Credit card application status: How to check on your credit card application

Haven't received a response for your credit card application? Don't fret – simply check the status of your application.

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When you apply for a credit card, you can usually expect an immediate response. However, if you still haven’t heard back from the provider, it might be time to take things into your own hands. It’s not a difficult process, but to make things even easier, we’ve summarised all of the major credit card provider details and offer some tips on how to best approach the situation.

Q: How long does it take for my application to be approved?

A: On average 1-2 weeks

Although most credit card applications provide instant approval or conditional approval (approved within 2-4 business days), credit card providers can take between one to two weeks to review an application. If you are an existing member of the bank, the process may be quicker as they already have some of your verified information in their systems. The general rule is to provide all of the required information when you apply, as this will generally speed up the approval process. Also, a good practice would be to run a quotation search first and be absolutely certain that you meet all eligibility requirements for the card.

Credit card application tips

Main reasons why your application is taking longer than expected

If your credit card application is taking longer than usual to process, it could be due to one of the following reasons:

  • The provider thinks that certain information on your application may be insufficient, incorrect or inconsistent, and may require adding or changing.
  • The provider sees marks on your credit file that it wishes to analyse further or discuss with you.
  • The provider has to deal with a large number of applications and hasn’t reached yours yet.
  • The provider has misplaced your application.

Resolving the matter is often simple, and can sometimes take no more than a phone call. Monitor your calls, inbox and post in case the provider is trying to get in touch with you, but know that calling them first is always the quicker option.

Q. How can I check on my application?

If you haven’t received a response regarding your application, you can contact your provider by calling the customer services number listed on its website.

Here are the contact numbers for some of the main providers.

American Express: 0800 917 8015
Aqua: 0333 220 2691
Barclaycard: 0800 731 0200
Halifax: 0345 944 4555
HSBC: 0800 032 4735
Lloyds: 0345 072 5555
MBNA: 03456 062 062
NatWest: 0800 200 400
Sainsburys: 08085 40 50 60
Santander: 0800 389 9905
Tesco: 0345 300 4278
Virgin: 0800 389 2875
List of documents needed for credit card application

Q. What responses can I expect when applying for a credit card?

Approval can be instant and verified within 60 seconds online, but you could also receive the following responses depending on whether the bank requires more information:

greenlight (1)Instant approval

With instant online applications, credit card providers provide a response on your application status almost immediately. While lending criteria varies between providers and cards, common checks include identity verification and credit score checks. By providing all the required information and keeping a good credit history, you can look forward to instant approval. amber-traffic-light-md (2)

Referral

If your credit card application is under referral, the card provider basically requires more time to carry out further assessments before giving you a conclusive answer.

Conditional approval

Getting conditional approval essentially means that the credit card provider is buying time to verify your details before granting approval. In such a scenario, you might have to provide personal identification documents or payslips by visiting a branch office. Complete approval only takes effect after that’s done and you have signed the contract. redlight (2)

Application not approved

The reason behind a provider not approving your application could be that you haven’t met the lending criteria. Such factors could include insufficient income, poor creditworthiness or credit history, and unstable employment. If you’ve been rejected, don’t apply for another card straight away. Instead, either request a copy of your credit report to make sure everything is in order or start comparing other cards to apply for in a few months, making sure you are paying attention to the eligibility requirements.

If you’ve got poor or no credit history, you may not be eligible for most credit cards. In this instance, you may have to consider a credit builder card instead.
Compare credit builder credit cards

Common mistakes you need to avoid when awaiting the status of your application

Here are some things you should expect or avoid while waiting to hear back about the status of your credit card application:

  • Making multiple applications.
    You may be tempted to apply for another credit card while you’re waiting for a response, but know that multiple simultaneous applications will have a negative impact on your credit file.
  • Credit report mistakes.
    If your credit card application was rejected and you’re unsure why, make sure you have met the eligibility requirements and order a copy of your credit score to make sure you haven’t fallen victim to fraud or mistakes on your file. If you find a genuine error on the report, contact the credit card provider and credit reporting body to initiate investigation and correction.
  • Customer service delays.
    It could take days or weeks for a bank to respond to an email enquiry and wait times are to be expected when you are contacting the customer service phone line. Before you call, make sure the number you dial is toll-free. If it isn’t, avoid calling early in the morning, at lunch time or after 5pm when they are likely to be inundated with calls.

Applying for a credit card is one thing, but receiving it is quite another. You may have to wait a considerable period for it, which is why we recommend you apply in advance and always stay on top of your application by calling your provider.

Compare cards by type

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Updated August 20th, 2019
Name Product Balance transfers Balance transfer fee Purchases Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
0% for 12 months reverting to 19.9%
3% (min. £3)
19.9%
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn Asda vouchers every time you shop - 1% cashback on all Asda spend, 0.2% on all other transactions and 10% on selected insurance products. Once £2.5 is earnt a voucher can be downloaded to spend in Asda stores.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 23 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for transfers in first 3 months
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9% p.a. (variable)
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 23 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for transfers in first 3 months
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9% p.a. (variable)
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
2.9% (min. £5)
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 12 months reverting to 15.9%
0% for 3 months reverting to 2.4% (min. £5)
0% for 12 months reverting to 15.9%
15.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 15.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 15.9% APR (variable).
0% for 12 months reverting to 17.9%
0% for 3 months reverting to 2.4% (min. £5)
0% for 12 months reverting to 17.9%
17.9% p.a. (variable)
Customers will be able to earn commission-free purchases abroad by using their Credit Card each time they make a purchase in Sterling. The calculation will be based on a 5:1 ratio - for example, £5 spent in Sterling will earn an allowance of £1 commission free-purchases abroad. Purchases abroad beyond the earned amount will be charged 2% commission.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 17.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 17.9% APR (variable).
0% for 12 months reverting to 18.9%
3% (min. £3)
0% for 26 months reverting to 18.9%
18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%
0% for 18 months reverting to 3% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 18.9%
18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%
2.9% (min. £5)
0% for 9 months reverting to 18.9%
18.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent in store or online at John Lewis, Waitrose and John Lewis Insurance. Earn 1 Point for every £2 spent elsewhere. Vouchers issued once customer reaches 500 points in Feb, Jun or Oct when vouchers are automatically issued to customers. Every 500 points is worth £5.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 12 months reverting to 18.9%
3% (min. £3)
0% for 26 months reverting to 18.9%
18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated August 20th, 2019
Name Product Purchases Balance transfers Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 18 months reverting to 22.9%
N/A
£0
22.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every £1 spent.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
0% for 6 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for 6 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Double points on spend in M&S for first 12 months (2 points per £1). Then earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point or every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 27 months reverting to 20.93%
0% for 27 months reverting to 20.93%
£0
20.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.93% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
0% for 27 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for 27 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Buy tickets for up to 3500 selected live events through Barclaycard entertainment and get 5% off tickets per year and exclusive pre-sale tickets on selected festivals with 10% off ticket prices.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 26 months reverting to 18.9%
0% for 12 months reverting to 18.9%
£0
18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 26 months reverting to 19.944%
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.814%
£0
19.9% p.a. (variable)
1 point per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco. Must have available credit to earn points. Points are converted to Tesco vouchers or can be exchanged for Partner rewards to receive money off a variety of restaurants, entertainment or Avios points.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.944% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 26 months reverting to 15.9%
0% for 26 months reverting to 15.9%
£3 per month
21.7% p.a. (variable)
0.5% after £1 of monthly spend. Cashback paid Monthly into Card Account. Maximum spend for cashback purposes is limited to credit limit.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 15.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 21.7% APR (variable).
0% for 26 months reverting to 18.9%
0% for 12 months reverting to 18.9%
£0
18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 25 months reverting to 20.95%
0% for 25 months reverting to 20.95%
£0
20.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 2 Nectar points per £1 spent on Sainsbury's shopping and fuel. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated August 20th, 2019
Name Product Purchases Annual/monthly fees Credit limits Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
0% for 1 months reverting to 5.94%
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit not specified.
5.9% p.a. (variable)
1 Tesco Clubcard point per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 Clubcard point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco in each purchase transaction. Exclusions apply. Clubcard points collection rates are subject to change. Must have available credit. Clubcard points are converted to Clubcard vouchers which can be used on your shopping in Tesco, or get even more value through Clubcard Rewards Partners.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 5.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 5.9% APR (variable).
9.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
9.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 2,500 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend £1,000 in your first 3 months, and 1 point for virtually every £1 spent thereafter.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
0% for 6 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Double points on spend in M&S for first 12 months (2 points per £1). Then earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point or every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
19.9%
£0
Min. limit £100, max. limit not specified.
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn Asda vouchers every time you shop - 1% cashback on all Asda spend, 0.2% on all other transactions and 10% on selected insurance products. Once £2.5 is earnt a voucher can be downloaded to spend in Asda stores.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 18 months reverting to 22.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
22.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every £1 spent.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
22.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
22.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months, and 1 point for virtually every £1 spent thereafter.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
22.9%
£0
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
22.9% p.a. (variable)
5,000 Avios when you spend £1,000 within 3 months of account opening. Earn 1 Avios for virtually every £1 spent. Spend £20K in 12 months and get 2 for 1 travel when redeeming Avios for a BA reward flight. Earn up to 90,000 bonus Avios points per calendar year, 4,000 points per friend/family member that successfully applies for an American Express card (Excl. Basic card) and uses the Referral Programme.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
22.9%
£0
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
22.9% p.a. (variable)
5% after £1 of yearly spend for introductory period of 3 months. 0.5% on £1 to £5000 of yearly spend. 1% after £5001 of yearly spend. Cashback paid Anniversary into Card Account. 5% intro cashback in the first 3 months (max £100). Must spend £3K annually to earn cashback.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
22.9%
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
28.2% p.a. (variable)
20,000 Nectar points when you spend £2K within 3 months of account opening. Earn 2 Nectar points for virtually every £1 spent at Nectar partners and elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum, your representative rate is 28.2% APR (variable).