Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.
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.
|Provider||Application length (approx)||Decision time (business days)||Card arrival (business days)|
|Chase||Less than 3 minutes||In minutes or if more information is needed, in a few days||7 to 10 days|
|American Express||3-5 minutes||In minutes or if more information is needed, in a few days||7 to 10 days|
|Barclaycard||3-5 minutes||In minutes or if more information is needed, up to two weeks||7 to 10 days|
|Capital One||3-5 minutes||Less than a minute or if more information is needed, 7-10 days||7 to 10 days|
|Discover||3-5 minutes||In minutes or if more information is needed, you’ll receive a message||7 to 10 days|
|Wells Fargo||3-5 minutes||In minutes or if more information is needed, 5-7 days.||7 to 10 days|
|Citi||5-10 minutes||In minutes or if more information is needed, up to 10 days||14 days|
|U.S. Bank||Less than 3 minutes||In minutes or if more information is needed, notification by mail||10 days|
|Bank of America||5-10 minutes||10 to 12 days||7 to 10 days|
Our pick for credit card offers
CardMatch™ from creditcards.comRead more
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 (in the form of 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?
If you’re not instantly approved, you should receive correspondence from the issuer within 7 to 10 days. 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 can sometimes get word faster about why your application wasn’t approved immediately — or learn what you have to do to get approved.Back to top
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 timeframe outlined by your provider. 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. Make sure you read through the provided information thoroughly before you start using your new credit card. If you’re replacing an old credit card that 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 just 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
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.Back to top
Frequently asked questions
You might also be interested in:
More guides on Finder
PlushCare review Dec 2020
Get discounted prescriptions and lab tests with this top-rated telemedicine app.
Netspend Small Business Prepaid card review
This business account supports in-person payments and lets you manage employee spending.
Teladoc review 2020
Find out how this telemedicine app stacks up against its younger competitors.
OakStone Platinum Secured Mastercard® review
Build credit with this secured credit card.
OakStone Gold Secured Mastercard® review
Build credit with this secured credit card.
Douugh banking review
The Douugh banking app uses AI to optimize your finances, but it lacks key features.
Do I qualify for unemployment?
Get the financial help you need as you search for a new job.
United Community Bank loans review
Large for a community bank — but not without a personal touch.
Think twice before applying for a store credit card this holiday season
Store cards sound appealing, but aren’t often your best choice.
What is trip cancellation insurance and how do I get it?
A safety net for interrupted or canceled trips.
Ask an Expert