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How long does it take to get a credit card?

Your credit card application was approved, so what happens next?

After taking time to compare credit card offers and apply for one that suits your needs, it’s exciting to find out your application is approved. Here, we explain when you can expect to receive your card and what happens after your application is approved. You can also find out what you need to do when you get your new card, compare credit cards with 60-second approval and get answers to frequently asked questions so that you can be as prepared as possible when it finally arrives.

When will I get my new credit card?

Compare the approximate application length and standard waiting period for new credit cards by providers to determine how long you may have to wait to get your next credit card.

ProviderWaiting period
American Express5-10 working days
ANZ3-5 working days
ASB5 to 7 working days
BNZUp to 7 working days
Gem Finance10 to 15 working days
Kiwibank5 working days
Westpac5-10 working days

What happens after I’ve applied for a credit card?

ccf-man-application-Shutterstock-250x250After you submit your credit card application, the credit card issuer assesses your credit history and current finances to determine whether you are eligible for the card. They may 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 shortly after submitting an online application. If not, you may get a follow-up call or email from the credit card issuer asking for further information.

Providing supporting documentation

When you receive conditional approval for a credit card, the issuer may also ask you to submit supporting documents to complete the application process. The sooner you provide this information, the faster you get your card. The documents you need may vary between providers, and can include:

  • A copy of your driver’s licence
  • A copy of your passport
  • Recent bank statements
  • Your most recent Tax Assessment Notice or PAYG summary
  • A letter from your employer or accountant verifying your employment and/or financial details

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

After completing the application process, your credit card usually comes in the mail within the timeframe outlined by your provider. For security reasons, you may also be asked to go to your nearest branch to pick it up.

Your new credit card issuer generally puts 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 might 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.

How do I activate my credit 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 is also included in your welcome pack and only usually takes 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 unauthorised transactions if it’s lost, stolen or compromised. So make sure you sign it when you first activate the card.

While it is exciting to be approved for a new credit card, there are a few more steps you need to know about before you can start using it. Being prepared for this process means you can tick all the boxes along the way and start using your credit card as soon as possible.

Pictures: Shutterstock

Compare credit cards for 2022

1 - 5 of 34
Name Product Purchase Rate Annual Fee Balance Transfer Rate
American Express Airpoints Platinum Card
19.95% p.a.
Receive 300 bonus Airpoints Dollars when you apply online, are approved and spend a minimum of $1,500 on your new card within the first 3 months of membership. This offer is available to new Card Members only. T&Cs apply. You will also earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $59 you spend on your card.
American Express Airpoints Card
0% for 6 months (changes to 19.95% p.a.)
Be rewarded with 50 bonus Airpoints Dollars. Simply apply, be approved and spend $750 on your new Card within the first 3 months of membership. This offer is available to new Card Members only.
American Express Gold Rewards Card
19.95% p.a.
Receive $200 credit when you apply online, are approved and spend $1,500 on your card within the first 3 months of membership. Offer is available to new card members only. T&Cs apply. You will also earn 2 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases.
The Co-operative Bank Fair Rate Credit Card
12.95% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months, plus benefit from a low rate of 12.95% p.a. on both purchases and cash advances.
Q Mastercard
0% for 3 months (changes to 26.69% p.a.)
Get 3 months zero interest and zero payments on every purchase with no minimum spend required. Ts&Cs apply.

Compare up to 4 providers

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