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 bonus cash back rewards in certain spending categories and a $250 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.… read full answer
Best Credit Cards You Can Use Instantly After Approval
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.
*Please note, at this time the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card, IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card, Aeroplan Credit Card, Chase Freedom Flex℠, Amazon.com Credit Card, Disney Premier Credit Card, Disney Rewards Credit Card and Business credit cards cannot be added to a digital wallet upon card approval. However, once you receive your physical card you can add it to a digital wallet.
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.
If you need a credit card today, you should apply for either an American Express card, a Capital One card or one of the 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.
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday offers $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months. The card also gives 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and on U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 spent per year in each category), as well as 1% back on all other purchases, earned as statement credits. This card has a $0 annual fee.
The Costco Credit Card offers 4% cash back on eligible gas (up to $7,000 spent per year), 3% back on restaurants and travel, 2% back on Costco and Costco.com purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases. This card has a $0 annual fee but you must be a Costco member to get it. Th card gives a temporary code to scan at checkout until the actual card arrives.
The Capital One QuicksilverOne offers 5% cash back on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, as well as 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. This card has a $39 annual fee. Must be an existing Capital One customer to see your card information through the app.
The Capital One Platinum Secured card requires a minimum security deposit of $49, $99 or $200. Your credit line will always be at least $200. This card doesn’t offer rewards. Capital One Platinum Secured has a $0 annual fee. Must be an existing Capital One customer to see your card information through the app.
The Target Credit Card offers 5% discount at Target and Target.com. The card has a $0 annual fee. Target Credit Card gives a temporary number after approval to use until your card comes.
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.
To get a credit card for the first time, you should first check if you have any credit history, then compare cards and pick the best offer before applying. In order to be eligible to apply for your first credit card, you must be at least 18 years old and have enough income to afford monthly credit card payments. Below, you can learn more about the process of picking, applying for and getting your first credit card, step by step.… read full answer
How to Get a Credit Card for the First Time
See if you have a credit report and score
You could have more credit history than you think, perhaps from being an authorized user on a family member’s credit card. You can check your latest credit score and credit report for free on WalletHub to see. This will help you determine how good of a credit card you should shoot for.
Determine whether student credit cards are an option
College students can usually get better first credit cards than other people with no credit. Their youth and above-average expected income make them attractive to banks and credit unions. If you’re enrolled in school, check out the best student credit cards.
Compare secured and unsecured starter cards
Secured credit cards have the highest approval odds, but they require you to place a refundable security deposit. The amount of that deposit typically becomes your spending limit. Unsecured cards are harder to get but have no deposit.
Limit your search to cards with the lowest fees
Focus on weeding out cards with expensive non-refundable fees. A no annual fee credit card with no security deposit is best. But a low-fee secured card isn’t bad, either. You can get back your deposit when you close your account.
Choose the best remaining offer for your needs
If several credit cards are tied for the lowest fees and highest approval odds, consider the terms that are next most important to you. If you plan to pay your bill in full every month, that will probably be rewards. If not, you may want to focus on interest rates.
Confirm you have enough income
If you’re at least 21 years old, you can list household income and assets that you have reasonable access to on your credit card application. Applicants who are 18-20 years old can only list independent income and assets, but even having a part-time job should provide enough income to get a credit card for the first time.
Submit your credit card application
Apply online for the fastest decision. You may even be approved instantly if you clearly meet the issuer’s criteria. You should receive your card within 7-10 business days of being approved.
Learning how to get a credit card for the first time is a rite of passage for young adults after turning 18 years old. And it’s a lot easier than you might think. The key is to choose wisely, by focusing on offers for people with limited credit and secured credit cards, which provide nearly guaranteed approval.
Key Things to Know About Choosing Your First Credit Card
High approval odds are among the most important things to look for in your first credit card. The sooner you get approved, the sooner you can begin building your credit standing. Getting rejected for a credit card sets you back, both in terms of time and possible damage to your limited credit.
Low fees are another key feature to seek out when getting a credit card for the first time. Starter credit cards generally don’t offer rewards or interest rates worth paying high annual or monthly fees for. So it’s best to make your first credit card one with a $0 annual fee and always pay your monthly bill in full to avoid interest charges.
Tips for Using Your First Credit Card
It’s really important to remember that learning how to get a credit card for the first time and getting approved are only the beginning. You also need to use that card responsibly, which means spending within your means, paying your bill on time every month, and keeping your credit utilization below 30%.
If you can avoid racking up costly credit card debt and hurting your credit score with missed payments, your first credit card will be a huge asset. It will add positive information to your major credit reports each month. That will gradually improve your credit standing. And better credit will make it easier to rent an apartment, buy or lease a car, find a job, get approved for good loans and lines of credit and save on car insurance premiums, among other things.
You can track your progress for free on WalletHub, the only site with free credit scores and reports that are updated daily. We’ll even tell you exactly what you need to do to improve your credit score at a given time, plus provide personalized credit card recommendations. You can use them to find your first credit card and then graduate from it when the time is right.
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