Compare instant approval credit cards

Apply online for a new credit card and get approved in 60 seconds or less.

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When you apply for instant approval credit cards online, it’s not uncommon to receive approval within 60 seconds or less. Once your application is approved, you’ll typically receive your credit card in the mail within a week or two.

What are instant approval credit cards?

An instant approval credit card has an application that returns a decision within a few minutes or less. Applications are typically online and take around 10 minutes to complete.

Typically instant approval credit cards are aimed at those with good to excellent credit scores. Even if you meet the basic eligibility requirements and have an excellent credit score, there are a number of reasons your application may be declined. An instant approval credit card doesn’t mean your approval is guaranteed.

What are the typical eligibility requirements?

While it varies between credit cards, you’ll typically need to meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age, or the age of majority in your province or territory.
  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.
  • Meet any minimum income requirements.
  • Meet any minimum credit score requirements.

Compare instant approval credit cards

Your approval time for these credit cards will depend on the information you provide. Usually, a decision is instant or near instant, and you’ll receive it via email within a few minutes of completing your application. In some cases, more information will be required and it may take longer (sometimes up to a few days). Before applying, be sure you meet the eligibility requirements for the credit card.

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
Take advantage of an introductory balance transfer offer, annual fee waiver in the first year, and low purchase and cash advance interest rates.
Get a rate of 3.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 1% transfer fee. Plus, get the $20 annual fee waived in the first year.
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
$0 annual fee for the first year ($25 thereafter)
Earn 2 Points for every $1 spent on eligible dining or entertainment purchases.
Earn 10,000 Points ($50 travel value). Plus, get a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year ($25 value). Apply by August 17, 2020. This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec. Conditions apply.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
Earn 3% cash back on groceries, 1% on recurring bill payments and 0.5% on all other eligible purchases.
Get up to 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to a maximum spend of $2,000, and earn 3% cash back on groceries, 1% on recurring bill payments and 0.5% on all other eligible purchases thereafter). Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee for nine months.
BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Earn 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases.
Get up to 10% cash back in your first 3 months and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year.
Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
Get 1% cash back on all eligible gas station, grocery store and drug store purchases and recurring bill payments, and get 0.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
Get a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all eligible purchases for the first 6 months. Apply by October 31, 2020.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
Save on interest for 6 months by consolidating your higher-rate balances with the balance transfer offer, and get an on-going 12.99% interest rate on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
Get a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with a 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Apply by October 31, 2020.
No-Fee Scotiabank Value Visa Card
Save with a low interest rate, no annual fee and a balance transfer offer.
Get a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with a 0% balance transfer fee for the first 6 months. Apply by October 31, 2020.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Earn 2% cash back in two categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and 0.5% cash back on everything else.
Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).

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How do instant approval credit cards work?

Most banks and credit card issuers allow you to apply for credit cards online. The credit card provider can access the online national credit bureaus – Equifax and TransUnion – and calculate its response using your credit status almost instantly. It’s only when there’s an issue with your application or credit history that it might take longer than 60 seconds for the issuer to process.

Applying online for credit cards with instant approval also has some security benefits. Your application will be protected by 128-bit encryption and an online application is easier to track, reducing the chance of lost documents.

Like any other credit card application, though, your approval will depend on your credit history, income and the information you included in your application.

Benefits of instant approval

Getting an instant approval on your credit card in cases of emergency comes with benefits, such as:

  • Instant discount and rewards. Depending on the card you’re approved for, you can use the discount on your purchases or earn rewards before your physical card arrives.
  • Meet signup bonus requirements. If the card comes with a welcome offer, you get a chance to earn it early on.
  • Instant access to certain card features. For example, an instant access balance transfer card can let you consolidate your debt much faster.
  • Emergency credit line. This is helpful if you need to make a large purchase and you don’t have available credit on your other cards. Getting instant credit card numbers allows you to expand your credit card before getting your physical card. And if the card comes with a 0% intro APR period, you get an even higher value.

How to apply for an instant approval credit card in 4 steps

To improve your chances of getting credit cards with instant approval, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to make sure you’ve completed your application properly.

Step 1. Compare your options.

As you can apply for most instant approval credit cards online and get approved within 60 seconds, it’s important to compare your options before applying. Rather than basing your decision on the fact that you could potentially receive approval within 60 seconds, make sure to consider the following:

  • Fees. Annual, foreign transaction, balance transfer, late and returned payment fees should all be taken into consideration.
  • Rates. Check the APR for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers before settling on a card.
  • Features. Rewards programs, balance transfer offers, signup bonuses, complimentary insurance and purchase protection are just a few benefits to take into account when comparing your options.

Make sure you can afford the card and that it offers the extra features you need to manage your credit.

Step 2. Check the eligibility requirements.

While you could receive approval within 60 seconds, you won’t receive approval at all if you don’t meet the eligibility requirements. Some of the criteria you’ll be expected to meet include:

  • Good credit history. Most banks only accept applicants who have a good credit history with no evidence of defaults.
  • Residential status. Depending on the card, you might only be able to apply if you’re a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. Some banks do offer cards to temporary residents.
  • Age. You’ll need to be at least 18 years of age, or the age of majority in your province or territory.
  • Income. You’ll need to meet a minimum income requirement to receive approval for the card. If you don’t meet the income requirement of a card, you might want to compare low-income credit cards for more choice.

Step 3. Collect the necessary documents and information.

When you apply for a credit card online, you’ll be required to attach a number of documents and provide some personal information to receive instant approval. Some of the personal information you’ll need to provide includes:

  • Proof of identity. You’ll be asked to provide proof of your identity such as your drivers licence or SIN number.
  • Personal details. You’ll need to provide your full name, residential address and contact details.
  • Employment and income. You’ll need to provide proof of employment and income, including the details of your employer and recent pay slips. If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to provide your accountant’s details and if you’re retired, you’ll need to provide evidence of your pension and OAS payments or assets.
  • Balance transfer details. If you’re applying for a balance transfer, you’ll need to provide the details of your existing accounts and the amount you’re transferring during the application.

To ensure a smooth and quick application process, make sure you have these details on hand before you begin your application.

Step 4. Apply online.

Once you’ve compared your options, made sure you meet the eligibility criteria and organized the necessary documents, you can select the ‘Go to Site’ button to begin your secure online application. This should only take around 10 to 15 minutes if you have all of the relevant details handy. Once you’ve submitted your application, you should receive your response within 60 seconds. You’ll either be approved, rejected or, if the bank needs to investigate a detail of your application in further detail, left pending.

What to do if your credit card application is declined

If your application is rejected, you shouldn’t apply for another credit card straight away. Like with all credit cards, applying for several instant approval credit cards in a short period and having rejected applications on your credit file can further damage your credit score.

Instead, you might want to try the following:

  1. Review the card’s eligibility requirements.
  2. Review your credit score and credit history.
  3. Contact the provider if you can’t narrow down the reasons why you weren’t approved.
  4. Spend time improving your credit history or comparing other credit cards.
  5. Apply for another credit card after a few months once you’ve improved your credit score.

You can use our guide on reasons why your credit card might have been declined to get started.

You’ll only receive instant approval for a credit card if you meet the eligibility requirements and provide all of the relevant documents. Not having a qualifying credit score or being unable to meet the eligibility requirements will ban you from approval.

Rejected applications can hurt your credit score even further, so it’s important to consider these conditions before applying.

Bottom line

Credit cards with instant approval are an easy way to apply for a credit card online and get your credit card sooner. As instant approval credit cards still require you to meet the relevant eligibility requirements, it’s important to compare your options and prepare your application before submitting it to improve your chances of approval.

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