Best Instant Approval Credit Cards

Whether you’re taking a last-minute vacation or have an unexpected expense and need a credit card quickly, instant approval credit cards can reduce the stress and lengthy time associated with credit card approvals.

While there is no credit card that guarantees cardholders instant access to a credit card number, there are several things that you can do to speed up the process. For instance, a virtual credit card can provide you with an instant card number available for online purchases. While these cards may require good or excellent credit, they tend to be faster since no physical card needs to be shipped.

Get a copy of your credit report to understand whether you have excellent, fair, or poor credit. Based on this information, you can apply for an unsecured or secured card with the latter designed to help you build credit.

If you’re looking for a sound rewards credit card, a virtual instant card number, or anything in between, we’ve listed the best instant approval credit card options for October 2022.

10 Best Instant Approval Credit Cards

Need a credit card fast? These instant approval credit cards can give you fast access to funds:

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Rewards

  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 26.99% (variable)
  • Welcome bonus: Not available
  • Cash back: 5% on eligible purchases

 

Capital One’s Quicksilver Secured Rewards is a credit card designed for those looking to improve their credit score. It is a secured card, meaning you’ll need to make a security deposit to get a line of credit. The minimum deposit allowed is $200.

As you make payments on time and use the card responsibly, you can get your deposit back and upgrade to an unsecured credit card. You can also increase the security deposit when submitting an increased credit line application.

The card comes with a hefty APR rate of 26.99% with no yearly fee. This card will also get you 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 16.49% – 25.24%
  • Welcome bonus:
    • 0% intro APR for the first 15 months
    • $200 bonus when spending $500 in the first six months
    • 5% cash back on gas in the first year on the first $6,000 spent
  • Cash back: 5% – 1.5%

 

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card comes with a raft of welcome bonuses to make you feel truly welcome. While Chase tries to offer quick approval on all their credit cards, the Freedom Unlimited card stands out due to its many offers and cash backs.

You can earn a $200 bonus when spending $500 in the first three months, and for the first year, you’ll earn 5% in cash back on gas purchases. The card offers 5% on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3% on drugstore purchases and dining, while all other purchases earn you 1.5%.

The card includes a virtual credit card, which you can use as soon as you’re approved – without waiting for the physical card. You also get free access to your credit score and up to $500 a year for successful referrals.

American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 16.24% – 27.24%.
  • Welcome bonus: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. $200 statement credit when spending $2,000 in the first six months.
  • Cash back: 3% – 1%

 

The American Express Blue Cash Everyday credit card is aimed at those looking for a credit card with cash back offers for everyday purchases.

You get 3% cash back on three categories – groceries, online purchases from US retailers, and gas – on the first $6,000 in each category. After that, and all other purchases, you’ll earn 1%. You can get up to $7.00 in cash back on eligible subscriptions to The Disney Bundle.

Amex also offers pre-qualification checks with answers in as little as 30 seconds. You can also get up to $15 per month when purchasing Home Chef meal solutions.

Another feature of this Amex card worth mentioning is PLAN IT. Through this feature, you can pay back big purchases through a repayment plan with three such plans to choose from. With such a plan, you can carry forward a balance without interest – allowing you to pay a monthly fixed fee.

Discover It Secured Credit Card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 24.49% (variable)
  • Welcome bonus: 2x cash back for the first year
  • Cash back: 2% – 1%

 

The Discover It Secured Credit Card does not require a credit score to apply, helping those who are either building or rebuilding their credit get a credit card. The lack of a credit score requirement should also make the application process much faster since no score checks are required to process the application.

You will need to make a security deposit, which you can get back after just seven months, provided that you use the card wisely. Credit history is reported to all three major credit bureaus, helping you build your credit score much faster. The APR is set at 24.49%, which is competitive for this type of credit card.

The card includes free access to your FICO Credit Score, 0% fraud liability, and online privacy protection, among other features. You can also earn 2% on gas station and restaurant purchases on the first $1,000 every quarter. Everything else earns you 1%.

Apple Card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 10.99% – 21.99%
  • Welcome bonus: Not available
  • Cash back: 3 – 2%

 

The Apple Card is a credit card by Apple – the same company that gave us the iPhone, iMacs, and many other electronics. The card is made from titanium, giving it that exclusive look and feel that Apple is known worldwide for.

You need to have an iPhone to use the card, and you’ll be able to see if you are approved in minutes. Apple promises no fees, including no hidden fees making this card a good one. Apple Card also offers a virtual card available for instant use once approved.

Cash back starts at 3% when purchasing Apple products, decreasing to 2% when using your Apple Watch or iPhone to pay. You will also get 3% cash back when purchasing from several select retailers. Participating retailers include Uber, Uber Eats, Walgreen, Nike, and many others.

Citi Secured Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 24.74% (variable)
  • Welcome bonus: Not available
  • Cash back: Not available

 

The Citi Secured Mastercard is a secured credit card aimed at those looking to build their credit. This no-frills credit card is designed for everyday purchases and paying bills with no cash back and welcome bonus offers.

The card has no yearly fee, and APR is set at 24.74%, although this rate is variable. As the name implies, a security deposit is required. The minimum amount available is $200 and goes as high as $2,500 – depending on the maximum amount you’re approved for. Payments are reported to the three major credit bureaus every month.

During the approval process, Citi will look at your income and debt – which information helps determine whether you qualify for this card or not. You also get free access to your FICO score to help you improve your financial situation.

Amazon Secured Card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 10% (non-variable)
  • Welcome bonus: Not available
  • Cash back: 2% – 15% on eligible purchases

 

The Amazon Secured Card is a secured credit card for those looking to start building their credit. It has no annual fee and a low APR of 10%, which is non-variable. As this is a secured credit card, you must make a security deposit. The minimum deposit amount is $100, while the maximum amount will vary depending on your eligibility.

After 12 months, you may become eligible for a Store Card credit card which does not require a security deposit. As such, you will receive your security deposit back should you wish to upgrade at that point.

The card offers a 2% cash back on eligible Amazon purchases, provided you have an eligible Prime membership. Cashback can go up to 15% on select promotions. You will also get access to TransUnion CreditView to be able to keep tabs on your credit score.

Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

  • Annual fee: $0 (with Costco membership)
  • APR: 17.49% (variable)
  • Welcome bonus: Not available
  • Cash back: 4% – 1%

 

The Costco Anywhere Visa Card is a credit card issued by Citi in collaboration with Costco. To apply for this card, you must be a fully paid Costco member. You can apply for a Costco membership directly from the retailer’s website, with memberships starting from $60 yearly plus applicable taxes.

Cashback is set using a tiered system for different categories. Gas earns you 4% on the first $7,000 yearly, with anything over and above earning you 1%. Eligible restaurant and travel purchases earn you 3%, while Costco purchases earn you 2%. All other eligible purchases offer 1%.

Earned cash back is provided as a reward certificate once a year and can be redeemed for cash or merchandise from all US Costco warehouses.

Capital One Walmart Rewards Card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 17.99% – 23.24% or 26.99% (based on credit score)
  • Welcome bonus: 5% cash back in Walmart stores for the first year
  • Cash back: 5% – 1%

 

The Capital One Walmart Rewards Cards is a credit card offered through a collaboration between Capital One and Walmart. Its cash back program mainly focuses on Walmart purchases, with 5% offered on walmart.com purchases (including delivery and pickup). You’ll get 2% for in-store purchases, fuel stations, restaurants, and travel, while everything else earns you 1%.

You can do a pre-approval check to avoid unnecessary hits to your credit score with different APRs available depending on your score. Capital One does state that you will need a credit level that’s between good and excellent to apply for this card, so keep that in mind if you’re thinking of applying for this card. If you’re not approved, Capital One will automatically consider you for the Walmart Rewards Card, a card with similar features that you can only use at Walmart.

You can redeem rewards in various ways, including cash, gift cards, account credit, or travel. The card includes fraud coverage and a mobile app, among other features.

Bank of America BankAmericard Secured Credit Card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 25.24%
  • Welcome bonus: Not available
  • Cash back: Not available

 

The BankAmericard Secured Credit Card is designed for those who want to work on their credit score. To this end, it has a few valuable features that can help you improve your personal finance.

As it’s a secured card, you’ll need to make a deposit equaling your credit limit. The minimum deposit amount is $200, but it can go up to $5,000 depending on your approval limit. There is no annual fee, and the APR rate is 25.24%.

You will also get free access to your FICO score, which is updated monthly, and certified financial health support. The card also grants you access to credit education covering various topics of interest that can help you build a stronger financial future.

Choosing the Best Instant Approval Credit Card

Choosing an instant approval credit card is not easy. With many competing banks vying for your attention, you’ll find there are offers of all shapes and sizes to choose from. This can make choosing a credit card difficult.

Here are some of the top things to look for when choosing a card:

Credit Limit

Most instant approval credit cards require a security deposit – which is why the bank can approve them quickly. These cards do not rely on your credit score much, but you may find yourself limited.

The size of the security deposit is directly proportional to your credit limit. While you may be offered a limit that’s higher than the minimum, you’ll need to make sure you can make the security deposit and the monthly payments once you’re using the card.

Interest Rates

While you may need to make a security deposit to get an instant approval credit card, the bank still supplies the line of credit. To this end, you will need to pay interest on any borrowed money. One thing you’ll notice is that some banks offer a variable rate. Variable rates may change over time due to economic conditions – something worth keeping in mind since the rate can go higher.

Interest is often set higher than what you’d find in unsecured cards and may be different for purchases and balance transfers. Banks do this since they perceive the risk to be higher. However, high-interest rates can put a massive dent in your pocket. Aiming for lower rates can help you save a lot of money.

Fees

Fees such as annual fees, foreign transaction fees, and late fees can be quite expensive. Many fees can be avoided with good forward planning; however, it is good to remember what you’ll need to pay should you end up with your back against the wall.

Refer to the schedule of fees for a complete breakdown of applicable fees. You should be able to find this on the bank’s website quite easily and remember to compare between banks.

Perks

Perks and credit card offers such as low intro APR, cash back rewards, and rewards programs can sweeten the deal. Even so, it remains important to evaluate the card on the whole. A low introductory APR rate will not be very beneficial after the introductory period.

Most cards also offer different rewards rates for different kinds of purchases. For example, they may offer 3% on supermarket purchases and 1% on retail. Try to find one that matches your spending habits for better rewards.

Can You Get Instant Approval for Credit?

Instant approval credit cards can often provide instant approval once you submit your application. Still, it is important to note that approval time may depend on several things.

Many bank account and credit card issuers promise quick turnarounds. You will notice, however, that whatever time is promised, it is always preceded by “in as little as” or some other version of it. The shortest time can be as little as a few seconds, but it can take considerably longer.

Applying for an instant approval credit card in no way means that approval is guaranteed. The instant reply is a more apt name than instant approval, which can be misleading.

What Determines Approval Time?

Many factors can influence approval time. You can see your credit card application approved almost instantly if you get all your ducks in a row.

Credit Score

Different credit card providers have different credit score requirements. Most credit cards accept a range of credit scores, with anything outside the range possibly requiring manual intervention, which will undoubtedly lengthen the process.

The only exceptions to this rule are credit cards that do not have any credit score requirement or accept very low credit scores. While these cards typically have a faster approval timeframe, they tend to be more expensive and offer less credit.

Online Application

Online applications tend to be approved faster than applications done at a branch or over the phone. If you are applying for a credit card outside of banking hours and there’s an issue, the application might not be able to move forward until the bank opens again. That may again lengthen the overall duration of the approval process.

Unless you’re applying for a virtual credit card, the physical card must be shipped to you before you can use it. Keep this in mind if you’re looking for instant approval credit cards because of an emergency.

Miscellaneous Information

Credit card applications require you to fill in all sorts of information. The information you have to enter is required for all sorts of reasons, including procedural and law compliance.

Keep in mind that the bank will need to investigate if any information is missing, incomplete, or other issues. Investigations can take a few days to complete.

Get Pre-Approval for Instant Credit

Many banks also offer pre-authorization, allowing you to determine which credit cards you qualify for based on the information you provide. Pre-authorizations are not the same as approval – they merely indicate which credit cards you might reasonably expect to qualify for.

Generally speaking, pre-authorizations do not do a hard pull on your credit score, so your credit score will not be affected. On the other hand, most credit card applications will do a hard pull on your credit score, which may affect your score. Be sure to know what form you’re filling in and whether the bank will run a hard pull credit check before clicking on any submit button.

Since most banks will not outrightly tell you the credit score requirements for each card, pre-authorizations can help you avoid taking unnecessary hits to your credit score when looking for a new credit card.

Aside from personal information such as name, address, and SSN (Social Security Number) or ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number), you might also need proof of income and other information. Not being able to provide this information (and anything else the bank asks for) will most certainly lengthen the application process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do instant approval credit cards take?

No credit card approval is instant, though some banks promise an answer in as little as 30 seconds. Approval can be fast if you have an excellent credit score and correctly fill in all information.

Do I have to pay a deposit?

A deposit is required for secured credit cards, which tend to have a faster approval rate. The amount you deposit will equal the line of credit the bank extends to you on your credit card. Limits may be applied by the bank based on factors such as your income and expenses.