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Compare instant approval credit cards you can use right away
You can use these cards almost immediately after approval.
When you apply for a credit card online, it’s not uncommon to receive approval within 60 seconds or less. Once your application is approved, you’ll usually receive it within a week or two.
There are also some banks that’ll approve you for a card and almost immediately give you the card number so you have access to your credit right away. Find out which banks give you instant approval and card numbers so you can use your card almost immediately.
What's in this guide?
- Which banks give card numbers immediately after approval?
- Compare credit cards with instant card numbers
- Benefits of instant approval
- How do instant approval credit cards work?
- How to apply for an instant approval credit card in 4 steps
- What if I'm not instantly approved?
- Credit cards for applicants with bad credit
- What to do if your credit card application is declined
- Bottom line
- Frequently asked questions
Which banks give card numbers immediately after approval?
Getting a card number right after approval is very convenient, but not every bank will do that. In the table below, find out which banks will give you a card number so you can start using your card as soon as you’re approved.
|Instant card numbers||Notes|
|Alliant||Alliant doesn’t provide instant card numbers for any of its cards|
|American Express||Available for all cards|
|Apple Card (by Goldman Sachs)||Available as soon as you are approved|
|Bank of America||You have to apply via the Bank of America Mobile app|
|Barclaycard||Most cobranded cards get instant card numbers, but only to use at the brand’s website|
|BBVA||Some users report they succeeded in getting an instant card number, but only when visiting the branch|
|Brex||Available for all cards|
|Capital One||Some users reported success in getting instant card numbers, while others did not; The Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® gives instant card numbers to use at the store|
|Chase||Users report that some cobranded cards can be used immediately after approval on their websites; these are:|
|Citi||Apparently, you can only get instant card numbers with these three cobranded cards:|
|Discover||Discover doesn’t provide instant card numbers for any of its cards|
|HSBC||Technically, HSBC gives you the credit card number after approval, but you don’t get the CCV number and the expiry date, which means you can’t use your card|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||NFCU doesn’t provide instant card numbers for any of its cards|
|Synchrony||CUsers report getting instant card numbers for three cobranded cards:|
|USAA||Instant card numbers are available to all USAA cards, but you only get $1,000 credit limit until your physical card arrives|
|US Bank||US Bank doesn’t provide instant card numbers for any of its cards|
|Wells Fargo||Wells Fargo doesn’t provide instant card numbers for any of its cards|
Compare credit cards with instant card numbers
These credit cards have been reported to provide your card number instantly once you’ve been approved. Some cobranded cards, such as the United℠ Explorer Card, may allow you to use your new card to make a purchase as soon as you’ve been approved, but only on the provider site.
Other store cards you can get instant credit card numbers
Some users report that they got instant credit card numbers after approval with the following store cards:
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 do instant approval credit cards work?
Most banks and credit card issuers allow you to apply for cards online. The credit card provider can access the online national credit bureau 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 bank to process.
Applying for a credit card online 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.
What are your chances for instant approval?
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.
How to apply for an instant approval credit card in 4 steps
An instant approval credit card is an easy way to apply online and receive your credit card as soon as possible. To improve your chances of instant approval though, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to make sure you’ve completed your application properly.
- Compare your options
- Check the eligibility requirements
- Collect the necessary documents and information
- Apply online
Step 1. Compare your options.
As you can apply for most credit cards online and offer instant approval 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 permanent U.S. resident. Some banks do offer cards for temporary residents, so you can use our guide to compare your options.
- 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 driver’s license, birth certificate or Medicare card.
- 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 payslips. 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 Centrelink payments or assets.
- Balance transfer details. If you’re applying for a balance transfer, you’ll need to provide the details of your existing account 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 credit card options, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria and that you’ve 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 if I’m not instantly approved?
Sometimes, the card issuer may not instantly approve your card application. That doesn’t necessarily mean your application is denied. “Application pending” and “Under further review” mean the card issuer is still reviewing your application.
In this case — and even if your application is denied — you can call your provider for your application status or for approval reconsideration. Some cardholders report that their application was approved after calling their provider. There’s no guarantee, however, that this will work in all cases.
Prequalify before you apply
Most card providers let you request prequalification, which shows whether you have high chances of approval. Keep in mind, even if you prequalify, there’s no guarantee that your application will be approved.
Credit card issuers that offer prequalification include:
Credit cards for applicants with bad credit
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 bar you from approval.
Bad credit history can potentially be fixed — you can find out your credit score and work on improving it, or apply for a credit card for applicants with bad credit. Rejected applications can hurt your credit score even further, so it’s important to consider these conditions before applying.
Luckily, most store credit cards have low eligibility requirements, allowing you to apply with a poor credit score or with no credit history. If you can’t find a secured card for building credit, make sure you check out store cards next.
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. Applying for several 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 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 to give yourself time to repair your credit score.
You can use our guide on reasons why your credit card might’ve been declined to get started.
Instant approval credit cards 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 credit card options and prepare your application before submitting it to improve your chances of approval.
Frequently asked questions
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