Choose A Card That Offers Instant Access To Credit
You can use some credit cards immediately upon approval, even without the card in hand. For instance, you can apply for many store credit cards in-store and, if approved, use the account to pay on the spot. Other cards, like the Apple Card, can immediately be added to a digital wallet such as Google Pay or Apple Wallet and used at any merchant that accepts mobile payments.
Instant access typically only allows purchases not requiring a physical card, such as online shopping. For example, American Express gives eligible cardholders immediate access to their credit card number to use for online or phone purchases.
Many co-branded cards offer instant access to your account, but use is often restricted to the co-brand, and you may need to pay a particular way. For example, you can use the Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® immediately for purchases at Walmart.com or in-store if you link it to, and pay with, the Walmart Pay feature within the Walmart app.
Limit Your Number Of Credit Applications Or Credit Checks
Its normal and expected that you’ll apply for credit from time to time. When lenders and others ask a credit bureau for your credit report, its recorded as an inquiry. Inquiries are also known as credit checks.
If there are too many credit checks in your credit report, lenders may think that youre:
- urgently seeking credit
- trying to live beyond your means
How We Make Money
The offers that appear on this site are from companies that compensate us. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within the listing categories. But this compensation does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not include the universe of companies or financial offers that may be available to you.
Don’t Miss: Which Td Credit Card Is Best
Our Pick For: Sofi Customers
Why we like it
On the surface, the SoFi Credit Card looks like a straightforward cash-back credit card, but it has some unique options. If you’re a SoFi customer, you can redeem your rewards toward investing, cryptocurrency, saving or paying down an eligible loan with SoFi in which case, you’ll earn an effective 2-3% back. Another distinctive feature: Once you make 12 on-time payments, the APR decreases by 1%.
How to use it instantly
Newly approved cardholders can add the card to an eligible digital wallet and begin using it right away without having to wait for the physical card to arrive in the mail.
Getting Approved For A Credit Card
Many credit card companies have made applying for a credit card easier than ever by offering online applications. You simply complete the application and submit it to have your information reviewed. It’s not uncommon for credit card companies to return an approval decision within minutes of receiving your application and checking your .
There are, however, instances where you may be waiting longer to get approved for a credit card. For example, say you filled out a paper application and mailed it in. In that scenario, you’d have to wait for the credit card company to receive your application, review your information, then mail an approval decision back to you.
Going the snail mail route could mean waiting a few weeks for a credit card decision versus a few minutes. You could also be in for a long wait if you apply for a credit card that requires excellent credit and your application is flagged for manual review.
When that happens, it means your application has to be reviewed by someone at the credit card company and processed manually. That can slow things down by a few days or even a few weeks, depending on the credit card company’s review policies. If you haven’t heard from the credit card company within a few weeks of applying, you may want to contact customer service to find out what’s happening with your application.
Read Also: Will Credit Card Companies Help With Debt
Getting A Card Is Easy The True Challenge Is Using It Wisely
The world of consumer finance is a vast, complex place. Fortunately, you dont need to be a financial guru to navigate it you simply need the right tools and information. Indeed, with the proper knowledge, things like finding and applying for a new credit card can be downright easy.
On the other hand, some parts of finance cant be mastered simply with a helpful guide. This includes maintaining the discipline and moderation necessary to use your new credit card wisely, like remembering to always pay on time and ensuring your balances stay low.
You can find the help you need to stay on the right path in a number of places. Your issuer likely offers a variety of tools to help you use your card wisely. Most major credit card issuers now provide free credit scores with your statement each month, and many will even track your score during the year so you can see your progress.
Another good way to make sure you build your credit the right way is to use technology to automate and digitize your finances. For example, late and missed payments are huge credit score killers setting up automatic payments for your new credit card can help you make sure you always pay on time. You can also use your favorite financial calculator website or one of the many budgeting applications for Android and for Apple devices to help you avoid overspending.
American Express Instant Cards
All Amex cards have the ability to receive an instant card number once your identity is validated. If you’re approved for a card and are eligible for instant access, you’ll receive your card number, temporary four-digit card identification number and expiration date that allows you to use the card anywhere American Express is accepted.
Take note that Amex co-branded cards may only be used with the brand until you receive your physical card. For instance, a temporary co-branded Delta Amex card may only be valid at Delta.
Here are some Amex cards offer the ability for an instant card number:
You May Like: How To Connect Credit Card To Venmo
Who Can Apply For A Credit Card
To apply for a NAB credit card, you must be:
18 years or older
receiving a regular income
an Australian resident for tax purposes
an Australian or New Zealand Citizen, an Australian Permanent Resident or a non-resident holding an acceptable Temporary Residency Visa.
The following Visa categories are not acceptable:
Visitor Visa , Working Holiday, Student, Exchange/gap year, Transit/short stay/seasonal and Bridging.
How Long Does It Take To Receive A Replacement Credit Card
For most major card issuers, the standard delivery time for replacement cards is between one and seven business days. So check with your card company to get more specifics on what to expect.
But to get the process started, you first need to let your card issuer know that your card is lost or stolen. Once your lender knows, the missing card is usually deactivated. And then the card issuer can start setting you up with a new card, which might include assigning you a new card number. If your card was damaged and you need a replacement, you may not be assigned a new number.
Capital One cardholders can request replacement cards online. Lost or stolen cards can also be reported by calling 1-800-277-4825.
Also Check: Which Credit Card Has Travel Insurance
Estimate Your Credit Rating
The first thing to do when it comes to getting a credit card is also the first thing you should do when taking charge of your consumer credit in general: actually look at your credit. Why? Because thats what the credit card companies are going to do when you apply.
Indeed, your credit will be a major factor in determining the type of credit card for which youll qualify and may be the difference between being approved for a new rewards card or having to settle for a subprime credit-builder. Furthermore, not only will a string of rejection letters pummel your self-esteem, but a bunch of applications for new credit can wreak havoc on your credit score.
While FICO and VantageScore use the same score range, they categorize scores in different ways.
The best way to determine your credit situation will be to take a hard look at your complete consumer credit reports , as it is from this data that your credit score is calculated. You can also use a wide range of free services, including some of your existing credit cards, to get an idea of your numerical credit score.
For the most part, credit cards can be lumped into four credit categories: cards for good credit, for fair credit, for bad credit, and for no/limited credit. While your exact credit score will vary by scoring model and range , you can use it to estimate the category in which you likely fit.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Credit Card From A Major Issuer
|Issuer||How long does it take to get a credit card?|
|Bank of America||
Don’t Miss: Is Capital One Credit Card Accepted Everywhere
If Declined Try Another Card Or Issuer
Unfortunately, no matter how well you vet your options, some credit card relationships simply arent meant to be. Although some applicants will be denied based on the number of credit cards they already have or their previous history with a particular issuer, the majority of denied applications are due to not meeting the specific credit requirements for that card.
In the event that your credit card application is denied, dont wallow in rejection. Instead, catch one of the other fish in the sea of which there is an abundance. If youre turned down due to insufficient credit, the best option for finding a replacement may be to check for cards in the next credit category. See the best offers from a variety of issuers, filtered by the credit rating you need for approval:
Even if your credit wasnt to blame for being turned down, your odds of being approved for the next card will be higher if you stick to cards within your credit category or lower.
How Payments Are Applied To Your Balance
If you dont pay your entire credit card balance by the due date, youll pay interest.
Different interest rates may apply to different types of credit card transactions. For example, cash advances often have a higher interest rate than purchases. This means different interest rates will apply to your balance depending on how you use your credit card.
Typically, your minimum payment will apply it to the portion of your balance with the lowest interest rate. Any amount you pay over the minimum payment applies in one the following two ways:
- to the portion of the balance with the highest interest rate
- proportionally to the entire balance
A credit card issuer that is a federally regulated financial institution can decide how it will apply your minimum payment to your balance.
Check your credit card agreement or ask your credit card issuer how it applies a payment to your balance.
Also Check: What Is The Requirements For Fiancee Visa In Usa
What Is The Quickest Way To Apply For A Credit Card
Although credit card applications can often be made in branch, over the phone or by post, often the quickest way to make a credit card application is online. An online credit card application can take under 10 minutes to complete and can be done be done at any time that is convenient for the borrower.
As well as this, the time of the application can help to quicken the process. For example, an application made at the start of the week on a Monday or Tuesday has more working days to process than an application made on a Friday, which can often be left unprocessed over the weekend.
How Long Does It Take To Receive A Credit Card
If youre approved for a new credit card, most companies say that your card will arrive within seven to 10 business days. Thats just an estimate and consumers usually dont have to wait that long to get their credit cards. In many cases, you can receive your new card in the mail in five business days or less.
If you cant wait a week or two to receive your new card, you can find out whether your credit card company offers expedited shipping. You may have to pay a fee for that, though, if the company does offer expedited shipping.
If your card still hasnt arrived after weeks of checking your mailbox day after day, there was probably a snag with your application. Maybe you made a mistake on your application and the credit card company took more time to review your information. Or maybe you applied for the card over the weekend and the issuer couldnt start processing your card until the next business day.
Also Check: What’s The Best Cash Back Rewards Credit Card
How Long Does It Take To Get A Credit Card Approval
You can apply for most credit cards online, by phone or by mail. Whichever method you choose, you’ll be asked for personal information including your name, address, income, Social Security number and employment status.
You could get approved instantly if you apply online some card issuers automatically approve applicants who meet their credit requirements. If you’re on the borderline for qualification, the card issuer may manually review your application, which can take a week or so. Approval of phone or mail applications also typically takes longer than online applications.
Getting approved and getting your credit card are two different things, though. After you’re approved, receiving the card in the mail can take from five business days to 14 calendar days, depending on the issuer.
Some credit card companies offer expedited delivery, either free or for a fee. For example, Chase can deliver your new card in one to two business days at no charge Bank of America offers delivery within 72 hours for free. USAA will overnight a card for $8, Barclays delivers in one to two business days for $15, and Capital One delivers in two to three business days for $16.
How To Get Approved For A Credit Card
You’re more likely to be approved for a credit card for which you’re already preapproved. Issuers often indicate the credit score range required for a particular credit card, so knowing your helps you choose cards for which you’re likely to qualify. There are several ways to check your credit score for free, including through Experian.
If your credit is excellent, you’ll likely have your pick of credit cards, and qualify for favorable terms and high credit limits. Look for cards with the features you want, like cash back, travel rewards, introductory low annual percentage rate offers or other perks.
If you have fair or poor credit, your choices will be more limited. That said, there are several . To boost your chances of approval, seek cards designed for your credit score range, such as secured credit cards.
In addition to your credit score, card issuers will check your income and your credit report. They’ll look for red flags on your credit report, such as delinquent accounts, bankruptcies or late payments, which can indicate you may not handle credit responsibly. It’s a good idea to get your credit reports from all three credit bureaus before you apply for credit of any kind so you know what lenders will see. You can do this for free through AnnualCreditReport.com you can also check your Experian credit report for free anytime.
Also Check: How To Add Visa Card To Paypal
Are There Business Credit Cards That Offer Instant Use
We have identified two business credit cards that offer instant approval and use: the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card and the Business Platinum Card® from American Express. These are all excellent credit card choices for business owners who need a decision and a business credit card right away.
You can use the Amex card immediately after approval anywhere Amex is accepted, but the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card can only be immediately used with Southwest Airlines.
How The Application Process Works
First, new customers must submit their application, typically online. It is possible that the application can be immediately approved, but even strong applicants might have their decision delayed. Upon approval, card issuers then order a new card, which is often shipped directly from the third-party card producer . Most cards are shipped via regular mail, but some card issuers prefer to send their high-end reward cards via overnight shippers.
To test the response times , I applied for three different cards from three different issuers. One contacted me by telephone within days and approved my card, which arrived within a week of my application. The other sent me an email three days after I applied to notify me that I had been approved, but I have still not received the card two weeks later. The third contacted me a week after my application to request that I mail in a copy of my drivers license, Social Security card, and a utility bill, in order to verify my identity. I mailed in the documentation they asked for, but still have not heard back after two weeks. So the results will always vary based on the card issuer and the circumstances of the applicant.
Get Your Free Credit Score & Monitoring
Plus Weekly Updates From Our 50+ Experts
You May Like: What Credit Card Is Best To Start With