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When you open a credit card, you might have a specific purchase in mind that you want to make immediately. The good news is that you won’t necessarily have to wait until you receive the physical card in the mail before making a purchase with some credit cards.
Although it’s not always possible, there are several credit cards that you can use right away. If that’s a feature you are looking for, then it’s important to make sure the issuer offers that before jumping into a new credit card.
Here’s a list of the top credit cards that you can use instantly after approval.
Can You Get Instantly Approved for a Credit Card?
Yes, it’s possible to get instantly approved for a credit card.
But whether or not you get instant approval depends on several factors. For example, you might receive instant approval for a top-end credit card if you have excellent credit. That might not be the case if you have a less-than-ideal credit score.
If you are seeking immediate approval, it’s a good idea to look for a credit card that matches your credit level. You might struggle to get fast approval if you have bad credit and apply for a new credit card that requires a good credit score.
Best Credit Cards That You Can Use Instantly After Approval
Here’s a closer look at the top credit cards that you can use instantly after approval.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is a worthwhile option for anyone looking for a travel rewards opportunity. You can use the card instantly after approval through online payments and in-store purchases with the help of a digital wallet. The compatible digital wallets include Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.
As with many other American Express cards, the Blue Cash Preferred card doesn’t require waiting for the physical card to arrive via snail mail. Instead, you can start shopping right away with the Instant Card Number. Once you have the card number, you can add it to a digital wallet. The available digital wallet options include Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay.
The focus of this card is on saving moving on everyday purchases. With that, you’ll find opportunities for cash back on regular purchases like groceries and gas.
Delta SkyMiles Reserve® American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve® American Express card also offers an opportunity to start making purchases without the physical card. Instead, you may get an Instant Card Number to add to your digital wallets or to use while shopping online. The American Express card is compatible with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.
- Bonus: 125,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months.
- Rewards: Earn 3x miles on Delta purchase; earn 1x miles on all other purchases.
- Perks: First checked bag free on Delta flights; priority boarding; earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles and 15,000 bonus miles after you reach $30,000 in eligible purchases on your card in the calendar year; one round-trip companion ticket per year; no foreign transaction fees; 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases, access to over 250 Sky Clubs and partner airport lounges.
- Annual fee: $450
Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express commands an impressive status. It goes well beyond the basics to provide a worthwhile card to those looking for luxurious perks. And you won’t have to wait to start making purchases. Instead, an Instant Card Number gives you the ability to start buying immediately after approval. You can use the card number for online purchases or add it to your digital wallet.
- Bonus: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first six months.
- Rewards: Earn 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel.
- Perks: $200 airline fee credit; $15 Uber credit every month; $200 hotel credit; $240 digital entertainment credit; $155 Walmart+ credit; unlimited Boingo WiFi access; 24/7 Premium Global Assist Hotline; premium roadside assistance; get a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck; access up to 1,100 airport lounges, $189 credit with CLEAR membership; $100 annual statement credit for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue
- Annual fee: $695
SoFi Credit Card
The SoFi credit card might not have the name recognition of American Express, but the 3% cash back on all purchases — if you set up direct deposit — is a compelling opportunity for anyone interested in a cash-back card. If approved, you’ll receive a digital card to start spending right away. Although it will take between 7 to 10 business days to receive the physical credit card, that doesn’t have to slow you down.
- Bonus: Get a welcome bonus of up to $300 if you have a SoFi Checking or Savings and use direct deposit
- Rewards: Earn 3% cash back on all spending if you have direct deposit — 2% without direct deposit.
- Perks: Redeem cash back as a statement credit or payment on a SoFi loan; an opportunity to win a welcome bonus between $10 and $10,000 by tapping to play; cell phone protection plan; Mastercard ID theft protection; no foreign transaction fees; World Elite Mastercard benefits
- Annual fee: None
American Express® Gold Card
Like the other American Express card options on this list, the American Express® Gold card offers the chance to start spending immediately after approval. The process starts when you receive your Instant Card Number. With that card, you can start shopping online or add the number to your digital wallet. A few of the digital wallets that are compatible include Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.
- Bonus: 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first six months
- Rewards: Earn 4x points on restaurant purchases and at U.S. supermarkets; earn 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com; Earn 1x points on all other purchases.
- Perks: $120 dining credit; $120 Uber Cash; get a $100 experience credit when you book a stay with the Hotel Collection; no foreign transaction fees; access to Global Assist Hotline; baggage insurance plan; car rental loss and damage insurance; access to American Express Experiences
- Annual fee: $250
Which Credit Card Can I Get Instantly?
Whether you’re approved instantly or not will depend on several factors, including which card you apply for and your credit score. Check the issuer’s website for details on if the card offers instant approval, and know that the higher your credit score, the more likely it is that you’ll be approved right away.
The right credit card for you will meet more than one of your needs. Of course, one of those needs may be the ability to use the credit card for purchases immediately after approval. But that’s not the only factor to consider when applying for a new credit card. It’s also important to consider what APR and fees are tied to the credit card.
Plus, consider what rewards you might unlock with your spending. After all, you want the credit card to move your financial goal forward, not weigh you down.
If you are looking for a credit card that you can use to start spending immediately after approval, there are many options to choose from. But before you dive into any credit card, make sure to read the fine print. If the fine print doesn’t clear things up, then don’t hesitate to reach out to the issuer with questions.
After all, it’s important to make sure that the credit card can be used within the spending timeframe you have in mind. Beyond that, it’s critical to ensure that the credit card meets your other needs. For example, you might opt for a cash-back credit card or travel rewards credit card. The right choice boils down to your financial goals and situation.
Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Sept. 22, 2022.
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