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.