Sometimes you need a credit card right away and you mentally kick yourself for not applying for one sooner as you had planned. Maybe your car is at the shop and you can’t pick it up until you have an extra couple hundred dollars to pay for the repairs.
Whatever the reason may be, you’d like to apply for a credit card and start using it immediately. But it can take card issuers a week or two to get the card in the mail.
Don’t worry, you still have some strong options to start using your new credit card as quickly as possible. One way is to request expedited shipping, which allows your new card to arrive in about two business days.
Get Approved for an Instant Credit Card Number
But sometimes even that isn’t enough to help you through a tough time. If that’s the case, you can focus your application efforts on credit cards that automatically issue your card number once you’ve been approved. That allows you to call in payments or make emergency purchases online.
Find out which credit card companies offer instant approval credit cards and which ones don’t. Some make it quick and easy to access your credit line via an instant card number, while others may make you jump through a few hoops.
We’ll tell you how to navigate each major credit card issuer so you know exactly what you have to do to start using that new card as soon as possible.
Full List of Credit Cards That Issue Instant Card Numbers
American Express is one of the best options for getting an instant card number after getting approved.
You can apply for any AmEx card, although some customers report mixed results as to how often the offer is available. If it is available to you, you’ll be prompted by the online system asking you whether or not you want your card number instantly.
Also, realize that this number is just a temporary one. While the card number will likely be the same as the one you receive in the mail, your CVC code and expiration date will probably change.
So don’t use it to set up automatic billing services because you’ll just have to switch it when you activate your actual card. If you don’t receive an offer for an instant card number, you might actually receive a bonus for a future statement credit.
If you’re applying for a co-branded American Express card, such as a Hilton Card, you may only be able to use the number with the co-branded company. American Express should let you know of any usage restrictions at the time of releasing your account number.
Bank of America
Unfortunately, most Bank of America cards do not offer instant card numbers. While there are some reports of getting upon approval, there is simply no consistent policy to go by.
However, you can typically receive a card number when you’re approved for the B of A co-branded Alaska Airlines credit card.
Most Barclays cards do not offer an instant card number. However, if you apply for the Uber Visa via the Uber app and get approved, you can immediately use the card on the app.
Capital One used to offer instant access to your card number through their mobile app. However, it’s now kind of a hit or miss situation with cards like the Capital One Venture and Capital One QuickSilver. However, the new Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard does offer it.
You can link your card to the Walmart Pay app and use it to make purchases at any Walmart store or at Walmart.com before the card arrives.
Most credit cards offered by Chase don’t come with an instant card number. However, you can usually add Chase credit cards like the popular Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred to a digital wallet well before the physical card arrives.
Also, if you apply for a Southwest Airlines or United Airlines credit card during checkout and you’re approved, you can pay for your flight with your card before it arrives.
Citi offers a couple of co-branded instant credit cards that you can apply for. They are the American Airlines card and the AT&T card.
There are a few different levels of membership for the American Airlines card, so review those options to see which one best suits your needs and, ideally, your credit profile. Several of them come with no annual fee. Similarly, there are two types of AT&T cards with varying rewards benefits. Check them out before applying so you know the better fit for you.
Costco Credit Card
If you’re already a Costco member or have been thinking about joining, you can take advantage of instant access once you’ve been approved. However, for instant access, you’ll have to apply in-store. There is no annual fee with your paid Costco membership and it can only be used in-store.
In addition to the number, you’ll receive a barcode that can be scanned at the checkout. This is also a great option for business owners who require help with cash flow and need either restaurant supplies or even a new laptop or printer.
First Nation Bank of Omaha
Stuck in Vegas with no cash left in your pocket? Ok, hopefully, that isn’t your emergency, but you can get an instant FNBO credit card number from the M Life desk at any MGM resort.
They can print out your card information for you so you have that extra financing available, should you require it. Just be sure to keep walking past the slot machines on your way out.
The Apple Card offered by Goldman Sachs allows cardholders to use the card instantly upon approval via the Wallet app on your iPhone.
HSBC will provide you with an instant credit card number after approval. However, they do not provide your card’s CVV number or expiration date.
Synchrony has many store cards that offer an instant card number that you can use while you’re in the store.
For online-specific purchases, try one of these cards from Synchrony to get started right away: Ebats, PayPal, or eBay. The Ebates card can be used either on its website or anywhere a Visa is accepted.
For PayPal or eBay Mastercards, you can make an online purchase up to $250 via PayPal. Depending on what you would like to charge, this could be a good option for you.
Members of the military and their family can become members of USAA and then apply for a USAA credit card. When you do, you’ll automatically receive your card number, CVC code, and expiration date.
You’ll only be allowed to spend up to $1,000 with this information, and then you’ll move up to your full balance limit once your physical card arrives in the mail. They have a rewards program and there is no annual fee on either of the credit cards you can choose from.
U.S. Bank has started issuing instant credit cards for mobile or online use for some of their cards. They have plans to roll this out to all of their cards in the near future.
Can you get an instant card number with a store card?
This really depends on each individual retailer, but it’s certainly possible. First, it’s important to remember that while some stores offer co-branded cards like Visa and MasterCard that can be used anywhere, many limit purchases to the actual store itself. So think about how you want to use the card before you get too far down the rabbit hole.
You can apply online or in-person for store credit cards. When you apply in person and are approved, you often get a temporary credit card so you can start shopping immediately.
Take the Target RedCard for example. How many times have you been asked, “Would you like to save 5% today by opening a Target RedCard?” They want to offer you the incentive to buy more and save more and take advantage of those savings immediately.
Best Buy, Macy’s, and Cabela’s
Some stores don’t even require the credit card to be present if you can verify your identity. Retailers like Best Buy and Macy’s simply check your driver’s license and have you enter your social security number to access your credit card account.
It’s a quick and easy way to start shopping without having to wait for the card to come in the mail. On top of that, some stores like Cabela’s even have physical cards on hand to give you right away.
Which credit card issuers don’t offer instant credit card numbers?
There are some credit card issuers that just don’t offer card information before the physical card arrives in the mail. The big-name creditors you won’t see this service from include: Alliant Credit Union, Discover, Navy Federal Credit Union, and Wells Fargo.
While their policies may change in the future, as of right now, you’ll have to wait at least a few days until you’re approved to start using your account.
Always remember that approval is based on credit history and credit scores. Make sure your credit score is in order before you apply to avoid dinging your credit for nothing.
Applying for a credit card doesn’t have to mean waiting an entire week or two for your card to show up before you can actually start using it. By browsing the credit card offers above and focusing on the ones you’re most likely to get approved for, you can receive immediate access to your credit card.
Just pay careful attention to whether you need to do something specific to get your instant card number or if there are restrictions on your spending. Now you can be prepared if you have a financial emergency or simply want to take advantage of cardmember benefits quickly.