How Long Does It Take to Get a Credit Card?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Credit Card?

There are few things more essential to an individual than their credit report. Without a credit card, your credit report is blank, and there are many things you cannot purchase. You need one to get approved for loans, take out lines of credit, and buy several items.

Fortunately, it is not difficult to receive approval for a credit card. If it is your first time getting one, you should not have any trouble.

So, how long does it take to get a credit card? The answer to that question depends on the bank. Some banks are quicker than others, but most get new credit cards to customers in 7 to 10 business days.

How Do You Get Approved for a Credit Card?

Before you can worry about how long it will take your credit card to arrive, you need to get approved by the bank of your choice.

Credit card issuers, in this case, the bank, consider several factors before approving a client for a credit card. Remember credit cards are free money for the bank. If someone does not pay off their credit card, the credit card issuer needs to foot the bill. Thus, some people will not receive credit card approval.

Banks look at your credit history, credit score, and updated credit report before approving. Additionally, you must submit your employment and income information to the bank. If you have business with another debt organization or bank, you must inform the bank and list it in your application. For example, you must list your mortgage, rent, or car payments.

Unfortunately, there is not a definitive set of rules everyone must follow to receive credit card approval. All credit card issuers are different and look at every case on an individual basis.

With that in mind, it is not challenging to get approved for a credit card. Everyone with a decent credit score should not have any trouble receiving a credit card. Even people with bad credit reports can receive credit cards, but they might have poor interest rates.

When Will You Know If You Got Approved for a Credit Card?

Applying for a credit card is not difficult at most credit institutions. Many banks allow you to apply online. Once you click submit, many of those sites will automatically determine if you are eligible for approval. If that is the case, you might know if you were approved within 60 seconds.

Unfortunately, automatic approval is not overly common because most banks and institutions prefer to examine all applications. So, it can take a few days or weeks to receive approval.

When the bank knows your status, they will send you an email letting you know if you received approval. Federal guidelines in the United States require banks to send notices of approval or denial for credit cards within 30 days of all applications.

Your credit card application will get results quickly if you fill out the entire application. There are several sections in most applications that are optional. While these sections are not required, they help banks more quickly determine if you should receive a credit card. So, if you are in a rush, you should fill out every section of the application.

Finally, it is essential to note that if you do not fill out the entire application, the bank or institution may contact you requesting more information. For example, if you do not fill out the section of the application listing proof of income, the bank will likely contact you. Banks usually contact potential clients via email or physical letters. Although letters are less common these days.

Get Pre-Approval to Save Time

One of your most useful tools to get your credit card as quickly as possible is pre-approval. Pre-approval is a tool available with some banks. To receive pre-approval, you must provide some basic information. The information you provide does not require you to fill out an entire application. Instead, it helps you determine if you should apply.

Additionally, many card issuers will send preapproved credit cards in the mail to people who receive pre-approval. It is a form of preliminary credit for people who are waiting for their application to get approved.

It is important to note that although you can use pre-approval to receive a preapproved credit card; you still must apply to receive an official credit card from the bank.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Credit Card After You Receive Approval?

Once you get approval for a credit card, it must be printed and shipped to your house or apartment. Most institutions, including American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, and Wells Fargo deliver new cards in 7 to 10 business days. Bank of America also delivers new cards within 10 business days.

However, some factors can affect how long it takes to receive your card. The credit card you applied for can cause additional delays. Some cards take longer to print and ship. Additionally, there is always the chance something happens outside the control of the card issuer. For example, traffic or other delays in the mail can cause your card to arrive late.

Fortunately, many banks and institutions will provide you with a virtual credit card number while you wait for your physical card. While this card cannot be used at the grocery store, you can use it for all online purchases. American Express is one bank that does this, but there are several others.

Expedited delivery is available with several banks, including Chase, Bank of America, and Capital One.

If you requested a replacement card from your bank after your old card was lost, stolen, or destroyed, you receive it more quickly. American Express provides free next-day shipping. Other banks are not as quick as American Express but still ship at a fast pace.

Bank of America and Capital One deliver replacement cards in four to six business days. Chase delivers in three to five business days, Citi in four to seven business days, Discover in three to seven business days, and Wells Fargo delivers replacement cards in five to seven calendar days.

Are There Things You Can Do to Get Your Credit Card Quicker?

Unfortunately, waiting a week or longer for your new credit card is not ideal. For some people, it can even be problematic. So, is there anything you can do to get your credit card sooner?

See if the Institution Offers Instant Approval

The quickest way to receive a credit card is to look for instant approval at each credit institution. Getting instant approval can save you several days of waiting for your credit card application to get approved. When you apply for instant approval or denial, the card issuer will alert you within seconds of submitting your application.

Unfortunately, instant approval is not an option at most highly accredited institutions. You will not be able to apply for instant approval at a bank like Bank of America or Capital One.

Here are some of the cards you can receive from instant approval, along with the credit required for approval:

See If You Can Use Expedited Shipping

If time is of the essence, you might be able to use expedited shipping to receive your credit card sooner. Not all institutions offer expedited shipping, but many do. If your credit institution offers expedited shipping, you can pay an extra fee to get your card sooner. For example, Chase, Bank of America, and Capital One offer expedited shipping.

Chase and Bank of America offer the service for free. With Chase, you will receive your card in one to two business days, whereas you will receive it in under three business days with Bank of America.

Unfortunately, Capital One charges a small fee in exchange for expedited delivery. Fortunately, the charge is low as you only need to pay $16 for the service. After making the payment, you will receive your card in two to three business days. Other banks with expedited delivery have similar delivery timelines.

Apply Online

Some people might think it is quicker and more efficient to apply at their local branch. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Applying at your local branch can save time at the moment, but it will take more time for your application to be processed. Additionally, there is the risk that your application could be lost.

It is more efficient to apply online. When you apply online, your application is automatically entered into the bank’s system, and they receive it immediately. Additionally, it gives you the chance of receiving immediate approval if you meet all the essential requirements.

See if You Can Pick Up Your New Credit Card Up from Your Local Branch

Another great option to expedite the process is to see if you can pick up your new credit card from the bank’s local branch. Depending on where you live, the card might be sent to your local branch before your home. As a result, if you can pick it up from the branch, you can save time.

Can You Use Your Credit Card Before It Arrives?

The answer to this question varies based on the bank you apply to.

Many card issuers allow customers to use their card number online before the physical card arrives. Other institutions offer instant-use credit cards for clients to use in the meantime. You will need to check with your credit institution to see if you can use your credit card online before it arrives because the rules are different everywhere.

What Should You Do When Your New Credit Card Arrives?

The steps you should take after your credit card arrives do not differ, whether it is a new or replacement card. Additionally, the vast majority of banks follow the same process.

When your credit card arrives in the mail, that does not mean you can use it right out of the box (or by letter). Instead, you need to activate it before you can use it at retail locations or online. Fortunately, it is easy to activate your new credit card.

Your credit card will come with instructions on how to activate it. You must call the phone number listed on the card in the letter. When you call the number, you will need to select your pin.

We recommend taking the time to download the credit card issuer’s mobile app. Doing so allows you to easily manage your finances and credit on your phone. It is far easier to manage your finances on your phone than on your computer.

If you do it on your phone, you can set up face recognition and other security features to make it easier for you to access, and more difficult for others to steal your information.

When you call the phone number associated with your credit card, you will not speak to a person. Instead, you will hear pre-recorded messages asking you to press certain buttons. You will be asked to press a specific button to activate your card. Press that button, and you will be able to use your card.

You should note that depending on the bank, you might need to wait 24 hours to use the card after activating it.

Final Thoughts

To live in the modern world, it is crucial to have access to online banking. Almost everyone has a bank account, and with it comes a debit card. Unfortunately, while debit cards are useful tools, they have their limitations. You will need a credit card to receive a line of credit, receive loans, and make some purchases.

The time needed to receive approval for a credit card varies drastically based on the bank and method of application. It can take as little as a minute if you use instant approval. Alternatively, it can take up to 30 days to receive approval.

Once you are approved for a credit card, most institutions will deliver your credit card in seven to 10 business days. If you need your card sooner, there are several things you can do to speed the process up.