Instant approval credit cards can be defined in two different ways:
1. You get approved today and can instantly begin using your new credit line. (Yay! No waiting!)
2. You get approved today but don’t get the card until later. (Not bad.)
Only one of the major credit card issuers gives you the possibility of both instant approval and same-day card usage. Three other credit card companies claim they might give you an instant decision on your application, allowing you to know if you’ve been approved or whether you should apply elsewhere.
Those companies are:
- American Express – Offers the possibility of instant approval as well as the ability to use the card today. Almost every American Express credit card and charge card application includes the message “Get a decision in as little as 30 seconds.” And, most cards offer the possibility of an “Instant Card Number” that you can use until your physical card arrives. Instant Card Numbers are issued if American Express feels it has the “ability to instantly validate your identity.” (No word on how exactly they validate your identity.)
- Bank of America – Most Bank of America credit cards have the message “Get a response in as little as 60 seconds” on their online applications.