The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
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Instant-Approval Credit Cards With Instant Use in 2021

Instant Approval Credit Cards With Instant Use

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Posted: July 29, 2021
Advertiser Disclosure

If you navigate your life at warp speed, you’ll love these 15 instant-approval credit cards with instant use. Instant approval isn’t unusual, but not all credit card companies allow you to use your card instantly. That’s a shame because when we need a card, we need it now! Am I right, people?

The cards reviewed here, for the most part, provide you with your actual card number instantly. This is separate from any temporary virtual account number issuers give you for added security. For example, you can instantly get your new card number from Capital One and then use Eno to generate a virtual account number.

What follows is each major credit card issuer’s policy on instant-use credit cards and their top offerings.

Capital One Cards You Can Use Instantly

You can use your Capital One card before it’s in your wallet, but there are strings attached. First of all, you must already be a cardmember with another Capital One Card. Second, you must download the Capital One mobile app.

Otherwise, you’ll have to wait about a week for your card to arrive in the mail. The only exception to these requirements is the Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®, which you can use instantly without preconditions.

EXPERT’S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Redeem on travel—including flights, vacation rentals, car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

EXPERT’S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 14.99% – 24.99% variable APR after that
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
N/A
14.99% – 24.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

EXPERT’S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn a $500 bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere — with no limits or category restrictions
  • No annual fee
  • Rewards won’t expire for the life of the account
  • Redeem your cash back rewards for any amount
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
13.24% – 19.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent

If you qualify for instant use, you can open the mobile app to retrieve your new card number, security code, and expiration number. Now you are ready to make card-not-present purchases online, over the phone, and in-app.

Chase Cards You Can Use Instantly

When it comes to instant use, Chase cards have a split personality. On the one hand, the regular Chase cards you know and love — including the Sapphire and Freedom twins — do not permit instant use.

However, certain co-branded and business cards from Chase cards do allow instant use for purchases at the co-branding merchant, including the following cards:

United Club℠ Infinite Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn a bonus 75,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on purchases from United, including tickets, Economy Plus®, in-flight food, beverages and Wi-Fi, and other United charges
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel purchases, 2 miles per $1 spent on dining at restaurants and eligible delivery services, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Up to $100 as a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee for either program when charged to your card
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages, and Wi-Fi onboard United-operated flights when you pay with your United Club℠ Infinite Card
  • The primary Cardmember and one companion traveling on the same reservation will each receive their first and second standard checked bag free – calculated as up to a $35 value for the first checked bag and up to a $45 value for the second checked bag, each way, per person
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.49% – 23.49% (Variable)
$525
Excellent
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn 5% cash back at Aamzon.com and Whole Foods market
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, 1% back on all other purchases
  • Exclusively for customers with an eligible Prime membership
  • Get a $70 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval
  • See your rewards balance during checkout at Amazon.com and easily use rewards to pay for all or part of your purchase — no minimum rewards balance to redeem rewards
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
14.24% – 22.24%
$0 (Prime Membership Required)
Good/Excellent
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.5

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn points on employee spending
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% – 22.99% Variable
$99
Good/Excellent

This is a handy feature, especially if you need to buy a United or Southwest airline ticket right away and want to get the full frequent flyer benefits.

Amex Cards You Can Use Instantly

All American Express eligible cardmembers can start shopping online immediately with an Instant Card Number. When your card application is approved, you will receive your actual card number, which you then add to your digital wallet (e.g., Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.).

You are eligible for instant card use if American Express can immediately authenticate your identity.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

CATEGORY RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn up to $400 Back in the form of statement credits: Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back – plus, earn $200 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership
  • Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year on purchases (then 1%). Also earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • Earn 3% cash back on transit, including U.S. gas stations, taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • Access to Global Assist® Hotline – 24/7 medical, legal, financial and other select emergency assistance and coordination services
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR applies
  • $0 intro annual fee, $95 annual fee thereafter
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
13.99% – 23.99% Variable
$0 intro; $95 thereafter
Excellent Credit
Business Platinum Card® Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

CATEGORY RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of card membership
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, 1.5X points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half point per dollar) up to 1 million additional points per calendar year, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases
  • Select one qualifying airline and get up to $200 in statement credits each calendar year for baggage fees and other incidentals charged by the airline to your Business Platinum Card®
  • Access to more than 1,300 lounges across 140 countries and counting with the American Express Global Lounge Collection®
  • Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of an eligible fare and get 35% of those points back, up to 500,000 points back per calendar year
  • $595 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A (Charge Card)
$595
Excellent
The Platinum Card® Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

CATEGORY RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership
  • Earn 10X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases on your new Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S. on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Also earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com. Earn 1X points on all other eligible purchases. Terms apply.
  • $200 annual hotel credit, $200 annual airline fee credit, $25 monthly Equinox credit, $15 monthly Uber cash credit, $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, and more.
  • Platinum Card Members have unlimited complimentary access to all locations of The Centurion Lounge
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A (Charge Card)
$695
Excellent

Amex cards allow you to shop online and at merchants that accept digital wallets as you wait for your card to arrive in the mail. American Express estimates a card delivery time of three to five business days.

Bank of America Cards You Can Use Instantly

Bank of America offers instant card approval and use to existing customers who open a new card via the BoA mobile app. Upon approval, you will be able to upload your credit card number to your digital wallet.

Here are our top-ranked BoA cards:

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America’ssecure website

EXPERT’S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Introductory 0% APR for your first 15 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening (balance transfer fee applies), then a variable APR applies
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 billing cycles
0% for 15 billing cycles
13.99% – 23.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

EXPERT’S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 online bonus points (a $500 value) after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases. Plus, earn 2 points for every $1 spent on grocery store purchases – now through 12/31/21.
  • 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Flexibility to choose how you redeem your points – redeem for cash back as a deposit into Bank of America® checking or savings accounts, for credit to eligible Merrill® accounts including 529 accounts, as a statement credit to your credit card, or for gift cards and purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to a $100 Airline Incidental Statement Credit annually for qualifying purchases such as seat upgrades, baggage fees, in-flight services, and airline lounge fees – automatically applied to your card statement. Also get up to $100 in Airport Security Statement Credits towards TSA Pre✓ ® or Global Entry Application fees, every four years.
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% – 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent
Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards credit card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

EXPERT’S RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Get a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back on your choice of one of the following six categories: gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services, or business consulting services and 2% cash back on dining on the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each year, 1% thereafter
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Get 75% more cash back on every purchase when you’re a Preferred Rewards for Business Platinum Honors tier member. That means you’ll earn 5.25% on your selected choice category, 3.5% on dining, and unlimited 1.75% cash back on all other purchases.
  • 0% on purchases for 9 billing cycles from account opening, then a variable APR applies
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 9 billing cycles
N/A
12.24% to 22.24% Variable
$0
Good

Instant use isn’t available for BoA cards you apply for online. The one exception to this rule is the Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card, which lets you book flights on Alaska Airlines right away. You may have to wait up to 10 days for your BoA card to show up in your mailbox.

Barclays Cards You Can Use Instantly

Barclays is known for its wide variety of cards co-branded with travel, retail, entertainment, financial, and educational partners. Several of their cards offer instant credit card numbers for shopping on the co-branded website:

NFL Extra Points Credit Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★

4.0

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Earn 2X points on NFL and team purchases and 1X points on all other purchases
  • 0% introductory APR for 15 billing cycles on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening, then a variable APR applies
  • Special ticket financing: 0% promotional APR for 6 billing cycles on eligible NFL ticket purchases, then a variable APR applies
  • Enjoy 20% off at NFLShop.com
  • Redeem points for exclusive NFL experiences, game tickets, NFLShop.com purchases, gift cards, or cash back
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 15 billing cycles
15.99%, 20.99%, or 25.99% variable, based on your creditworthiness
$0
Good
JetBlue Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★

4.3

OVERALL RATING

4.3/5.0
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Earn 3X points on eligible JetBlue purchases, 2X points at restaurants and grocery stores, and 1X points on all other purchases
  • Enjoy 50% inflight savings on cocktails and food purchases
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening (transfer fee applies), then a variable APR applies
  • No foreign transaction fees, no blackout dates, and points never expire
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 12 billing cycles
15.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99% variable, based on your creditworthiness
$0
Good
FRONTIER Airlines World Mastercard® Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★

4.0

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on purchases and paying the annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days
  • Earn 5X miles on eligible purchases at flyfrontier.com, 3X miles on restaurant purchases, and 1X miles on all other purchases
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening (3% balance transfer fee applies), then a variable APR applies
  • Earn a $100 flight voucher every account anniversary after spending $2,500 or more on purchases with your card during your card membership year
  • Cardmembers enjoy Zone 2 priority boarding
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year; $79 annual fee thereafter
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 15 billing cycles
15.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99% variable, based on creditworthiness
$0 intro; $79 thereafter
Good

You can see more Barclays co-branded credit cards that allow instant use upon approval on the Barclays website.

Discover’s Instant-Use Policy

Discover Logo

While Discover offers immediate preapproval, its current instant-use policy is to just say no — none of its credit cards offer this feature. That’s too bad because Discover credit cards are some of our top choices. Discover dispatches credit cards through priority mail, getting the card to new cardmembers in about five days.

Citi’s Instant-Use Policy

Citi Logo

Citi credit cards no longer provide instant use. Citi does continue to issue virtual credit card numbers (on selected cards) that you can use for card-not-present transactions. By issuing temporary account numbers, Citi makes card theft almost impossible.

Wells Fargo’s Instant-Use Policy

Wells Fargo Logo

Wells Fargo does not currently allow instant use on any of its credit cards. You have to activate the card to use it, and you can’t activate it until it arrives in the mail. Once received, you can load any Wells Fargo card number into a digital wallet to generate virtual card numbers.

What Is an Instant Approval Credit Card?

Instant approval is a misnomer. The cards in this review offer instant decisions because no credit card company can guarantee that every credit card application will be approved. They can guarantee their best efforts to render a decision immediately based upon the information at hand.

The fact is that most cards today offer instant decisions. Occasionally, an issuer may notify you that it needs additional information before approving your credit card application. There can be several reasons for a delay, including:

  • Inability to verify information: One of the first things an issuer does is verify the data on your application. Red flags will go up if it can’t verify your address or Social Security number. This kind of problem is easy to clear up if it was due to a typo.
  • Inability to verify income: Income is an important factor for credit card approval, as card providers want some assurance that you’ll be able to pay your bills on time. Often, the best an issuer can do is see whether the income you entered is reasonable, given the information in your personal credit file concerning your job. In some cases, you may have to provide documentation, usually in the form of a pay stub or tax return.
  • Borderline credit: Many credit cards have a minimum credit score requirement, but there is usually a little wiggle room for borderline cases. If you have a low credit score, the issuer may need to assign a human to evaluate your application. Most card decisions are automated, so assigning people to the task is bound to take more time.
  • Frozen credit reports: You can freeze your credit reports at each credit bureau to protect your personal credit history against identity theft and fraud. That’s a prudent thing to do, but it will prohibit an issuer from pulling your credit report. You will have to thaw your credit history at the credit bureau, at least temporarily, before the issuer can approve your application.
  • Restrictions on the number of cards you own: Many issuers limit how many of their credit cards you can own at one time. For example, Discover won’t let you own more than two of its cards. Chase has its 5/24 Rule that limits you to five new cards (from any issuer) within a 24-month period. You may be turned down for simply having too many recent hard pulls of your credit because applying for a lot of credit all at once can indicate financial distress.
  • Overflowing demand: Card issuers occasionally find themselves with runaway hits. It could be due to the introduction of a new card or a new promotion on an existing card, such as a special signup bonus or 0% introductory APR. When this happens, card providers may temporarily halt new approvals, or at least slow down approvals to a trickle as it processes new applications.

Some of these problems can be handled through credit card preapproval, a step offered by most credit cards. Preapproval requires a limited amount of information, and receiving a positive response doesn’t guarantee your full application will be approved.

The good thing about credit card preapproval is that it won’t hurt your credit score because issuers normally don’t do a hard pull of your credit during this step. A hard credit inquiry can lower your score by five to 10 points and is usually postponed until you submit your full application.

Of course, you know (or can easily find out) your credit score, and it should inform your choice of which credit cards to apply for. If your score is average or better, you can probably be approved for most credit cards.

FICO Credit Score Ranges
Scores of 700+ will qualify for most credit cards.

Fair credit or worse limits your choices to second- and third-tier credit cards for folks with low scores. Cards for fair or bad credit may suffer from several shortcomings, including sparse benefits, high interest rates, and multiple nuisance fees.

If you are in decision limbo, be patient. The issuer will almost surely give you an answer within a few days. If not, contact the issuer to see where the problem is. It’s not a good idea to apply for another card before receiving a decision on your initial application, as it could hurt your chances of getting either card.

Can I Use My Credit Card Immediately Upon Approval?

Do not assume that instant approval means instant use of your credit card. As described above, certain issuers (e.g., Discover, Citi, Wells Fargo) have a blanket rule against instant use, and other credit card companies may only offer it for selected cards.

If your new card doesn’t offer instant approval, you’ll have to wait for it to appear in your mailbox, usually in seven to 10 days. Some issuers routinely expedite card distribution, which can cut the waiting time in half.

If your card does offer an instant credit card number, you’ll be given an account number you can use to make card-not-present purchases — online, over the phone, or in-app. Sometimes the account number will be the real one for your card, whereas some cards may offer you a temporary virtual number you can use until the card arrives.

Screenshot of Amex Instant Card Number
American Express is the only issuer that allows instant use on all of its cards after verifying your identity.

In some cases — usually for co-branded cards — immediate use is limited to the issuing brand, be it a merchant, airline, gas station, or hotel chain. Other cards give you free rein to instantly use your card anywhere it’s accepted.

You may be able to make in-store purchases before you receive your credit card if the card works with one or more digital wallets. Many stores are joining the bandwagon and accepting digital wallets in the check-out line.

If you are allowed instant use of your new card, make sure you understand any restrictions on where you can use it or how much credit you have access to. Sometimes, the issuer will provide you only limited credit until you register the physical card, and many will not permit cash advances or balance transfer transactions until then.

How Do I Get an Instant Virtual Credit Card?

Not all instant cards are virtual, and not all virtual cards are instant. To be clear, you can use an instant credit card number before you receive the physical card. A virtual card features temporary or virtual credit card numbers with limited use in terms of time and/or merchant.

The first step in getting a new credit card with a virtual number is being approved for the card. Once that happens, you may be able to use the new credit card virtually through two different procedures:

  1. Virtual account numbers provided by the card issuer: For selected cards, Capital One will issue you virtual account numbers upon request via its Eno browser extension. Once you install the extension, Eno will pop up when you are making an online purchase, allowing you to create and save a merchant-specific virtual card account. When you receive your monthly statement, the eligible purchases made with each virtual account number will be called out for easy recognition.

    Citi allows you to enroll in a similar service for some of its credit cards. You then visit the Citi website each time you want a virtual card number. You can use Citi virtual accounts for online and over-the-phone purchases. Citi virtual account numbers persist until you cancel them.

    Many American Express cards provide instant virtual card numbers that you can use until the physical card arrives. Getting a virtual account number is as simple as contacting Amex customer service.

    Some co-branded store card examples that offer instant virtual card numbers include Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Apple Card store card co-brands.
     
  2. Virtual account numbers from digital wallets: A digital wallet is a mobile app that lets you store account information. You can use it instead of credit cards at participating stores. Most digital wallets, including those from Google, Apple, and Samsung, store a token on your device instead of your credit card account number. The token is a virtual account number that replaces your real card number at the time of purchase.

    The four payment networks (American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa networks) have jointly developed the Click-to-Pay program that allows any credit card to be added to any digital wallet. Look for the Click-to-Pay logo when checking out in-store or online — you can complete your purchase using a random token generated by the digital wallet.

    If you have a Chase credit card, you can generate virtual numbers using the Chase Pay digital wallet. You first sign up at the Profiles & Settings section of the Chase.com website. You can now use the tokens generated by Chase Pay for eligible purchases at selected merchants.

The advent of digital wallets has made virtual account numbers commonplace. Still, these numbers are immediately usable only if the credit card company is willing to provide you your credit card information before you physically receive your card.

What Is the Easiest Instant Credit Card to Get?

In general, a secured credit card is the easiest credit card to get, and some secured card offerings may be available for instant use. Our pick for the easiest-to-get instant secured credit card is the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card.

SECURED RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you’re approved in seconds
  • Building your credit? Using the Capital One Platinum Secured card responsibly could help
  • Put down a refundable security deposit starting at $49 to get a $200 initial credit line
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad

You can get this secured card even if your credit score is bad because you must make a security deposit. The initial credit limit is $200, although you may be allowed to deposit less than this amount when first opening the card. You can start with a higher credit limit by depositing more money when opening the account.

Of course, no instant approval card is easier to get than a prepaid card. However, a prepaid card is not a credit card — rather, it is more like a debit card.

How Long Does It Take to Get the Card Once Approved?

Most cards will arrive in seven to 10 days after your application is approved. It’s in the card issuer’s interest to get the instant approval card into your hands as soon as possible, but the benefit must be weighed against the cost of expedited shipping.

The following chart summarizes shipping times by issuer:

Shipping Times by Issuer

Discover offers the fastest standard shipping. However, Bank of America, Capital One, and Chase all offer free expedited shipping for most cards — but only by request.

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®. 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.

Research Instant-Approval Credit Cards With Instant Use

Our roundup of 15 instant approval credit cards with instant use reveals a surprisingly rich landscape of choices for consumers with the need for speed. You can quickly apply for any of these cards by clicking on the APPLY NOW links in the summary boxes.

The rules for creditworthy behavior are the same, whether you can start using your card within minutes of approval or you have to cool your heels for a week or longer. If you pay your bills on time, keep your debt under control, and refrain from opening too many credit cards at the same time, you’ll be well on your way to an excellent credit score and, hopefully, a bright future.

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