How Long Does It Take to Get Approved for a Credit Card?

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how long does it take to get approved for a credit card
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Getting approved for a credit card can take anywhere from minutes to weeks, depending on factors such as the method of application, credit profile, and the completeness of your submitted information. 

While people opt for credit cards for several reasons, the primary motivation, as revealed by a Forbes Advisor survey in February 2024, is the allure of earning rewards. A substantial 35% of respondents cited this benefit as their key incentive.

We want to get that approval fast. The reasons behind this are both practical and poignant. Imagine if you’re a young couple planning your dream wedding, eager to accumulate points for your honeymoon flight. Or if you’re a family hoping to upgrade your home appliances during a sale, needing that credit approval to stretch your budget further. Each application is not just a request for credit but a step towards fulfilling personal dreams and making life more manageable.

How Long Does It Take to Get Approved for a Credit Card?

Below is a quick overview of the credit card approval process duration for major providers like Bank of America, Best Buy, and Chase.

Issuer How long it takes to get approved
Bank of America Credit Card As little as 60 seconds
*Best Buy Credit Card Instantly or up to 3 days
Capital One Credit Card As little as 60 seconds or 7 to 10 days
Chase Credit Card As little as an hour or within 14 days
Discover Credit Card Instantly or up to 30 days
GoodYear Credit Card Instantly
Home Depot Credit Card Instantly or within 14 days
JCPenney Credit Card Within 10 business days
JetBlue Credit Card 7 to 14 days
Macy’s Credit Card Instantly or 7 to 10 business days
Southwest Credit Card Instantly or may take up 7 to 10 days
United Credit Card Up to 7 business days
Wells Fargo Credit Card Instantly or 5 to 7 business days

If you’re wondering how long it takes to get approved for a business credit card, the process can be quite quick—often just a few minutes online. However, if additional review is needed, it could take a few days. 

how do credit approvals work

How Do Credit Approvals Work?

When applying for a credit card, the issuer evaluates various information when you submit your application. This includes:

  • Updated credit report
  • Credit history
  • Credit score
  • Income
  • Other financial commitments like housing payments, loans, or rent.
  • They also look at your past credit management, focusing on your payment history.

💡Pro Tip: Credit card companies keep their approval criteria under wraps, treating it as proprietary information. This means there aren’t clear-cut guidelines on what guarantees approval or rejection. Your best strategy is to ensure your credit score is good and accurately reported on your application.

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What Affects Credit Card Approval Times?

You can get approved for a credit card in just 60 seconds, but it can also take a few days or weeks. However, issuers must let you know their decision within 30 days by law, ensuring you’re not left waiting indefinitely. The time it takes to get approved can depend on several factors:

1. Method of application

  • Online: Applying online is generally the fastest way to get a credit card. Many issuers can give you a decision within minutes after you submit your application. This is because automated systems review your application immediately, checking your credit score and the information provided to make a quick decision.
  • Over the counter or phone: The process can be quite swift, too, assuming you’ve provided all the correct information. You can also get approval fast if your credit history is in good shape. This method allows for direct interaction, which can help clarify questions on the spot, potentially speeding up the approval process.
  • Mail: On the other end of the spectrum are mail-in applications. These are the slowest, sometimes taking several weeks. The delay is often due to the time it takes for the application to be mailed, processed manually, and reviewed. If quick approval is your goal, this method might not be your best choice.

2. Completeness of the Application

When submitting information, ensure all the required fields are filled out accurately and completely. Any missing or incorrect information can potentially cause delays in the process, as manual review may be required to correct the errors. Therefore, it is recommended that you double-check all the information before submitting it to avoid any unnecessary setbacks.

credit card application

3. Income Verification

Issuers sometimes need additional documentation, such as proof of income. If you’re asked to provide more information and you respond promptly, you can keep the process moving smoothly. Failing to provide the required documents can lead to delays or even a denial of your application. So, thoroughly review the requirements and ensure you have all the documents prepared to save time.

4. Credit History and Score

Having a good credit score and a clean credit history can significantly speed up credit approvals. Lenders and credit issuers seek low-risk borrowers, and these are clear indicators of your reliability. A high credit score typically shows that you’re good at paying your bills on time and managing your debts responsibly. Meanwhile, a lower credit score can be a red flag to lenders, often suggesting a history of late payments or other financial missteps.

Maintaining a good credit score is important to get approved faster for loans or credit cards. Cushion can help you with this by turning your everyday bills and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) payments into opportunities to build your credit history. By using the virtual Cushion card to pay for your regular expenses, you’ll not only streamline your payments but also actively improve your credit profile with minimal effort.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Credit Card?

Once approved, credit card issuers typically take about 10 to 14 days to send your new card. However, the actual time to receive your card can vary based on the card type and external factors like mail delays. Requesting a custom design, offered by some companies, might extend this timeline.

how long does it take to get a credit card

Additionally, certain issuers, such as Chase, American Express, and Citi, provide an option for instant approval of virtual credit cards. This feature allows you to receive a virtual card number immediately after approval, enabling you to use your new credit account right away through a mobile wallet.


Credit card approvals can take as little as 60 seconds to days or weeks. To get a quick credit card approval, apply online with a complete application. Ensure that you have a strong credit history by managing your BNPL payments. Remember that while some applications might result in an immediate decision, others might take longer, especially if additional information is needed. Always ensure your application is accurate and complete to avoid unnecessary delays.

Last Updated on May 05, 2024
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this website is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice. Consult with a financial professional for personalized guidance regarding your specific situation.
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