Tom Lipkis, WalletHub Credit Card Consultant
Instant credit is short for instant credit card, which is a credit card that gives instant approval to qualified applicants who apply online and can be used to make purchases immediately, before the card arrives in the mail. But instant credit can mean other things, too, as it’s a pretty general term. For example, people often use it in reference to instant approval credit cards that don’t necessarily allow instant use.
You could also make the case that you’re getting instant credit anytime you’re approved for a new credit card or a credit limit increase. Along those lines, you’re getting instant credit whenever a credit card payment goes through since it frees up some of your credit limit for spending.
But people in search of instant credit typically need it to face some sort of financial emergency. Many also have bad credit. Unfortunately, there are only two instant credit cards for bad credit, and neither is good for financing emergency expenses.
Hopefully, you can afford to wait the 14-24 business days it usually takes to get a credit card in your hands. If not, you can check out some of your best choices below.
Here are some of the best instant credit cards:
- Instant Approval and Use: Capital One Secured Mastercard – $0 annual fee
- Instant Approval and Use: Fingerhut Credit Account – $0 annual fee
- Instant Approval: Credit One Unsecured Visa – $0 to $99 annual fee
- Instant Approval: Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card – $0 annual fee
- Instant Credit Card for Good Credit: Capital One Venture – $95 annual fee (waived the first year)
Finally, it’s worth noting that some people might use instant credit in more of a credit-score sense, meaning either instant credit improvement or instantly establishing credit from scratch. Both are possible, to a certain extent, but you can’t expect overnight miracles.
For example, you can get your first credit score within weeks of opening a starter credit card. And you can improve your score just as fast by paying down your credit card balances and any collections accounts you may have.
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