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How long does it take to get a credit card?

Your credit card application's just been approved, so what happens next? Find out when you'll get your new credit card here.

After taking the time to compare credit card offers and apply for one that suits your needs, it’s exciting to find out your application has been approved. But then comes the hard part: waiting for the card to actually arrive.

So how long does it take before you can start using your new credit card? Here, we explain when you can expect to receive your card and what happens after your application is approved.

When will I get my new credit card?

Compare the application length and waiting period for new credit cards by provider to find out how long you may have to wait to get your next credit card. Take care to plan ahead: If you need a card for an upcoming purchase or holiday, apply well ahead of time to give yourself plenty of time to receive the card. That way, you can take advantage of any offers, such as a 0% APR on purchases introductory period or a signup bonus.

ProviderApplication length (approx)Decision time (business days)Card arrival (business days)
ChaseLess than 3 minutesIn minutes or if more information is needed, in a few days7 to 10 days
American Express3-5 minutesIn minutes or if more information is needed, in a few days7 to 10 days
Barclaycard3-5 minutesIn minutes or if more information is needed, up to two weeks7 to 10 days
Capital One3-5 minutesLess than a minute or if more information is needed, 7-10 days7 to 10 days
Discover3-5 minutesIn minutes or if more information is needed, you’ll receive a message7 to 10 days
Wells Fargo3-5 minutesIn minutes or if more information is needed, 5-7 days.7 to 10 days
Citi5-10 minutesIn minutes or if more information is needed, up to 10 days14 days
U.S. BankLess than 3 minutesIn minutes or if more information is needed, notification by mail10 days
Bank of America5-10 minutes10 to 12 days7 to 10 days
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What happens after I’ve applied for a credit card?

After you submit your credit card application, the credit card issuer will assess your credit history and current finances in order to determine whether or not you are eligible for the card. They also use this process to determine how much credit they will offer you (your credit limit).

Providing you meet all the key application criteria, you could get conditional approval for the card within 60 seconds of submitting an online application. If not, you may get a follow up call or email from the credit card issuer asking for further information. Once you deliver this information, your issuer will approve or deny your application.

What if I’m not instantly approved?

You should hear from the issuer within seven to 10 days if you’re not instantly approved. Typically, the issuer will tell you why the application was denied or ask you for additional application details.

If you want to know your application status faster, look up your issuer’s application status phone number. You’ll sometimes get word faster about why your application wasn’t approved immediately — or learn what you have to do to get approved.

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What do I need to do when I get my credit card?

After completing the whole application process, your credit card will usually come in the mail within the provider’s time frame. In some circumstances, you may also be asked to go to your nearest branch to pick it up for security reasons.

Your new credit card issuer will also put together a “welcome pack” for you containing valuable information about the bank, the credit card and its terms and conditions of use. The welcome pack will either arrive before the card or come with it.

Read through the provided information thoroughly before you start using your new credit card. If you’re replacing an old credit card you aren’t using anymore, you might consider returning or destroying the old credit card.

How do I activate my credit card?

Before you start using it, you’ll first need to activate your card. Depending on the issuer, you may be able to activate your new credit card online, over the phone or in person. Information about card activation will also be included in your welcome pack and usually takes only a few minutes to complete.

Remember to sign your card

The signature panel on your new credit card gives you the legal authority to use it and protects you against unauthorized transactions if it’s lost, stolen or compromised. So make sure you sign it when you first activate the card.

How quickly can I get a credit card?

In some cases, an issuer will provide the credit card account number at the time of approval. If so, you can start using your credit card account immediately after receiving this number.

Generally, applying for a card online is your best bet for getting the account number or card as soon as possible. You might consider instant approval credit cards if you need access to your card quickly.

Compare credit cards

1 - 3 of 88
Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
My GM Rewards Card™
My GM Rewards Card™
7x total points with GM, 4x points on purchases everywhere else*
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 17.24% to 27.24% variable)
$0
Get 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months*.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
2x miles on every purchase, every day, 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5x miles when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
18.99% to 26.99% variable
$95
Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months ​from account opening.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Earn unlimited 1.25x miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 17.99% - 27.99% variable)
$0
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

While it is exciting to be approved for a credit card, you’ll want to take care of these few additional steps before using it. Being prepared for this process means you can tick all the boxes along the way and start using your new credit card as soon as possible.

If the card you applied for doesn’t work out, compare other credit cards to find the right fit.

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Frequently asked questions

  • What is my credit card application number? Where can I find it?
    Credit card issuers usually assign you an application number when you apply for a credit card online, and will be shown on the application page. It may also be emailed to you once you have submitted your details. This number can be used to complete the application later, check your application status or upload supporting documentation.
  • What kind of information will I need to provide on the application?
    As with any loan-based product, you will need to give details about your income and expenses along with your personal information.
  • It’s been more than 10 business days and my card hasn’t arrived. What should I do?
    If you haven’t received your card in the specified time frame, call the issuer and let them know. They will be able to review your account details and provide you with information on the status of the card and when you should receive it.
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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MartinAugust 13, 2019

    How do I replace my worn out old card?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezAugust 14, 2019Staff

      Hello Martin,

      Thank you for your comment.

      To have a card replacement, the issuer must be contacted. You can either call them on their contact numbers or you may request a card replacement by logging in to your online banking account and look for “order card replacement option”. Usually, banks have this feature in their internet banking facility. Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

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