Instant approval credit cards

Compare credit cards with instant approval.

By   |   Verified by Yvonne Taylor   |   Updated 5th August 2022

As seen on

Media - Forbes
Media - Yahoo Finance
Media - MSN
Media - Fox News
Media - Daily News
Media - Vox

Comparing instant approval credit cards

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

22.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get a real credit card with no annual fee.
  • Your credit line will equal your deposit amount, starting at $200.
  • Build credit responsibly with this your Discover it® Secured Credit Card.
Capital One Platinum Secured Card

Capital One Platinum Secured Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

26.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • $0 p.a. annual fee.
  • With responsible card use, you could earn back your deposit and upgrade to a standard, unsecured Platinum card
  • No foreign transaction fees. No replacement card fees. No authorized user fees.
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

15 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn $200 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR, 13.99% to 23.99%
  • Earn 3% cash back on your first $6,000 of purchases per year at US supermarkets. After that, you will earn 1% back at US supermarkets. Terms and Conditions apply.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card

On website

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

12 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Enjoy a low intro APR and reduced plan fees when you split up large purchases into monthly installments with Plan It by American Express (Terms and Conditions apply).
  • Earn $300 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits
  • $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year then $95 p.a. annual fee thereafter.

Instant approval credit cards are better described as instant decision credit cards. Approval is not guaranteed, but a speedy decision is. So if you’re looking into instant decision credit cards and don’t know exactly how they work, you’ve come to the right place.

Credit cards with fast approval aren’t exactly straightforward and many people are confused by what it really means. It goes like this: you fill out an online application for a credit card and shortly after your application, the issuer will let you know if you were approved or not. Of course, the biggest advantage of this process is being able to know the result quickly, without the need to wonder or guess every day if your credit score or income was good enough.

Sometimes you get a card number immediately, sometimes you wait

Another major reason why people opt for fast approval credit cards is that many credit card companies actively offer ways to instantly use credit cards. At least one of these — American Express — offers access to your card number immediately after getting approved on its charge and consumer credit cards. Other credit card companies may also do this from time to time, for applicants with a very good credit score and a good income. This means you can start using your card right away, without having to wait for it to arrive in the mail.

How credit card approval works

You may sometimes receive a mail notification that you have been pre-approved or pre-qualified for a particular credit card. But you will still need to go through a formal application process. For many card issuers, fast credit cards can be approved by going to their website and applying. Once they get all the required information from you, they will start reviewing your credit. Of course, they will ask you to confirm your identity, and if you answer the questions correctly, and they see no other problems, you’ll get a quick answer on whether you were approved for the new credit card or not.

Benefits of instant approval credit cards

There are many benefits to getting instant approval on your card, such as:

  • You will get an answer right away.
  • You’ll immediately know what your credit limit is.
  • If you have a financial emergency, such as urgent car repairs or medical bills, you have instant access to credit.
  • You may get instant discounts, cash back, and rewards, even before your physical card arrives in the mail depending on the card you’re approved for.
  • Instant access to helpful card features, such as a balance transfer, may accompany your card.

Alternatives to instant approval credit cards

There are plenty of other ways to get cash quickly if you’re not approved for instant credit. Perhaps the easiest course is to open an account with one of the buy now pay later services:

  • Sezzle, one of America's highest rated buy now pay later services, is a financial technology company that allows customers to purchase and receive an item while giving them time to pay for it over a six-week period. Founded in 2016, it has since gathered over 17,600 participating merchants and allows users to make interest-free payments and also reschedule a payment once per order. Late payments and failed payments will incur fees. The great thing about Sezzle is that you don’t need to have a good credit score to use their services, nor do they charge an annual fee, and the more you use it, the bigger the purchases you'll be approved for.
  • Klarna is another leader in the Buy Now Pay Later industry, processing a million transactions per day. Like Sezzle, they don’t need users to have a good credit score and don’t charge an annual fee. They give shoppers three ways to pay: the first is by offering payments in four installments over six weeks, which are interest free. Second, is by paying within 30 days without any fees or interest, and third, by allowing shoppers to finance their payment at their pace between six to 36 months, but this may incur interest.
  • Afterpay, just like Sezzle and Klarna, allows shoppers to purchase an item with interest-free installment payments but possible late payment fees. In the United States alone it has 15,000 retailers, while it also has more than 65,000 retailer partners globally. Afterpay doesn’t let users keep using the service if they fail to make a payment, helping them to avoid mounting debts. Like their competitors, they don’t look at your credit score or charge an annual fee.

Learn about instant approval credit cards

Find out how they work and how you can get the most out of them.

  • FAQs

  • Pros & cons

  • Tips

Are some banks faster at approvals than others?

Yes. For fast approval banks, if you’re not approved instantly, you can expect an approval within 7-10 business days, and another 7-10 business days for delivery of your card. For other banks, the standard timeframe for you to expect to get approved is approximately 3-4 weeks if done by mail.

Can I get a credit card on the same day?

Unfortunately, most banks don’t provide physical cards this quickly, even if your account is instantly approved. However, some banks may offer expedited shipping, which can have the card delivered to you in as fast as two days. Other card providers may give you the card account number, which means that you can use it online.

Can I get a credit card overnight?

Yes, this is possible once your account has been approved. Simply make a request for the card to be shipped overnight. Some credit card issuers like to see you start using your card quickly, and may grant such requests.

Do any banks give you a credit card number instantly?

While you can get an instant decision on your application, it’s not the norm for a card provider to give out a credit card number for you to use on the same day. This may be possible for some American Express cards, if you ace your application with a good credit score, solid income and no omitted details.

How can I get a credit card immediately?

American Express offers access to credit card numbers immediately after approval on many of its consumer credit and charge cards. If you would like to get a credit card ASAP, this is your best bet. But many other companies offer instant approval, with varying degrees of rapid response.

How fast can you receive a credit card?

If you’re approved instantly, it usually takes about 7-10 business days to send your credit card in the mail after you’re approved for an account. But in some cases you can get faster access to your account if you are given your account number before the card arrives.

How long does it take to get a final decision?

Some instant credit card providers take as little as 60 seconds to determine whether you will get approved or not. If your credit score is excellent, and you have supplied all the required information, you could get a final decision, and access to your account, within minutes. But if your information is incomplete, or the lender needs to check something further, the final decision may take several days. And you may have to wait for around 7-10 business days for the issuing of the actual physical credit card.

What can I do to improve my chances of being approved?

It’s best to have a good credit score and to have a consistent source of income to show lenders that you won’t be at a high risk of defaulting. Work on improving your credit score if it is low, by paying all your bills on time. You also need to meet all the eligibility requirements in order to avoid having your application rejected.

What is the easiest credit card to get approved for with no credit?

The easiest type of card to be approved for, if you have no credit history or a poor history, is a secured credit card. To get a secured credit card you must place cash on deposit with the lender, in an amount at least equivalent to the credit limit you are looking for on the card. Many banks offer secured credit cards.

What's the quickest way to get a credit card?

The fastest way to get a card is by going straight to the website of the credit card company and applying online. By clicking on the green 'Application' button below each card's image at Finty, you will be taken straight to the credit card's website to complete your application. In most cases, the process of the entire credit card application can be done in less than 20 minutes.

A hasty decision could be the wrong one

Just because you're being offered instant approval, don't make an instant decision yourself. It could be the wrong one. Take your time to compare your options, read the fine print, and then apply for a card that best suits your spending habits, income and lifestyle.

Credit checks can lower your credit score

Comparing your credit card options here at Finty before you apply has absolutely no impact on your credit score. But once you complete an online application for the card you have chosen, the lender will request your credit history and score from a credit bureau. Each time this happens, your credit score will be reduced slightly — and temporarily. So don't be tempted to apply for lots of cards at once, to see which ones you're instantly approved for, as this will damage your score.

Instant access to credit

If you have a good credit score it's possible to be not only approved immediately, but also get instant access to credit because you are given the account number and can start using it without waiting for the physical card to arrive in the mail.

Instant approval doesn't mean guaranteed approval

'Instant approval' actually means 'fast decision'. You'll find out very quickly, but the answer could be either approval or rejection, or, in some cases, a request for further information.

Know where you stand at once

Instant approval cards give you a fast decision. You know right away whether you've been approved or not, and what your credit limit will be, even if you have to wait a few days for your card to arrive in the mail.

Low-cost loan

If there’s an urgent purchase that you need to make, you can charge your purchase now and then pay it off when you get your paycheck. Just remember that you need to be able to pay off the charge by the due date.

Rewards and perks

Many instant approval credit cards come with extra benefits, just like a regular credit card. You can choose from a wide range of discounts or cash back based on your purchases, or reward points or travel miles. It’s best to compare all the cards available to you so you can see which rewards will best fit your needs and spending habits.

Check the eligibility requirements

While some banks can give approval within 60 seconds, you may miss out on getting approved completely if you’re not able to meet the eligibility requirements, which may include:

  • Citizenship or residency status. Some cards may only let you apply if you’re a permanent US resident. However, there are other banks that offer cards for temporary residents, so make sure to look at those if you need to.
  • Income. Although there is no minimum income requirement to get approval, you'll need an income that's enough to make the bank confident that you can meet your repayments. If you’re rejected on the grounds of low income, it’s best to look at low-income credit cards for comparison.
  • Credit history. Some banks will only accept applicants with a good credit history and no record of defaults.

Check your credit score

You are more likely to be approved if you have a good credit score. So it's a good idea to check your credit score from a credit bureau before you apply. Checking your own credit score has no impact on your score.

Choose the card that's right for you

When you’re looking for the right card for you, here are a few things you will need to compare before choosing one to apply for:

  • The APR
  • The annual fee
  • Any additional fees for cash advances, late payments, foreign transactions
  • Credit limits available
  • Introductory offers like balance transfers, sign-up bonuses, promotional APR
  • Rewards and perks attached to the card, such as cash back, store discounts, points, complimentary insurance

Collect the necessary documents and information

Before applying for a credit card online, make sure that you have all the documents and personal information that you need, in order to receive instant approval. Here are a few things that you may need to provide:

  • Personal details. Your full name, residential address, and contact details.
  • Proof of identity. You’ll need to show proof of your identity, such as your birth certificate, Medicare card, or driver’s license.
  • Date of birth, citizenship status and Social Security number. You'll need to be over 18. If you're not a US citizen you'll need to provide details of your residency visa.
  • Years at residential address, and whether you own or rent.
  • Employment and income. Provide details of your employer along with recent pay slips. If you’re self-employed, you can provide your accountant’s details with any proof of income.
  • Details of any assets, possibly including bank accounts.