Best Instant Approval Credit Cards

Instant approval credit cards provide you with an approval decision in real time. These types of cards offer high approval odds for anyone with fair to bad credit. Consider an instant approval credit card if you want to build credit and have peace of mind with your finances.

The rise of digital technology has transformed the credit card process, and nowadays, it’s completely normal to receive a decision on a credit card application in less than five minutes.

And the percentage of consumers applying for credit continues to rise. As of June 2017, the New York Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Expectations found that 43.6% of respondents applied for credit during the previous year, which was the highest level since the survey began in 2013.

The good news is that there is a credit card for almost everyone – it’s just a matter of knowing your financial needs and what you can qualify for. The biggest impact on your ability to get approved for a card is your credit score. If you want to increase your odds of getting instant approval, focus on applying to cards that are suitable for your credit history. The higher your credit score is, the more instant approval options there are. Check out the best instant approval credit card offers below.

In this article

    Best for no credit check

    OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card Apply now

    Who should get it

    Some companies check your credit score before issuing you a credit card, which results in a hard inquiry on your credit report that can damage your credit. But luckily, you can apply for cards that have an instant approval process, like the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, without any negative impact on your credit score.

    How to use it

    For the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, make a larger security deposit to boost your credit limit and improve your debt ratio. Additionally, it’s wise to make purchases and payments regularly to avoid a $10 per month account inactivity fee with this card.

    Consider this

    • $10 per month fee after a year of inactivity
    • $35 annual fee
    • No monthly credit score updates

    Why you will love it

    The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card grows with you, having refundable deposit options from $200 up to $3,000. Additional perks of this card include automated payment reminders and fraud protection.

    Pro tip: Try to make at least one small purchase on your OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card each month to avoid the $10 inactivity fee and build your credit.

    Best for bad credit

    Horizon Gold Card Apply now

    Who should get it

    The Horizon Gold Card is an instant approval credit card geared toward anyone with bad credit. It has no annual fees, requires no credit or employment check and offers 0% interest on purchases indefinitely.

    How to use it

    The Horizon Gold Card is a catalog card, meaning cardholders can only purchase items from the Horizon Outlet website.

    Consider this

    • Limited to make purchases through Horizon’s website
    • Monthly membership fee of $24.95 benefits plan membership will be auto-debited monthly
    • No rewards

    Why you will love it

    This no-frills card comes with everything you need to rebuild your credit – no credit check, an initial $500 credit line and fast online approval.

    Pro tip: Any activity on the card is reported to at least one major credit bureau, which may help your credit score over time if used responsibly.

    Best Instant Approval Credit Cards in 2020: summed up

    OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
    Horizon Gold Card
    Best for bad credit
    Horizon Gold Card

    Compare the Best Instant Approval Credit Cards of 2020

    CardAnnual FeeMinimum Deposit RequiredApplication Length
    Best for no credit check: OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card$35$2005 minutes
    Best for bad credit: Horizon Gold Credit Card$24.95 benefits plan membership will be auto-debited monthlyNone5 minutes

    What is instant credit?

    Instant credit is short for an instant credit card, which is a credit card that gives instant approval to qualified applicants who apply online and can be used to make purchases immediately before the card arrives in the mail. But instant credit can mean other things, too, as it’s a pretty general term. For example, people often use it to reference instant approval credit cards that don’t necessarily allow instant use.

    Can you get a credit card the same day you apply for it?

    Most online credit card applications take less than five minutes to complete and then receive a decision. But, in some cases, the online platform is unable to make a decision, adding days or weeks to receive a response.

    Your credit score rating can also have a big impact on your ability to be approved for a card — and the speed with which your application gets a response. You can improve your chances of a quick credit card application approval by choosing cards that approve applicants with credit profiles that are similar to your own.

    Can I get my new credit card number before the card comes in the mail?

    Even though your credit card application process may provide you with an instant decision, some credit card issuers will have you wait to receive the card in the mail before you can start using it. It often takes 5-7 business days for a new card to arrive.

    However, some issuers will allow you to access your credit card number right after approval so you can begin using it instantly.

    Which issuers give card numbers immediately when you apply?

    The following issuers give card numbers immediately when you apply:

    American Express

    An instant card number upon approval of an account is available on all American Express cards. American Express is the most convenient option to gain access to your new credit card number immediately.

    Bank of America

    Customers who apply and receive approval for credit cards via the Bank of America mobile app can upload them immediately to their digital wallets. However, for those who apply through the web, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card is the only card that provides an instant card number.

    Barclays

    Several Barclays co-branded credit cards offer instant card numbers and credit available for purchases made through the co-branded website. They are as follows:

    • Frontier Airlines World Mastercard® — instant credit toward purchases made through the Frontier website
    • Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® — instant credit toward travel purchases made through the Hawaiian Airlines website
    • The JetBlue Card — instant credit toward purchases through the JetBlue website
    • Priceline Rewards™ Visa® Card — offers instant credit toward purchases through the Priceline website
    • Princess Cruises® Rewards Visa® Card — offers instant credit when used to purchase a cruise with Princess Cruises
    • Uber Credit Card — offers instant credit upon approval when you add it as the primary method of payment to your Uber account

    Chase

    Chase does not offer instant credit card numbers to new account holders. However, at times, those who receive approval for a co-branded card may use the card for a purchase made with the retailer.

    Citi

    Citi will allow those who are approved for one of their co-branded American Airlines cards, like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, or those approved for one of the AT&T cards, to receive their card numbers right away.

    Goldman Sachs

    The Apple credit card will allow cardholders to use the card instantly upon approval via the Wallet app on your iPhone.

    HSBC

    HSBC will provide you with your credit card number after approval, but not the CVV or your card’s expiration date.

    Synchrony

    The only cards offered from Synchrony that gives instant access to your card number are:
    Rakuten Cash Back Visa® Credit Card
    eBay Mastercard®
    PayPal Cashback Mastercard®
    For PayPal or eBay cards, you can make an online purchase of up to $250 via PayPal.

    USAA

    USAA will give you an instant card number to use, along with the expiration date and 3-digit code. This has a maximum credit limit of $1,000, which is increased to your approved credit limit when the physical card arrives.

    Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view our disclosures, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser’s page for terms & conditions.

    Alex Gailey

    Financial Reporter

    Alex Gailey is a financial reporter at The Simple Dollar who specializes in banking, deposits, mortgages and personal finance. Her writing has been featured in Yahoo Finance, MSN, Atlanta Business Journal, Charlotte Business Journal, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere.