual fee. Must be an existing Capital One customer to see your card information through the app.
Fair credit – Target REDcard: 5% off at Target and Target.com. 30 extra days on returns. Free shipping. No annual fee. Gives a temporary number after approval to use until your card comes.
Good credit (miles) – Capital One Venture: $50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Unlimited 2 miles per dollar on all purchases. $95 annual fee waived the first year.
Good credit (cash back) – Capital One Quicksilver: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first 3 months. Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. No annual fee.
Good credit (cash back) – Amex Blue Cash Everyday: $150 statement credit when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. 3% cash back on the first $6,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets, 2% at U.S. department stores and U.S. gas stations and 1% on everything else. No annual fee.
Excellent credit – Costco Anywhere Visa: 4% cash back on the first $7,000 spent on gas per year, 3% on restaurants and travel, 2% at Costco, 1% on everything else. No annual fee but must be a Costco member. Requires excellent credit. 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.
It usually takes 14-24 business days to get a credit card, from the time you submit an application to when it arrives in the mail. But it’s possible to get a credit card in as little as a week if you apply online and request expedited delivery. Some issuers will even give you an account number to use for purchases before you receive your physical card. … read full answer
A lot depends on your credit standing, the card you pick and how you apply for it. Each credit card issuer has its own approval criteria and timelines, after all. But there are several steps you can take to speed things up.
Here’s how to get a credit card faster:
Get preapproved: If you’re interested in a card from a certain issuer, you can also see if they have a preapproval check. If you’re preapproved for a credit card, your instant approval chances increase quite a bit.
Apply online: Online applications are always best because they send your data to the issuer right away. You also have a chance of being approved instantly if your credit exceeds what the issuer is looking for. You could consider applying for credit cards that are a little below your own credit range if you want the best chance of instant approval. But it might be better to risk waiting a little longer to get a card with greater benefits.
Frequently check for approval: If you’re not approved or denied instantly, the credit card issuer needs more time to verify and evaluate your information. This could take a few weeks. But most credit card companies allow you to quickly check the status of your application online or over the phone.
Speed up delivery: In almost all cases, it’ll take 7-10 business days for your credit card to reach you. But many companies allow you to pay for expedited shipping or even pick up your card at a bank branch sooner. And some companies will let you get your number immediately. For example, by downloading the Capital One app, you can see the number and verification information for new cards right away, so you’re able to use them for online transactions.
A big part of getting a credit card is figuring out exactly which card to apply for. One way you can move through this more quickly is by signing up for a free WalletHub account. Based upon your credit, we’ll recommend cards you’re likely to be approved for.
Whichever card you choose, you should never have to wait more than a month to get a new credit card in your hand. But it’s natural to want a faster process. And you can have it. Just follow these steps, and you’ll have a better chance of making the total wait time closer to a week.
In a rush, eh? I know Cap One gives you the details through their app.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.