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Credit Cards That Offer Instant Credit Card Numbers

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Imagine you’re just hours away from booking a vacation and are planning to spend hundreds of dollars on airplane tickets, prepaid hotels, car rentals and more. It’s the perfect opportunity to rack up rewards on a brand-new travel card and earn a monster sign-up bonus. Do you really have to wait around for a physical card to come in the mail before you can use it?

Depending on the issuer, you may not have to wait at all. A small number of card issuers will let you make charges on a new card right away, using instant account numbers that you receive via your mobile phone or computer.

American Express, for example, offers an instant card number as soon as you’re approved. That way, you can start earning rewards and accessing benefits immediately– such as car rental insurance and trip protection – that typically require you to charge your travel purchases to your card in order to be protected.

Similarly, Bank of America offers instant details to customers who apply for certain cards, such as the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card, through the bank’s mobile app and are approved for instant credit. It also offers instant card numbers on select co-branded cards.

What do you mean I have to wait?

Not every issuer offers instant numbers, though – which can seem outdated at a time when instant gratification is commonplace, says LendingTree’s Chief Credit Analyst Matt Schulz.

It may be especially frustrating to consumers who are used to applying for retail cards at checkout and are allowed to use them right away. “The idea of having to wait a week or two to get a physical credit card just comes off as kind of unnecessarily old school to a lot of people,” said Schulz.

There may also be situations where you need to use your new card right away and don’t have time to wait.

For example, if an appliance breaks down, you may prefer financing it with a lower rate card that offers a long-term 0% introductory APR rather than a store’s high-APR credit card. Or, if you’re just hours away from purchasing something that you know could earn a lot of bonus points, you may not want to miss out earning those rewards.

Some issuers may be reluctant to issue instant credit card numbers for security reasons, suggests Schulz.

“Any time things move too quickly and are too easily attainable, it opens the possibility of more fraud,” he said. However, card issuers are becoming increasingly sophisticated at combating scammers, he adds. “So I would suspect that we’ll see more and more cards go to instant use in the near future.”

Which major card issuers offer instant card numbers?

Right now, just a handful of major issuers offer instant credit card numbers. However, most only offer them on select cards, such as their co-branded credit cards. American Express®, by contrast, offers them on all its U.S. cards to eligible applicants.

Some cards may not let you charge your full credit limit until you get your physical card, so you’ll have to watch what you purchase. For example, USAA offers only partial access to your credit limit until you’ve activated your physical card.

Major card issuers offering instant card numbers
Card issuer Instant card number?
American Express® Yes, on all cards
Bank of America® Available on select co-branded cards and on some Bank of America rewards cards, such as the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card and the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card, when you apply through the Bank of America mobile app.
Barclays Available on some co-branded cards, such as the Uber Visa Card.
Capital One No
Chase No
Citibank In some cases, new cardholders may be able to get an instant card number on a Citibank card.
Discover No
Navy Federal Credit Union No; it does offer instant debit cards.
U.S. Bank No
Wells Fargo No
USAA Available on Visa-branded USAA cards.

Disclosures |
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
on Bank of America's secure site
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases
13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR
$0
3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back
  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No expiration on rewards
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or when visiting Bank of America Financial Centers. To take advantage of this offer, click "Apply Now" above.
730 850

How LendingTree Gets 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 |
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
on Bank of America's secure site
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% variable
$95
2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, plus
  • Receive 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 and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.  Plus, earn 2 points for every $1 spent on grocery store purchases— now through 12/31/21. 
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill® accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $100 in Airline Incidental Statement Credits annually and TSA Pre✓®/Global Entry Statement Credits of up to $100, every four years 
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or when visiting Bank of America Financial Centers.  To take advantage of this offer, click "Apply Now" above.
680 850

How LendingTree Gets 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.

Some instant credit number cards to consider:

American Express credit cards with instant numbers

  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
  • American Express Cash Magnet® Card – $150 Welcome Offer

Disclosures |
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
0% on purchases for 15 months
13.99%-23.99% Variable
$0
3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year
  • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card membership, up to $150 back.
  • Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of card membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
720 850

How LendingTree Gets 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 |
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
0% on purchases for 12 months
13.99%-23.99% Variable
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year
  • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
  • Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • 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 and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Terms Apply.
720 850

How LendingTree Gets 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.

Bottom line

Instant card numbers can be a great tool when you need to purchase something immediately and don’t have time to wait for a card to arrive in the mail. They not only give you the ability to take advantage of certain benefits — such as travel protection or rewards earnings — right away; they also give you more time to meet your card’s spending threshold and earn a sign-up bonus.

Just be sure you know what you’re getting into before you apply, says Schulz. Urgency can work against you if it encourages you to apply for a card you haven’t fully researched, he noted. “Just because somebody offers you a card that you can use right now doesn’t mean it’s a good decision for you.”

The information related to American Express Cash Magnet® Card – $150 Welcome Offer and Uber Visa Card has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of these cards prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.