Credit CardsArticles
How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
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Advertising Disclosure
LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products. We are compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order).

Advertising Disclosure

LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products. We are compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order).
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American Express Disclosure
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

American Express Disclosure

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

How to Get Instant Approval on Credit Cards

Updated on:
Content was accurate at the time of publication.
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An instant approval credit card provides applicants with an immediate decision on the status of their credit card application — whether it’s an approval or a denial. This can be especially helpful if you find yourself in need of immediate access to credit due to an unexpected expense, such as a home repair or medical emergency.

We explain what you need to know about instant approval credit cards, including what types of credit cards offer them and how to increase your chances of being approved (instead of rejected) for that new card.

Instant approval cards shouldn’t be confused with cards that offer instant card numbers (see below) however. Once going through the regular approval process, some issuers, such as American Express, provide new cardholders with their account number that can be used immediately for purchases before the physical card arrives in the mail.

With an instant approval credit card, you can typically receive a response to your application within minutes. But whether you’re approved or denied will depend on various requirements set by the issuer, such as income, credit score, housing payments and more.

Just know that no two applicants are the same, so while one person may receive an instant response, another may have to wait several days for a decision if the issuer needs to obtain more information.

Many credit cards that boast instant approval are often targeted toward people with bad credit or no credit.

For example, First Premier offers the PREMIER Bankcard® Grey Credit Card, which states online that you can receive a decision in “as little as 60 seconds,” while the Total VISA® Credit Card states that it has “a fast application process with a response provided in seconds.”

Some additional cards that offer instant approval:

These instant approvals may seem tempting if you’re in need of credit fast, but a closer look at the terms show that some of these cards may come laden with numerous fees — such as set-up fees, maintenance fees and annual fees — outweighing the potential benefit of an instant approval. Or, they may require a security deposit of at least $200 that will serve as your credit line.

Another common type of instant approval credit card is a store credit card. Many retail cards provide instant approvals at the point of sale. So when you check out at a retailer, such as Home Depot, you may be asked to apply for a The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card on the spot.

After completing an application, you’ll typically receive a response right away. If approved, you can use your card account details for whatever you’re purchasing (as long as the cost is within your credit limit) and the physical card will arrive by mail.

Just know, many store cards typically come with high APRs, low credit limits and can only be used at that specific retailer.

| Disclosures
PREMIER Bankcard® Grey Credit Card
PREMIER Bankcard® Grey Credit Card
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on PREMIER Bankcard®'s secure site
N/A
See Provider Website
See Provider Website
Non-rewards card
  • You don’t need good credit to apply.
  • We help people with bad credit, every day.
  • Just complete the short application and receive a response in 60 seconds.
  • You can build or rebuild your credit: apply for a PREMIER Bankcard credit card, keep your balance low, and pay all your monthly bills on time.
  • Don’t let a low FICO score stop you from applying – we approve applications others may not.
  • FICO scores are used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any PREMIER Bankcard® product.
300 600
Poor

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
Total VISA® Credit Card
Total VISA® Credit Card
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on Bank Of Missouri's secure site
N/A
35.99%*
$75.00 1st year, $48.00 after*
Earn 1% cash back rewards on payments made to your Total Credit
300 600 660
Poor / Fair

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Rates & Fees
N/A
28.24% Variable APR
$0
Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to
  • No credit score required to apply.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit history.
  • Your secured credit card requires a refundable security deposit, and your credit line will equal your deposit amount, starting at $200. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites. Activate for free.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
300 600
Limited / Poor

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on Capital Bank, N.A.'s secure site
N/A
25.64% (variable)
$35
Earn up to 10% cash back* on everyday purchases
  • New feature! Earn up to 10% cash back* on everyday purchases
  • No credit check to apply. Zero credit risk to apply!
  • Looking to build or rebuild your credit? 2 out of 3 OpenSky cardholders increase their credit score by an average of 41 points in just 3 months
  • Get free monthly access to your FICO score in our mobile application
  • Build your credit history across 3 major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion
  • Add to your mobile wallet and make purchases using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay
  • Fund your card with a low $200 refundable security deposit to get a $200 credit line
  • Apply in less than 5 minutes with our mobile first application
  • Choose the due date that fits your schedule with flexible payment dates
  • Fund your security deposit over 60 days with the option to make partial payments
  • Over 1.4 Million Cardholders Have Used OpenSky Secured Credit Card To Improve Their Credit
  • *See Rewards Terms and Conditions for more information
300 600
Poor

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

While instant approval doesn’t mean guaranteed approval, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of being quickly approved for a credit card:

Have a steady source of income. During the application process, you’ll be asked how much you bring in annually — therefore, it’s key to have a stable income source. While you may include income from alimony, child support, interest, dividends or other sources, those sources most likely won’t be as sustainable as income from a paycheck.

Pay attention to credit score requirements. Depending on what credit score you have, you may have better odds of applying for one card over another. On LendingTree, we list the credit requirements for each card — such as poor, fair or excellent — so you can get a good idea of which cards you may qualify for.

According to FICO, here are the ranges your credit score can fall into:

  • Exceptional: 800 to 850
  • Very good: 740 to 799
  • Good: 670 to 739
  • Fair: 580 to 669
  • Poor: 300 to 579

You can check your credit score for free in a variety of ways, including through LendingTree Spring, Experian and CreditWise from Capital One, or through your bank or other credit card issuer.

Make sure your credit reports aren’t frozen or locked. You may have frozen or locked your credit report to prevent fraud as a result of the Equifax breach or other data breaches over the past few years. If so, before you apply for a new credit card, you’ll need to thaw or unlock your credit reports to allow the issuer access to your files.

Don’t apply for credit too often. Each time you apply for a new line of credit, a hard inquiry appears on your credit reports. Hard inquiries lower your credit score by a few points each time they occur and remain on your credit for two years, although the negative impact lessens over time. Additionally, having multiple inquiries on your credit report in a short period of time may signal to lenders that you’re a high-risk consumer. Therefore, it’s best to only apply for credit sporadically.

Review your credit report for accuracy. The simple act of checking your credit report for legitimate errors, such as an incorrect late payment, can help bridge the gap to a higher credit score. There are numerous ways to access your credit report for free. For example, you can view your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports for free once a year at annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228.

If you want access to instant credit, but not the fees typically associated with instant approval credit cards, you may want to consider these alternatives:

Credit cards with instant numbers

As mentioned earlier, there are issuers that offer instant access to your credit card number once you are approved, such as:

  • American Express provides cardholders access to their credit card number immediately after being approved for the card. So instead of waiting several days for your physical credit card to arrive in the mail, you’ll receive your credit card number online or by email — and you can start making purchases right away. Just know that you may not have access to your full credit line until your physical card arrives.

American Express offers this feature for all of its consumer cards, including the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card.

  • The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card is the only card issued by Bank of America that offers instant access to your credit card number upon approval. According to the site, after completing the application, you will “get a response in as little as 60 seconds.” If approved, you can begin using your card and earning rewards on Alaska Airlines purchases immediately.
  • With the Apple Credit Card, once you receive an approval, you must first accept your initial credit limit and APR offer, then you can start using your card to make purchases with Apple Pay.

 

| Disclosures
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & Fees
| Terms Apply
0% on purchases for 12 months
19.24%-29.99% Variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 intro plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months from the date of account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each eligible purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
  • Low Intro APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from the date of account opening. After that, your APR will be a variable APR of 19.24% - 29.99%.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations.
  • 3% Cash Back on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit on Amazon.com at checkout.
  • $84 Disney Bundle Credit: With your enrolled Blue Cash Preferred Card, spend $9.99 or more each month on an auto-renewing Disney Bundle subscription, to receive a monthly statement credit of $7. Valid only at Disney Plus.com, Hulu.com or Plus.espn.com in the U.S.
  • Terms Apply.
660 720 850
Good / Excellent

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & Fees
| Terms Apply
N/A
20.99%-29.99% Variable
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $150.
Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants
  • Earn 65,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $150.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • $200 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a year, you can receive a $200 Delta Flight Credit to use toward future travel.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • You can check your first bag free on Delta flights, saving up to $70 on a round-trip Delta flight per person. For a family of four that’s a potential savings of up to $280 per round-trip flight.
  • Receive Zone 5 Priority Boarding on Delta flights; board early, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • $100 Delta Stays Credit: Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Members can earn up to $100 back annually on eligible prepaid Delta Stays bookings on delta.com.
  • Take up to $50 off the cost of your flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible Delta in-flight purchases after using your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • With Send & Split®, you can send money and split your Card purchases with any other Venmo or PayPal user, directly from the Amex App. Enroll today.
  • Terms Apply.
660 720 850
Good / Excellent

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card*
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card
Learn More
on Bank Of America's secure site
N/A
20.24% - 28.24% Variable APR
$95
Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines
  • LIMITED TIME ONLINE OFFER—60,000 Bonus Miles!
  • Get 60,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) with this offer. To qualify, make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • Get Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) each account anniversary after you spend $6,000 or more on purchases within the prior anniversary year. Valid on all Alaska Airlines flights booked on alaskaair.com.
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases. Earn unlimited 2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible gas, EV charging station, cable, streaming services and local transit (including ride share) purchases. And earn unlimited 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. And, your miles don’t expire on active accounts.
  • Earn a 10% rewards bonus on all miles earned from card purchases if you have an eligible Bank of America® account.
  • Free checked bag and enjoy priority boarding for you and up to 6 guests on the same reservation, when you pay for your flight with your card — Also available for authorized users when they book a reservation too!
  • With oneworld® Alliance member airlines and Alaska’s Global Partners, Alaska has expanded their global reach to over 1,000 destinations worldwide bringing more airline partners and more ways to earn and redeem miles.
  • Plus, no foreign transaction fees and a low $95 annual fee.
  • This online only offer may not be available elsewhere if you leave this page. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
660 720 850
Good / Excellent
*The information related to the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

See if you prequalify for a credit card

If you want to increase your chances of instantly being approved for a credit card application, you may want to see if you prequalify — or are preapproved — before completing the application.

Several issuers offer tools to let you know which credit cards you might prequalify or get preapproved for by performing a soft pull of your credit (which won’t have a negative impact).

For example, with Discover, you can fill out an online form with basic personal information, including your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, income and whether or not you are a student. Once the form is submitted, Discover will show you which credit card offers you are preapproved for. But keep in mind, preapproved offers are not guaranteed, and you still need to complete the application process to receive a final approval decision.

Here are some issuers that let you check to see if you prequalify or are preapproved for a credit card offer:

 

*To see rates & fees for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.
*To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card please click here.
The information related to the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi and Apple Credit Card has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of these cards prior to publication.

With instant approval credit cards, you can usually receive an approval, denial or request for more information response within minutes of submitting your card application. If the issuer requests additional information from you, it may take several days to evaluate your application.

When you apply for an instant approval credit card online, the issuer will run a preliminary credit check. If you appear to be eligible for the card, the issuer will grant you conditional approval while they perform a more in-depth review of your credit history and establish your full credit line.

We should note, instant approval credit cards are typically designed for individuals with good to excellent credit. Therefore, the higher your credit score, the better your chances are of being approved for an instant approval credit card.

If your application for an instant approval credit card has been declined, we suggest reviewing the card’s eligibility requirements and contacting the issuer for more details on your denial.

We don’t recommend applying for a different card right away, since that can negatively impact your credit score. In fact, each time you apply for a new credit card, a hard inquiry appears on your credit report, which lowers your score by a few points each time and stays on your credit report for two years (although the negative impact lessens over time).

Instead, you may want to use a pre-approval tool — which several issuers offer — to see if you prequalify for an offer before completing an application. Note that if you are prequalified, your chances of approval are high, but not guaranteed until the issuer conducts a more thorough check of your application and credit history.

Select issuers, such as American Express, provide instant credit card numbers to eligible card members immediately upon approval. This allows you to shop online and take advantage of card benefits right away, instead of waiting for a physical card to arrive in the mail.

Designed for consumers with bad or no credit, “guaranteed approval” credit cards do not check your credit history when deciding whether to approve or deny you. Although the name implies that approval is automatically guaranteed, there are factors that can lead to a denial. For example, if you don’t meet the age requirement, your identity can’t be verified or you don’t have an eligible bank account, you may be denied.