Best Instant Approval Credit Cards [2024]: Find the Card for Your Needs

CREDIT CARDS - TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS
Not all instant approval credit cards provide immediate card details, and they don’t guarantee that you’ll be approved for a card.
Updated Feb. 21, 2024
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An instant approval credit card could give you an immediate response as to whether you’re approved or denied for a credit card. But that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed instant approval or even approval with this type of card.

Most major credit card issuers provide opportunities for instant approvals through their online card applications. And some issuers may also provide ways to immediately receive your card details if you’re approved, which is a way to start using your card before the physical version arrives in the mail.

Let’s explore the best instant approval credit cards to help you decide the best option for you.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • Most major credit card issuers provide instant approvals, but that doesn’t mean your applications will be instantly approved every time. In some cases, you might have to wait for further review. You could also be denied when you apply, or after the review.
  • Instant approvals don’t always mean instant card access. Some issuers let you use your card right away by giving you access to its information, while others require you to wait to receive the physical card in the mail to begin using it.
  • American Express and Chase are two of the best card issuers who provide ways to use your new credit cards immediately after approval.

The best instant approval credit cards

Comparison of the best instant approval credit cards

Credit card Welcome offer Earning rate Annual fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases $95
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months Earn 2% cash rewards on purchases $0
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases $0
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel $95
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases $95 (waived first year) (Terms apply)
Citi Custom Cash® Card Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back 5% cash back in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent, then 1% cash back), plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases $0
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases $0
U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening 5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center; 4X points on travel, gas stations, and EV charging stations; 2X points on grocery stores, grocery delivery, dining, and streaming services; and 1X points on all other eligible purchases $95 (waived first year)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Pros Cons
  • Has a welcome offer
  • Offers a decent rewards rate
  • Has no foreign transaction fees
  • Increases point value by 25% when redeemed toward travel on Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Offers up to $50 annual statement credit for hotels purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program
  • Comes with a $95 annual fee
  • Has fewer premium travel benefits than some cards
  • Doesn’t have intro APR offers on purchases or balance transfers

We recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred as one of the best travel credit cards available because of its many excellent perks and benefits. The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee.

Chase is one of the issuers that may deliver an instant decision on whether or not you qualify for a card. This means that after you apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you may receive instant approval, instant denial, or pending status – where your application requires further review.

Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Rewards rate: Earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases.

Why we like the Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great credit card for travelers, whether you travel frequently or only occasionally. Its $95 annual fee makes it relatively easy to hold onto this card year after year, especially if you’re able to take advantage of its many perks and benefits.

This includes using its $50 annual statement credit for hotels booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and taking advantage of the 25% redemption bonus for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That redemption bonus can come in handy if you combine Chase Ultimate Rewards points by pairing multiple Chase credit cards.

What we don’t like about the Chase Sapphire Preferred

There’s a $95 annual fee, which isn't as high as some other travel credit cards, but it isn’t $0. That said, we believe the benefits and rewards you earn with the Sapphire Preferred are often more than enough to offset the annual cost.

Another downside is not having any intro APR offers or premium travel benefits, such as airport lounge access.

Learn more in our Chase Sapphire Preferred review.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Pros Cons
  • Has a $0 annual fee
  • Offers a simple rewards rate
  • Has a welcome offer
  • Has decent intro APR offers
  • Charges 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Doesn’t have bonus categories

The Wells Fargo Active Cash makes sense if you want a simple, cash rewards credit card.

Wells Fargo may offer an instant decision when you submit a credit card application. This means you could receive an approval or denial decision within minutes of submitting your application. Remember, just because they offer a chance of receiving an instant decision doesn’t guarantee you will be approved.

Welcome offer: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Rewards rate: Earn 2% cash rewards on purchases.

Why we like the Wells Fargo Active Cash

There’s nothing complicated about the Wells Fargo Active Cash. If you want to carry only one card in your wallet at a time, this could easily be that card.

The Active Cash also provides cell phone protection and these introductory APR offers:

  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable)
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable)

What we don’t like about the Wells Fargo Active Cash

There aren’t any bonus categories, which means you can’t earn higher reward rates on certain purchases. This card might be simple to use, but you might discover it’s more rewarding to use multiple credit cards with higher rates for specific bonus categories.

Learn more in our Wells Fargo Active Cash review.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Pros Cons
  • Has a $0 annual fee
  • Has bonus categories that align with common business expenses
  • Has a welcome offer
  • Earns cash back in the form of valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points
  • Doesn’t offer intro APR on balance transfers
  • Has foreign transaction fees

The Ink Business Cash might be a good fit if you have a business with expenses that align with its bonus categories.

Similar to its approach to consumer credit card applications, Chase may offer instant decisions when you apply for business credit cards. However, instant approval or denial decisions for Chase business credit cards might not be common. Instead, your application may require further review before you receive a decision.

Learn how to check your Chase application status.

Welcome offer: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Rewards rate: Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Why we like the Ink Business Cash

The bonus categories on the Ink Business Cash make it one of the most appealing rewards business credit cards available. Unless you’re a high-spending business, it’s tough to find a better return on such common business expenses.

You can also take advantage of this intro APR offer on purchases:

  • 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (then 18.49% - 24.49% Variable)

What we don’t like about the Ink Business Cash

This isn’t the best card for international travel because you have to pay foreign transaction fees on applicable purchases. There’s also no intro APR on balance transfers.

Learn more in our Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card review.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Pros Cons
  • Has a welcome offer
  • Has a simple rewards rate
  • Offers up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years
  • Offers two complimentary visits per year to Capital One or Plaza Premium Lounges
  • Doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees
  • Comes with a $95 annual fee
  • Has limited bonus categories
  • Doesn’t have intro APR offers

The Capital One Venture Rewards could make sense if you want a simple rewards rate for earning travel rewards on eligible purchases.

Capital One may give you an instant decision for credit card applications. According to the issuer, you might be able to find out if you are instantly approved or denied within 60 seconds when you apply for a Capital One credit card online or by phone.

However, your application may also require further review. In this case, you would need to wait for a number of days to receive the decision.

Welcome offer: Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Rewards rate: Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Why we like the Capital One Venture Rewards

It doesn’t get much simpler than the Capital One Venture Rewards’ earning rate, making it easy to carry only one rewards credit card in your wallet.

What we don’t like about the Capital One Venture Rewards

You have to pay a $95 annual fee. Additionally, there aren’t many bonus categories for earning higher rates on specific purchases, and the Venture Rewards doesn’t have intro APR offers.

Learn more in our Capital One Venture Card review.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Pros Cons
  • Has a welcome offer
  • Comes with a high earning potential due to bonus categories
  • Decent intro APR offers on purchases and balance transfers
  • Offers $7 back each month in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Enrollment required.
  • Has a $95 (waived first year) annual fee (Terms apply)
  • Places a spending cap on the top bonus category
  • Charges 2.7% foreign transaction fees

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred makes sense if you want to earn high rewards rates on everyday expenses.

American Express may instantly decide whether you’re approved or denied for your credit card application. However, some applications may require further review.

If you get instantly approved, you might be able to get your credit card information, including its number and other information you need to use it. American Express may also allow you to add your credit card to digital wallets to be able to use it at eligible retail stores.

Welcome offer: Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.

Rewards rate: Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases.

Why we like the Amex Blue Cash Preferred

There aren’t many rewards cards that can compete with the earning potential of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred. This is especially true with the potential to earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services.

And you can take advantage of these intro APR offers:

  • 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (then 19.24% - 29.99% Variable)
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers (then 19.24% - 29.99% Variable)

What we don’t like about the Amex Blue Cash Preferred

There’s a limit to how many rewards you can earn with the highest bonus category. You also have to pay a $95 (waived first year) annual fee and foreign transaction fees on applicable purchases.

Learn more in our American Express Blue Cash Preferred review.

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Pros Cons
  • Has a $0 annual fee
  • Enables customizable earning potential
  • Has a welcome offer
  • Comes with decent intro APR offers on purchases and balance transfers
  • Charges 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Has spending cap on bonus categories

The Citi Custom Cash card makes sense if you want to customize how you earn rewards on everyday purchases.

In some cases, Citi may provide an instant approval or instant denial of your credit card application. Your application may also require further processing or review.

Welcome offer: Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Rewards rate: Earn 5% cash back in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent, then 1% cash back), plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Why we like the Citi Custom Cash card

Customizable cashback rewards give you some control over how you earn rewards each billing cycle, which is helpful if you frequently spend high amounts in different categories.

The Citi Custom Cash card also provides these intro APR offers:

  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable))
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers (then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable))

What we don’t like about the Citi Custom Cash card

There’s a limit to how many rewards you can earn at the highest rate each billing cycle. You also have to pay foreign transaction fees on applicable purchases.

Learn more in our Citi Custom Cash Card review.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Pros Cons
  • Has a $0 annual fee
  • Comes with intro APR offers on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
  • Has a welcome offer
  • Comes with a simple rewards rate
  • Doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees
  • No bonus categories

The Bank of America Travel Rewards makes sense if you want a simple card for earning points on all your eligible purchases.

This card makes even more sense if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member because you can boost your earning by up to 75%. To become a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you need to have an active and eligible Bank of America checking account and a 3-month combined average daily balance of $20,000 or more between your Bank of America deposit accounts.

Sometimes, Bank of America may instantly approve or deny your credit card application. If you don’t get an instant approval or denial, you may have to wait for a decision after the issuer reviews your application.

Welcome offer: Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

Rewards rate: Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases.

Why we like the Bank of America Travel Rewards

The Bank of America Travel Rewards has a no-stress rewards rate, and you can boost your earning potential by 25% to 75% as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member.

And intro APR offers on this card include:

  • 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases (then 18.24% - 28.24% Variable)
  • 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (then 18.24% - 28.24% Variable)

What we don’t like about the Bank of America Travel Rewards

There aren’t any bonus categories for higher earning rates on specific purchases. And becoming a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member might not make sense for everyone, considering you need at least $20,000 in eligible deposits or investments to qualify.

Learn more in our Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card review.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card

Pros Cons
  • Has a welcome offer
  • Comes with a helpful rewards rate on everyday and travel-related purchases
  • Offers up to four free visits to Priority Pass lounges per year
  • Offers up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years
  • Allows you to earn up to $30 streaming credit on eligible streaming service purchases
  • Has a $95 (waived first year) annual fee
  • Doesn’t have intro APR offers

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect makes sense if you want an elevated earning potential on specific travel-related bonus categories.

U.S. Bank may make a decision on your credit card application instantly. This means you may receive an approval or denial right after filling out and submitting your application. However, the bank may need to further review your application before providing a decision in some cases.

Welcome offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.

Rewards rate: Earn 5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center; 4X points on travel, gas stations, and EV charging stations; 2X points on grocery stores, grocery delivery, dining, and streaming services; and 1X points on all other eligible purchases.

Why we like the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect provides excellent earning opportunities on bonus categories that make sense for frequent or occasional travelers. You can also take advantage of loads of additional perks and benefits, including cell phone protection, airport lounge access, and up to a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years.

What we don’t like about the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect

You have to pay a $95 (waived first year) annual fee, and there aren’t any intro APR offers.

Learn more in our U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature review.

How to use an instant approval credit card

An instant approval credit card is a type of credit card where you can be instantly approved after submitting your credit card application.

Instant approval credit cards don’t guarantee approval, as you could also be instantly denied. Your application could also require further review before ending up getting approved or denied. Applying for an instant approval credit card still typically requires a credit check into your credit history using one or multiple credit reports from major credit bureaus.

The best instant approval credit cards might be challenging to get if you have no credit, or poor, bad, or fair credit. Your chances of qualifying could be higher with a good or excellent credit score. A good credit score is at least 670, according to the FICO scoring model. Keep in mind that credit card issuers use several factors to determine your creditworthiness, so your credit score alone doesn’t guarantee approval.

Not every instant approval credit card provides you with card details immediately upon approval. In many cases, you have to wait until your physical card arrives in the mail before you can use it.

However, some card issuers provide instant credit card numbers or ways to add your new card to digital wallets so you can immediately start making purchases before the physical card arrives.

Can you immediately use your card with American Express?

In our experience, American Express is one of the best card issuers if you want to immediately start using your credit card after being approved.

In most cases, you can access a full credit card number and PIN after completing an online application and getting approved. You may also receive a welcome email with a link to access your instant card number. This makes it easy to immediately start shopping online since there’s no need for a physical card.

Another option to instantly access the information of American Express credit cards after approval is to add a new card to a digital wallet by manually entering your card details in the applicable app. Amex instant card numbers work with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, PayPal, and Amazon Pay.

American Express states that its instant card numbers are available for American Express consumer credit cards. So that means you might not be able to get an instant card number for an American Express business card. However, we were able to receive instant card numbers for the Amex business cards in our experience.

Can you immediately use your card with Chase?

With certain Chase credit cards, you can immediately start using your card before it arrives in the mail. This is primarily through the use of digital wallets, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

After you get approved for an eligible Chase credit card, you can use the Chase mobile app to add your new card to an available digital wallet. You simply have to log into your card account, select your card, and then add it through the “Digital Wallets” section of “Account Services.”

Note that this method isn’t quite as flexible as American Express’s instant card numbers, because not all retailers accept digital wallets.

Can you immediately use your card with Capital One?

Capital One provides a few ways to start using new Capital One credit cards right away. But keep in mind that not every new Capital One cardholder will receive instant access to their card after approval.

In some cases, you might receive an instant card number immediately after approval. If not, it might show up after you log into your online account. You also might be able to link your new Capital One credit card to PayPal through your online account before you receive the card in the mail.

However, these methods don’t always work, and you might have to wait to receive your physical card in the mail before you can use it.

Can you immediately use your card with Citi?

Some reports indicate that Citi may provide instant card numbers following instant approval. This may apply to some, but not all, Citi credit cards.

This was also our personal experience with this credit card issuer. However, keep in mind that you get only one chance to view and save this number and other relevant information.

Can you immediately use your card with U.S. Bank?

After receiving instant approval for a U.S. Bank credit card, we were able to view the card number and other relevant information through the U.S. Bank mobile app. This matches reports of instant credit card numbers being provided by this credit card issuer.

The app also allowed us to add the card to digital wallets. However, the only option available was PayPal. However, using the credit card information, we were able to use it for online purchases until the physical card arrived in the mail.

Can you immediately use your card with Wells Fargo?

While Wells Fargo may provide an instant decision for your credit card application, it doesn’t typically offer instant credit card numbers or other methods of using your credit card before receiving it in physical form.

Can you immediately use your card with Bank of America?

Bank of America may occasionally offer an instant card number and relevant information to some applicants after they get instantly approved for certain credit cards. However, there is no guarantee that you will actually receive instant access to your card.

FAQ about instant approval credit cards

Can you be immediately approved for a credit card?

You might be able to, depending on the credit card issuer, your specific application, and various other factors. The best credit cards typically provide the opportunity to receive instant approval through online applications. However, this opportunity doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be approved. You also might receive an instant denial, or your application might require further review before getting approved or denied.

Which credit card company gives you instant card numbers?

American Express is our recommended credit card issuer for providing instant card numbers and information after being approved for a credit card. You can typically receive an instant card number immediately after being approved, which means you can start using your credit card online or through digital wallets before the physical card shows up.

Can I get a physical credit card on the same day I apply?

You typically can’t receive a physical credit card on the same day you apply and get approved. If you are approved, it could take 3 to 5 business days or more for your physical card to be created and mailed out. Some credit card companies provide expedited shipping, but that can still take a few business days.

Best instant approval credit cards: bottom line

Instant approval credit cards are common, especially from major credit card companies, including American Express, Chase, and Capital One. But that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed instant approval or approval at all, as you could still be denied, either instantly or after a review.

If you receive instant approval, you might also have the opportunity to immediately receive your card details, depending on the credit card issuer. This can help you use your card before the physical version arrives.

Learn more about different credit card offers and compare credit cards to find the right option for you.

Methodology

To determine the best credit cards that may offer instant approval, we researched major credit card issuers and analyzed their approval processes. We also examined the main features and benefits of various credit cards offered by these credit card issuers.

Once we compiled a list of instant approval credit cards, we evaluated each card based on several key factors, including its welcome offer, earning rate, annual fee, and more. We also considered the overall value of each card in terms of its benefits and costs.

It is important to note that our analysis is based on publicly available information and subject matter expertise in the credit card industry. Keep in mind that our recommendations do not include all available instant approval credit cards, and we did not rank the cards in any particular order.

Our recommendations are meant to offer a starting research point and to provide helpful information on a selection of instant approval credit cards that may be suitable for various people.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards

5.0

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is a Senior Credit Cards Writer at FinanceBuzz. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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