Compare credit cards in Canada with instant approval
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. Before applying, be sure you meet the eligibility requirements for the credit card.
What are instant approval credit cards?
An instant approval credit card has an application that returns a decision within a few minutes or less. Typically these are some of the easiest credit cards to get approved for in Canada. Applications are online and usually take around 10 minutes to complete.
Instant approval credit cards are mostly 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 for instant credit card approval?
While it varies between credit cards, you’ll typically need to meet the following requirements for instant approval credit cards in Canada:
- 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.
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.
Issuers that offer instant approval credit cards in Canada
Here are some of the main providers in Canada that offer instant credit card approval:
Benefits of instant approval credit cards in Canada
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.
Instant approval credit cards with no credit check
Each time you apply for a credit card, the lender checks your credit score as part of your application process. The lender needs to know if you are a trustworthy borrower and your credit score and history are the biggest indicators of that. Unfortunately, you can’t avoid a credit check when applying for a credit card unless you apply for a second card with the same provider.
How to apply for an instant approval credit card in Canada 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 license 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 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:
- Review the card’s eligibility requirements.
- Review your credit score and credit history.
- Contact the provider if you can’t narrow down the reasons why you weren’t approved.
- Spend time improving your credit history or comparing other credit cards.
- 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.
Rejected applications can hurt your credit score even further, so it’s important to consider these conditions before applying.
Which types of credit cards offer easy credit card approval?
Credit card eligibility requirements generally increase in demand with premium cards, like gold, black and platinum cards, that typically include more perks and benefits. That said, the following types of credit cards may have lower requirements for a successful application, and will be easy credit cards to get in Canada:
- Low income credit cards. Your annual income plays an important role in the credit card you can apply for. Low-income credit cards, as their name implies, have low minimum income requirements, which usually sit around $12,000 a year. Keep in mind, even these card providers will delve into your credit history.
- Low rate cards. If you plan to carry a balance on your credit card, getting a card with a low-interest rate could help keep costs down when compared to other options. A typical low interest rate card would not offer extras like concierge access and complimentary insurances, but it would offer all basic features you can expect from a credit card like fraud protection.
- Low credit limit credit cards. Cards with stricter eligibility criteria usually offer more features and higher credit limits, but if you have a low income, lower credit limits that normally start around $500 generally apply.
- Joint account cards. If you don’t earn enough to apply for a credit card, you can consider applying for one as a joint applicant, by combining your income with your partner’s income. If your partner has an existing credit card, you can even think about getting an additional card linked to their account.
- Low annual fee cards. Annual fees on credit cards vary, but cards with low fees are likely to have fewer extra features and usually have lower income requirements and more lenient eligibility criteria.
Pros and cons of easy approval credit cards
- Suitable for low-income earners. Since people with low incomes don’t have too many options, this is one of the biggest advantages of credit cards with easy eligibility criteria. If you earn $12,000 a year or more, you can think about applying for a low-income credit card.
- Keep expenses in check. One risk of getting a credit card is overspending. A typical low-income credit card comes with a low credit limit, ensuring that you don’t end up making excessive purchases.
- Promotional interest rates. Certain low-income credit cards come with promotional interest rates that last for a specified period of time, usually between six to 12 months. These promotional rates normally apply only to balance transfers and prior debt, but some cards offer these rates on new purchases as well.
- Paying high interest. Credit cards charge interest on purchases and cash advances, and these two interest rates sometimes differ. With a card that charges high interest, if you don’t pay your balance in full each month, you could end up paying a significant amount in interest.
- Fees and charges. Depending on the credit card you choose, you might have to pay application fees and an annual fee for the card. Additionally, if you don’t make timely repayments, you will incur interest charges.
- Temptation to spend. A credit card can free up your cash flow and help build your credit history. However, make sure you stick to a budget and avoid the temptation to use the card for purchases that you can’t afford to pay off. It can be exceptionally easy to spend money on plastic.
How to apply for a credit card with easy approval
Once you’ve compared different credit card options, you can apply for a credit card online. Before you apply, be sure you meet the eligibility requirements and have the relevant documents on hand.
Although it can vary between different credit card providers, to apply—even for some of the easiest credit cards to get approved for in Canada, you would usually have to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be 18 years old or the age of majority in your province or territory
- Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident with a valid Canadian address
- Have a regular source of income
- Have a good credit history, which is usually a score of 650 or higher
Necessary documents and information
You also need to provide different types of information, which could include the following:
- Your full name, date of birth and details from your Canadian driver’s license or government-issued ID
- Your Canadian address, email address and phone number
- Your employer’s name, phone number and address
- Details of your income and expenses including a recent paycheque or bank statement
Looking for other easy instant approval cards? Compare prepaid cards
A prepaid card works similar to a debit card in that it requires that you first load money onto the card before you can start spending. Prepaid cards are re-loadable cards that you can use for purchases wherever credit cards are accepted. Since your credit score won’t be affected when you use a prepaid card, they are usually fairly quick and easy to apply for. You’ll also have some of the same conveniences that using a major credit card offers such as earning cash back rewards.
When you’re looking for the easiest credit card to get approved for in Canada, you do have options. Applying for instant approval credit cards is the fastest way to apply for a credit card online and get a 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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