BACK

Innovations and Payment Systems

FAQs about instant approval credit cards

Summary

Learn more about getting instant credit card approval and what it entails.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Compare Instant Approval Credit Cards

“Instant” approval is fast, but not really instantaneous. Credit card issuers promise a fast approval process, but in order to qualify you and your creditworthiness — and to protect against fraud — the “instant” reference is a marketing tool that really takes a few days. Here are some frequently asked questions about the instant approval credit card application process:

Q: What does instant approval credit cards mean for applicants?
A: Instant approval refers to the process by which credit card companies take your application information, quickly review your credit report online and then make a decision on whether to extend credit.

Q: How does this differ from “instant decision”?
A: Instant decision is a term that allows the banks to defer the approve/decline decision until they can do some back-end work if an application credit decision requires more scrutiny.

Q: I’ve also heard of the term “instant credit.” Is this the same as instant approval?
A: Instant Credit involves not only instant approval but also provides the applicant with a temporary credit card number that provides the ability to make an online purchase immediately. This capability was initially developed about five years ago but most banks have stopped the practice due to losses from fraudulent uses of instant credit. Instant approval gives the banks a few days to verify the applicant information in order to make a better credit decision.

Q: Are instant approval applications as secure as filling out a paper application and sending it through the mail?
A: Yes. Legitimate credit card comparison websites offer links to only secure applications through the major banks and credit card companies that employ the latest Internet security data encryption.

Q: How long does it take to get a credit card once my application has received instant approval?
A: This varies by issuer but the typical time required is around five to seven business days. Issuers will be able to provide more information through their customer service departments.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

What’s up next?

In Innovations and Payment Systems

Advanta small business credit cards

Press release: Advanta introduces platinum business card with a 0% introductory APR and cash back rewards.

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: October 28th, 2020
Business
13.91%
Airline
15.50%
Cash Back
15.85%
Reward
15.75%
Student
16.12%

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more